Where to buy engagement ring?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
genjix
Posts: 224
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:51 pm

Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by genjix » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:14 am

Hello all,

I'm looking to get engaged this or next year. I'm in the NYC area so I'm within proximity of the diamond district (although I don't know if I can trust these small shops)

Anyone have a recommendation?

NextMil
Posts: 502
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:33 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by NextMil » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:25 am

Blue nile.

User avatar
simplesimon
Posts: 3192
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:53 pm
Location: Boston, MA

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by simplesimon » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:59 am

Check out Pricescope.com, which is an online forum like Bogleheads for diamond enthusiasts.

I got my wife's ring from Whiteflash and had a great experience.

pamplemousse
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:48 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by pamplemousse » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:08 am

blue nile.

mortfree
Posts: 1296
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:06 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by mortfree » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:11 am

Tiffany’s

:mrgreen:

andrew1976
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:44 am

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by andrew1976 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:22 am

Check out eBay or Costco.

SNIPER338
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:27 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by SNIPER338 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:27 am

I dont know whats local, but do your research. Not all store are crated equal and you dont want to buy junk. Look for certified diamonds store that have authenticity papers to go with it. Lazer encriptions in the diamind to certify. Tiffanies and places like that arent ususally legit. Theres lots of crud you can end up getting taken for..

Research research research...

In Texas its Americus Diamond thats best to go to.

Research that place to get an idea...

phantom0308
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:52 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by phantom0308 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:31 am

I used Gemesis which is now Pure Grown Diamonds when they sold online. They use a high pressure high temperature chemical process to grow the diamond.
It’s chemically identical (not quartz), doesn’t have any of the potential human rights issues of mined (if you care about that), and costs less than normal for <1ct and slightly less for >1ct.
Bought wedding ring from Tiffany’s and don’t think it was as good of value, but some people like name brands.

3funder
Posts: 758
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:35 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by 3funder » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:38 am

Blue Nile.

Silver Bullet
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:18 am

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by Silver Bullet » Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:57 am

X 3
Blue Nile

xrvision
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:23 am

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by xrvision » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:02 am

My ring is from the NYC diamond district. Super shady but I love my ring. You do have to know a guy...

e5116
Posts: 405
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:22 am

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by e5116 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:15 am

Get GIA or AGS certified. Other labs are not as strict. Blue Nile is good to search, but not always the best. Pricescope is a good site but the people on the forum there have extremely high diamond standards (particularly for cut), so you'll pay a bit more at their recommended vendors like Whiteflash, Brian Gavin Dimonds, James Allen, Good Old Gold. Of those, James Allen offers the most selection balanced with price. Personally, I search extensively online to get a feel for it, and went to a few local reputable places to see how prices compared. If similar, went with store as they're more invested and can fix if something goes wrong easier. For another time, I ended up getting loose diamond online but got setting done by a local shop. Search review sites for good vendors in NYC diamond district. There definitely are some.

mega317
Posts: 2555
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:55 am

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by mega317 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:24 am

Congrats. I got mine at the LA diamond district. It was a fun experience. Did some online research, yelp and forums. Then went out and priced out a few similar ones at several places. My sense was that it's a pretty efficient market and they want to make you happy. Why take advantage of someone on the engagement ring when they could earn a repeat customer for life?

Jags4186
Posts: 2538
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by Jags4186 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:26 am

I bought mine on Blue Nile—very happy with the service, but wouldn’t do it again.

Your best bet is to go to a local store and don’t get sucked in by AGS/GIA is better than the others stuff. What matters is how it looks to the naked eye. I probably could have gotten a just as nice ring that didn’t have the “top of the line” certification and saved $2000 or so. I found I was the one getting sucked into the specs and everything. My wife didn’t know anything about AGS/GIA/IGI/EGL clarity/color etc. etc. whatever else is out there. The only things my wife really knew about diamonds were the various shapes and carat. All the GIA documentation I received has only ever been look at by 1 person...me.

Also, never look at the prices again once you buy it. I can buy the *exact* same ring I bought 4 years ago for $500 less today. I know because I just looked.
Last edited by Jags4186 on Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

alfaspider
Posts: 1587
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by alfaspider » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:31 am

e5116 wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:15 am
Get GIA or AGS certified. Other labs are not as strict.
I'd say just the opposite as long as you aren't buying sight unseen. If the diamond is "eye clean" and looks good, you can save money with a lesser certification. Resale value will be poor no matter what.

e5116
Posts: 405
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:22 am

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by e5116 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:39 am

alfaspider wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:31 am
e5116 wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:15 am
Get GIA or AGS certified. Other labs are not as strict.
I'd say just the opposite as long as you aren't buying sight unseen. If the diamond is "eye clean" and looks good, you can save money with a lesser certification. Resale value will be poor no matter what.
Well theoretically yes, but if you're getting an EGL "G" diamond it might be an "H" or "I" in reality. I get your point that if you see it in person and don't care, then what's to worry about, but most people like having something so expensive judged accurately by an unbiased third party for reassurance. Unless you're going into each store with a loupe and idealscope, which unless you're experienced, you wouldn't know what to look for. My point is that it's not an apples to apples comparison. Some vendor may have an ideal cut G for less than another, but if one is certified by a less reputable lab, it's hard to compare accurately.

themesrob
Posts: 177
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:58 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by themesrob » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:42 am

I had a good experience with Enchanted Diamonds. The online shop is way easier to use than Blue Nile, and has a lot more data. Plus the advantage of being in NYC is that their office is in midtown, and you can go pick it up, get free adjustments/cleanings for life, etc. Their service is excellent.

LawyersGunsAndMoney
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:00 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by LawyersGunsAndMoney » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:57 am

Prior to the existence of shops like Blue Nile, I would say Diamond District all the way over a local jeweler. These days, prices on Blue Nile and DD are comparable (you may even save with Blue Nile).

I would recommend soliciting recommendations from friends rather than just wandering the Diamond District. Key to buying a ring (anywhere) is to learn all of your stuff (e.g. the 5 Cs) have a budget, and understand via online research what will be in your price range and how much stuff generally costs.

Also keep in mind that any jeweler will generally be able to re-create any ring design/setting you like. So if you see something that your fiance loves in some small jewelry shop in your hometown for inflated prices, a jeweler in the DD will be able to copy it. Not sure how well Blue Nile does "custom"

Make sure that the diamond you're buying has a GIA certification and NOT a certification from one of a half-dozen more lax/dubious outfits.

Additionally, when it comes time to insure the ring - I would insist on having it insured at the purchase price rather than the (often higher) appraisal price which might mean an extended conversation with your insurance company.

scotthew
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:34 am

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by scotthew » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:06 am

If you haven't done it already, read up on the diamond industry, and you'll be a little dismayed:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017 ... 199bfe594f

Or maybe don't read it, as when it comes to engagement rings and weddings, ignorance is bliss.

I'd go with other posters, and just go with what looks good, and throw out the GIA certificate it comes with (unless you want to ensure the diamond and need it for that). That is, unless your fiancee is the type that would take it to a jeweler, have it appraised and have a fit. Sorry, if I'm a bit jaded, but after having gone through two engagement rings for two women, a realize how diamonds are used as a comparative status symbol (how much am I worth to my Fiancee or how big is my ring compared to my friends' rings)? The good news is, when your fiancee holds it up to friends rings, the comparison is more on size, and clarity and inclusions is probably not even going to be a factor.

All that being said, LA diamond district and NY diamond districts are the best spots.

Good Luck!

zeeke42
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2015 5:13 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by zeeke42 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:16 am

I had a great experience with jamesallen.com. Their website pulls candidate stones from a bunch of sources. You can put in a request for them to actually get a few in house and tell you if they're actually "eye clean". Also, run any stones you're considering through "Holloway Cut Advisor" https://www.pricescope.com/tools/hca This considers multiple factors to give you an idea of how sparkly the stone will actually look. I prioritized this over the color and clarity grading, and my wife gets tons of compliments.

Darth Xanadu
Posts: 478
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:47 am
Location: Middle Earth

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by Darth Xanadu » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:48 am

I've purchased from both Blue Nile and Brilliant Earth. Both experiences were fine. I like Brilliant Earth because they have a good selection of estate jewelry.
"A courageous teacher, failure is."

Big Dutch
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 3:18 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by Big Dutch » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:50 am

I purchased my wife's engagement ring several years ago at James Allen and was very pleased with the website, price and quality. The customer service was also superb.

I recently purchased some diamond stud earrings and found Blue Nile to be the best value for a quality set.

Good luck!

~Big Dutch

MrsBDG
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:04 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by MrsBDG » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:54 am

You can also check out resell on assorted sites, take advantage of the other person taking the original financial hit.

I do now I dont
Have you seen the ring
Offer Up
Tradesy

Plus some jewelry stores have a used or resale line

Jewelry sells at retail price, if you then turn around and sell that ring, you might, might, get 25% of the retail and the jeweler you sold to might sell for 50% of that retail.

GoldPressedLatinum
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:09 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by GoldPressedLatinum » Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:04 am

scotthew wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:06 am
If you haven't done it already, read up on the diamond industry, and you'll be a little dismayed:
Yes, this.

OP: Have you considered a precious gem instead of a diamond? Or are there any family heirlooms which could be used instead?

alfaspider
Posts: 1587
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by alfaspider » Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:11 am

e5116 wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:39 am
alfaspider wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:31 am
e5116 wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:15 am
Get GIA or AGS certified. Other labs are not as strict.
I'd say just the opposite as long as you aren't buying sight unseen. If the diamond is "eye clean" and looks good, you can save money with a lesser certification. Resale value will be poor no matter what.
Well theoretically yes, but if you're getting an EGL "G" diamond it might be an "H" or "I" in reality. I get your point that if you see it in person and don't care, then what's to worry about, but most people like having something so expensive judged accurately by an unbiased third party for reassurance. Unless you're going into each store with a loupe and idealscope, which unless you're experienced, you wouldn't know what to look for. My point is that it's not an apples to apples comparison. Some vendor may have an ideal cut G for less than another, but if one is certified by a less reputable lab, it's hard to compare accurately.
My point is that if it looks good to your untrained eye, who cares whether it's truly an "H" or "I"? Just set a budget and buy the stone that looks best to you within that budget. Nobody I know shows off their engagement ring to professional gemologists.

HappyWorkerBee
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 9:31 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by HappyWorkerBee » Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:18 pm

Presumably you've already done this but just in case, have you considered not getting an engagement ring?

I know for a lot of young people, the engagement ring is a big deal. In my family, it's not. The only reason engagement rings became a thing in the US is because the diamond industry (meaning De Beers) wanted to sell more rocks, and wanted to be able to sell them even when the economy is bad. How does spending a lot of money on a rock (of dubious origin) relate to your love for your fiance? "Honey, I love you so much I gave a bunch of my money away to buy this rock at price that was artificially inflated by the monopoly power of a single supplier"

What else could you spend that money on? A vacation? Index funds?

ArmchairArchitect
Posts: 248
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:37 am

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by ArmchairArchitect » Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:30 pm

Diamond itself from Blue Nile, ring custom made at your nearest jeweler district (non-chains). If you are near Philadelphia, definitely go to Jeweler's Row, the oldest jewelry district in the entire country with lots of skilled craftsmen. Specifically, we went with DiAntonio & Klein, amazing work at good prices there.

neoptolemus412
Posts: 113
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:54 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by neoptolemus412 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:13 pm

I went through the process and tried NYC and Philadelphia. Here's my $.02.

1) Go physically to see diamonds. It's difficult to ascertain the 4Cs, fire, imperfections, etc. online. The light needs to hit the diamond. If you are uneducated about the process, as most buyers are, go in person because you don't want to be taken advantage of or purchase something your future wife won't be happy with.

2) Educate yourself through online research and visits to places that have stellar reviews (see recs below) before going in person to people. Bluenile is great if you know what you should be looking for; however, I would just use it to price compare to figure out what a 2 carat XXX costs.

3) Agree on cut, style, and price ranges with your SO early. This was the biggest issue with my now wife that we faced pre-marriage. She would see someone else's ring and say I want that, then I'd do research and tell her the price and we'd go back to the drawing board. Be clear about your budget and the style she prefers.

For unsolicited recs based on my personal experience...

Keith Saxe in NYC was great. Straight shooter, patient, heart of a teacher, and a nice variety of diamonds in my price range.

Golden Nugget in Philly had the best variety and prices. They are a wholesaler, so you can walk in anytime and they will likely have a great selection of GIA certified diamonds for you to examine. They offer cleaning anytime my wife is in town. If she wants an upgrade, they will credit the amount paid towards another diamond anytime in the future. Some offered such services and promises, but Golden Nugget had the best prices, service, variety, and options overall. My wife was very pleased and happy.

Esq123
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:15 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by Esq123 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:22 pm

I went to a local jewelry store and got a good deal. I would highly recommend before you even step into a jewelry store to know all about the 4Cs (carat, color, clarity, cut). You will appear much more knowledgeable by doing so. Also, know your budget too. Good luck.

tony_roach
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:05 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by tony_roach » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:28 pm

I've had great experiences with Blue Nile

adamthesmythe
Posts: 2285
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by adamthesmythe » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:16 pm

So an engagement ring is something that is not useful, is expensive, and has little resale value.

Is there something else we can use as a society to express commitment? Where the measure of the commitment is the willingness to spend a bunch of money on something useless?

Maybe buy the fiancee a really nice piece of art, or a red BMW?

andypanda
Posts: 127
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:11 pm
Location: Richmond, Virginia

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by andypanda » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:50 pm

Here is one NY vendor who comes highly recommended on Pricescope.

www.yelp.com/biz/i-d-jewelry-new-york

I suggest browsing the Pricescope Rockytalky forum for info on Super Ideal round diamonds. Just having the highest GIA or AGS rating for cut isn't enough if you want a diamond with maximum sparkle - both white light and rainbow colors.

This past April I wired Whiteflash enough money to buy a new car - a 4-cyl Camry anyway - and the ring is even better than expected. And that was only? a 1.5+ carat stone. F VVS2 fwiw.

The folks on Pricescope will search multiple vendors for you if you give them an idea of budget and your 4C's. Their priority is cut.

beagler1
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:14 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by beagler1 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:08 pm

goodoldgold

you'll find highly certified diamonds far superior to any average store. they have so many additional measures for each diamond--providing confidence for buying over internet. i got my wife's flawless engagement ring there.

andypanda
Posts: 127
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:11 pm
Location: Richmond, Virginia

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by andypanda » Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:29 pm

Fwiw, re: goodoldgold

Jonathan "Rhino" Weingarten is not working at GOG any longer. His family (mother?) still owns it though afaik.
He is now running...

www.augustvintageinc.net

One more thing I learned at Pricescope.

Zott
Posts: 229
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:21 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by Zott » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:45 pm

Pawn shop--they've got lots of "lightly used" rings. Bought my wedding band at one--still have it and the wife, both look great. :beer

I bought a sapphire ring for DF(financee) (at her request) on 47th St. Apparently got one of the rarest gems in the world from Kashmir or someplace--at a bargain price too. They do a lot more than just diamonds. The guy offered to mail me the ring (I lived in NJ at the time)--apparently it was cheaper tax-wise that way. :beer
Good luck.

neoptolemus412
Posts: 113
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:54 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by neoptolemus412 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:40 am

Zott wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:45 pm
Pawn shop--they've got lots of "lightly used" rings. Bought my wedding band at one--still have it and the wife, both look great. :beer

I bought a sapphire ring for DF(financee) (at her request) on 47th St. Apparently got one of the rarest gems in the world from Kashmir or someplace--at a bargain price too. They do a lot more than just diamonds. The guy offered to mail me the ring (I lived in NJ at the time)--apparently it was cheaper tax-wise that way. :beer
Good luck.
Many jewelers don't withhold the sales taxes when shipping an item to an out of state buyer as the obligation falls upon the buyer to pay those taxes. It's "cheaper" on the surface, but the burden always falls upon the buyer to pay those taxes. It's common practice, though not legal, to not pay tax on jewelry because one's state of residence has no record of the purchase. It's like buying a Car in Delaware, sales tax free state, but you're registering it in NJ. You pay the sales taxes in your state of residence.

BuckyBadger
Posts: 849
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:28 am

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by BuckyBadger » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:46 am

I got mine in the diamond district of Chicago. We went up in this totally sketchy armored elevator in a totally sketchy building and stepped out into the most glorious place I've ever been. It was beautiful and tremendous and I loved it!

I just checked and it looks like he's only in Chicago - but maybe look around and see if you can find something similar in NYC?

https://www.dimendscaasi.com/

It was really fun to sort through all the loose diamonds and select one with my husband, and we got WAY more for our money than we did at Cartier, which was my second choice (prefer their settings to the traditional Tiffany setting).

User avatar
Brantley
Posts: 315
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:02 am

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by Brantley » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:51 am

neoptolemus412 wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:13 pm
I went through the process and tried NYC and Philadelphia. Here's my $.02.

1) Go physically to see diamonds. It's difficult to ascertain the 4Cs, fire, imperfections, etc. online. The light needs to hit the diamond. If you are uneducated about the process, as most buyers are, go in person because you don't want to be taken advantage of or purchase something your future wife won't be happy with.

2) Educate yourself through online research and visits to places that have stellar reviews (see recs below) before going in person to people. Bluenile is great if you know what you should be looking for; however, I would just use it to price compare to figure out what a 2 carat XXX costs.

3) Agree on cut, style, and price ranges with your SO early. This was the biggest issue with my now wife that we faced pre-marriage. She would see someone else's ring and say I want that, then I'd do research and tell her the price and we'd go back to the drawing board. Be clear about your budget and the style she prefers.

For unsolicited recs based on my personal experience...

Keith Saxe in NYC was great. Straight shooter, patient, heart of a teacher, and a nice variety of diamonds in my price range.

Golden Nugget in Philly had the best variety and prices. They are a wholesaler, so you can walk in anytime and they will likely have a great selection of GIA certified diamonds for you to examine. They offer cleaning anytime my wife is in town. If she wants an upgrade, they will credit the amount paid towards another diamond anytime in the future. Some offered such services and promises, but Golden Nugget had the best prices, service, variety, and options overall. My wife was very pleased and happy.
I agree with most of what is said in this post. I would suggest buying it at a store in the diamond district in your area. I am unfamiliar with NYC so I do not have specific suggestions. I would avoid the larger stores as they will mark-up the diamonds.

To be honest, if you find the right dealer there is much room to negotiate. I was able to get a much better price as compared to a similar diamond on either blue nile or whiteflash.

In regards to cut, style, and price, and I would suggest figuring out the price first, then narrow down what diamond you want.

Overall, just keep in mind this is not an investment, its an expense. Do not expect to get this money back. Its truly about the happiness it will bring to your SO.
~Brantley

Glockenspiel
Posts: 535
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:20 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by Glockenspiel » Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:52 am

Whiteflash.com

Great service, great product. Bought my wife's engagement ring there after reading lots of Pricescope forums.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 18745
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by dm200 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:29 am

Ask the intended recipient :)

Years ago, a friend of mine always was looking for the best deal or the best bargain. When he told his fiancée that he would look for a "deal" or "bargain" on a ring - she was "less than happy" - and he relented and bought "retail".

THY4373
Posts: 768
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by THY4373 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:46 am

adamthesmythe wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:16 pm
So an engagement ring is something that is not useful, is expensive, and has little resale value.

Is there something else we can use as a society to express commitment? Where the measure of the commitment is the willingness to spend a bunch of money on something useless?

Maybe buy the fiancee a really nice piece of art, or a red BMW?
I bought my ex's engagement ring at Blue NIle 19 years ago now and it was a fine experience but the poster above is spot on. Diamond engagement rings are completely useless and have little intrinsic value and are essentially a fairly recent marketing invention of DeBeers. Most likely you have no flexibility in this but you would honestly be better buying her a car, art, amazing holiday, an investment almost anything else.

My story on the engagement ring is this. I bought it for about $12k in today's dollars. This was a lot of money for me at the time but was less than the 3 or 6 months the DeBeers marketers suggested one spend on a ring at the time. She loved the ring and everything was cool until she got wind that I had not spent the recommended three months of salary and that I obviously didn't love her enough or whatever. I pointed out we were buying a house together and I was putting together the down payment and couldn't afford to do both and did she prefer a bigger ring or a house now vs a year from now? She then apologized and all was good. This incident was actually an early red flag that should have alerted me we weren't compatible with one another. But anyway after our divorce (we are good friends now) I asked her what she got for the ring. The figure she gave me was about 22% of the inflation adjusted amount I had paid years earlier. She now agrees that diamond engagement rings are a scam (she expected to get like 75% of the value I had paid).

I will never ever buy another diamond engagement ring ever unless it is some very nominal amount of money. This probably kills said chances of getting remarried but I am totally ok with that :sharebeer .
Last edited by THY4373 on Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

GT99
Posts: 72
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:26 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by GT99 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:54 am

Ah, mankind's greatest marketing scam. There's never been a product in human history with prices driven so high for such a sustained period of time based purely on (brilliant) marketing (and control of supply...but mostly marketing). I despise diamonds, but they're a great case study in manipulating people.

That said, I was suckered by my otherwise wonderful DW, who didn't go along with my plan to get a larger CZ stone that nobody would be able to tell the difference with. I did a lot of homework because I hated spending so much money on something with no intrinsic value. My experience (~6 years ago) was that retail pricing on diamonds is extremely consistent - not likely to see more than a 1-2% price variance, if that, in comparably rated diamonds. with a couple exceptions that I found were Tiffany's (you pay a surcharge for that blue box) and Costco, which did seem to have a slight pricing advantage (but still not much - <5%). The only way I found to get a deal was 2nd hand - estate sales if you can find what you want, pawn shops, online sources as noted above. At that point, you only care about the stone - ignore the setting, and get it re-set in the setting she wants.

Businesscasual
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:35 am

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by Businesscasual » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:59 am

I would highly recommend checking out Jangmi in the diamond district. IMO the setting and selection were far better than blue nile or james allen and the prices were in the same neighborhood.

newinvestor84
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:09 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by newinvestor84 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:06 pm

If you’re set on diamonds, go with lab created diamonds sold online. If she wants a “shiny” diamond, cut is very important. If you’re an analytical person, look for one of the Holloway Cut Advisor tools online, plug in the dimensions, and buy something with a score around 1.0.

User avatar
Halfvolley
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:41 am

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by Halfvolley » Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:09 pm

Have you inquired as to whether there are any diamonds one either side of the family that aren't currently in use? I was going to buy DW's at Costco until I discovered out my mother had my great, great aunt's diamond laying around in a shoebox. DW even preferred the original setting, so it only cost me about $50 to have the local jewelry store clean it up, change the oil, and rotate the tires.

User avatar
DukeMeredith
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:03 pm
Location: Dallas, Texas

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by DukeMeredith » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:34 pm

After doing a lot of research on this topic and visiting numerous jewelers in person, I found the website www.rarecarat.com

Rare Carat is like a hotel search engine, and compares prices of diamonds from dozens of vendors. That's the best analogy I can think of.

Eventually, I deduced that many of the same jewelers were selling the same diamond on their website. My hypothesis is that these jewelers have common access to a wholesale resource.

So I found a handful of diamonds that fit the specifications I wanted (cut, color, etc.) and went to Diamonds Direct in-person (they're one of the jewelers that Rare Carat searches).

I showed Diamonds Direct the diamond I found on Rare Carat being offered by Diamonds Direct. They played dumb at first and said, with astonishment, that the diamond with the same specs and ID number in their system was selling for a much higher price than what Rare Carat was saying. Not persuaded, I said I wanted the price advertised that was listed on Rare Carat's website as attributed to Diamonds Direct. They eventually caved and I purchased the setting from Diamonds Direct.

Overall, I believe this saved me about $7,000.

kaudrey
Posts: 960
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:40 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by kaudrey » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:57 pm

I'd highly recommend www.angara.com. We have gotten earrings, my engagement ring, and our wedding bands from them; great customer service, and beautiful jewelry.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 14338
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by Watty » Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:22 pm

One problem with diamond rings is that they get dirty real quick if the ring is worn everyday so paying for a real high grade diamond engagement ring may not be worthwhile since once it is dirty it may not look that much better than a lower grade diamond. When I was reading up on diamonds before I bought my wife a ring one thing that I read recommended using higher grade diamonds on things like earrings and pendants where they will not get dirty so quickly.
genjix wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:14 am
Anyone have a recommendation?
One thing that I suggest to people is that if they are going to spend $10,000 (or whatever) on a diamond ring is that they go to the bank and get the same amount in cash and try walking around with that money for a week to see if they feel comfortable doing that.

My wife's diamond ring cost a fraction of that but she did not feel comfortable wearing it around, even though it was insured, so it is almost always in the safe and she wears a gold band that I got her instead.

All_About_Benjis
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:28 am

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by All_About_Benjis » Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:35 pm

Curious if anyone has experience with lab-grown diamonds? My partner is leaning this way and am wondering if anyone has purchased previously, insights, etc.

northtexan
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2016 8:11 pm

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Post by northtexan » Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:35 pm

If you travel you can look at places similar to blue nile but where you are able to look in person. I purchased at Diamonds Direct in Dallas. They have a website like Blue Nile, but as far as I understand Blue Nile does not have physical stores where one can look at the products offered.

Post Reply