Engagement Ring Help

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Watty
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by Watty »

gmc4h232 wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 11:30 am
sport wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 6:35 pm
gmc4h232 wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 6:16 pm Go to some pawn shops and look at their selection and bring cash and negotiate. Seriously - they have nice stuff. the ring will have the same sentiment regardless of what you spend on it. she is obligated to love whatever you get her. If she doesn't, reconsider your engagement.
How would you know you bought a diamond and not some other sparkly material? I know I could not tell the difference.
What difference does it make? If you cant tell the difference and she cant tell the difference, does it really matter? It's not like it will get resold, and all you are doing is checking a box by buying one in the first place right?
FYI, they make inexpensive diamond testers but you need a separate tester for moissanite since it will fool cheap diamond testers. Read the instructions since you need to use them right. The pawn shop likely has one and it would take some effort to jimmy it to give false results.

https://www.amazon.com/Professional-Dua ... op?ie=UTF8

Distinguishing between the subtle differences of high grade diamonds is very difficult but with a little research on the internet and an inexpensive eye loop it not hard to learn enough to tell the difference between; "really bad", "mediocre but good enough for me", and "Nice but hard to tell how nice".

https://www.amazon.com/Aiernuo-Jeweler- ... fts&sr=1-1

I would caution that at least when I have checked out pawnshops for other things most of their prices were pretty bad. The problem is that they also make money by selling overpriced stuff on credit to people with bad credit. There is no reasons for them to sell things cheaper than you can get on eBay because they also often sell things on eBay themselves. I would not buy a diamond ring on eBay because there are so many scams and eBay has really gone downhill(IMHO).
mega317
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by mega317 »

Ok but you have to feed the cows, and they smell, and where do you put them? I don't know how many cows were expected and how fast you'd eat them but the cost to keep them is in the range of 5-10 cow-years/carat.
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212
blues008
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by blues008 »

You'll get a lot more information from the Pricescope forums, the Bogleheads of Diamonds: https://www.pricescope.com/

You don't need to spend a lot to get a great quality diamond. Within your budget you should focus on finding value within certain characteristics like color and clarity, but spend to get a better cut. Comparison shop at seller vendors including Costco, Whiteflash, Blue Nile, James Allen, and your local jeweler. Take the best bids to each shop and see what they'll do to help you.
Pencilskirt
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by Pencilskirt »

Hmm. This choice depends on so many factors. The biggest one is how much you and she value a diamond ring. It sounds like it is pretty important to you.

12 years ago when my husband was buying mine, we decided to go just under 1 carat because extra price is added for each .5 carat point. He bought a ring exactly at 3 months worth of salary. That’s fine but an available stone that was $200-300 more would have leveled up the ring IMO. It would have been nice to have. I left the final purchase up to him.

It meant a lot to him to buy me that ring and I still love it and I really appreciate that he wanted me to have it. He still likes to see me wear it. I do a lot of work with my hands and it’s been knocked hard many times but it has held up really well. I wear it without worrying about damaging it because that is what insurance is for.

Many people say it is silly and there are many persuasive arguments that it is. However, symbolically, it remains for many of us a significant token that you are willing to sacrifice some of your wants just to bring her joy.

At the same time it should not be so ostentatious that it shows impulsivity or poor money management.

If you have ethical misgivings or would like to give her something splashier on your budget, sapphires and other stones have tradition as engagement rings too. The size of her hand should be considered too. A ring looks best in proportion with the wearer.

You can’t really go wrong with Costco or Blue Nile. If you feel confident then a pawn shop could be the way to go.

Best Wishes!
Caduceus
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by Caduceus »

Congratulations! I recently got engaged too, so we went through the same process, although since we are both men, not everything we did might apply to your girlfriend. I think you should ask her what she wants, and get her to choose the ring herself, unless part of what she wants is that the ring be chosen by you (so that it feels more special to her.)

My boyfriend knew I would be quite particular about the ring, and as it so happened, another of our close friends was getting married. He asked the friend who was getting married to take me out shopping for rings (on the pretext of needing advice), and in the meantime, also find out which particular ring I personally liked. And that's how he found the perfect ring. I didn't even remember the actual ring when he proposed months later, but wondered how he could have chosen something that I would have chosen myself.

Maybe you could do something like that - if she has a close girlfriend who's soon to be married and is going ring-shopping.
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cashboy
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by cashboy »

in some ways, getting/receiving an engagement ring is one of those cultural 'norms' that one simply goes along with.

it probably has the most 'emotional value' when first given. From that perspective, it does have 'value'.

it is worth noting that there can be 'peer pressure' from the recipients friends - will they feel the ring is nice when the recipient shows it to them.

my approach was that if i was going to do it i would do it 'right' (according to my own standards of what right means in this case).

i went for the following (years ago):

purchased at:
local store
(i knew people who worked there long term and i got a good deal).

size:
less than 1 carat
(since 1 carat can look quite large - to me)

shape:
marquise cut
(it looks better than round - to me)

color:
D
(though E or F would be fine - to me, the D really pops when placed next to another diamond - which some ring recipients will do)

clarity:
VVS 1
(though VVS2 or VS1 would be fine - to me, the VVS 1 really pops)


ring itself:
i picked it based upon what i knew her tastes were.
this can be a tough one to get 'right' and still keep it a surprise.



Fiance loved it.

one can go with a lower grade diamond in color or clarity (lets say 'average') and still get a nice ring (and i mean that in a nice way), but when i was looking the difference in price was not so large between average and what i bought - so i went for the better diamond and am glad i did. when i look at the ring it reminds me of the time period that i gave it to my Fiance - and that has 'value' to me.

bottom line: do what feels right for you without spending more than you can really afford.

best of luck to you and your fiance!

:sharebeer
Last edited by cashboy on Wed May 20, 2020 2:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Onlineid3089
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by Onlineid3089 »

atikovi wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 6:45 pm
millenialsaver wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 5:13 pmI'm currently beginning to look into an engagement ring (and diamond) for my gf, and, obviously, there's quite a lot of information out there on what to focus on, etc.
Just buy a 2 carat quality CZ and keep your mouth shut. Chances are, 6 months after the wedding she wont even be wearing it regularly.
There's some truth to this. We got married right at a year ago. I got her a nice but modest lab grown diamond ring from Brilliant Earth, only $5000 or so total for stone, ring, and wedding band so definitely nothing big. She's very happy with it, but found that she worries about wearing it while at work in a hospital lab with gloves going on/off all the time. She got herself a pack of silicon rings that she's mostly been wearing for a few months now, and picked out a $300 cz ring for our anniversary :beer
7eight9
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by 7eight9 »

Buy the highest color you can afford at the lowest clarity you can accept.
I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.
centrifuge41
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by centrifuge41 »

millenialsaver wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 5:47 pm Thanks, centrifuge. Seems like you know your stuff! Yeah, based on the minimal reading I've done thus far, everyone recommends 'splurging' on Cut, with the 3 other Cs taking somewhat of a backseat. Also seems like the value can be had in focusing on 'eye clean' since being able to see some blemish under 10x magnification really doesn't matter.

I plan on going to a local jeweler soon (my family has used this person before) to at least get an idea about what to look for and how things look to the naked eye. So you don't think there would be much of a difference in diamond between a local jeweler and, say, an online retailer like Blue Nile?
Sure, it makes sense to go to a local jeweler to see things in person and to see if you are sensitive to color, how good you are with picking out clarity, etc. It won't take you long to know if the stones are priced fairly or if there is a markup - you can tell easily by checking Blue Nile, which has competitive prices on diamonds.

James Allen comes with a small markup for the picture. If you want to play around there, I recommend you load up a given diamond, then walk backwards until you are far away from the monitor that the diamond on-screen is about the thickness of a pencil. This is another way for you to gauge clarity/eye-cleanliness. If you find a particular desirable stone on James Allen that also happens to be sold on Blue Nile, you can come out ahead (e.g. same GIA certificate # being sold on both sites). This lets you confirm eye cleanliness (too risky sight unseen if you directly choose an SI1/SI2), and you could potentially manually pick out an almost-hearts-on-fire.
khangaroo
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by khangaroo »

One thing I'm really glad I did was actually talking to my fiancee about her ring. My first initial thought was to surprise her because I "knew" what she liked... man was I completely wrong.

1. She has no care about what it cost. I was going to go with the 3 month salary rule of thumb and thank god i didn't do that... spent that money on a down payment instead.
2. I thought she wanted a raised ring but she wanted it flat so it doesn't catch on things.
3. I thought she wanted a diamond but she actually wanted a gem stone.
4. I thought she wanted diamonds on the band but she wanted it as simple as possible.

I read a good piece of advice that said the ring shouldn't be a surprise but the proposal should be - that made sense to me so that's what I did.

We looked at rings through Pinterest and she pinned 5 or so that she loved and told me to pick any of those. They were all similar prices because she wanted an emerald and the total ring cost ended up being $882 and she still wears it all the time. I purchased it online and it was exactly as shown in the photos.

This approach took so much stress and uneasiness off my shoulder of not knowing if she would like the ring or not and all I had to focus on was when, where, and how to give it to her...
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Tamarind
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by Tamarind »

Most folks won't care nearly as much about a ring in 20 years as all the advertising would have you think. But a few people really do care about something specific. The important thing is to know which group your potential fiancee falls into. Talk to your potential fiancee, or at least her friends/relatives to find out what she likes. Then do that.

Case in point, my wife would have been perplexed if I'd presented her with a diamond of any size. She did not want an engagement ring at all. We shopped together for custom made wedding bands -$3000 for a very unique pair. No precious stones. At the time that was about 2 weeks gross income and felt like a huge splurge, but we both still like the rings.
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LilyFleur
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by LilyFleur »

jpelder wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 9:24 am I'd go with a local place if you want the traditional route, just make sure that they'll clean and size for free or for a reasonable price.

Be aware of the hardness of diamond alternatives if your future fiancee/wife is going to wear her ring every day. Diamonds are hard and can't be scratched by basically anything. Sapphires are up there in hardness, but they're a little easier than diamond to scratch or chip. I'm not sure about the hardness of moissanite or cubic zirconia, but since they're less expensive, it would be easier to replace a damaged stone.

The diamond industry, as other have said, is a big price-fixed racket. The ring will immediately lose most of its monetary value when you leave the store. The more important thing is that it not stretch the budget, especially if it's just going to sit in a drawer. I paid $300 for my wife's engagement ring (a halo setting that incorporated a sapphire from a family heirloom ring). She mostly wears the plain gold band that matches mine, and just gets out the "real" ring for special occasions.
Moissanite is closest to the hardness of a diamond than the other stones. Because it is so much less expensive than diamonds, it's easy to end up with a stone that is bigger than you actually want. It's also very brilliant. But not much resale value.
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Matahari
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by Matahari »

blues008 wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 12:50 pm You'll get a lot more information from the Pricescope forums, the Bogleheads of Diamonds: https://www.pricescope.com/

You don't need to spend a lot to get a great quality diamond. Within your budget you should focus on finding value within certain characteristics like color and clarity, but spend to get a better cut. Comparison shop at seller vendors including Costco, Whiteflash, Blue Nile, James Allen, and your local jeweler. Take the best bids to each shop and see what they'll do to help you.
+ 1.
I was about to recommend pricescope.com and saw this post.
I was an active member many years ago and agree that you should start there to educate yourself further on the importance of Cut, along with the other "C's."

If you want your prospective fiancee to love her engagement ring, you ought to involve her in its choice and design. Most women have strong preferences regarding this meaningful item. You could purchase the diamond first and present it to her in a "placeholder" setting if you want to surprise her, or you could shop together for the style of ring she wants and then you can make the proposal itself a surprise after the ring is ready.

Under no circumstances should you go to a "maul" (Pricescope term) jewelry store to start your shopping but I imagine that's why you are here. Buying a diamond online is generally considered to be preferable given the specs and large selection you have access to across the different online diamond vendors, a couple of which Pricescope members recommended with regularity -- Whiteflash and James Allen -- have been mentioned here.

Good luck on your shopping and congratulations on your impending engagement.
stoptothink
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by stoptothink »

barnaclebob wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 9:47 am The people who respond to these threads must be the vegans of jewelry. You would think hardly any women wear wedding rings based on the replies. I spent about $3k on my wife's engagement ring at age 21, nearly my entire summer internship take home pay. She loves it, I love it. She wears it every day and its holding up well.
Well, my wife pretty much never wears her wedding ring (thank heavens I asked her first before blowing a bunch of money) and that is not at all uncommon in our circle. At least from what I have seen, this (diamonds, very expensive engagement rings) is a cultural norm that is changing.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by unclescrooge »

centrifuge41 wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 5:33 pm Diamonds are an almost-commodity for a given grade, meaning aside from paying for specially branded diamonds (such as hearts on fire), the cost by grade/certifier should be similar across most channels. You'll be reading about the 4 C's:
  • Color (go gauge for yourself how this looks - everyone is different in deciding if it's worth spending money here to get to a more colorless ranking than ~I)
  • Clarity (VS1, VVS1/2, and IF are a "waste of money" because you will find "eye clean" diamonds (and not eye clean diamonds) across VS2, SI1, and SI2. I1 and above are not going to be eye clean and will be low quality; this is generally what stores like Zales and Helzbergs sell the most of)
  • Carat (size: whole sizes like 1.0 carat have a price jump vs. 0.99 carat)
  • Cut (if you believe Brightscope and if you can tell once you do some looking, cut will matter more than anything. Not just the Ex grades (top 20% of diamonds by cut), but more like the top 1 or 2%. You can guarantee it by paying extra on sites like White Flash/buying a Hearts on Fire, or you can go pick them out yourself either in person or on a site like James Allen, where the picture-availability markup is small
As for settings, that's highly taste driven. It depends on if you want your fianceé to decide vs. surprising her with something more basic. If she/you can decide on a particular setting, that could determine which online/retail stores sell that model/brand. Most stores have ~2x/year 20% off settings sales. The stones themselves don't go on sale.

If you want to optimize, buying a diamond can be harder than buying a use car. You could end up spending a long time checking out stones, and reading on sites like diamonds.pro or brightscope.
+1

I bought diamond on blue nile, sight unseen. I emailed them to make sure it was "eye clean". I got a brilliant cut, exactly 1 carat. If i recall correctly, it was E color, VS1 or VVS2. Incredible to look at, and much cheaper than local stores (in 2011).

I got it set at a ring I bought locally at Robbins Bros. since they offer free lifetime ring cleaning.

Also, I told my fiance if she loses it, the next one will be moissanite. I recommend checking those out first.
gmc4h232
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by gmc4h232 »

sport wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 12:02 pm
gmc4h232 wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 11:30 am
sport wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 6:35 pm
gmc4h232 wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 6:16 pm Go to some pawn shops and look at their selection and bring cash and negotiate. Seriously - they have nice stuff. the ring will have the same sentiment regardless of what you spend on it. she is obligated to love whatever you get her. If she doesn't, reconsider your engagement.
How would you know you bought a diamond and not some other sparkly material? I know I could not tell the difference.
What difference does it make? If you cant tell the difference and she cant tell the difference, does it really matter? It's not like it will get resold, and all you are doing is checking a box by buying one in the first place right?
I would not want to spend 100's or 1000's on a $2 piece of glass. She probably would eventually notice the difference when she compared it to her girlfriend's real diamond. Then you would look like a dishonest cheapskate. Probably not the best way to start a marriage.
Thats the whole point of going to the pawn shop so you arent spending thousands to check a box.
Sagefemme
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by Sagefemme »

I second the idea of spending some time on Pricescope.com. You will learn a lot and I bet you will buy the diamond online when all is said and done. Find out what your girl really wants (hack her Pintrest account or solicit info from her besties). I have two fairly valuable/sizeable diamond rings. One came from Old World Diamonds (only sells old cuts) and the other from High Performance Diamonds. In both cases received the best customer service I have ever experienced in any industry, from Wink Jones at HPD and Adam (whose last name I can't remember) at Old World Diamonds. In both cases they sent stones to me in the mail (actually FedEx) so I could live with them for a week or so and see which one was most beautiful in MY environment and my lighting (home, work, Lowes......).

Sadly as of the last year arthritis in my fingers has made it nearly impossible for me to wear either one. I may get them sized, but darn, rings are not super flattering on aged fingers. Oh well.

I have also shopped and purchased jewelry from Whiteflash, they too have excellent reputation and customer service. Consider whether an upgrade in the future, when you are richer, is allowed from whomever you buy from. High Performance Diamonds will give full purchase price toward a new, more valuable stone, last I checked.

Best of luck and congratulations in advance!
oakfan52
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by oakfan52 »

Another fan of Blue Nile here. Researched. Shopped around. Bought online. Great experience.
pomomojo
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by pomomojo »

I recently married in 2018. I think it's important that you involve your fiancee and solicit a general idea about her aesthetic preferences. Round diamonds are the most expensive on a per carat basis, and also the most popular. Pricescope is a great place for education, though stay away from the photo threads. They are an arms race in excess (e.g. do you like my new Harry Winston 2.2ct E-ring?). I used Whiteflash and Bluenile as a reference for pricing, but ended up purchasing through a family member who works in the wholesale diamond industry.

I spent more than the average Boglehead, but was totally comfortable with my decision
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millenialsaver
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by millenialsaver »

Hi all - OP here. Really appreciate everyone's help on the topic.

If anyone is interested, I ended up working with a local jeweler (had a family connection to an employee there). Initially, some of the prices they mentioned for diamonds seemed materially above what I was seeing online, so I made it very clear to them that while I'd like to work with them, I was not scared to buy online. I had done a good amount of research and had a strong idea of what to expect on price (at least a range of prices), so my point there was to make sure they knew I wasn't going to spend more than I had to. They assured me they would be competitive, and they held true to their word. A diamond they brought in (the one I ended up going with), I actually found the exact same diamond on Blue Nile (same GIA #), and Blue Nile's price was actually $500 more than the local jeweler.

I compared it to another, slightly larger diamond but the one I went with just had so much better sparkle/fire. I obviously could've compared a ton of diamonds, but the one I chose I fell in love with and felt really good about (my mom approved too!). The setting/ring (excluding the diamond) was far more expensive than I anticipated, though that's more because I went pretty premium on that - the price seemed fair compared to what I saw online.

Overall, I feel good about the decision and while the process is expensive, I think I am paying a fair price for a great diamond and ring. Happy to provide more details if anyone is interested.

Thanks again to everyone here.
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simplesimon
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by simplesimon »

millenialsaver wrote: Mon Jun 08, 2020 1:56 pm Hi all - OP here. Really appreciate everyone's help on the topic.
We all spend money on things that other people don't value. As long as it has value to you then you should be happy with it. Congrats and good luck!
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cheese_breath
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by cheese_breath »

When I got the rings for my future DWs (sequentially, not concurrent)) we picked them out together. It’s more romantic going down on your knee and surprising her, but the ring should be something that absolutely thrills her taste. She might be stuck with it the rest of her life. Others have mentioned the thrill wears off after a few years, but at the time you give it to her it will become her most precious possession.

The Internet didn’t exist then, but I don’t think that matters. What matters is that you get one she really likes whether you go to jewelry stores or sit in front of a computer together. Also doing it together gives you another opportunity to test your financial compatibility.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by Sandtrap »

IMHO
This is one area where it really is the thought that counts.
A $50,000 ring Given at the Biltmore with no thought is way worse than a 2000 dollar ring On the shores of Kahana Bay while covered with wet sand and mosquitoes.
It’s the memories associated with the ring that will outlast the object.
(sniff .....holding back tears of joy.....)😢

Odds are, your DW might prefer a thick stack of spending money over a new ring on your 40th anniversary😉

Aloha
j🌺
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rich126
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by rich126 »

Any recommendations on places to buy an emerald engagement ring? Nothing too flashy just something where I'm not totally getting ripped off. My GF is not a diamond person (for whatever reasons).

Thanks.
Isabelle77
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by Isabelle77 »

Just to provide the opposite point of view from many posters, I wanted to chime in to say that I love my engagement ring and wear it daily, even after 18yrs. It's not extravagant, my husband spent what he could afford when we were 25, but it's pretty and I love it and what it represents to me.
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Random Musings
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by Random Musings »

centrifuge41 wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 5:33 pm Diamonds are an almost-commodity for a given grade, meaning aside from paying for specially branded diamonds (such as hearts on fire), the cost by grade/certifier should be similar across most channels. You'll be reading about the 4 C's:
  • Color (go gauge for yourself how this looks - everyone is different in deciding if it's worth spending money here to get to a more colorless ranking than ~I)
  • Clarity (VS1, VVS1/2, and IF are a "waste of money" because you will find "eye clean" diamonds (and not eye clean diamonds) across VS2, SI1, and SI2. I1 and above are not going to be eye clean and will be low quality; this is generally what stores like Zales and Helzbergs sell the most of)
  • Carat (size: whole sizes like 1.0 carat have a price jump vs. 0.99 carat)
  • Cut (if you believe Brightscope and if you can tell once you do some looking, cut will matter more than anything. Not just the Ex grades (top 20% of diamonds by cut), but more like the top 1 or 2%. You can guarantee it by paying extra on sites like White Flash/buying a Hearts on Fire, or you can go pick them out yourself either in person or on a site like James Allen, where the picture-availability markup is small
As for settings, that's highly taste driven. It depends on if you want your fianceé to decide vs. surprising her with something more basic. If she/you can decide on a particular setting, that could determine which online/retail stores sell that model/brand. Most stores have ~2x/year 20% off settings sales. The stones themselves don't go on sale.

If you want to optimize, buying a diamond can be harder than buying a use car. You could end up spending a long time checking out stones, and reading on sites like diamonds.pro or brightscope.
I completely agree. Find a nice "eye clean" diamond with a good cut, with gold band setting can maybe go down to J color. Some SI2 diamonds can be very nice with these parameters and people just looking at the ring won't be able to discern the difference. Large carat stones will require a little bump in color, IMHO.

Reality is, once you walk out the door, diamond value is half of what you paid. Perhaps worse with the wrong stone.

RM
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Leemiller
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by Leemiller »

rich126 wrote: Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:29 pm Any recommendations on places to buy an emerald engagement ring? Nothing too flashy just something where I'm not totally getting ripped off. My GF is not a diamond person (for whatever reasons).

Thanks.
Emeralds are not a good choice for an engagement ring that is worn daily. They are a soft stone and chip easily. Sapphire would work better.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by ResearchMed »

Leemiller wrote: Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:00 pm
rich126 wrote: Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:29 pm Any recommendations on places to buy an emerald engagement ring? Nothing too flashy just something where I'm not totally getting ripped off. My GF is not a diamond person (for whatever reasons).

Thanks.
Emeralds are not a good choice for an engagement ring that is worn daily. They are a soft stone and chip easily. Sapphire would work better.
Right.

How about a 3-stone ring, with a diamond center, and 2 smaller emeralds on the side, set lower?
Then the emeralds are less likely to get "hit"/etc. The diamond should sort of protect them.

Or get a bezel setting, which might (MIGHT) help? (It would protect all the edges.)

RM
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hunoraut
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Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by hunoraut »

It's such a subjective topic that there's no point in other people telling YOU what YOU should do. But I'll share what other people DO do, and what we did.

In these parts of Europe -- as i understand it -- the custom is to purchase non-diamond gemstones, or to use family heirlooms. The jewelers are starting to adopt the American monthly-salary "rule", except it's usually stated at 1x month n their websites. (Just like tipping, thankfully these adoptations are slow....)


The engagement ring I purchased a colored moissanite online, valued at 2 days of earnings. Wife loved it :beer

The actual wedding rings are what we wear everyday, and for them we shopped in person, together :sharebeer
stupidkid
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:11 pm

Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by stupidkid »

While a diamond ring was not in line with my interests/values, after much discussion I realized it was important to my then SO (now DW). The ring would be on her hand for life, not mine. I got her involved in the setting/ring choice which was good because she changed her mind about what she wanted.

I researched on pricescope extensively, the 4c's as others have mentioned. I bought from James Allen. I had a positive experience, I was so focused on color and clarity but James Allen advised me to go lower as it wouldn't be visible to the naked eye and I could get a larger stone for less money. I probably spent 2-3 months salary, which is a bit more in absolute terms than many reference here.

Four years later my DW loves her ring, comments almost every day. If she hadn't wanted a ring, that'd be fine but she did and I had the money. It's her most prized possession. I don't regret the expense.
BrownEyedGirl_27
Posts: 232
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2019 6:37 pm

Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by BrownEyedGirl_27 »

Quirkz wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 5:33 pm I'll admit after 13 years of marriage, the rings have been pretty insignificant to us, and the tradition around them seems more like a very unnecessary and expensive ... well, I don't know that I'll quite say "scam" but something just short of that.

I got all geared up to buy one way back when, but then her parents had one in the family from my wife's grandmother, so we used that. I did a bit of picky research for my own band. I tried to wear it for a year and came to accept I simply can't stand having something constricting on my hands, so transferred it to a necklace for a while and tend to forget to wear it most of the time. My wife wore hers for a few years, but she felt like she was beating it up too much during day-to-day life, so she bought a cheap silver backup for a while, and only wore the real one on special occasions. Then she got more active, and tossed the silver one for a $40 soft silicone ring that she wears most of the time. I tried the silicone ring too, and it was better than metal, but still drove me crazy.

I realize we may be exceptions, but it's definitely worth double-checking with your intentions and lifestyle before buying something expensive.

Beyond that, I'd recommend getting feedback from your fiancee in advance to make sure she likes it. And personally, being frugal, I'd recommend starting modest and consider upgrading the settings later, rather than blowing the budget now.
+1. Consider her lifestyle and buy what you can afford. One of the best pieces of advice my dad gave me was to not buy a ring on a payment plan. I bought an inexpensive ring for my fiancé, and he used a diamond that he inherited from his grandma and had a band custom designed for me. My ring is beautiful, unique and very simple. It fits my small ring finger well. Don’t give into societal pressure to spend $$$ on a ring she may keep in a drawer.
"Your mind has a mind of its own. At the very moment when you are most convinced of your own rationality, you may be feeling rather than thinking your way toward a decision.” | Jason Zweig
nasrullah
Posts: 226
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:40 am

Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by nasrullah »

I decided not to read the comments before responding. The first thing is that this is an extremely personal and emotional decision between your GF and you. Diamonds do not appreciate in value, they are effectively worthless on the secondary market. Do not ever, ever view jewelry purchases as an investment or something that will appreciate, jewelry is a display of [disposable] wealth.

Be attentive to the social implications of this. Your GF is a great person, but the reality is that every other woman in her orbit (family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, randoms in the street) will compare and comment on the ring. How big it is compared to theirs, others, your income, how much you value her, etc... This isn't just limited to her, people in your orbit will do the same thing to you. Where you live, you're net worth, income, age, etc... will all factor into these things. This shouldn't be this way, but it is so you should be aware of it. As an example, if you are making $200k/year and you purchase a $2k engagement ring you're going to be in for a rough time. In many eyes you are signaling that she isn't worth it to you.

I spent a ridiculous amount of $/income for a ring for my wife. I also upgraded the diamond years later. To her credit neither were her idea, and she would have probably opted for something more modest. Not a good financial decision sure, but worth every penny to me.
millenialsaver wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 5:13 pm 1) Buy online or in person?
2) I'm quite frugal, but willing to spend a good chunk here. Should I go over 'budget' a bit to consider the long-term ownership aspect of this purchase? Meaning to ensure she feels good about the ring even in 20 years. By 'budget' I more so mean what I'd like to spend rather than what I can afford.
3) Other things to focus on / things you wish you would have known when you went through this process?
1. Diamonds are graded and pretty easy to understand what you are buying buy the report. Inclusions are difficult to understand if it matters or not and if it will be hidden in the setting. With all things wholesale, volume and overhead make a big difference in the cost to the consumer. Don't be afraid to purchase from a reputable online dealer.

2. Hopefully your NW will increase over the next 20 years. You might be in a position where you want to purchase a new ring. It might be sentimental and something you want to keep. I'd shorten your horizon to something more like 5 years.

3. Depending on the size of the stone, you can push the color and clarity down. G/H color can look fantastic. And an SI1 could not be noticed if in the right place with the setting. Personally I think the cut is more important. Diamonds (especially round brilliants) really are amazing to look at. A well cut stone catches the light in incredible ways and are just cool to look at.

https://4cs.gia.edu/en-us/4cs-diamond-quality/

BTW blue nile has a good way to compare inventory and get an idea of how cost is influenced by different nobs: https://www.bluenile.com

Also diamonds have a fairly set price across the industry. There is a publication (that started via fax) called Rapaport Report that details this. When you get beyond the people in the mall trying to take advantage of uneducated consumers the pricing for diamonds is going to be closer than you think.

Try to have fun with this in the process. I know how stressful it is, but this is the start of new life for you. Enjoy it!
Doing nothing is doing something.
Leemiller
Posts: 1346
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:42 pm

Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by Leemiller »

ResearchMed wrote: Mon Jun 08, 2020 11:29 pm
Leemiller wrote: Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:00 pm
rich126 wrote: Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:29 pm Any recommendations on places to buy an emerald engagement ring? Nothing too flashy just something where I'm not totally getting ripped off. My GF is not a diamond person (for whatever reasons).

Thanks.
Emeralds are not a good choice for an engagement ring that is worn daily. They are a soft stone and chip easily. Sapphire would work better.
Right.

How about a 3-stone ring, with a diamond center, and 2 smaller emeralds on the side, set lower?
Then the emeralds are less likely to get "hit"/etc. The diamond should sort of protect them.

Or get a bezel setting, which might (MIGHT) help? (It would protect all the edges.)

RM
I would not wear an emerald ring everyday or a ring with emeralds on the side. But I've chipped an emerald ring. There are other green stones which are harder and more appropriate for daily wear. Tsavorite (sp?) being one.
wfrobinette
Posts: 1431
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:14 pm

Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by wfrobinette »

Buy used! Especially the diamond as they are worth far less than what you pay for them new.
azianbob
Posts: 388
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:53 pm

Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by azianbob »

Try to gauge what she wants. Some girls are perfectly fine with a ring with no stone or a smaller diamond if it means you are saving that additional funds on a downpayment on a house. Others want a ring that is 3 months of your gross salary to "prove" that you love her and so she can show it off to her friends. So it depends on what they want.

Color is probably the most important, followed by clarity and cut. A good cut can hide clarity issues and vice versa, but you cant hide yellow. Also a high clarity with bad cut will not be that great either since it won't sparkle as much.


Your big price jumps will be at 0.99 to 1 carat jump, and 1.5 and 2.0. Diamonds start to get exponentially more expensive as the get larger. The most bang for your buck is at the 0.99 and lower. You can get a 0.99 ct ring and use a halo setting and it can look bigger than it is.
squirm
Posts: 3077
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Engagement Ring Help

Post by squirm »

My wife and I went to the jewelry shop together and picked it out together. She values my opinion big time. We picked it out and later I just surprised her on the proposal.
We had money for something more fancy, but that's not who we are, especially my wife. She loves her ring. That was twenty years ago.
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