Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

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HardHitter
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Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by HardHitter » Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:57 pm

Hello All,

I have been dating my girlfriend now for now 4 years when August comes around and I am planning on popping the question. I have been researching diamonds online and what you should be looking for to get the best for your budget.

My current budget is $12,000-$15,000. I know that she likes a Cushion diamond with a halo setting so that is what I have been looking for.

Regardless, I'm trying to make sure I get the best diamond for my budget and I'm looking for everyone's feedback based upon your experience and what you ended up with. I plan to actually go in to a store this weekend to see in person and really see if you can tell the differences between the characteristics of the diamonds.

Carat: With my budget and the following characteristics below, I'm looking at potentially a diamond of 1.5 and the halo being around .5.

Color: Range I'm looking in is from D - H

Cut: Range I'm looking in is from Good to Signature Ideal

Clarity: I'm looking at any diamond that is SI2 and above. From my understanding, the SI range has imperfections that potentially are able to be seen by an unaided eye. If I were to get a diamond in this range, I would be inspecting the diamond for these imperfections with an unaided eye.

Thank you in advance!

DTSC
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by DTSC » Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:08 am

Here is my experience:

Men care about the color and cut and clarity and all that.

For women, SIZE matter more than anything else. My wife walks into a room and she immediately knows how big every other woman's rock is. Unless it's a very yellow stone (worse than I or J) no one else cares what color it is; you can't tell a E from a G unless they are side-by-side anyway. Clarity of SI1 is good enough; no one carries a loupe around to see if there are inclusions.

Bigger really is better in this case.

HardHitter
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by HardHitter » Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:15 am

DTSC wrote:Here is my experience:

Men care about the color and cut and clarity and all that.

For women, SIZE matter more than anything else. My wife walks into a room and she immediately knows how big every other woman's rock is. Unless it's a very yellow stone (worse than I or J) no one else cares what color it is; you can't tell a E from a G unless they are side-by-side anyway. Clarity of SI1 is good enough; no one carries a loupe around to see if there are inclusions.

Bigger really is better in this case.
I agree with you in the case that most women don't know anything about their own ring. We could talk about color, cut, and clarity ratings and I'm sure they'd be clueless. As long as the diamond is big and it sparkles, then they could care less. I guess that is another approach to finding the "perfect diamond". As long as it is big, sparkles and you can't see any imperfections with the naked eye (who is really is going to look at their ring under a magnified glass?) then they'll love it.

DTSC
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by DTSC » Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:19 am

HardHitter wrote:
DTSC wrote:Here is my experience:

Men care about the color and cut and clarity and all that.

For women, SIZE matter more than anything else. My wife walks into a room and she immediately knows how big every other woman's rock is. Unless it's a very yellow stone (worse than I or J) no one else cares what color it is; you can't tell a E from a G unless they are side-by-side anyway. Clarity of SI1 is good enough; no one carries a loupe around to see if there are inclusions.

Bigger really is better in this case.
I agree with you in the case that most women don't know anything about their own ring. We could talk about color, cut, and clarity ratings and I'm sure they'd be clueless. As long as the diamond is big and it sparkles, then they could care less. I guess that is another approach to finding the "perfect diamond". As long as it is big, sparkles and you can't see any imperfections with the naked eye (who is really is going to look at their ring under a magnified glass?) then they'll love it.
So just spend most of your money on just getting a huge-a$$ rock that's not ugly and be done with it.

DualIncomeNoDebt
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by DualIncomeNoDebt » Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:37 am

I hate diamonds. They are neither rare nor precious, a lie concocted by De Beers (and N.W. Ayer), who stockpiles massive amounts of the things, controlling global supply. Please read this seminal 1982 piece before you "invest" in a piece of carbon. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/arc ... nd/304575/. And now, things are even worse, given that amazing synthetics can be grown in the lab, and the market for them is thriving.

My apologies if this strikes a sour note, but I don't like to see good people get taken advantage of.

monkeyking
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by monkeyking » Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:40 am

If you want a good deal you can go with bluenile.com.. You'll probably get the most bang for you buck. Another fun thing you can do is use brilliance.com to get a few practice rings to gauge size etc.

Brilliance has a service where they will send you some 3D printed rings in whatever cut and size you want so you can see how they look.
http://www.brilliance.com/3d-rings

paulsiu
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by paulsiu » Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:28 am

You have to know your wife well. My wife has a geological background and can tell clarity of a diamond pretty well (I was sadly unable to tell glass from diamond on initial viewing). A 2 caret ring also looks huge on her finger, which she apparently didn't like (much to my relief).

For some price saving measures, get a bit less than the size. For example, instead of getting a one caret ring, get one that's .9 caret and it's apparently cheaper for some reason even though it may look like a 1 caret ring.

I also employed the use of Pricescope forum to look for vendors. There's a good price difference getting a diamond online than in person. In my case, my vendor turns out to be within driving distance of several hours, so I ended up being able to look at the diamond up close. My other challenge was to get the ring made because it turns out ring and diamond was from different vendors so the ring vendor wouldn't work on it without insurance. I fixed that by buying Jewelery insurance.

Paul

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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by IPer » Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:33 am

[OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]
Read the Wiki Wiki !

lululu
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by lululu » Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:46 am

anon wrote: For women, SIZE matter more than anything else. My wife walks into a room and she immediately knows how big every other woman's rock is.
Not all women are like that.

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SecretAsianMan
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by SecretAsianMan » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:02 am

Pricescope is really the place to go to with these types of questions. Good luck!

SHB
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by SHB » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:14 am

I got engaged last year and as others have mentioned the Pricescope forums were very helpfull. They led me to WhiteFlash who I was very happy with and went back to them for the wedding ring.

Jodi
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by Jodi » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:29 am

You can get more bang for your buck if you buy a lab created diamond. I didn't want a mined diamond so we went with Gemesis. I get tons of compliments on mine, even though it is definitely not "big". Seems to be lab created are about 30% cheaper. No guilt and great clarity.

Jodi

jasc15
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by jasc15 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:36 am

I bought from an independent jeweler, but used Pricescope and Blue Nile to compare pricing. Once I saw that the jeweler's price was in line with those sites, I felt a bit more comfortable purchasing from them.

Quotia
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by Quotia » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:50 am

I agree, Pricescope is an excellent resource.

jackholloway
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by jackholloway » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:51 am

My wife and I shopped for engagement rings together. I would not have picked out the ring she did, so it was definitely for the best.

Andyrunner
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by Andyrunner » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:57 am

I was in this situation several years ago and from what I remember, a jewler told me that most of those things are meaningless to the untrained eye. Unless the diamond is horrible, you wont notice a color difference, clarity/cut unless you put it under a microscope they all look the same etc. Basically what Im saying is you dont need the best rated diamond.
Also a 1 carat is big enough. Personally I wouldnt spend more than 4-6k on the ring. You will have a lot more expensive purchases to save up for.

Neat fact...my wifes diamond is a family diamond: jewler was assessing it and noticed that if you put it under a black light it glows blue (only 1 in 100 diamonds do that)

eschaef
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by eschaef » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:02 am

lululu wrote:
anon wrote: For women, SIZE matter more than anything else. My wife walks into a room and she immediately knows how big every other woman's rock is.
Not all women are like that.
One of my good friends got engaged a few months ago. She has commented on how happy she is that her fiance went for a high quality diamond, as that is what she requested. It is not large, but it sparkles brilliantly under light.

mlipps
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by mlipps » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:08 am

As a woman, I think cut is very important. I agree that you can probably get away with skimping a bit on clarity and color, although I can definitely tell the difference between my G color 1/2 carat and my friend's likely D color Tiffany's ring. The sparkle of a well cut diamond is what draws another's eye to it most of all.

Agwapijaw
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by Agwapijaw » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:20 am

My wife and I had concerns of the blood diamond trade and poor mining condition of commercial diamonds. Even ethical mining operations indirectly support the blood diamond trade due to inflation of the price of the relatively common stone.

For these reasons we looked into alternatives.

Buying a stone 2nd hand and working with a private jeweler to personally design a unique ring. 2nd hand stones are typically 30% the cost of new stones.

Buying a Mossianit stone and work with a private jeweler to personally design a unique ring. 50-60% off the cost of mined stones

Buy a lab created diamond. - 30% off new mined stones

We ended up getting a Moissanite ring for a few thousand and rivals that of any near perfect diamond for clarity color and cut. Having the ring custom designed worked very well to fit our lifestyle. The ring is prong less (no catching on people’s hair or fear of broken prongs) and designed in a way to focus light from the sides to generate a brighter luster. It is also thin and the wedding band wraps around it to hug the stone.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:25 am

The only thing that is important - that the intended likes it and will wear it. All else doesn't matter. Who cares what your family, neighbors, co-workers or anonymous folks on an internet forum think? Buy the one she likes and wants. I took my wife to the store, trust me when I say all of the diamonds were sparkling in the countercases - small or big, they ALL sparkled quite nicely in the light. I let her pick, after all these years, she still wears that ring, even though I could afford to buy her a bigger stone if she had wanted it.
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lululu
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by lululu » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:31 am

eschaef wrote:
lululu wrote:
anon wrote: For women, SIZE matter more than anything else. My wife walks into a room and she immediately knows how big every other woman's rock is.
Not all women are like that.
One of my good friends got engaged a few months ago. She has commented on how happy she is that her fiance went for a high quality diamond, as that is what she requested. It is not large, but it sparkles brilliantly under light.
What I was trying to say was not about size vs. quality, but that at least some women don't care to see money spent on expensive jewelry and certainly don't care if someone else has more jewelry than they do.

Crow Hunter
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by Crow Hunter » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:51 am

HardHitter wrote:Hello All,

I have been dating my girlfriend now for now 4 years when August comes around and I am planning on popping the question. I have been researching diamonds online and what you should be looking for to get the best for your budget.

My current budget is $12,000-$15,000. I know that she likes a Cushion diamond with a halo setting so that is what I have been looking for.

Regardless, I'm trying to make sure I get the best diamond for my budget and I'm looking for everyone's feedback based upon your experience and what you ended up with. I plan to actually go in to a store this weekend to see in person and really see if you can tell the differences between the characteristics of the diamonds.

Carat: With my budget and the following characteristics below, I'm looking at potentially a diamond of 1.5 and the halo being around .5.

Color: Range I'm looking in is from D - H

Cut: Range I'm looking in is from Good to Signature Ideal

Clarity: I'm looking at any diamond that is SI2 and above. From my understanding, the SI range has imperfections that potentially are able to be seen by an unaided eye. If I were to get a diamond in this range, I would be inspecting the diamond for these imperfections with an unaided eye.

Thank you in advance!
I am an engineer by trade so I really got into this when I was buying one for my wife. Make sure you go to a real jewelry store, not a mall store. Go somwhere that the jeweler will give you a loupe and a packet of stones and let you look through them. I spent 6 weeks going through stones until I found the one I liked the most. From my experience the ranking is:

-Cut. On a Brilliant cut stone, the closer the diamond is to the Ideal dimensions the more "fire" it will have. It will make a smaller stone look bigger to the naked eye. Other cuts are not going to show as much "fire" as the Brilliant cut will due to geometry.

-Clarity. Ask the jeweler for a loupe and look for white inclusions. You can often find a lower rated clarity stone that has nearly invisible white inclusions. Black inclusions will be obvious, so avoid them. Try to find inclusions that are well below the "table", the flat part on the top of the stone. The "deeper" they are the harder they will be to distinguish. High up on the table will be visible from many angles. A benefit of having an inclusion is that you will always know if it is your diamond or not if you have to take it in for repair. You should be able to find your inclusion. My wife's has a miniscule "feather" that is down well below the table that is visible if you look really hard for it in a bright light. It has come in handy when she crushed her ring at work and we had to take it to a jeweler to be repaired. She knew it was her ring when she got it back.

-Carat. Another reason to go with an indepented jeweler is they can get loose stones. Diamonds are ranked by size into tiers and there is a HUGE % price difference between a .98 carat and a 1.01 carat. Even though they will be identical to the naked eye. So if you are going to get her a 1.5 carat, see if you can find a 1.48 carat and get a significant discount over a 1.51. Personally, I got a .73 carat for my wife back in the late 1990s and it was nearly $1,000 cheaper than a .79 carat stone that didn't have a much "fire" because the cut wasn't as good.

-Color. You will have to get pretty low on the scale to notice a difference. Unless you have mixed grades in the same setting. Then the lowest grade may look funny. One thing that is neat is to find a "blue white" stone. They will glow bright blue under a black light which is kind of neat.

Also the setting can really set the ring off. I had the jeweler set the stone in a 4 point platinum setting that allowed much more light to get into and out of the diamond versus the normal 6 point setting and the platinum also accentuated the "blue white" aspect of the diamond. My wife is very petite and even though the stone is only .73 carats it looks MUCH bigger. Plus, with some research and me sitting in the corner with a every Friday for 6 weeks I got a really good deal.

And it is kind of fun to handle all those diamonds in those little blue and white paper packets. :greedy

Most importantly, pick a very memorable location and time for asking. My wife is very shy, so I didn't do anything public, but I did something that was extremely memorable that tied it back to our first meeting.

Hope this helps!

slbnoob
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by slbnoob » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:53 am

I shopped around for the diamond ring with my (now) wife. She picked out something she liked and we ended up spending more than I had initially hoped for.

Keep in mind that a diamond is really a worthless piece of stone in terms of resale if you consider it as an investment which it is not. The diamond ring market is an artificial recent fabrication unlike gold.

My wife loves her ring, feels good when she looks at it and knows it is bigger than the next in the room. This is what I bought when I spent that dough on a diamond ring.

KyleAAA
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by KyleAAA » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:55 am

Wow, $12-15k. Is that what the average engagement ring is going for, these days?

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Raymond
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by Raymond » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:11 am

I hope your budget is based on what *you* want to spend, not that self-serving De Beers "rule" of "three months salary" :greedy

Consider moissanite.

Best wishes for a long happy life together :happy
"Ritter, Tod und Teufel"

jasc15
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by jasc15 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:19 am

Crow Hunter wrote:I am an engineer by trade so I really got into this when I was buying one for my wife. Make sure you go to a real jewelry store, not a mall store. Go somwhere that the jeweler will give you a loupe and a packet of stones and let you look through them.
Second this. Don't go to a mall store. A close friend's husband got their rings from a certain well advertized mall store. I kinda felt bad for them, but I kept my mouth closed. The jeweler I went to let us look at the stones they had which were in our price range, and even took us outside to look at them in the sunlight away from the fancy halogen lights inside the store. Also being an engineer, I went in armed with a rudimentary knowledge of the stones, so I had them skip the 4C's lecture. They flattered me about my knowledge, which I suppose is the marketing trick to which I am most susceptible... All in all, I was satisfied with the experience.

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kingsnake
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by kingsnake » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:27 am

I'd go spend some time or get advice on the "rocky talky" forum, just google it.

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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by stoptothink » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:30 am

KyleAAA wrote:Wow, $12-15k. Is that what the average engagement ring is going for, these days?
Based upon conversation with my friends, yes. My wife has a 2ct morganite with rose gold band on her finger, that she picked...$500. As the saying goes "an engagement ring is jewelry a man wears on his fiancee's finger." In my experience, some women think it is just as ridiculous to spend that much on a truly valueless rock as some of us men do.

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danwhite77
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by danwhite77 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:34 am

monkeyking wrote:If you want a good deal you can go with bluenile.com.. You'll probably get the most bang for you buck.
+1 for Blue Nile. I bought my wife's engagement ring from them a long time ago (11 years - a long time for an etailer anyway). Best price and, as an added bonus, you don't have deal with shady jewelry salespeople. In the following years, I've bought a few pieces of jewelry from them and always been pleased.

Resist the urge to get excited and overspend. The ring really doesn't do anything after you've given it to her and the wedding day is one day. What really counts is how you each treat each other and the effort you put into your marriage in the thousands of days that follow that one day. The ring really doesn't do anything on wedding day +1. :happy
"While some mutual fund founders chose to make billions, he chose to make a difference." - Dedication to Jack Bogle in 'The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing'.

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tnbison
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by tnbison » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:39 am

My wife wife's moissanite ring is a canary yellow center stone cushion cut with triangular side stones. She loves it. A diamond equivalent ring would be 2.6ct total. I saved THOUSANDS of dollars. And if you do go with a genuine diamond don't get caught up in the 3 C's marketing. If you can't see it without a loupe, who cares

flyingbison
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by flyingbison » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:42 am

HardHitter wrote:
My current budget is $12,000-$15,000.
How much is she planning to spend on your ring?

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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by Alex Frakt » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:46 am

Let's keep replies focused on the OP's question please.

Jozxyqk
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by Jozxyqk » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:57 am

DualIncomeNoDebt wrote:I hate diamonds. They are neither rare nor precious, a lie concocted by De Beers (and N.W. Ayer), who stockpiles massive amounts of the things, controlling global supply. Please read this seminal 1982 piece before you "invest" in a piece of carbon. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/arc ... nd/304575/. And now, things are even worse, given that amazing synthetics can be grown in the lab, and the market for them is thriving.

My apologies if this strikes a sour note, but I don't like to see good people get taken advantage of.
Thanks for posting this. I had never read that article. I proposed to my wife with a small, rough cut diamond from Canada because I did not think she wanted a massive rock, and I dislike the whole diamond trade etc. (She is also a baker, so wearing an elaborate ring is impossible). The amount of passive social pressure I felt about not getting a traditional, big shiny diamond was amazing, and I am certain she felt far more. Every single woman (particularly older women) upon hearing that she was newly engaged demanded to check out the ring. Nearly every single one wore a look (disguised to varying degrees) of confusion or pity. "Ohhh... isn't that .... interesting!" NW Ayer did an incredible job making people feel that not having some sort of elaborate diamond is more than inconsiderate, it is downright bizarre.

OP, I would think hard about what you mean when you say you want the "best" diamond for your money.

wesef
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by wesef » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:03 am

You need to go look at them. Visit several jewelers and look at a lot of stones. Otherwise they may try to sell you their worst. I wouldn't worry about setting specific parameters. It's enough to know what they all mean, and thus to understand the ostensible reason that one stone is more expensive than another. Most of it is splitting hairs and subjective. Sometimes you can see imperfections with the naked eye, but they are often very minor. I would just put the stone in a sample setting, place it against your hand and ask whether it looks great under bright light. If yes, the rest doesn't matter much -- just get the cheapest one you really like.

1.5 carats is a big rock in most social circles in most parts of the country. That can be a positive if it matches your fiance's personality, but I firmly think there's such a thing as too big (cost aside). For example I've seen professional women turn their rings around in business meetings and volunteer events, signalling that they know their ring would send the wrong impression among the masses. A 1-carat ring would rarely be looked at as "too small," though maybe in certain specific circles. Which may be how you roll. But you could easily save $5,000 by dropping half a carat, and probably still have your fiance happy as a clam. She'll probably compare her ring to those of her friends, so try to estimate how big those are.

As noted, there are better forums for getting into specifics.

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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by surfstar » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:15 am

DualIncomeNoDebt wrote:I hate diamonds. They are neither rare nor precious, a lie concocted by De Beers (and N.W. Ayer), who stockpiles massive amounts of the things, controlling global supply.
100% agree. And I know my current g/f feels the same. I just see it as something very shallow when women compare rings (although my friends aren't those type of people, so I have to assume based on what people say happens).


I would recommend something simple/cheap and instead taking a nice vacation with that cash.
Memories and experiences > shiny things.

jackholloway
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by jackholloway » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:24 am

surfstar wrote:
DualIncomeNoDebt wrote:I hate diamonds. They are neither rare nor precious, a lie concocted by De Beers (and N.W. Ayer), who stockpiles massive amounts of the things, controlling global supply.
100% agree. And I know my current g/f feels the same. I just see it as something very shallow when women compare rings (although my friends aren't those type of people, so I have to assume based on what people say happens).


I would recommend something simple/cheap and instead taking a nice vacation with that cash.
Memories and experiences > shiny things.
We are status seeking creatures. Part of growing up, IMO, is learning which status markers we seek.

If someone works in a profession where personal jewelry is part of the presentation, then by all means, they should do what makes them happy.

For us, we spent more on the handmade ring than the diamond in it, because that is what made my wife happy.

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FelixTheCat
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by FelixTheCat » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:28 am

I would go for the highest quality in your price range.
Felix is a wonderful, wonderful cat.

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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by ChampCamp » Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:19 pm

If you're planning on buying the ring and diamond separate, maybe consider doing what I did:

My bride to be wanted a specific Tacori ring which is only sold in select retailers.

I started by going online (Blue Nile) and buying the biggest diamond that met the minimum quality standards from a naked eye perspective. I then took the diamond into the local jeweler and asked if they could match the stone I brought in. They couldn't, so I bought the ring from the local jeweler and asked that my stone be put in the ring. If they had produced a better stone, I would have just returned the diamond to Blue Nile.

Looking back, that probably knocked a ~12K engagement down to 10K.

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3CheersforLkyJack
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by 3CheersforLkyJack » Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:01 pm

Bought an engagement and wedding rings about 2 years ago. I had the jeweler tell me the maker and item number of the setting for the stone. I then found out all the dealers for that maker and called the local ones. I was able to receive a significant discount after telling each that I only needed the setting and was calling other dealers. Found differences of up to 35% between various dealers.

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Toons
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by Toons » Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:18 pm

My Son recently married,,,a very savvy shopper,he was very pleased with his purchase from Amazon :happy (Not Affiliated)

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_ ... Caps%2C296
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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Watty
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by Watty » Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:33 pm

I ended up getting my wife’s engagement ring at a local high end auction house.

The diamond was ungraded but they guaranteed the ring was a diamond and you had a couple of days to get it inspected and they would refund your money if it turned out to be a fake. Before I went to the auction I studied up on diamonds and I was pretty confident that it was a mid-quality stone I and I was correct. Trying to see the subtle differences in high quality stones would have been a lot more difficult.

I bought it at the auction before we were engaged and she did not know I was doing that so I could have passed if the auction price got too high. They were also auctioning several diamonds rings in that price range that day and any of them would have been OK. I got the first one that I bid on. As near as I can figure it was about the wholesale price which was about 25% to 33% of what it would have cost in a mid-range jewelry store.

The diamond was in an older style carved gold ring and my plan was that we would get remounted in the ring of her choice but it turned out she really liked it so we had it resized and we had a matching wedding band made that was attached to the engagement ring after we were married.

My wife’s ring cost a fraction of what your are looking at but she never really felt comfortable wearing it because she was afraid of something happening to it even though it was insured. She was also uncomfortable with it since she was afraid that it might attract a mugger. She ended up not wearing it a most of the time.

Eventually I ended up getting her a plain gold wedding band that she wears all the time and the good ring might be worn once a year now if that.

There is nothing wrong with that but you might want to plan on getting an everyday wedding ring along with the expensive one.

billjohnson
Posts: 620
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:41 pm

Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by billjohnson » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:11 pm

HardHitter wrote:I am planning on popping the question.
There's some bad advice on this thread. Do yourself a favor. Copy your original post and head over to pricescope. Will get much better advice there. As I'm sure Gypsy and some of the ladies will post links to actual cushion stones for your viewing.

Keep in mind, unlike rounds for instance, cushions are near impossible to buy "by the numbers". You really need some experience and to see the stone in person....or work with a vendor that your really trust. And for the record, you can do better ($$$) than your local jewelry store or blue nile. Good luck.

http://www.pricescope.com/forum/rockytalky/

LFKB
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Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:06 pm

Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by LFKB » Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:05 pm

Go with an I SI1 and then maximize size. I wouldn't go lower than that though. Cut is important so I would go with ideal or signature ideal.

I bought a diamond within the last month and got it from a guy out of state so I avoided paying California state income tax on it, which would have been about 9-10%.

billjohnson
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by billjohnson » Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:04 pm

e5116 wrote:I personally would not get a non-GIA or AGS diamond UNLESS I was able to bring it to a trusted independent gemologist to evaluate.
This. And get an ASET.

http://www.americangemsociety.org/aset- ... f-diamonds
Last edited by billjohnson on Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:10 am, edited 3 times in total.

HardHitter
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by HardHitter » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:35 pm

Wow, what a great and mixed response from everyone.

Today, I spent 2-3 hours in store looking at probably 15-20 diamonds in my price range/ratings.

In the end, here is the conclusion I came out with. She would bring out 4-5 diamonds at a time, each within the 1.4-1.5 carat range and then ranging from D - H and SI2 - VS2 rating.

From the first set of diamonds, I chose a 1.5, G, SI1 diamond which was $11,476. I used that as my baseline in comparing all the other diamonds to. Round after round I still went back to the $11,476 diamond. This included choosing the diamond over another which had the same color but better clarity rating (cost difference was only $250 more).

Now, the next diamond she brought out, she told me was not GIA certified. The diamond was 1.52 carat but was rated on their own scale by comparing the diamond vs the GIA standards. They said that the color was D and SI3 in clarity. So yes, there is no SI3 clarity rating, but they said that it is on the boarder of an SI2 and I.

I compared that diamond to the $11,476 diamond and now actually saw a yellow tint to the $11,476 diamond compared to the new diamond. From the naked eye, they both sparkled great in the light and I saw no inclusions. Under the loupe, that is where the differences showed. The $11,476 diamond had some minor inclusions here and there throughout the diamond. The new diamond had one single inclusion which looked worse than the $11,476 diamond however it was in the middle of the diamond and hard to see with the loupe and not visible to the unaided eye.

Now comes the price, $8,512.

I put a refundable $500 deposit down on the $8,512 diamond and have until Friday next week to commit.

So here is the question, for $3,000 less, this diamond has clearer color and sparkles the same. Would you commit on these even though it does not have GIA certified standards? From the naked eye, I would have said the $8,512 diamond is the more expensive of the two.

wesef
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Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:28 am

Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by wesef » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:53 pm

Sorry to keep beating the same drum, but you should go to pricescope with this type of question. My only contribution would be that your fiancé will never know what a GIA certification is. If the stone will make her happy for the next 50 years, then great. But others with more expertise might be able to make a more thoughtful evaluation of value.

HardHitter
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by HardHitter » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:55 pm

wesef wrote:Sorry to keep beating the same drum, but you should go to pricescope with this type of question. My only contribution would be that your fiancé will never know what a GIA certification is. If the stone will make her happy for the next 50 years, then great. But others with more expertise might be able to make a more thoughtful evaluation of value.
I posted over at Pricescope as well :)

I'm with you that I'm paying for what the diamond looks like and not specifications printed on a certificate. Just wanted to see if others are the same or if they rather pay money to know they are getting certain characteristics even though it doesn't look as good as others.

wdr1
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:46 pm

Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by wdr1 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:16 pm

HardHitter wrote:So here is the question, for $3,000 less, this diamond has clearer color and sparkles the same. Would you commit on these even though it does not have GIA certified standards? From the naked eye, I would have said the $8,512 diamond is the more expensive of the two.
You should care about certification. (I.e., I wouldn't get one without it.)

The thread is already filled with a lot of great advice, but to through in the two cents of a man just married a few years ago:

- There are some good values just under "milestone" values. E.g., .95 or 1.42 carats.

- A few people expressed concern about the cost. I say if you can afford it, go for it. That said, I didn't have full appreciation of how much everything in the wedding lifecycle was going to cost. We had a lot of help with the wedding proper, but there's still a surprising amount of costs. Various gifts, add-ons here & there, etc. In particular, a honeymoon can be very expensive. (And well worth it!) Again, if you have cash for both, great! But if you have to choose, pick the honeymoon. It's a joint experience you'll both remember for the rest of your lives.

- Consider planning a get away weekend after proposing at someplace nice & romantic.

- Your SO may find it stressful wearing something so significant especially at first. Get a ring holder she can keep by her nightstand. You may also want to consider getting it insurance for the first few years to bring her peace of mind.

Congrats & good luck to you both!

e5116
Posts: 383
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Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by e5116 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:22 pm

I agree, go to the pricescope forum. I personally would not get a non-GIA or AGS diamond UNLESS I was able to bring it to a trusted independent gemologist to evaluate. (In fact, I brought two GIA diamonds to an independent expert to help me make my decision). Also, an SI3 is really the same as an I1, which honestly most people avoid. Having the inclusion in the middle is also worse than having it on the edge. If it's on the edge a good jeweler should be able to hide the largest inclusion mostly under a prong. Having said all that, an engagement ring is a personal purchase that should be made to make you and your future spouse happy. All the other stuff doesn't really matter.... But I'm guessing if you tell the pricescope folks that you want an uncertified si3 with the grade determining inclusion in the middle, most would recommend against it. They'll ask you for the ASET images and you'll respond "what?" I personally don't know much about cushion cut diamonds, though, so it may be a totally different world. Also, while the price scope folks are a knowledgeable bunch, some can come off as overly judgy when it comes to diamond quality, just like some on here can within other domains. :D Just thought I'd throw out that warning, don't take offense to anything said and ultimately make your own decision. Good luck!
Last edited by e5116 on Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Rob5TCP
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Location: New York, NY

Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

Post by Rob5TCP » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:23 pm

DualIncomeNoDebt wrote:I hate diamonds. They are neither rare nor precious, a lie concocted by De Beers (and N.W. Ayer), who stockpiles massive amounts of the things, controlling global supply. Please read this seminal 1982 piece before you "invest" in a piece of carbon. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/arc ... nd/304575/. And now, things are even worse, given that amazing synthetics can be grown in the lab, and the market for them is thriving.

My apologies if this strikes a sour note, but I don't like to see good people get taken advantage of.
Unfortunately the above piece is spot on. I have two friends and a 2nd cousin who have worked on 47th street (3rd generation)
and even they conceded much of the story is true.

If you are close to NY you can get a good price with enough knowledge before hand. Some there are borderline thieves, but most will
deal with you fairly. If that's not possible, I second the recommendation to check out bluenile.com (diamonds from $1,000 to $1,000,000).

Personally, I dislike the whole b.s. around diamonds. But that is not what the OP is asking about.
If nothing else, they are a good starting point.

http://www.bluenile.com/build-your-own- ... rack=main1

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