Ring Shopping

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
abonder
Posts: 261
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:52 am

Re: Ring Shopping

Post by abonder » Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:30 pm

You’re getting a lot of reasonable advice but it all really comes down to preference. I do know friends who have very large (and expensive) rings who regret it now. They’re all of the means that it doesn’t actually impact their life in a meaningful way, but they have remarked on many occasional that they wishes they had the xx,000s in their account. I personally am not into huge and/or pricey things but that doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to get one. Just recall that, for an expensive ring, you might want to insure it so there are some ongoing costs.

You sound like you’re a fiscally responsible couple so you should do what you want. I really doubt that you’ll feel sad once youve bought the ring. Bogleheads is a great place to get fiscal advice but maybe less applicable for personal decisions like this. I know folks who will shame others for a leased sports car but drop 6 figures on a kitchen renovation without blinking. It’s all a matter of prefrences. In the end, a happy marriage is truly priceless. Just remember to continue to work on your marriage as you move along your journey.

mw1739
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Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:44 pm

Re: Ring Shopping

Post by mw1739 » Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:43 pm

What percentage of your NW is this proposed ring? I hope you’re paying cash, otherwise you can’t afford it.

For what it’s worth, my wife of nearly 10 years has a $20k ring. She’s currently wearing one of those $5 silicone rings while the expensive ring sits in the bathroom. I would go buy her a $100k ring tomorrow if she wanted it, but we’re just not those kind of people.

StoopieHippo
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:42 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Ring Shopping

Post by StoopieHippo » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:01 pm

Hehehe when we decided to get married, I told him not to bother with an engagement ring and instead to put it towards our student loans (which he did). Then I found a wedding band that I wanted. I called him (he was in Florida at the time) and said "I found a ring I want! It's $24--" "TWENTY FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS?!" "--00........." And he said "Oh....yeah ok I can do that."

...I asked if he forgot who he was marrying :D (I'm the debt-hater in the relationship, hah!)

If you have the right person and their finance scruples align with yours, I doubt you'll really need to buy her that 2ct ring for her to be happy. And honestly, who cares if the people around her have 2ct rings? It only matters if you're trying to keep up with the Joneses, which I think is anti-boglehead...

Tribonian
Posts: 131
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:33 am

Re: Ring Shopping

Post by Tribonian » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:05 pm

Just one opinion, but you can get really nice ancient jewelry that is genuinely rare for less than diamonds.

1700-1800 year old wedding rings:

https://www.ancient-jewellery.com/en-GB ... HIHKqSIbDs

https://www.ancient-jewellery.com/en-GB ... HIJP6SIbDs

or a gold band with an intaglio of Aphrodite:

https://medusa-art.com/antiquities-gall ... aglio.html

stoptothink
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Ring Shopping

Post by stoptothink » Sun Feb 24, 2019 10:46 am

BanquetBeer wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:24 pm
‘All the conversations about your ring’?! We’re quite social and can’t recall more than maybe 20 actual discussions over the first few years. All with close friends who we felt comfortable sharing all details with.

I think you’re overestimating how interested people are in other peoples lives.
Yup. Once the wedding has occurred, nobody will care about the ring; including possibly the bride. "Hundreds of conversations for the rest of her life..." no.

If $20k-$30k isn't a significant amount of money to OP, have at it, but I suspect that isn't the case based on the language in the post.

Topic Author
ny_knicks
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:20 pm

Re: Ring Shopping

Post by ny_knicks » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:30 am

Thanks for the replies everyone! Only on bogleheads are there suggestions that you should propose with a plastic ring haha. If she didn’t kill me my parents surely would. Hopefully it doesn’t end up in a draw but based on a number of replies that sounds like a possibility.

Brought it up over dinner last night and tried to pin her down on what she is comfortable spending and having on her hand. She didn’t give an exact number but discussed the 4Cs again and what she is willing to sacrifice. Based on this (I know she’s done her homework - she looks at these all the time online and we’ve been to diamond district to see in person multiple times) she probably wants a ring that’s $20-$25k.

We’ll likely go with a reputable online vendor. Another excellent online resource for diamonds has been the pricescope forum and they have a number of online vendors they recommend / help with selecting.

Thanks for the recommendation on opening cards. I am a big points guy and will likely open a few credit cards for sign-up bonuses to use towards the honeymoon. This will help offset some of that cost so net it might be $3-$5k cheaper depending on the bonuses and redemption.

Thanks for the tips on insurance as well. Plan to call who we have for renters insurance to see if we can get a rider for it? Assuming that’s probably the cheapest avenue.

Yes we will pay cash and no we won’t be eating dog food for months because of this purchase. Outside of this I don’t foresee any large purchases in our future for the next 3 years and we will get back to saving!

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Ring Shopping

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:44 am

ny_knicks wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:30 am
Thanks for the replies everyone! Only on bogleheads are there suggestions that you should propose with a plastic ring haha. If she didn’t kill me my parents surely would. Hopefully it doesn’t end up in a draw but based on a number of replies that sounds like a possibility.

Brought it up over dinner last night and tried to pin her down on what she is comfortable spending and having on her hand. She didn’t give an exact number but discussed the 4Cs again and what she is willing to sacrifice. Based on this (I know she’s done her homework - she looks at these all the time online and we’ve been to diamond district to see in person multiple times) she probably wants a ring that’s $20-$25k.

We’ll likely go with a reputable online vendor. Another excellent online resource for diamonds has been the pricescope forum and they have a number of online vendors they recommend / help with selecting.

Thanks for the recommendation on opening cards. I am a big points guy and will likely open a few credit cards for sign-up bonuses to use towards the honeymoon. This will help offset some of that cost so net it might be $3-$5k cheaper depending on the bonuses and redemption.

Thanks for the tips on insurance as well. Plan to call who we have for renters insurance to see if we can get a rider for it? Assuming that’s probably the cheapest avenue.

Yes we will pay cash and no we won’t be eating dog food for months because of this purchase. Outside of this I don’t foresee any large purchases in our future for the next 3 years and we will get back to saving!
Good idea. At the end of the day, the decision is both of you to make. It seems as though she is wanting to get a quality diamond, and is educating herself on what is important. That is a good trait if she always does such research on major purchases.

Best of luck on your new adventure! Wife and I will celebrate our 48th anniversary this year. :sharebeer

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

veindoc
Posts: 633
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Re: Ring Shopping

Post by veindoc » Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:33 pm

Not sure how GF feels about this but we opted not to buy an engagement ring.

I am a physician as is my husband so there is an “expectation”. Plus we were in our 30’s so seemingly not poor and just starting out. I didn’t want to have to spend so much on a ring so I told him not to bother. It would have cost as much as our wedding. Thankfully he agreed.

I was engaged with no ring and was totally ok with that. I did buy a very pretty band for $1000 with little diamonds in it. My husband has a very simple band. Don’t recall the price.

I like not having a ring rather than having a small practical ring and like not having one over a large one. I’m a little quirky and unconventional so my social circle didn’t even blink when I told them I was engaged with no ring. A few raised eyebrows from my parents generation which was easy to ignore. As for strangers I don’t notice or care about their reactions. But your circumstances may be different.

miamivice
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Re: Ring Shopping

Post by miamivice » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:22 pm

16 years ago, my wife and I went ring shopping. We happened to be at Costco, and she found a $265 ring she liked. It had a colored stone, not diamond, but she doesnt love diamonds anyway. We didn't have much money then so I thought the price was right.

Today, as our net worth approaches $2 million, she has expressed interest in upgrading. There are some nice rings in the $800 range she would like. I don't know if we can afford that much.....

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Watty
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Re: Ring Shopping

Post by Watty » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:27 am

HereToLearn wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 4:58 pm
Never lost it because I kept it in the same kitchen drawer all the time.
You might want to check to see if your insurance will cover it if it disappears from the kitchen drawer.

There may be a requirement to keep it reasonably secure so you might want to get a home safe.

HereToLearn
Posts: 594
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:53 pm

Re: Ring Shopping

Post by HereToLearn » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:38 am

Watty wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:27 am
HereToLearn wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 4:58 pm
Never lost it because I kept it in the same kitchen drawer all the time.
You might want to check to see if your insurance will cover it if it disappears from the kitchen drawer.

There may be a requirement to keep it reasonably secure so you might want to get a home safe.
Thanks! The insurance covers it even if I drop it out of my pocket. So far, I have only lost one earring, and they paid to have the one made up to match its remaining mate. I have a separate jewelry rider on my homeowner's policy, and I am guessing the terms vary by carrier.

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ResearchMed
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Re: Ring Shopping

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:45 am

HereToLearn wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:38 am
Watty wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:27 am
HereToLearn wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 4:58 pm
Never lost it because I kept it in the same kitchen drawer all the time.
You might want to check to see if your insurance will cover it if it disappears from the kitchen drawer.

There may be a requirement to keep it reasonably secure so you might want to get a home safe.
Thanks! The insurance covers it even if I drop it out of my pocket. So far, I have only lost one earring, and they paid to have the one made up to match its remaining mate. I have a separate jewelry rider on my homeowner's policy, and I am guessing the terms vary by carrier.
We have what is probably a similar valuable items rider. It covers what is called "mysterious disappearance", meaning one needn't file a police report, for example (if there was no such "incident"). If it falls out of a pocket, or one doesn't even know if it fell out of a pocket or "what", it is still covered.

I think this type of coverage is important, if one truly wants to wear/use items and not constantly worry.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

MarkBarb
Posts: 285
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:59 am

Re: Ring Shopping

Post by MarkBarb » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:47 am

I'd ask her about it. Her opinion is the one that really matters. She may prefer a really expensive ring. She may prefer having the money and forgoing the ring (that was my wife's choice). Why guess at what she wants when she can tell you?

daheld
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Location: Midwest US

Re: Ring Shopping

Post by daheld » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:00 am

ny_knicks wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:55 am
If you and your future spouse are doing all the “right” things young bogleheads should be doing (maxing 401ks, Backdoor Roths, high saving in taxable every month, emergency fund of 12+ months, no debt) is spending on something like this crazy?
Yes. Full stop.

bayview
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Location: WNC

Re: Ring Shopping

Post by bayview » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:24 am

Tribonian wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:05 pm
Just one opinion, but you can get really nice ancient jewelry that is genuinely rare for less than diamonds.

1700-1800 year old wedding rings:

https://www.ancient-jewellery.com/en-GB ... HIHKqSIbDs

https://www.ancient-jewellery.com/en-GB ... HIJP6SIbDs

or a gold band with an intaglio of Aphrodite:

https://medusa-art.com/antiquities-gall ... aglio.html
Now, THIS would certainly shut up the carat counters!

3rd-4th century A.D/C.E. trumps carats any time, and I’m a woman who does like sparklies.
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri

Pioneer
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2018 9:34 am

Re: Ring Shopping

Post by Pioneer » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:55 am

Tribonian wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:05 pm
Just one opinion, but you can get really nice ancient jewelry that is genuinely rare for less than diamonds.

1700-1800 year old wedding rings:

https://www.ancient-jewellery.com/en-GB ... HIHKqSIbDs

https://www.ancient-jewellery.com/en-GB ... HIJP6SIbDs

or a gold band with an intaglio of Aphrodite:

https://medusa-art.com/antiquities-gall ... aglio.html
These are absolutely not suitable for daily wear, which makes them even more useless than the engagement ring currently being discussed. It could go in a display case, sure, but wearing them would destroy them.

nick evets
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Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:40 pm

Re: Ring Shopping

Post by nick evets » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:28 am

daheld wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:00 am
ny_knicks wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:55 am
If you and your future spouse are doing all the “right” things young bogleheads should be doing (maxing 401ks, Backdoor Roths, high saving in taxable every month, emergency fund of 12+ months, no debt) is spending on something like this crazy?
Yes. Full stop.
For an alternate perspective:
1) bride-to-be is probably sensitive that future husband is 'frugal' -- so much so it's a source of amusement to friends (per OP himself)
2) the ONE thing bride-to-be has asked for is a ring that's commensurate with income and social circle; this is important to her especially given point "1)" and who knows...maybe she wants to establish a future, family heirloom? What's important, is that it is important to her.
3) future couple can easily afford this purchase, even if it's an emotional indulgence.
4) future husband reacts by making sure he solicits opinions from frugally like-minded internet strangers who all will agree it's a waste of money and unreasonable for her to want an expensive ring.

Good times.

mattshwink
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:01 am

Re: Ring Shopping

Post by mattshwink » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:54 am

Some good advice here. I bought a 1.07 F VVS2 for my [now]wife 15 years ago. I remember the stats without having to look it up. She wears it every day and still occasionally gets compliments on it.

Cut is by far the biggest criteria. Color and Clarity don't have do big an impact on visual appearance below certain levels. Generally SI1 (and below) inclusions can not be seen without a loupe and will not affect the visual appearance/light reflecting properties. For color remember that a gold setting will reflect some into the diamond making color less important. For white gold or platinum D-F, for [yellow]gold you can go as high as J and be fine.

If you are not going round for the center stone, though, quality matters less (but I question using a diamond for a non-round setting, as the primary reasons diamonds are beautiful is their light reflecting properties i.e. brilliance).

Setting also matters. Make sure you have that sorted out before you buy the primary stone.

Get it appraised from someone not affiliated with where you purchased it from. This will cost around $100. They should give you a short write-up of their appraisal with statistics and the reason for the grades they give the stone. Then get a rider to your insurance policy and send them copies of the certificate from where you purchased and the appraisal.

Good luck :)

miamivice
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Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:46 am

Re: Ring Shopping

Post by miamivice » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:16 am

I think wanting something that one feels is commensurate with one's social circle is a big red flag in my opinion. What I just wrote is a fancy way of "keeping up with the Jonses". Most people would say consider "keeping up with the Joneses" would not be a path to building net worth.

While $20k on ring sounds like a lot for this purchase (and don't get me wrong - it is), it is not nearly the largest purchase that the future family will make. For example, they will buy a house together at somepoint. Will she also want a house that is commensurate with her social circle? What about cars? And the biggest expense of all - kids. Kids run 1/2 a million a pop over the parenting cycle. Does she also want to keep up with the Jonses in these circumstances?

If she wants to keep up with the Jonses, and if you want to keep her happy, you might not build much wealth.

ArmchairArchitect
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Re: Ring Shopping

Post by ArmchairArchitect » Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:50 pm

Buy the stone at BlueNile.com and have the ring made locally. You'll save a ton. They'll even set the stone for you in the ring.

Philadelphia is just two hours away by train or bus from you in NYC, and has the country's oldest diamond district ("Jeweler's Row", tons of shops). Many skilled craftsman/artisans doing this for decades, who can custom make a ring for you. I highly recommend DiAntonio & Klein, their prices and quality surpassed any other place we visited. Also Marchi was an excellent craftsman.

FYI, rings over a certain size just look tacky/trashy rather than classy. A big carat ring looks so "New Jersey Housewive" (read: gaudy,tacky). Somewhere around 1.5 carats is ideal.

Kierlack
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Re: Ring Shopping

Post by Kierlack » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:21 pm

I just recently purchased an engagement ring and proposed last week. I do not think spending $20,000 on a ring in and of itself is completely crazy DEPENDING on your overall financial situation. If you had no money in savings or retirement accounts and had a bunch of credit card debt or student loans or have no emergency fund then yes its crazy to spend that much. If in this situation you have to be realistic about what you can afford to purchase. However, that doesn't sound like this is your situation. My situation was that I have an emergency fund (3 months of average monthly spending) and short term fund (3-6 months of usual monthly spending amount). I used my short term fund money for this purchase. Which in my opinion is the type of purchase that my short term savings money is for.

In my situation, for my now fiancee I specifically asked her to pick out a ring that she liked and simply specified an absolute maximum amount that she could spend. On the plus side, I knew that she would pick something that she would really love whereas I knew I have absolutely no idea what she would or would not like. Also, I knew her ring size as her preferences are saved with jewelry stores she visited. On the negative side, I think if you specify a maximum amount then you can expect your girlfriend to pick out a ring essentially at that maximum rather than something cheaper if she wasn't given a specific amount.

I gave my fiancee two options, one was to pick a cheap ring now less than $1500-2000 or so and that I would get her an upgrade at a later time once I was making more money. The second option was to pick a nice ring now with absolute maximum of $15,000. She went ring shopping and fell in love with an estate piece ring (euro-cut, one of a kind). The ring was priced at $15,000 exactly (not with tax). Given that I went to an independent jewelry shop and it was an estate piece this means that the price is negotiable. If you live in NYC, I would NOT shop at a large retailer like Jared or Kay Jewelers. They will definitely not negotiate with you on price. Attempt to find a ring with a more mom and pop type store which can actually negotiate price. For my experience, I negotiated the price down to $13,400. The sales tax in my state of TN is crazy and I would have to pay something like $16,000. So I shipped the ring out of state to family in South Carolina and paid nothing extra. So I bought for $13,400 a ring that was appraised at $18,900. It was the most expensive thing I have ever purchased, but it was truly the ring for her and was an appropriate purchase in my mind given the amount I had in my short term savings account.

My recommendations: 1) buy from a mom and pop shop so you can negotiate price some and 2) IF you do end up buying an expensive ring, immediately get insurance personal articles policy on it to insure if lost, damaged or stolen.

DrGoogle2017
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Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Re: Ring Shopping

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:32 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:45 am
HereToLearn wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:38 am
Watty wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:27 am
HereToLearn wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 4:58 pm
Never lost it because I kept it in the same kitchen drawer all the time.
You might want to check to see if your insurance will cover it if it disappears from the kitchen drawer.

There may be a requirement to keep it reasonably secure so you might want to get a home safe.
Thanks! The insurance covers it even if I drop it out of my pocket. So far, I have only lost one earring, and they paid to have the one made up to match its remaining mate. I have a separate jewelry rider on my homeowner's policy, and I am guessing the terms vary by carrier.
We have what is probably a similar valuable items rider. It covers what is called "mysterious disappearance", meaning one needn't file a police report, for example (if there was no such "incident"). If it falls out of a pocket, or one doesn't even know if it fell out of a pocket or "what", it is still covered.

I think this type of coverage is important, if one truly wants to wear/use items and not constantly worry.

RM
Somebody lost an earring on a pickleball court today. I hope she has insurance. I was thinking this is why I don’t wear my ring. I used to get it appraised so I can get the insurance value, now I don’t.

ImmigrantSaver
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Re: Ring Shopping

Post by ImmigrantSaver » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:44 pm

veindoc wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:33 pm
Not sure how GF feels about this but we opted not to buy an engagement ring.

I am a physician as is my husband so there is an “expectation”. Plus we were in our 30’s so seemingly not poor and just starting out. I didn’t want to have to spend so much on a ring so I told him not to bother. It would have cost as much as our wedding. Thankfully he agreed.

I was engaged with no ring and was totally ok with that. I did buy a very pretty band for $1000 with little diamonds in it. My husband has a very simple band. Don’t recall the price.

I like not having a ring rather than having a small practical ring and like not having one over a large one. I’m a little quirky and unconventional so my social circle didn’t even blink when I told them I was engaged with no ring. A few raised eyebrows from my parents generation which was easy to ignore. As for strangers I don’t notice or care about their reactions. But your circumstances may be different.
This will be exactly my attitude when getting engaged. It will definitely produce more “raised eye brows” in my professional environment (finance industry is immensely superficial) than in my personal life, which is more important to me of course :)

NewbieBogle007
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:49 pm

Re: Ring Shopping

Post by NewbieBogle007 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:29 pm

OP- maybe providing yearly combined income when married would help with the responses? Are we talking about a dual physician household making $500k, average US household income, or something in between?

ckm2011
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:15 pm

Re: Ring Shopping

Post by ckm2011 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:43 pm

If your interested in buying a ring send me a message. I have a 2.0 carat round tiffany platinum setting

david
Posts: 190
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Re: Ring Shopping

Post by david » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:04 pm

As a few others mentioned, this should be a conversation you and your future wife have about
-style and taste (my wife doesn't really like diamonds. I got her a ring for far less).
-where you are financially
-where you hope to be financially
-what this means for the future, and overall lifestyle expectations.

If she's going to wear the ring, especially if the ring is very expensive, she should have say in what it looks like. So I'd include her in the process in some way. Even if she won't be going to the store to make the purchase.

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Socrates
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check out Costco

Post by Socrates » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:11 pm

if you Google them, you will see they receive very high reviews in regard to their diamond quality.

I purchased a 1.57 ct ring there VS1 with very good color (can't remember score off the top of my head), but almost colorless for about $12,000. Took it to a high end jeweler in the Bay Area to get it sized and he was floored by the quality.
“Don't waste your time looking back. You're not going that way.” ― Ragnar Lothbrok.

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

Re: Ring Shopping

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:06 pm

Lots to consider:

4 Cs

Carat: up to you, obviously the more the more expensive. If size is important to you stick to solitaire shapes. Certain cuts look smaller than others.

Cut: Spend up to get the best cut (GIA Excellent or AGS Hearts & Arrows). It will make the diamond sparkle best and have no dead spots.

Clarity: If you buy in person, you just need “eye clean”. You can get eye clean diamonds that are rated SI2 or even I1 if the jeweler can hide the inclusion underneath the prong. If you go I1 just make sure you’re not buying something that is compromised in strength. If you buy online, VS2 or VS1 is the way to go IMO

Color: This is the biggest place to save money. Color is only done in relation to other diamonds. If you buy a plain diamond without other stones directly next to it to compare, you don’t need to buy a D, E, or F diamond. My wife’s diamond is a J which is the last rating of “near colorless”. I suppose if you put it on a piece of white paper directly next to a D or E diamond you could see the difference, but in the real world you can’t. If you get a J diamond but the band has other stones that are G or H the center diamond will look yellower than the side diamonds. So do yourself a favor and save on both the center and the band by going plain! If your wife wants a yellow gold band, you can even go lower than J because the stone will pick up the yellow of the band making any stone look yellow.

Rating agencies: GIA, AGS, and Tiffany rate their diamonds all relatively similarly. If you compare an AGS VS2 to a GIA or Tiffany VS2 it will be similar. Other agencies such as EGL and IGI have inflated scores compared to GIA and AGS. You can’t compare pricing between GIA/AGS/Tiffany to EGL/IGI based on specs. You might need a VS1 IGI to match an SI1 GIA stone.

Despite all that, don’t get too hung up in specs. If it looks good then it doesn’t matter what the paper says it is. Don’t pay more for Excellent cut, VS1 E diamond if you can’t see the difference between that and a Very good cut, SI2, J diamond.

Tribonian
Posts: 131
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Re: Ring Shopping

Post by Tribonian » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:22 pm

Pioneer wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:55 am
Tribonian wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:05 pm
Just one opinion, but you can get really nice ancient jewelry that is genuinely rare for less than diamonds.

1700-1800 year old wedding rings:

https://www.ancient-jewellery.com/en-GB ... HIHKqSIbDs

https://www.ancient-jewellery.com/en-GB ... HIJP6SIbDs

or a gold band with an intaglio of Aphrodite:

https://medusa-art.com/antiquities-gall ... aglio.html
These are absolutely not suitable for daily wear, which makes them even more useless than the engagement ring currently being discussed. It could go in a display case, sure, but wearing them would destroy them.
Ancient rings have already shown durability. Just because something is ancient does not mean it is fragile or that a museum quality piece cannot be worn. Carnelian and Sard are quartzites and pretty resilient (6.5-7 on the Mohs scale). Ancient gemstones should hold up just fine unless you stick them in a furnace. I do agree that it would be an act of vandalism to resize ancient gold, but I found a piece that fits my wife’s hand without need for modification. She wears it daily, likes it, and it looks fantastic on her. And I get a real charge when she sends me a note with her wax seal of a goddess.

Poppy1234
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Re: Ring Shopping

Post by Poppy1234 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:59 pm

I’ve read several of these threads now and the responses start sounding very similar. You’re on a boglehead forum, where people pride themselves on being frugal so the audience is skewed. If you read some of these other threads about being frugal, I personally think a lot of them take it to the extreme. In some cases, it even starts teetering on being a contest on who spent the least. Here’s my 2 cents...before you decide on a ring budget, sit down and lay out all of your combined assets, debt, and income. Then review your joint future financial goals, financial outlook, and job outlook. Are there any additional major purchases coming up? If you find yourself well positioned financially now with good prospects to accomplish all of your financial and big ticket item goals, ask yourself if an expensive ring purchase is going to impede any of it. If the answer is no, and your wife wants a big ring, I say go for it! If there is a no along the way, you should consider other options. You can still get a big diamond but you’ll need to be willing to compromise on some of the parameters or other alternatives such as estate jewelry, secondary market, or other stones. I personally have a large ring and love it. I wear it every day and yes it brings me joy. And yes I have had a lot of strangers stop me and ask about it. Another thing was I wanted to have a piece of jewelry I can pass down and I wanted this to be it. We did not go “all out” in purchasing it as it was still within our means. After all, what is making all that money for??? Because we could afford it, no regrets at all and my husband loves it when I gush about it even now!

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Re: Ring Shopping

Post by sunny_socal » Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:07 am

You need to impress your social circle? I'm teaching my kids: "You don't even need to buy an engagement ring if you don't want to." I did buy my wife a diamond ring but she would have been fine without it. She's actually more frugal than me, I try to pamper her but she'd rather have a big bank account! :beer

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Re: Ring Shopping

Post by ny_knicks » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:47 am

Thanks again everyone! I guess more context may help ease some of your concerns though for many this is unlikely. I get it though this forum is about saving and many will see a purchase like this as a complete and utter waste and those that don’t may hesititate to respond given the negative backlash.

Girlfriend and I only have joint accounts and have lived together for 5 years and dated for 8. She is probably more frugal than me but this is the one item she has broken out of that mold. I’m fine with it though would prefer cash in the bank. Can’t always get what you prefer and I’ve gotten what I prefer plenty of times. Also since we combine finances it’s almost like she’s paying for it lol. Not sure I have much ground to stand on.

While we haven’t always been in the upper income brackets due to working through advanced degrees but we have that behind us and are hopefully entering a period of high income / high savings. We had a 40%+ savings rate last year and are on track to do the same this year even with this purchase. We are also 28 with a lot of runway in our careers and are financially stable (no debt big emergency fund). I can see our combined assets by logging in to personal capital and am confident this purchase will not impact any future financial goals. We monitor finances very closely - hence being on this forum.

Next big purchase would be a house in the suburbs (at least 4+ years out) once our job hours cut back a bit and will likely try and have kids following that. We should have the down payment set aside by next spring (houses aren’t cheap around here). Wedding will be paid for and honeymoon will be on the hook for though points will offset a lot of the cost.

I shouldn’t have used pressure from social circles. My friends don’t care what we wear but I’m not sure in this case it’s worth standing out. NYers have high expectations when it comes to engagement rings and even if the vast majority of people don’t say anything they are looking. Very few have the mindset of “oh they must have said no to the ring and bought I-bonds instead”. I’d prefer to not have to explain anything and just let her have the experience of explaining to her friends how I asked and show off the ring for a bit to them and move on.

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Re: Ring Shopping

Post by bayview » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:52 am

I know that there is plenty of BH pushback on buying an upscale vehicle, but I do think it's kind of interesting to read the (mostly gentle) criticism of a woman wanting an expensive ring vs the comments I read on someone (often male) wanting a nice fancy new ride...

Anyway OP, I didn't ask for a fancy ring, but we weren't in your position. It sounds like both of you have good attitudes toward money and are reasonably frugal. For a one-time splurge (it IS one-time, correct?), this doesn't sound completely ridiculous. Best wishes to both of you. :beer
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri

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