Warren Buffett tried to persuade Bill Gates to spend close to $400 million on an engagement ring, according to “The Deals of Warren Buffett Volume 2: The Making of a Billionaire.”
Berkshire Hathaway’s boss made the pitch to the Microsoft founder when he and his future wife, Melinda, visited Omaha to go ring shopping in 1993. Buffett met them at the airport and escorted them to Borsheims, a jewellery business he bought four years earlier.
The famed investor told Gates — the richest man in the world, a Berkshire board member, and a close friend — that he spent 6% of his net wealth on an engagement ring in 1951, and Gates should do the same.
Gates was worth around $6.2 billion in 1993, according to Forbes. Despite Buffett’s coaxing, he declined to shell out $370 million — nearly $660 million in today’s dollars.
“We didn’t have quite as big a day that Sunday as I had hoped,” Buffett joked afterward.
Luckily for Gates, skimping on Melinda’s ring didn’t end in disaster. They married in Hawaii in 1994, and are still together 25 years later.