Non-Bogleonian? Engagement Ring Time

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
LesterFreamon
Posts: 236
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:19 am

Re: Non-Bogleonian? Engagement Ring Time

Post by LesterFreamon » Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:42 am

XtremeSki2001 wrote:Though I have been blessed with a money conscious girl-friend, she's absolutely set on a two carat diamond ring in a simple platinum setting.
Yup, she's money conscious alright!!! You need to fully understand her thoughts on finances and money in general. If she's the type of girl that says "I want to save 15-20% of our salary and then buy the best house, cars, food, vacations, etc. that we can afford without incurring credit card debt" then I think you're fine. There is NOTHING wrong with wanting the finer things in life so long as you're saving for retirement and not in credit card debt. If, however, she's money-conscious in the sense that she wants to keep up with the Jones's and Smith's of the world, then you've got problems. And she may have the mentality that "What I make is mine and what you make is ours." No one knows the answers to these questions except your girlfriend, so you better find out how she really feels about money.

I've known some women who are very good with money, saving, and avoiding debt, but for some silly reason they insist on a first-class engagement ring. If your girlfriend falls into this category, then buy her the ring, but make sure the desire for a large engagement ring isn't the first of many "wants" that she'll have.

LesterFreamon
Posts: 236
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:19 am

Post by LesterFreamon » Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:44 am

I agree with the other poster than recommended www.whiteflash.com

User avatar
Topic Author
XtremeSki2001
Posts: 1635
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:28 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Post by XtremeSki2001 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:36 am

mhalley wrote:Where does the 2K ring fall among the "standard" 2 to three months salary?
Certainly the 2 to 3 month thing can be argued since it was started by deBeers, but I guess it is a place to start. When I got engaged was still in med school so got by with a cheapo ring then, that got upgraded on 10th anniversary when was making some money.
Mike
The 2K ring is pretty close to my three month salary.

Lots of good information in this thread. I haven't the time to respond to everything, but I've since had a discussion with her and it appears 2C is not required. This is very good news as just the difference between 1.75C and 2C is several thousand dollars.
A box of rain will ease the pain and love will see you through

User avatar
Topic Author
XtremeSki2001
Posts: 1635
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:28 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Non-Bogleonian? Engagement Ring Time

Post by XtremeSki2001 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:43 am

LesterFreamon wrote:
XtremeSki2001 wrote:Though I have been blessed with a money conscious girl-friend, she's absolutely set on a two carat diamond ring in a simple platinum setting.
Yup, she's money conscious alright!!! You need to fully understand her thoughts on finances and money in general. If she's the type of girl that says "I want to save 15-20% of our salary and then buy the best house, cars, food, vacations, etc. that we can afford without incurring credit card debt" then I think you're fine. There is NOTHING wrong with wanting the finer things in life so long as you're saving for retirement and not in credit card debt. If, however, she's money-conscious in the sense that she wants to keep up with the Jones's and Smith's of the world, then you've got problems. And she may have the mentality that "What I make is mine and what you make is ours." No one knows the answers to these questions except your girlfriend, so you better find out how she really feels about money.

I've known some women who are very good with money, saving, and avoiding debt, but for some silly reason they insist on a first-class engagement ring. If your girlfriend falls into this category, then buy her the ring, but make sure the desire for a large engagement ring isn't the first of many "wants" that she'll have.
I knew I'd get flack for my comment :D She's also in her mid-20's, has her own condo, car is paid off, no debt aside from her condo, bought all her furniture and electronics in cash, has a one year emergency fund and a 401k .... she's way better with money than I. She places value in different places than most - part of the reason I love her. She doesn't care to be wined and dined or sit front row at the opera or drive a BMW or have a coach purse, but a ring is very important to her. Heck, we're going to Hawaii for two weeks and we're camping to save money - even though we have the money for hotels!

She's quite unique :D Sounds like she falls into the second category you've described. So far she hasn't expressed interest in many of the excessive wants - even though I have the means for some of them.
A box of rain will ease the pain and love will see you through

metalman
Posts: 413
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:59 am

Post by metalman » Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:14 am

OK, you have this board's permission to marry her. :D
About the ring - maybe not so much. :lol:

User avatar
JMacDonald
Posts: 2256
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:53 pm

Post by JMacDonald » Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:24 am

Hi,
You better get her that ring fast, or one these rich bogleheads (you know the ones making more than $50k a year) will move in on you. If you are broke after you buy the ring, here is a way to save on the wedding: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yJeVAUYi5c :lol:
Best Wishes, | Joe

jodydavis
Posts: 214
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 9:50 am

Post by jodydavis » Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:12 pm

Just went through the engagement ring shopping experience about a year ago. Some thoughts:

1. Confirm that she really wants a 2 carat ring. That's a pretty big ring. If you go ring shopping with her, and if she really is as money-conscious as you say, once she sees the cost and tries on some rings, she may realize that she would be fine with a 1.5 or 1.75 carat ring. (Plus, prices tend to go up right around the whole numbers, e.g. 1.0 carat, 2.0 carat).

2. Like others, I would prioritize cut above everything else, since that determines how sparkly the ring is. The last thing you want is a big ring that is dull or dead in the center. The "sparkly-ness" of a diamond can be a bit subtle, but it is one of those things that can make a huge difference in how happy she will be with the ring. Next would be color, since some people can be very sensitive to this and see even slight changes in color. Last would be clarity, since most inclusions you can't see with the naked eye (and you pay tremendously for higher clarity).

Good luck!
Jody

brown.eyed.girl
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:45 pm

Post by brown.eyed.girl » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:04 am

Hi Ski. First, congrats on your impending engagement!

My bf alerted me to this thread since I'm a Pricescope member.

First, what is your budget? That will determine how high in carat and how low in color and clarity you can go. The one thing you should never sacrifice is cut - that is what will make the diamond perform and sparkle like crazy.

Next, do you know what diamond cut she prefers? Round, princess, emerald, cushion, etc.? Again, this will determine the parameters of your search.

Without knowing these, the best I can do for now is direct you to the Pricescope tutorial and Good Old Gold's tutorials.

If you want to do the legwork these sites are great. If you want to do a little less but still be assured of a great product, Whiteflash's A Cut Above diamonds, Brian Gavin Signature Diamonds and Infinity Diamonds (through the High Performance Diamonds website) are always safe buys. These are AGS000 diamonds that are guaranteed for top light performance.

Another great bet is Good Old Gold - Jon is great to work with and is super knowledgeable. They have competitive pricing as well.

I would stay away from Blue Nile - BN is a drop-shipper which means they don't inventory in-house. They also don't provide information such as ASET images, which are useful in determining how well a diamond performs.

Good luck!

haban01
Posts: 671
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:55 pm
Location: Wisconsin

Post by haban01 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:23 am

Just curious guys because I am a single person and may someday get married, what does a 2 KT ring cost? (price range)?

This has to be the hardest thing to do for a cost conscious person that shaves off tenths on our expense ratios!!

Happy New Year!
Eric | | "Stay the Course" | "Press on Regardless"

brown.eyed.girl
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:45 pm

Post by brown.eyed.girl » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:33 am

That depends on a variety of factors, including how low you can go with color and clarity (my preference is H for color, SI1 for clarity as long as inclusions aren't visible to the naked eye). And of course, I wouldn't sacrifice cut.

Brian Gavin has a Signature Ideal 2.064 H SI1 that sold for $20,750. That would kind of be my bare minimum.

Of course, some people are not very sensitive to color in a diamond and can go lower - like say to a J color. BGD had a 2.065 ct. J VS2 that is available for $16,274.

And others prefer warmer colors where you can see a bit of a tint but not really yellow - J, K, L colors - and those drop the price considerably.

And these are prices for rounds. Certain cuts, such as cushions, tend to be less expensive than rounds (check out the August Vintage cushions, styled after Old Mine Cuts but with superior and modern optics, from Good Old Gold - there is a 2 ct. L that is about $9K). But cushions face up smaller than rounds - a 2 ct. round will look bigger than a 2 ct. cushion.

User avatar
HomerJ
Posts: 13402
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Post by HomerJ » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:40 am

2 caret rings are for 10 or 15 or even 25th anniversaries...

Just like you don't buy the $600,000 house as your first house (well maybe in California you do), or a high-end BMW as your first car, you don't buy a $20,000 ring in your 20s....

3 months salary is B.S. If that ring is 3 months salary, and you're saving 25% of your salary each month.... then that's an entire year of savings gone...

For a rock.

If you can truly afford it (got a big bonus this year?), then go ahead... But if you're depleting half of your savings... that's just too much...

User avatar
Petrocelli
Posts: 2774
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:29 pm
Location: Fenway Park, between 2nd and 3rd base

Post by Petrocelli » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:52 am

haban01 wrote:
This has to be the hardest thing to do for a cost conscious person that shaves off tenths on our expense ratios!!
Take some solace in the fact that a diamond is an asset. It may not provided dividends, but it is worth something.
Petrocelli (not the real Rico, but just a fan)

Mr Bear
Posts: 209
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:18 am

Post by Mr Bear » Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:37 am

Ski, Ms. Bear and I are celebrating 38 years of marriage. In that time, she has called me every name in the book, except one. She's never called me cheap.

A marriage can survive many trials and travails, but if she ever senses she's not worth the money to you, things will fall apart fast. I don't know why that's the flashpoint with women, but there it is. So be generous. You may not be making a lot of money, but carnations really don't cost much. Later on, when you're making more, a surprise romantic weekend or a gift card to her favorite boutique -- freely given for no apparent reason -- makes the love-light shine. Once you're a wealthy Boglehead, the sky's the limit.

Ms. Bear and I were in New Orleans last week, strolling among the antique shops in the French Quarter, and I just blurted out, "If you see something you like, I'll buy it for you." One pair of $900 antique jade earrings later, she was looking at me with love, you may believe. (The surprise factor really plays large in this scheme.) Money well spent.

Again, be generous with the one you love. Overspend a little if necessary. You'll never be sorry.

edge
Posts: 3441
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:44 pm
Location: NY

Post by edge » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:04 pm

haban01 wrote:Just curious guys because I am a single person and may someday get married, what does a 2 KT ring cost? (price range)?

This has to be the hardest thing to do for a cost conscious person that shaves off tenths on our expense ratios!!

Happy New Year!
There is a huge range based on quality of diamond. You can get a high quality designer band (i.e. non-plain) for 5-7k but the diamond price has huge variations.

For a high quality 2 carat diamond, it could be around 40,000$ (depending on cut, a perfectly cut round is going to be expensive) so about 50,000$ in total for the ring at the high-ish end (not top end, obviously). A lower quality diamond with a different cut can bring the price down dramatically. If you are just going for size the price of a discolored, poorly cut, and heavily flawed 2 carat diamond can be as low as 8,000$. These are the diamonds where it looks like you picked up a rock out of a stream and stuck it into a setting. At that quality of diamond I would just suggest getting a CZ until you can afford a decent diamond.

I don't know for sure why women like this stuff but after talking to more than a few about it, the primary thread between why they want an expensive engagement ring (along with the designer hand bags, etc) is to make other women jealous. Not exactly a virtuous motive. This takes some time to unravel because for a large cross section of women buying overpriced designer stuff is like a reflex instead of a considered decision. Almost like birds putting fancy garbage onto their nest.

Anyway, if you are going to be buying a 50k engagement ring, I hope you are making some serious money (250k + executive level benefits at least), otherwise you are probably going to regret it big time.

User avatar
Hexdump
Posts: 1619
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:28 am
Location: Houston, Texas

Try to negotiate with her.

Post by Hexdump » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:20 pm

Offer a 1 carat in terrific quality, vs a 2 carat of so-so quality.

IMHO, 2 carat stones look gaudy and will over power her hand unless she has hands like Yogi Berra.

Whatever you do, don't get her a CZ or manufactured stone without 1st getting her approval. She will find out when you need to get it appraised for insurance purposes.

Perhaps a great 1 carat, and a dinner ring in her birthstone, hoping it's not a diamond too.

Best of luck

edge
Posts: 3441
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:44 pm
Location: NY

Re: Try to negotiate with her.

Post by edge » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:35 pm

Whether or not a 2 carat looks too big depends mostly on how tall she is. If she is petit (~5ft) it will look like something out of a cracker jack box.
Hexdump wrote:Offer a 1 carat in terrific quality, vs a 2 carat of so-so quality.

IMHO, 2 carat stones look gaudy and will over power her hand unless she has hands like Yogi Berra.

Whatever you do, don't get her a CZ or manufactured stone without 1st getting her approval. She will find out when you need to get it appraised for insurance purposes.

Perhaps a great 1 carat, and a dinner ring in her birthstone, hoping it's not a diamond too.

Best of luck

User avatar
pointyhairedboss
Posts: 416
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:47 pm

Post by pointyhairedboss » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:58 pm

I bought an engagement ring for my wife in Oct 2008 on Blue Nile. I was impressed with the interface. They have a page with multiple sliders that allow you to specify exact diamond specs you want. After each update, the page refreshes with the diamonds matching your spec. You can quickly narrow it down from hundreds of thousands to twenty or so diamonds. I don't think any brick and mortar jewelry shop could provide anything equivalent.

It may be worthwhile to share your max price and allow her to participate in the diamond selection process. She can then determine the exact specs she wants. It is easy to say "I wants lots of A, B, and C" when there is no price constraint, but once you add a price constraint, she can easily see that too much of A will limit how much of B and C can be had. If she decides to reduce the carat weight, she'll own the decision herself and will have less regrets.

epilnk
Posts: 2653
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:05 pm

Post by epilnk » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:45 pm

Mr Bear wrote:Again, be generous with the one you love. Overspend a little if necessary. You'll never be sorry.
Agreed, with the caveat that you need to respect the line that separates generous from stupid. Give her everything that you have, but not more than is yours to give. If a very expensive diamond is important to your financially savvy girlfriend, and you have the cash flow to justify it, I expect she'll see the merit of waiting a few months to get the ring of her dreams, during which you can save like crazy.

Again, I can't overemphasize this: if she's prudent and wise and still wants a ring that is outside your price range, sit down and talk to her. Since you're planning to pool your finances, decide together how to best reach this goal. Don't treat her like a child to be patronized out of some misguided notion of romanticism - there is nothing romantic about debt. Maybe buying the flashy ring now is the right thing to do, and you need to figure out how to swing the cost. But if she expects you to go further into debt to buy this now I strongly suggest that you reexamine your premise that you have a financially savvy girlfriend.

Linda

sharimac
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 6:44 pm

Post by sharimac » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:31 am

ExtremeSki, I understand your girlfriend's desire for the 2 carat ring, but I cannot explain it. It is an emotional desire. I have one--canary yellow, the real thing, not enhanced----and I smile so much when I wear it that my face hurts. I think my husband is very happy with that smile. PS: I wanted it so much that I paid for 1/2 of it. Shari

brown.eyed.girl
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:45 pm

Post by brown.eyed.girl » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:00 am

Petrocelli wrote:
haban01 wrote:
This has to be the hardest thing to do for a cost conscious person that shaves off tenths on our expense ratios!!
Take some solace in the fact that a diamond is an asset. It may not provided dividends, but it is worth something.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but a diamond isn't really an asset. It's not going to appreciate in value - in fact, between ordinary wear and tear, it may decrease in value (say it had been graded VS1 clarity when you bought it - 20 years later, between accidentally banging it around, etc. its clarity could be reduced to SI1, etc.).

As much as I love diamonds, I would never look at them as an investment - you're never going to recoup even close to the original price paid when you resell it later.

brown.eyed.girl
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:45 pm

Post by brown.eyed.girl » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:10 am

edge wrote:
haban01 wrote:Just curious guys because I am a single person and may someday get married, what does a 2 KT ring cost? (price range)?

This has to be the hardest thing to do for a cost conscious person that shaves off tenths on our expense ratios!!

Happy New Year!
There is a huge range based on quality of diamond. You can get a high quality designer band (i.e. non-plain) for 5-7k but the diamond price has huge variations.

For a high quality 2 carat diamond, it could be around 40,000$ (depending on cut, a perfectly cut round is going to be expensive) so about 50,000$ in total for the ring at the high-ish end (not top end, obviously). A lower quality diamond with a different cut can bring the price down dramatically. If you are just going for size the price of a discolored, poorly cut, and heavily flawed 2 carat diamond can be as low as 8,000$. These are the diamonds where it looks like you picked up a rock out of a stream and stuck it into a setting. At that quality of diamond I would just suggest getting a CZ until you can afford a decent diamond.

I don't know for sure why women like this stuff but after talking to more than a few about it, the primary thread between why they want an expensive engagement ring (along with the designer hand bags, etc) is to make other women jealous. Not exactly a virtuous motive. This takes some time to unravel because for a large cross section of women buying overpriced designer stuff is like a reflex instead of a considered decision. Almost like birds putting fancy garbage onto their nest.

Anyway, if you are going to be buying a 50k engagement ring, I hope you are making some serious money (250k + executive level benefits at least), otherwise you are probably going to regret it big time.
1) Correct that there is a huge range. As I said before, you should NEVER sacrifice cut. A well cut diamond will outperform a diamond of a lesser cut. It's just plain optics.

But it depends a lot on your (and your girlfriend's) personal preferences. Is she color sensitive? Then you may have to pay more for a colorless diamond (D, E, F colors) instead of going to the near colorless range (G, H, I, J) and saving some money (and I would count G and H as high end colors too, just not as much as high end as D, E, F). If you can find an eye-clean SI1, you'll save money. If inclusions in the SI1 aren't visible to the naked eye, why pay more for an IF (internally flawless) which jacks up the price by $$$. High end is a tricky standard (TOP end is not - and TOP end could easily go to the $40-50K range).

And as I mentioned before, it depends on the diamond cut/shape (rounds v. princesses v. asschers, etc.). Rounds tend to be pricier because there are a lot of symmetry issues involved - to get a well cut diamond that really performs, there's a fairly narrow range of crown and pavilion angles, and table and depth percentages to stay within.

2) In my previous post, I pointed to a 2 ct. H SI1 which I still consider high end. In terms of cut, you won't find better and the color and clarity are fine. That was $20K I believe. And $10K for a setting is extremely generous, unless she wants something very complicated - i.e. a micropave halo, or a designer setting like a Tacori. A very cheap white gold setting will run you about $300. A nicer plain solitaire setting will be about $1K. Now if she wants to add sidestones or melee diamonds, etc. that'll definitely up the cost, but you can get a setting for MUCH cheaper than $10K, depending on what she prefers.

3) And finally, sure, there is an element to wanting to impress your friends with your amazing huge ring. But there are other factors - does she have big hands? Larger fingers? I have friends who do, and a 1 ct. or smaller would look lost on them. They want a 2 ct. for proportions. :p

brown.eyed.girl
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:45 pm

Re: Try to negotiate with her.

Post by brown.eyed.girl » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:13 am

edge wrote:Whether or not a 2 carat looks too big depends mostly on how tall she is. If she is petit (~5ft) it will look like something out of a cracker jack box.
Hexdump wrote:Offer a 1 carat in terrific quality, vs a 2 carat of so-so quality.

IMHO, 2 carat stones look gaudy and will over power her hand unless she has hands like Yogi Berra.

Whatever you do, don't get her a CZ or manufactured stone without 1st getting her approval. She will find out when you need to get it appraised for insurance purposes.

Perhaps a great 1 carat, and a dinner ring in her birthstone, hoping it's not a diamond too.

Best of luck
There is no correlation between height and finger size. I'm 5'1" and have tiny fingers, but I know girls who are my height and have average or larger fingers.

How a diamond looks depends on the wearer's finger size. A 2 ct. will look substantial but not huge on a size 8 finger. It WILL look huge on a size 3 finger.

Also, some diamonds face up MUCH smaller than rounds. Asscher cuts are cut very deep to get the steps so a 2 ct. asscher will look closer to a 1.25 ct. round.

brown.eyed.girl
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:45 pm

Post by brown.eyed.girl » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:15 am

epilnk wrote:
Mr Bear wrote:Again, be generous with the one you love. Overspend a little if necessary. You'll never be sorry.
Agreed, with the caveat that you need to respect the line that separates generous from stupid. Give her everything that you have, but not more than is yours to give. If a very expensive diamond is important to your financially savvy girlfriend, and you have the cash flow to justify it, I expect she'll see the merit of waiting a few months to get the ring of her dreams, during which you can save like crazy.

Again, I can't overemphasize this: if she's prudent and wise and still wants a ring that is outside your price range, sit down and talk to her. Since you're planning to pool your finances, decide together how to best reach this goal. Don't treat her like a child to be patronized out of some misguided notion of romanticism - there is nothing romantic about debt. Maybe buying the flashy ring now is the right thing to do, and you need to figure out how to swing the cost. But if she expects you to go further into debt to buy this now I strongly suggest that you reexamine your premise that you have a financially savvy girlfriend.

Linda
This is wise advice.

You should never go into debt for the engagement ring. If at all possible, pay cash, do not finance.

User avatar
celia
Posts: 9836
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:32 am
Location: SoCal

Post by celia » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:27 am

OK, here goes...

I am one woman who has no interest in diamonds. (We were both finishing college at the time and each had a part-time campus job, no money to speak of.) I don't know much about diamonds. I got a small diamond ring as a symbol of love and that's all it has meant to me. I have never wanted anything flashy, that someone might want to steal from me.

Even in my 20s, I would not have been interested in someone who was deeply in debt. If I had married someone with debt, that would have meant less he could spend on us, because he would have had to "pay off" his past. When you merge finances, the debt becomes a joint liability, not legally, but in practical terms, in what is left to spend each month.

If I had married someone who had some money, I would have preferred we save it for a down payment on a house or some other asset of long-term value, rather than buying an expensive piece of jewelry.

But that's just me.

celia

njuser
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 11:10 am

Post by njuser » Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:58 am

An old article, but interesting to read: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/198202/diamond

I wanted a big ring when I was first married, but because I wanted to actually get married, I "settled" on 1.3 carats at about 5k. We figured we would trade up later.

Fast forward to now, when we can definitely afford something bigger, but I'm just not interested. I'd rather have another vacation, dinner out, money in the bank.

I just bought a pair of 3ct CZ earrings at Nordstrom for $38 plus tax and get lots of compliments on them. My sister made a comment about the size.

I just can't see the point of diamonds.

User avatar
Topic Author
XtremeSki2001
Posts: 1635
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:28 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Try to negotiate with her.

Post by XtremeSki2001 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:24 am

brown.eyed.girl wrote:
edge wrote:Whether or not a 2 carat looks too big depends mostly on how tall she is. If she is petit (~5ft) it will look like something out of a cracker jack box.
Hexdump wrote:Offer a 1 carat in terrific quality, vs a 2 carat of so-so quality.

IMHO, 2 carat stones look gaudy and will over power her hand unless she has hands like Yogi Berra.

Whatever you do, don't get her a CZ or manufactured stone without 1st getting her approval. She will find out when you need to get it appraised for insurance purposes.

Perhaps a great 1 carat, and a dinner ring in her birthstone, hoping it's not a diamond too.

Best of luck
There is no correlation between height and finger size. I'm 5'1" and have tiny fingers, but I know girls who are my height and have average or larger fingers.

How a diamond looks depends on the wearer's finger size. A 2 ct. will look substantial but not huge on a size 8 finger. It WILL look huge on a size 3 finger.

Also, some diamonds face up MUCH smaller than rounds. Asscher cuts are cut very deep to get the steps so a 2 ct. asscher will look closer to a 1.25 ct. round.
Great advice everyone.

My g/f is 6'1", but I don't yet know her finger size, yet.

The good news is she's not absolutely set on 2C's and she also doesn't want me to go into debt to get her a ring - as she made it clear - my debt will eventually become hers! Looks like I'll be focusing more around 1.5C's
A box of rain will ease the pain and love will see you through

JeremiahS
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:19 am

Post by JeremiahS » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:42 am

pointyhairedboss wrote:It may be worthwhile to share your max price and allow her to participate in the diamond selection process.
I see this approach as being similar to telling a car dealer the most amount of money that you're willing to spend. I guarantee that you'll end up within 95% of the price you quoted reguardless of the selection available.

tfbandie
Posts: 111
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:55 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Try to negotiate with her.

Post by tfbandie » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:40 am

XtremeSki2001 wrote: Great advice everyone.

My g/f is 6'1", but I don't yet know her finger size, yet.

The good news is she's not absolutely set on 2C's and she also doesn't want me to go into debt to get her a ring - as she made it clear - my debt will eventually become hers! Looks like I'll be focusing more around 1.5C's
My wife is 6 foot has size 10 for ring. When I bought, we were both just out of college, but I knew what mattered was to get good cut and clarity. The size was last in my consideration. For a .5C Ended up spending 2500 (1 month after tax for what that's worth). But I got it in a well made triplicate setting with smaller diamonds (.125C) on the sides. It out sparkles, and gets far more compliments then her sister who got 1.5C (but lower quality) ring for 7500. 4 years on and she still loves the ring

leonard
Posts: 5993
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:56 am

Post by leonard » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:00 pm

if you are with a woman that would do anything other than get mad at you for wasting money on something so expensive/frivolous, well...
Leonard | | Market Timing: Do you seriously think you can predict the future? What else do the voices tell you? | | If employees weren't taking jobs with bad 401k's, bad 401k's wouldn't exist.

dixdak
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:30 am
Location: Chicago

Post by dixdak » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:41 pm

WARNING WARNING!!! Phase One Alert Initiated! If you hear the words: princess, storybook, fairytale, wedding of my dreams, fantasy-wedding, destination wedding, you need to book an extended hike on the Appalachian Trail.

WorkToLive
Posts: 626
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Post by WorkToLive » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:10 pm

I wanted to encourage you to check with your family to see if any rings or stones may be floating around. My husband "gave" me my grandmother's diamond ring, which is small, but gorgeous and I've never been sorry to be wearing such a wonderful piece of the past. Cost was $40 to size it. I get compliments on it all the time. My mom will leave me her (much better) diamond in her will and I'll replace the stone in my grandmother's ring and keep the setting.

Finally, may I suggest you and your fiancee watch the movie Blood Diamond before committing to pay thousands of dollars?

brown.eyed.girl
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:45 pm

Post by brown.eyed.girl » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:13 pm

WorkToLive wrote:I wanted to encourage you to check with your family to see if any rings or stones may be floating around. My husband "gave" me my grandmother's diamond ring, which is small, but gorgeous and I've never been sorry to be wearing such a wonderful piece of the past. Cost was $40 to size it. I get compliments on it all the time. My mom will leave me her (much better) diamond in her will and I'll replace the stone in my grandmother's ring and keep the setting.

Finally, may I suggest you and your fiancee watch the movie Blood Diamond before committing to pay thousands of dollars?
Just to say, the vendors I've recommended all guarantee Kimberley Process diamonds (i.e. not a blood diamond). But if you're truly worried, you can always look for Canadian diamonds - I believe Good Old Gold carries a few.

LesterFreamon
Posts: 236
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:19 am

Re: Non-Bogleonian? Engagement Ring Time

Post by LesterFreamon » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:23 pm

XtremeSki2001 wrote:Though I have been blessed with a money conscious girl-friend, she's absolutely set on a two carat diamond ring in a simple platinum setting.
LesterFreamon wrote:Yup, she's money conscious alright!!! You need to fully understand her thoughts on finances and money in general. If she's the type of girl that says "I want to save 15-20% of our salary and then buy the best house, cars, food, vacations, etc. that we can afford without incurring credit card debt" then I think you're fine. There is NOTHING wrong with wanting the finer things in life so long as you're saving for retirement and not in credit card debt. If, however, she's money-conscious in the sense that she wants to keep up with the Jones's and Smith's of the world, then you've got problems. And she may have the mentality that "What I make is mine and what you make is ours." No one knows the answers to these questions except your girlfriend, so you better find out how she really feels about money.

I've known some women who are very good with money, saving, and avoiding debt, but for some silly reason they insist on a first-class engagement ring. If your girlfriend falls into this category, then buy her the ring, but make sure the desire for a large engagement ring isn't the first of many "wants" that she'll have.
XtremeSki2001 wrote:I knew I'd get flack for my comment :D She's also in her mid-20's, has her own condo, car is paid off, no debt aside from her condo, bought all her furniture and electronics in cash, has a one year emergency fund and a 401k .... she's way better with money than I. She places value in different places than most - part of the reason I love her. She doesn't care to be wined and dined or sit front row at the opera or drive a BMW or have a coach purse, but a ring is very important to her. Heck, we're going to Hawaii for two weeks and we're camping to save money - even though we have the money for hotels!

She's quite unique :D Sounds like she falls into the second category you've described. So far she hasn't expressed interest in many of the excessive wants - even though I have the means for some of them.
It sounds like your girlfriend is great with money and is financially savvy with the exception of wanting a super fancy engagement ring. Get it for her. The last thing you want is to marry a "princess" or someone super high maintenance that isn't willing to work hard for herself. This doesn't sound like the issue at all with your girlfriend. She's great with money, doesn't have debt outside of the condo, and appears to have a good head on her shoulders. She's want a fancy piece of jewelry that she will wear everyday for the rest of her life. Get her the diamond.

Oh, I don't believe in "trading up." The engagement ring should be a symbol of where you were as a couple when you first got married. If she wants subsequent pieces of jewelry for an anniversary or other milestone, get it for her, but I would not agree to trade up or anything like that. I would actually be pretty offended if my girlfriend/wife wanted to "trade up" to a nicer diamond ring.

epilnk
Posts: 2653
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:05 pm

Post by epilnk » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:45 pm

WorkToLive wrote:I wanted to encourage you to check with your family to see if any rings or stones may be floating around. My husband "gave" me my grandmother's diamond ring, which is small, but gorgeous and I've never been sorry to be wearing such a wonderful piece of the past. Cost was $40 to size it. I get compliments on it all the time. My mom will leave me her (much better) diamond in her will and I'll replace the stone in my grandmother's ring and keep the setting.
I have one of those. If I'd had a choice I'd rather have had a simple square or emerald-cut sapphire as an engagement ring. But the 1.5 ct stone his grandmother had saved for him came over from the old world sewn into an ancestor's hem. You don't refuse a stone like that. It has a chip in one corner and a little black inclusion which I'm sure lowers the value (though it makes it more fun to pass around in the microscope room). It lives in a drawer these days; sometimes I remember to pull it out for special occasions but usually I forget I have it. I'd probably have worn the sapphire.

Linda

User avatar
SecretAsianMan
Posts: 656
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:46 am

Post by SecretAsianMan » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:54 pm

leonard wrote:if you are with a woman that would do anything other than get mad at you for wasting money on something so expensive/frivolous, well...
I think this attitude is off-base and, unfortuntately, far too pervasive on the BH board. The reason we save and invest is so that we can spend money on what makes us happy. Personally, jewelry (or an expensive wedding) does nothing for me, but I have my own interests that I spend lots of money on. There is nothing wrong with expensive or even frivolous purchases if it makes you happy and you have already stashed away an appropriate percentage of your salary for the future.

Assuming a person does not go beyond his or her budget, why should buying expensive jewelry or spending gobs of money for a nice wedding be any worse than taking an expensive trip, buying a fun sports car or a nice dress, joining a country club, or any other of a million expensive purchases that make different people happy?

Even though there may be cheaper options that a real diamond, the knowledge that it was not in fact real would for many women destroy the happiness the purchase was intended to produce. Even though that may not seem rational to many Bogleheads, there is no reason why it needs to be. Most luxury purchases are not rational in terms of the functional utility they provide. If a purchase provides another type of utility for a particular person, who are we to judge?

Money is only a means to an end, not an end in itself. If a purchase does not jeopardize a person's financial security or goals, there is no reason to be judgmental or sanctimonious.

SAM

Curlyq
Posts: 787
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:26 pm

Post by Curlyq » Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:57 pm

.....
Last edited by Curlyq on Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

metalman
Posts: 413
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:59 am

Post by metalman » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:34 pm

Secret, the reason many of us find diamonds more objectionable than other luxury items are several:
Diamonds are the worst kind of conspicuous consumption - the purpose seems to show off more than anything else.
The price is intentionally inflated by an international monopoly, which limits production and in the past at least has encouraged international conflict and even genocide.
If you really like the look, you could buy an artificial product that cannot be discerned from the real thing at a small fraction of the price. It's like buying a car just to make the neighbors jealous, not for the value or even the beauty of it.
I suppose some women think their husbands' wasting money on them "proves their love". Why not ask them to just burn a stack of the money they would spend on a diamond and save some for something else?
True, if you are Bill Gates, it doesn't matter, any price is OK. But if like most of us you have to make choices, an expensive diamond seems to me a rather silly even selfish choice.

imagardener
Posts: 666
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:39 am
Location: south of Sarasota FL

Post by imagardener » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:40 pm

Ski
I see a long and happy future for you and your fiancee. It has been very touching reading your messages and your regard for her feeling on this matter.

As a ringless happily married woman I know how symbolic an engagement ring is, a symbol we couldn't afford at the time and I never missed. 35 years later I started talking about getting a "big" one and my dear husband wants me to have whatever I want. Which is why I still don't have one but it's fun looking.

The meaning of a significant diamond ring is so complicated I can't begin to explain. The important thing is that you two are of one mind, it's important to her so it's important to you. That's all that matters.

Best wishes on your future life together.

User avatar
Ducks
Posts: 515
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:01 pm

Re: Non-Bogleonian? Engagement Ring Time

Post by Ducks » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:47 pm

XtremeSki2001 wrote:Thoughts and advice are welcome :D
It is a great time to buy diamonds.

Check around for jewelry stores that are going out of business. I recently purchased a pair of 1.9 tcw diamond stud earings for my dad to give to my mom that were 60% + 10% off. Quite a deal.
Getting our Ducks in a row since 2008.

User avatar
SecretAsianMan
Posts: 656
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:46 am

Post by SecretAsianMan » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:15 pm

metalman wrote:Secret, the reason many of us find diamonds more objectionable than other luxury items are several:
Diamonds are the worst kind of conspicuous consumption - the purpose seems to show off more than anything else.
The price is intentionally inflated by an international monopoly, which limits production and in the past at least has encouraged international conflict and even genocide.
If you really like the look, you could buy an artificial product that cannot be discerned from the real thing at a small fraction of the price. It's like buying a car just to make the neighbors jealous, not for the value or even the beauty of it.
I suppose some women think their husbands' wasting money on them "proves their love". Why not ask them to just burn a stack of the money they would spend on a diamond and save some for something else?
True, if you are Bill Gates, it doesn't matter, any price is OK. But if like most of us you have to make choices, an expensive diamond seems to me a rather silly even selfish choice.
1) Why is conspicuous consumption inherently bad? Any number of luxury purchases are bought for the intent of showing off. If that makes someone happy, why is that somehow more morally suspect than whatever makes you happy? Short answer: it's not.

2) So it's somehow wrong to buy products from monopolies now? That's an odd moral universe you live in.

3) We invest in tobacco, oil, and other companies that have brought plenty of ruin to millions of people. Despite that, I think we can all agree that the procurement of diamonds can be abhorrent. There are plenty of options for "clean" real diamonds now, however, so that argument doesn't hold water for someone who is a responsible buyer.

4) Even though it doesn't make a bit of difference for you and me, knowing that the object is real and not fake may have real utility value for someone else.

5) Once again, why is the choice of an expensive ring any different than top-of-the-line electronics, expensive car, or whatever? Is Petro selfish if he buys a $5,000 watch that offers hardly any better functional utility than a much cheaper watch? I would venture an obvious no as long as he does not sacrifice his financial security. The watch may provide him more happiness than the giant TV and sub-zero fridge he could have bought with that money instead. Why does that seem to offend you so much?


Finally, in cases like these why can't we just answer the guy's original question without jumping to judge him, his girlfriend, women, and everything else that offends your narrow world view? Questioning whether he has the financial ability to afford such a purchase is one thing; making overarching denunciations is pointless and unhelpful.

SAM

User avatar
HomerJ
Posts: 13402
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Re: Non-Bogleonian? Engagement Ring Time

Post by HomerJ » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:16 pm

LesterFreamon wrote:Oh, I don't believe in "trading up." The engagement ring should be a symbol of where you were as a couple when you first got married.
Heh, well my wife's original wedding ring was a symbol of how broke we were...
I would actually be pretty offended if my girlfriend/wife wanted to "trade up" to a nicer diamond ring.
Instead of being offended, I was quite happy the day I could afford to give her a new ring. One of the best presents I ever gave.

User avatar
Topic Author
XtremeSki2001
Posts: 1635
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:28 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Post by XtremeSki2001 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:07 am

Lots of good advice here and plenty of kind thoughts and wishes I appreciate!!
A box of rain will ease the pain and love will see you through

leonard
Posts: 5993
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:56 am

Post by leonard » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:59 am

SecretAsianMan wrote:
leonard wrote:if you are with a woman that would do anything other than get mad at you for wasting money on something so expensive/frivolous, well...
I think this attitude is off-base and, unfortuntately, far too pervasive on the BH board. The reason we save and invest is so that we can spend money on what makes us happy. Personally, jewelry (or an expensive wedding) does nothing for me, but I have my own interests that I spend lots of money on. There is nothing wrong with expensive or even frivolous purchases if it makes you happy and you have already stashed away an appropriate percentage of your salary for the future.

Assuming a person does not go beyond his or her budget, why should buying expensive jewelry or spending gobs of money for a nice wedding be any worse than taking an expensive trip, buying a fun sports car or a nice dress, joining a country club, or any other of a million expensive purchases that make different people happy?

Even though there may be cheaper options that a real diamond, the knowledge that it was not in fact real would for many women destroy the happiness the purchase was intended to produce. Even though that may not seem rational to many Bogleheads, there is no reason why it needs to be. Most luxury purchases are not rational in terms of the functional utility they provide. If a purchase provides another type of utility for a particular person, who are we to judge?

Money is only a means to an end, not an end in itself. If a purchase does not jeopardize a person's financial security or goals, there is no reason to be judgmental or sanctimonious.

SAM
If there is a desire on the part of the fiance for an expensive diamond ring, what are the chances that the desire for the "finer things" stops at just diamond engagement ring? Sure, one splurge is not bad. But, if you want the more expensive thing for every or most things in your life, that will quickly drain the accounts of any but the most wealthy.

Ensuring financial compatibility in a relationship is not either judgmental or sanctimonious. It is pragmatic.
Leonard | | Market Timing: Do you seriously think you can predict the future? What else do the voices tell you? | | If employees weren't taking jobs with bad 401k's, bad 401k's wouldn't exist.

User avatar
SecretAsianMan
Posts: 656
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:46 am

Post by SecretAsianMan » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:39 pm

leonard wrote:If there is a desire on the part of the fiance for an expensive diamond ring, what are the chances that the desire for the "finer things" stops at just diamond engagement ring? Sure, one splurge is not bad. But, if you want the more expensive thing for every or most things in your life, that will quickly drain the accounts of any but the most wealthy.

Ensuring financial compatibility in a relationship is not either judgmental or sanctimonious. It is pragmatic.
The OP has already established that his soon-to-be fiancee is very responsible with her money, otherwise, so that doesn't appear to be a concern. It's a bit absurd to extrapolate based on this one purchase even though all the other evidence he presented points the other way in terms of the way she handles her finances.

I agree that financial compatibility is vitally important, but anyone should be able to decide whether it's one splurge or indicative of a larger pattern by the time they're ready to propose. Most importantly, he wasn't asking for "insights" into the suitability of his intended; he was merely asking for help in finding a good ring.

SAM

P.S. Good luck Xtreme in finding a good ring and congrats on your pending engagement!

User avatar
gnosis
Posts: 347
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:05 pm

Post by gnosis » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:46 pm

My advice to you: Spend the rest of your life with her and not a loan on her ring! She'll only be WOW'd by the size and cut. Save your money on the clarity and color. Looking back, I shouldn't have been so determined myself to go after color and clarity.

Also, no cut shines more brilliantly that the classic round brilliant. It's just science, don't let the marketing on other cuts fool you.

The naked eye won't notice such a minor difference between a less-clear rock and a near-perfect one that's much more expensive.

And for God's sake, don't take her shopping with you for one. That's the biggest mistake I've ever made in my life. Whew!

leonard
Posts: 5993
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:56 am

Post by leonard » Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:52 pm

SecretAsianMan wrote:Most importantly, he wasn't asking for "insights" into the suitability of his intended; he was merely asking for help in finding a good ring.
When answering questions on this board, it is pretty standard to go further than the explicit question being asked and getting at underlying assumptions - even in the forums outside the strictly financial. If someone asks How they should withdraw money from their 401k to pay the mortgage - do we just answer the question? or do we actually ask questions as to whether that is a good idea? Same deal here. EDIT: Kind of like what a helpful boglehead did in this post regarding market timing http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=48211

Also, people are on best behavior before marriage and many, many people "change" once married. Noticing tendencies - even small glimmers - are worthwhile. Even if one lives their entire life like a miser, it only takes the desire for one expensive splurge to be a dealbreaker - trip around the world, ferrari, kid, whatever.
Leonard | | Market Timing: Do you seriously think you can predict the future? What else do the voices tell you? | | If employees weren't taking jobs with bad 401k's, bad 401k's wouldn't exist.

epilnk
Posts: 2653
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:05 pm

Post by epilnk » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:59 pm

leonard wrote:
SecretAsianMan wrote:Most importantly, he wasn't asking for "insights" into the suitability of his intended; he was merely asking for help in finding a good ring.
When answering questions on this board, it is pretty standard to go further than the explicit question being asked and getting at underlying assumptions - even in the forums outside the strictly financial. If someone asks How they should withdraw money from their 401k to pay the mortgage - do we just answer the question? or do we actually ask questions as to whether that is a good idea? Same deal here. EDIT: Kind of like what a helpful boglehead did in this post regarding market timing http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=48211

Also, people are on best behavior before marriage and many, many people "change" once married. Noticing tendencies - even small glimmers - are worthwhile. Even if one lives their entire life like a miser, it only takes the desire for one expensive splurge to be a dealbreaker - trip around the world, ferrari, kid, whatever.
I've seen your relationship tips before - you got burned pretty bad, didn't you?

In this case, the underlying assumption (explicitly stated) is that she is financially responsible, and nothing was said to suggest otherwise. Financial responsibility is not incompatible with a desire for particular goals that may be disproportionately costly but have been assigned high value or significance by our society. What really matters in this case is that both partners agree that the goal is valid and worth prioritizing, and that it is financially achievable. It is only when the values conflict or the goals are fiscally irresponsible that they become a problem.

Since the followup posts confirm both of these points, they should get the ring and be happy. My husband and I would make a different choice but that would be inappropriate for this couple. Aligned values will keep them together. But when one partner enters a relationship with the mindset that it is his job to play defense and/or reign in the other, one or both of them needs to wake up and consider walking away. Because it's not good for either of them.

Linda

LesterFreamon
Posts: 236
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:19 am

Post by LesterFreamon » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:14 pm

leonard wrote:
SecretAsianMan wrote:Most importantly, he wasn't asking for "insights" into the suitability of his intended; he was merely asking for help in finding a good ring.
When answering questions on this board, it is pretty standard to go further than the explicit question being asked and getting at underlying assumptions - even in the forums outside the strictly financial. If someone asks How they should withdraw money from their 401k to pay the mortgage - do we just answer the question? or do we actually ask questions as to whether that is a good idea? Same deal here. EDIT: Kind of like what a helpful boglehead did in this post regarding market timing http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=48211

Also, people are on best behavior before marriage and many, many people "change" once married. Noticing tendencies - even small glimmers - are worthwhile. Even if one lives their entire life like a miser, it only takes the desire for one expensive splurge to be a dealbreaker - trip around the world, ferrari, kid, whatever.
Leonard, I would bet money that you are a middle aged man that has never been married before. There is more to life than money. Money is a means to an end.

User avatar
Opponent Process
Posts: 5157
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:19 pm

Post by Opponent Process » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:30 pm

SecretAsianMan wrote:Why is conspicuous consumption inherently bad?
in general I agree. but I know many just find sexual selection in general, and the demonstration of resources act in particular, to be very offensive to both sexes (not just women). it's also somewhat repulsive to the esprit de corps of this group. yes, money is meant to be spent, but the assumption around here is that wisdom or intellect should guide all of our financial endeavors. where do you draw the line? buying hardcover books is OK, but not $5000 watches. personal financial perversions are defined by community standards, and there are mixed opinions here as to the depravity of this particular act.

in this case, however, it's important to remember that the OP is not trying to impress the Boglehead community, he's trying to foster the best possible environment for transmission of his genes. to evaluate his decision further, we would need more information about the potential mate (waist:hip ratio, facial symmetry, etc.) with which to match the size of the asset demonstration.
30/30/20/20 | US/International/Bonds/TIPS | Average Age=37

sharimac
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 6:44 pm

Post by sharimac » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:47 am

I agree with Linda, her analysis of the OP's inquiry and her reasoning is sound:

" they should get the ring and be happy".

I'll bet Extremeski is blown away with the kind of discussion his question created.

It's also interesting to compare this thread with the $5,000 watch thread, and when one can discern it, to compare the male and female reponses between those threads.

Post Reply