Engagement Ring (Affordable)

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BeneIRA
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by BeneIRA » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:56 pm

Did not see diamonds.pro mentioned. They will help you pick a great diamond from typically James Allen, which is a great online diamond seller. I had great success with them and recommend them to everyone.

avecmoi
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by avecmoi » Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:38 pm

Cost of the diamond and/or the wedding reception inversely proportional to likely success of the marriage.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-styl ... 35646.html

jeff622859
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by jeff622859 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:52 pm

I used blue Nile and have zero complaints. I even had the diamond appraised by my own jeweler who said It is worth $2k more than what I paid! Blue Nile cleans the ring yearly as well. Just really been happy with them

carol-brennan
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by carol-brennan » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:57 am

Don't marry anyone that wants an expensive ring. First red flag.

Marriage itself is a really risky bet (50%), and expensive, especially for men (typically the higher earners) if they want out. Even with a prenup, you can get the shaft if a judge doesn't like it.

truenorth418
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by truenorth418 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:34 am

Congratulations! And good luck.

It might make you feel better about the expense of the engagement ring you're supposed to buy for her, if she were to buy you a gift for yourself of roughly equal value.

I don't know the kinds of things that would interest you, but some ideas off the top of my head are: a new fishing boat, a motorcycle, a top-of-the-line home entertainment system, new golf clubs, most expensive iPhone with Apple Watch. Maybe she could pay the full cost of the honeymoon vacation? Or maybe she could invest a $$ value equal to the engagement ring in your favorite Vanguard ETF or Mutual Fund - under your name of course.

I believe marriage should be an equal partnership. You guys are a team now, co-equals bound together by mutual respect and fairness - so you should have no problem coming up with a solution that's fair and equitable to both of you.
Last edited by truenorth418 on Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

truenorth418
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by truenorth418 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:52 am

raveon wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:17 pm

3. We fought a little as she was initially disappointed. I stood my ground and told her to search more and be patient.

4. She took my advice, looked around more and found a nice ring to her liking at Macy's. She waited until she could get the maximum sale/coupons applied. In the end, it ended up being around $3.5K. I liked this choice as well.

5. Over the 6 years, I completed the set slowly by purchasing the matching earring, necklace, and bangles. I was very grateful to her for understanding back then (limited budget). In then end, she is very satisfied with the outcome.

Play the long game. Don't go for broke up front :D.
I'm glad it worked out to your satisfaction, and I don't mean any disrespect, but given divorce rates and marriage unhappiness statistics, the "long game" is to not marry someone in the first place to one who places a dollar value on what is basically a symbol of your love and affection together.

I will get flamed for saying this.. but how about making a deal like this: I will not buy an expensive "engagement" ring now, but if we are still together and happy for say at least 10 years then I will buy you whatever $10,000 ring you want on our 10th anniversary.

Teague
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by Teague » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:37 am

truenorth418 wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:34 am
Congratulations! And good luck.

It might make you feel better about the expense of the engagement ring you're supposed to buy for her, if she were to buy you a gift for yourself of roughly equal value.

I don't know the kinds of things that would interest you, but some ideas off the top of my head are: a new fishing boat, a motorcycle, a top-of-the-line home entertainment system, new golf clubs, most expensive iPhone with Apple Watch. Maybe she could pay the full cost of the honeymoon vacation? Or maybe she could invest a $$ value equal to the engagement ring in your favorite Vanguard ETF or Mutual Fund - under your name of course.

I believe marriage should be an equal partnership. You guys are a team now, co-equals bound together by mutual respect and fairness - so you should have no problem coming up with a solution that's fair and equitable to both of you.
I like this idea. How about starting a tradition that the bride to be gives the prospective groom about $5-10k worth of furnishings toward a man cave in their mutual home? Big screen, lounge chair, beer tap, cigar humidor, and so on. That way each partner will have given something they really can't relate to themselves, but know that it's valued by their other half. :sharebeer
Semper Augustus

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unclescrooge
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by unclescrooge » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:31 am

KJVanguard wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:23 pm
andypanda wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:46 pm
https://youtu.be/_ughfAcTFPY

Video of CZ vs diamond side by side in different lighting. I don't think they look the same at all, especially if the diamond is well cut or a so-called super ideal cut.
There are different quality levels of CZ. For all I know that could be the bargain basement low-quality CZ and that's why it doesn't appear so brilliant and for all I know it could be compared to a "perfect" diamond. I have no idea if there is bias in such a test. I gave a link to top quality CZ which supposedly can be more visually appealing than an "average" diamond (of much higher price). I know quality CZ is colorless, while most diamonds have a yellowish tint (which is why they are set in yellow gold to hide this flaw).
My understanding is that cz is not as strong as a diamond and will eventually scuff up and become dull.

For party jewelry it might hold up fine but for a ring that will be worn daily I don't think it will age well.

One does not need to be a jeweler to tell the difference between cz and a real diamond. I can distinguish between most of them. The way they reflect light is different even to the naked eye.

I do recommend . I told my wife that if she lost her ring, that would be the replacement.

surfstar
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by surfstar » Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:48 pm

simplesimon wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:50 pm
Pigeon wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:31 pm
simplesimon wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:37 pm


I'm the opposite in this case. I think it's cooler that something came from the ground than manufactured in the lab.

It is interesting to see the kind of debate the engagement ring topic creates vs any other luxury good or service posted about on Bogleheads. Diamond engagement rings and white weddings are a luxury.
This forum skews heavily male. There is much more rationalization of frivolous luxury purchases that typically appeal to men.
Ha! Excellent point!
$10k engagement rings and $5k watches - Oh the Vanity!

Seriously. The out of touch .01%. http://www.globalrichlist.com/ Buy a CZ, donate the rest to charity.

andypanda
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by andypanda » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:11 pm

Telling people how to spend their hard-earned money. Seriously out of touch.

Poor diamond miners have to feed their families too.

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monkey_business
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by monkey_business » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:11 pm

What about moissanite?

surfstar
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by surfstar » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:44 am

andypanda wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:11 pm
Telling people how to spend their hard-earned money. Seriously out of touch.

Poor diamond miners have to feed their families too.
Helping people see through decades of advertising that has been very effective at almost brainwashing a population = priceless.

They only want to spend their hard-earned money b/c of the wonderful ad campaigns and the vanity of society that developed from them. "Showing off" an engagement ring to friends/co-workers - why not just show a bank-statement from the fiancee instead?

Who is more out of touch - someone who thinks about the real value of a lump of compressed coal vs someone who blindly follows the __x month salary / diamonds are forever lines?

forgeblast
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by forgeblast » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:30 am

I used diamonds direct. I was able to go in look at a few different cuts, and then they set the diamond.

epoxyresin
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by epoxyresin » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:01 pm

Greatness wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:24 pm
The money spent on these pieces of carbon are pointless and a financial waste. You can now get man made synthetic diamonds that are so close to the same quality as regular diamonds, jewelers cannot tell the difference. Take the rest and save for your kids child education or emergency savings.
But synthetic diamonds aren't that much cheaper than natural ones. It's not like saphire or ruby where they've been growing huge flawless crystals of them from a melt since the 60s to use in lasers.. As someone previously mentioned, they're a little bit cheaper when they're less than 1 carat and especially the colored ones, but you won't be saving money the same way you would be if you go CZ or SiC.

JimmyD
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by JimmyD » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:58 pm

gluskap wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:32 pm
We ended up getting our $10k ring at James Allen which I really recommend for their customer service and selection and price. White flash I heard is also very good.
+1. Would recommend James Allen in a heartbeat.

Hanksmoney
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by Hanksmoney » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:18 pm

Start here:
https://www.pricescope.com/wiki


Find diamonds here:
https://www.pricescope.com/diamonds/search
I used Solomon brothers in Atlanta - I selected the diamond and found the ring on their site. I have had friends purchase just the diamond and pick out the ring locally. SB provided overnight air shipping, and handled all of that.

check the dimensions to here to get a leg up. Equal priced diamonds can have a higher HCA score. That score indicates a better diamond.
https://www.pricescope.com/tools/hca

loslebenrl483
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by loslebenrl483 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:31 am

I bought my fiance's ring from Camellia Jewelry off Etsy. They offer a lot of unique options that are comparatively cheaper than the common alternatives. However, I was mostly attracted to their unique styles.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/CamelliaJewel ... r-shopname

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simplesimon
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by simplesimon » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:38 pm

surfstar wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:44 am
andypanda wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:11 pm
Telling people how to spend their hard-earned money. Seriously out of touch.

Poor diamond miners have to feed their families too.
Helping people see through decades of advertising that has been very effective at almost brainwashing a population = priceless.

They only want to spend their hard-earned money b/c of the wonderful ad campaigns and the vanity of society that developed from them. "Showing off" an engagement ring to friends/co-workers - why not just show a bank-statement from the fiancee instead?

Who is more out of touch - someone who thinks about the real value of a lump of compressed coal vs someone who blindly follows the __x month salary / diamonds are forever lines?
Do you only feel this way about diamonds or are you an ascetic?

surfstar
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by surfstar » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:17 am

simplesimon wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:38 pm
surfstar wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:44 am
andypanda wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:11 pm
Telling people how to spend their hard-earned money. Seriously out of touch.

Poor diamond miners have to feed their families too.
Helping people see through decades of advertising that has been very effective at almost brainwashing a population = priceless.

They only want to spend their hard-earned money b/c of the wonderful ad campaigns and the vanity of society that developed from them. "Showing off" an engagement ring to friends/co-workers - why not just show a bank-statement from the fiancee instead?

Who is more out of touch - someone who thinks about the real value of a lump of compressed coal vs someone who blindly follows the __x month salary / diamonds are forever lines?
Do you only feel this way about diamonds or are you an ascetic?
I lumped in Rolex's too ;)

I get paying for "quality" when desired and/or necessary - I just think that the vanity of a diamond ring is off the charts. Its one thing to argue art for some pieces of jewelry, but the diamond engagement/wedding ring is so associated with status, purely do to the clever marketing of the diamond sellers (they tricked consumers into the belief that spending more money means you someone love the person more). I prefer to "see through the Matrix" :)

To each their own, though. :sharebeer

Cruise
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by Cruise » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:54 am

OP: Consider whether an engagement ring is necessary. I proposed to my wife some 40 years ago, using a ziplock band as a standin. We are still wearing the platinum wedding bands that we purchased for our elopement. It really doesn't seem that engagement rings are necessary for health, happiness, and marital longevity. In fact, I can point to my two sisters, one sister-in-law, and two nieces for evidence that engagement rings are not a prudent cost item.

Best of everything in your decision and your marriage.

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gunn_show
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by gunn_show » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:22 pm

didn't comb through the responses to see if it was mentioned, but google "moissanite rings" and look into it

When the time came, we went to local jewelers just to see what style and setting she wanted, all the specs, options, to see them in person. And had no desire to overspend at a local jeweler. Someone along the way mentioned moissanite and we ended up going that route. found a super highly recommended seller on Etsy that has a real brick and mortar shop in PA somewhere, and specializes in both moissanite and custom fab, and just sent a ton of photos of the ideal ring we found in a shop, and they replicated it nearly 100% using a moissanite stone, sent us tons of CAD drawings and 3D videos to confirm it was exactly what we wanted, but with real setting and ring and all that, and some real small diamonds around the large stone. Also made a companion ring for the big day (since you need 2, engagement ring and wedding day band). The wedding band was real diamonds, but since it is much smaller and simpler it didn't add much cost. I estimate it would have been $12-15k for the real thing(s) from a local vendor, and I think we spent like $4-5k or less on the 2 rings from the Etsy shop. No one can tell her big rock (nearly 2ct I think?) is not "real" and just a moissanite stone. And I have the income to buy whatever I wanted, but wife and I agreed it was not worth spending the money, especially with what it costs for the actual wedding itself.

Just something to consider. More than 3 years later and absolutely zero regrets, no one knows, and my wife and I haven't spoke about the "fake stone" since the day we bought it. I also know plenty of friends that have gone the Blue Nile route with success.
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

yeahman
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by yeahman » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:03 pm

Blue Nile through a shopping portal and charged to a new credit card. TopCashBack is offering 5% back. Also, Blue Nile always hands out coupons for $20 off or whatever. You can probably get it signing up for emails. It's a good opportunity to apply for a credit card with a high spending requirement for the bonus. E.g., AmEx Platinum Business.

Get the biggest stone within your budget that is at least an I color and VS2 clarity.

Starfish
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by Starfish » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:38 pm

simplesimon wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:37 pm
blinx77 wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:18 pm
Another vote for labratory diamonds.

They are just as real (i.e., contain carbon, with fewer imperfections and equal or greater compression) as carbon compressed under the earth. They are more environmentally sustainable.

Why dig something out of the earth when the same thing can be made for less money using a lab.

Frankly, I think it's cooler that I can buy a "tech" diamond than a boring musty old diggy-dirt diamond.

It's all marketing and perspective.
I'm the opposite in this case. I think it's cooler that something came from the ground than manufactured in the lab.

It is interesting to see the kind of debate the engagement ring topic creates vs any other luxury good or service posted about on Bogleheads. Diamond engagement rings and white weddings are a luxury.
It's not about "luxury", it's about the price vs. income/NW, age and expectations.
The gender or type of luxury good is irrelevant.
If anything weddings and rings get a free pass (together with the mindless repetition of the ridiculous "happy wife happy life"). Try to ask what 30k car to buy from a 60k salary, it'll be a riot. Same question about a wedding? No problem.

zeal
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by zeal » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:41 am

+1 local jeweler

I bought my wife's diamond/white gold engagement ring 5 years ago for $1500 and she still talks about how much she loves it. Her sister & I picked it out of a catalog they had at the local jeweler. The wedding band (purchased about 9 months later) was cut to fit around the engagement ring and was $700. I bought her another wedding band for Christmas this year & the jeweler matched the price from 4 years ago. Now her "hand looks complete" because she has two bands on either side of the engagement ring--symmetrical, elegant, and beautiful. All told I spent <$3k over the course of 4.5 years for a ring that my wife has loved every second of the way.

Granted, she does have small hands so it didn't take many carats for an appropriately sized diamond.

multiham
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by multiham » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:57 am

I would shop around at local jewelers, visit the large cities if you are close, and talk to others about where they got their rings. Only you and your fiancee know what you want.

I think one of the best parts of our engagement was the surprise of the proposal. It was not a surprise that I would ask her, it was a surprise of when, where, and how. I picked out the ring myself based on feedback from her friends on what my now wife liked in terms of diamond shape. It was fun to shop for it and I set my own budget based not on what friends or marketers told me, but based on what I could afford and what I knew about my fiancee.

I try not to judge others on what they like and where they want to spend THEIR money. If my wife had wanted a $10,000 ring, I would have got her one but it would have taken a couple more years to save up for it. While I don't excited about jewelry, who am I to tell others not to be excited about it and look at more expensive pieces. My car cost $40,000 and I saved up for that. I do not spend dollars on expensive clothes, fancy meals, alcohol, or vacations that cost a lot. I enjoy my car everyday and I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who look at their ring everyday and it brings a smile to their face. Not because they can brag or show off, but instead because of the beauty of the ring.

I understand I'm on Bogleheads and my opinion does not align with the best gift you can get her is 100 shares of a Vanguard mutual fund which fits into her asset allocation. Note that I said everything was within budget and saved for.

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simplesimon
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by simplesimon » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:30 am

Starfish wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:38 pm
simplesimon wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:37 pm
blinx77 wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:18 pm
Another vote for labratory diamonds.

They are just as real (i.e., contain carbon, with fewer imperfections and equal or greater compression) as carbon compressed under the earth. They are more environmentally sustainable.

Why dig something out of the earth when the same thing can be made for less money using a lab.

Frankly, I think it's cooler that I can buy a "tech" diamond than a boring musty old diggy-dirt diamond.

It's all marketing and perspective.
I'm the opposite in this case. I think it's cooler that something came from the ground than manufactured in the lab.

It is interesting to see the kind of debate the engagement ring topic creates vs any other luxury good or service posted about on Bogleheads. Diamond engagement rings and white weddings are a luxury.
It's not about "luxury", it's about the price vs. income/NW, age and expectations.
The gender or type of luxury good is irrelevant.
If anything weddings and rings get a free pass (together with the mindless repetition of the ridiculous "happy wife happy life"). Try to ask what 30k car to buy from a 60k salary, it'll be a riot. Same question about a wedding? No problem.
Search for other engagement ring and wedding threads and you'll see that they do not get a free pass. We don't even know the OP's income or net worth and the idea is getting shot down.

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LilyFleur
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by LilyFleur » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:03 pm

Moissanite is lab grown, beautiful, affordable, and long lasting. Much better quality than cz. No one will know it is not a diamond.

Tribonian
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by Tribonian » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:13 pm

I had a family heirloom that my spouse loved so I was lucky. If I were shopping though, I’d consider something genuinely rare or unique, like this Roman gold and garnet intaglio gem of Aphrodite for $3,200:

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

Kyleethecollie
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by Kyleethecollie » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:01 pm

Interesting discussion. One's background cannot help but influence how you view the concept of what constitutes an affordable engagement ring. My parents survived The Great Depression, and mom had only a plain, gold wedding band to wear during 53 years of marriage. Dad relegated his to the sock drawer after going to work in a steel mill during WWII--losing a hand because your ring got caught in machinery was a fast route to economic ruin in the days before workers compensation and disability insurance. Eventually, Dad got Mom and his nine kids out of the "poor" category and into the middle class, but when my turn came to fall in love and be ready for an engagement ring, a $67 opal and emerald ring from the Ardan's Catalog was exactly what I wanted. My husband of 37 years never tires of telling that story. I hope whatever ring you choose, from wherever you procure it, has many happy memories associated with it for years to come.

Tribonian
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by Tribonian » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:27 pm

Here is a 1700-1800 year old Roman engagement ring for about $1350 US. I just hate the idea of paying for something that is artificially rare, or artificial.

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

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LilyFleur
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by LilyFleur » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:06 am

epoxyresin wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:01 pm
Greatness wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:24 pm
The money spent on these pieces of carbon are pointless and a financial waste. You can now get man made synthetic diamonds that are so close to the same quality as regular diamonds, jewelers cannot tell the difference. Take the rest and save for your kids child education or emergency savings.
But synthetic diamonds aren't that much cheaper than natural ones. It's not like saphire or ruby where they've been growing huge flawless crystals of them from a melt since the 60s to use in lasers.. As someone previously mentioned, they're a little bit cheaper when they're less than 1 carat and especially the colored ones, but you won't be saving money the same way you would be if you go CZ or SiC.
Moissanite is more expensive than CZ but it is as hard as a diamond. They are more brilliant than a diamond. Moissanite is lab grown. It doesn't have to be CZ or diamond. Moissanite is much less expensive than a diamond, more expensive than CZ, but will last as long as a diamond.

https://princessbridediamonds.com/produ ... ement-ring. I have met the designer--they do great work!

andypanda
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by andypanda » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:18 am

"Moissanite is more expensive than CZ but it is as hard as a diamond."

Nearly as hard as a diamond.

"On the Mohs Scale of Hardness, moissanite is rated as a 9.25, which is a great score that is higher than any gemstone used in jewelry besides diamonds. Diamonds, which are the hardest known mineral, score a 10." - from one of many google search results on the subject

And the type of brilliance differs from a diamond as well. You can learn to see the differences with a little practice.

stupidkid
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by stupidkid » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:41 am

My wife likes nice things/jewelry but rarely wears any accessories unless we're going out. She wanted a nice ring. I was very resistant to diamonds or anything flashy until I realized it wasn't for me, it was for her. After that realization, we went shopping and she looked at lots of rings. I spent a lot of time on pricescope and researching, ended up buying from jamesallen. They were great, they talked me out of buying the nicer, smaller, more expensive diamond and into the very nice larger diamond for cheaper. I could probably have gotten an even lower "quality" diamond and neither of us would ever notice. My wife has never asked about the cut or clarity, but she loves the sparkles on her hand and gets joy every time she looks at it. That turns into appreciation of me. Good investment.

Pioneer
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by Pioneer » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:41 am

Feel free to PM me for more detailed recommendations by budget, but engagement ring budgets generally fall into the following buckets:

- Under $1k - very difficult, but doable (in this budget, you can likely get around a .30ctw - .50ctw vintage platinum ring if you know what you're doing)
- $1K - $3K - More breathing room and option for a non-custom moissanite ring in the 1-1.5ct range. You could get up to a .75 ct vintage platinum ring
- $5k - $6k - Now we're talking, you can get a 1 ct ideal cut diamond in a basic setting new, or more bang for your buck on the secondhand market (maybe a hair over 1 ct at this point in the secondhand market-- like 1.2 ct or a more elaborate setting with a 1ct diamond)
- $8k - The world is your oyster. You can afford even the most elaborate settings ($4k platinum diamond halo setting, for example) and a moissanite. Now, from 8k up, it's just the cost of the diamond.
13k - This is when it's possible to get a secondhand 2ct diamond ring.

Of course, if you know one route vs the other, (i.e. diamond OR moissanite), I can give a more detailed explanation. But for my partner and I, this is how we approached it. I.e., if we only were going to spend 3k, the look of the moissanite in a bigger size was more "worth it" than a vintage smaller platinum diamond. FWIW, we went with a custom "designer" (and by designer, I mean an expert craftsman, not something like Tiffany) ring with a 2ct moissanite for $6k. It rivals $30k+ real diamond rings we've seen because the designer did such a good job.

AdmiralSnackbar
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Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by AdmiralSnackbar » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:52 am

I absolutely love reading boglehead opinions on sentimental items like engagement rings! The sheer practicality always gets a chuckle. I actually loved shopping for a ring. I ended up going with a local jeweler in San Diego based on a referral, and it turned out fantastic. He gave some great advice on how to save money on a beatiful diamond. These were my takeaways, and other experts may disagree. Here they are:

(1) You can save signficant money by selecting a carat slightly below a round number. a 1.24 carat diamond is often times much cheaper than a 1.25 carat diamond. To the naked eye, this is imperceptible.

(2) The shape of the diamond will determine cost. The quintessential round cut, aka, brilliant cut, tolkowsky cut, etc, is usually the most expensive b/c it requires a lot of the raw diamond to be carved away to create all the facets, which in turn create the sparkle. Cushion cuts and fancy shapes often have lower price points, all other C's being equal.

(3) Prioritize which of the 4 Cs is most important. Our goal was to get the sparkliest diamond, and the main factor for sparkle is a high quality cut. Second was color, third was clarity, fourth was carat (see #1). Others may prioritize carat size, which might require a sacrifice in the other Cs.

(4) Surrounding the center diamond with a border of smaller diamonds could simulate a larger carat size.
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You might consider online sites like briangavindiamonds.com. When I was looking for a ring in 2013, they were a pretty small operation. Once you identify the specific diamond on the site, you could call, and the person on the other end of the phone would get actual eyes on to describe the diamond in greater detail. I'm not sure if they still do this. They also sell what are called "blue diamonds", which are a bit untraditional, but are an interesting and unique option.

You know the recipient best. Some may want to pick the specific ring, some may want to give guidelines and be surprised, some may want you to do everything, etc, etc, etc. My wife gave me some basic input and helped pick out the design by looking at different models and molds. Even still, she was blown away by the actual ring (and maybe the tuxedo as well).

Good luck!

epoxyresin
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:23 pm

Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by epoxyresin » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:54 am

LilyFleur wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:06 am
epoxyresin wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:01 pm
Greatness wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:24 pm
The money spent on these pieces of carbon are pointless and a financial waste. You can now get man made synthetic diamonds that are so close to the same quality as regular diamonds, jewelers cannot tell the difference. Take the rest and save for your kids child education or emergency savings.
But synthetic diamonds aren't that much cheaper than natural ones. It's not like saphire or ruby where they've been growing huge flawless crystals of them from a melt since the 60s to use in lasers.. As someone previously mentioned, they're a little bit cheaper when they're less than 1 carat and especially the colored ones, but you won't be saving money the same way you would be if you go CZ or SiC.
Moissanite is more expensive than CZ but it is as hard as a diamond. They are more brilliant than a diamond. Moissanite is lab grown. It doesn't have to be CZ or diamond. Moissanite is much less expensive than a diamond, more expensive than CZ, but will last as long as a diamond.

https://princessbridediamonds.com/produ ... ement-ring. I have met the designer--they do great work!
Yes, that's the Silicon Carbide (SiC) I was referring to.

gator1
Posts: 171
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:58 pm
Location: Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee

Re: Engagement Ring (Affordable)

Post by gator1 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:47 pm

Being in the minority here, but: Why not just go get yourselves a couple wedding rings, go get married in a nice private outdoor ceremony with immediate friends/family then take a nice cruise? No one says you have to get a fancy engagement ring, or one at all. And you also aren't following the crowd who followed the crowd who followed the crowd who followed the crowd.

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