Warren Buffett is known for his financial acumen. But who knew he could also help execute a surprise marriage proposal?
Buffett appeared in Omaha, Neb., over the weekend for the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting. The 83-year-old magnate decided to visit Borsheims Fine Jewelry and Gifts, a store that he owns. However instead of simply making a quick appearance and leaving, Buffett posted up behind the counter for two hours, selling jewelry to shareholders at what the store called "Crazy Warren" prices. To mark the occasion, Borsheims also sold 51 diamonds that bore Buffett's etched signature.
But anything that happened later in Buffett's stay paled in comparison to how his sales shift started. A shareholder named Eric LeFante went to Borsheims with his girlfriend, Carrie Fischer, under the ruse that he was buying her a necklace. LeFante and Fischer sat down at the counter, where Buffett first offered a "Crazy Warren" price.
Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a ring box.
"I think this might be more interesting, don't you?" Buffett asked the couple. "Let's take a look."
Buffett placed the box on the counter and unveiled a diamond ring.
"This is what I picked out," LeFante told Fischer. She is completely shocked and in love with the ring.
"Well, I think you oughta try it on!" Buffett suggested.
With that, LeFante dropped to one knee and proposed. His girlfriend said yes, and the store broke out in applause. An employee then emerged from the back with a bottle of champagne, and the newly engaged couple along with Buffett and Borsheims President and CEO Karen Goracke shared a toast.
"I'm an enormous admirer of Buffett," LeFante told us via telephone from his hotel in Omaha. "Over the years, my fiancée has grown to admire him too after listening to me talk about him so much."
LeFante knew that Bill Gates and others had bought their engagement rings from Borsheims. But two months ago when he reached out to Adrienne Fay, the store's marketing director, she told him that no one had ever proposed immediately after buying a ring from "Crazy Warren."
So LeFante went ring shopping with the help of the store's website and another employee, Monica Edy. The financial analyst for Citigroup would find a ring online and relay the information to Edy. She would then try it on and send him a photo.
When LeFante and Fischer sat down on Sunday, not only was it their first time meeting Buffett, but it was LeFante's first time seeing the 1-carat, princess-cut diamond ring in person.
"I got lucky," he said. "It was a risk I didn't fully consider, but it worked out."
LeFante and Fischer met in college at Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, and have been dating for six years. The couple has not set a date for the wedding, but LeFante joked that he will probably leave the planning from this point forward up to his bride-to-be.