Author Topic: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!  (Read 10189 times)

TickInTime

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Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« on: November 20, 2013, 06:27:14 PM »
Hey all, I am weighing some options on a diamond purchase for an engagement ring. I was recently offered a 'family discount' on a ring that was put up for sale. I showed it to my girlfriend as she hated the setting but said the stone was pretty and big!  I approached the family member about selling the diamond seperate and they started at $8k then jumped to $6-7k.   I think I can get them to agree to $6-6.5k, but am not 100% sure this is a great price.  Diamond specs from crappy cert company:

I jumped on pricescope.com and looked up comparable stones and this is a snapshot of the inventory it brought up with prices averaging about $7.8k-ish.

I know the diamond market moves based on emotion and other non-logical, unpredictable factors mixed with some economics so today's prices will not be next months prices. But don't want to pass up a potential $1.5-2k savings on something I will inevitable be buying in the future (at most likely market price.)

I should mention that I would never pull the trigger on such a transaction without having the stone checked by a trusted gemologist of my choosing. Also if we wanted to play the 3 month salary game this year I will ear $125k+ gross with maxed out 401k, IRA, HSA, no debt and 10k towards (... a house?).  Next years earning should be $65-150k depending on my commissions.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 06:42:28 PM by TickInTime »

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2013, 06:33:49 PM »
So what is your question sir? :)

Personally I think you should invest in a nice set of simple gold bands instead of a flashy rock, but I kind of doubt that is what you are asking.

SIS


pka222

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2013, 06:36:56 PM »
Not the advise you want but .. in our case talking about all the stuff that 7K would buy us- like a few months holiday in Thailand, or a tour of the western US for a few months was enough to get the diamond idea dropped until we FI

TickInTime

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2013, 06:45:59 PM »
I understand that $7k is equivalent to many many things besides an upgraded lump of carbon.  This type of thinking can be extrapolated to just about any decision.  Marriage is not an everyday occurrence and if this is what she wants is $7000 really that much money?  2 months work after taxes and 401k contributions...

The question is:  Is this a situation that I should take advantage of?

the fixer

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2013, 07:01:34 PM »

chasesfish

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2013, 07:06:15 PM »
Are you sure you posted this on the right forum?

farmstache

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2013, 07:16:19 PM »
There's a guy who works or hobbies with diamonds here. Look up threads about rings and similar until you find one opened by AntiComplainypants (or something - I'm pretty bad at memory). There's a pretty good discussion there, with sites and tips.

I personally would never spend 2 month's salary on this (heck, I didn't even get a marriage party), but think: if you're spending 7k on the ring, how much will the celebration cost? And the honeymoon? How about setting a budget for the whole thing, and then you and her can decide how much you should spend on the ring. Also, 7k for the diamond and how much more for the metal?

It depends on your priorities as a couple, of course, and I would certainly sit down and discuss with my SO what's more important to us. If she's really into the ring, then she might do away with decorations for the wedding, or the band, or whatever (7k is more than I'd spend in the whole wedding!).

the fixer

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2013, 07:21:00 PM »
Haha chasesfish, I was thinking the same thing :)

If you really want to buy your girl a rock, buy it on ebay. If she wants a 1.5 carat diamond, you'll be able to spend a lot less. If you want to spend 2/3 months' salary or whatever DeBeers is guilt-tripping you into thinking you need to spend, you can get her a giant, massive rock for $7k on the used market. Most diamonds for sale there should be legit, remember the divorce rate in this country is pretty high! Any of them worth looking at will come with certificates of authenticity. Get it independently appraised if you want, and if it's not as described, file a dispute with ebay/PayPal. If for whatever reason you want to sell it one day, you should be able to get back what you paid for it minus ebay commissions. It's just like any other Mustachian purchase, only more so: DON'T BUY RETAIL.

Just did a quick ebay search for 1.5 carat diamonds. Most of them are priced at $1k. Someone is auctioning one that they say they paid $6,500 for a Kay and set a lowest bid of $3,000. Guess what? No one's bid on it yet.

footenote

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2013, 07:28:37 PM »
eBay? Heck, try your local pawn shops. Get any scratches buffed out - she will never know. And you will understand the depreciation diamond rings take after sinking your initial spend "at retail."

HappierAtHome

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2013, 07:34:41 PM »
My advice can be summed up in one word: moissanite.

TickInTime

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2013, 07:40:46 PM »
My apologies, this purchase would be from a family member.  The  entire ring is listed for $15k, the diamond is listed for $8k with the jeweler.  My aunt had mentioned $6-7k. 

chasesfish:  Yes I am certain I posted this to the right forum.  It I wasn't looking for the critical comments and occasional facepunch I would be on www.IWantToSpendMyEntirePaycheck.com

farmstache:  That is a great idea and will definitely be brought up.  I know she does not want a big wedding.  Small would = immediate family only and would be ultra low key. 

the fixer:  I will check out ebay.  I don't use ebay too much, out of inexperience, but will keep it on my radar.  I read and appreciate the priceonomics article.  Unfortunately I am only one man and do not have it in my powers to undo all the marketing prowess DeBeers set upon us as a society.  Societal pressures can be very entrenching.

Cyrano

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2013, 07:44:35 PM »
If the lifestyle of this forum appeals to you, and a $7k rock appeals to your girlfriend, you may want to have more discussions about long term lifestyle goals before investing in geology.

olivia

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2013, 07:45:29 PM »
That is not a very well cut diamond (it is too shallow and the table is too large) and it's not a good buy…it's not even close to a bargain.  I think you should spend more time on Pricescope.com learning about cut, and post there for help.  Pass on this diamond and go for the best cut diamond possible in your budget.  Try to get an AGS 000 diamond, which is the best cut possible (they are graded based on light performance), or a GIA XXX provided it falls within AGS 0 cut parameters.

Here are a few very well cut diamonds from reputable online jewelers (I've done business with all of the ones I'm posting-had a bit of a jewelry habit prior to finding MMM!) in the same price range as the one you posted. All of these diamonds will perform much better than the one you posted:

http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/diamonds/diamond-details/1.237-i-si2-round-diamond-ags-104064814012

http://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut/1.20-carat-i-color-vs2-clarity-ideal-cut-sku-239316

http://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-2982241.htm?source=pricescope


fmzip

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2013, 07:52:47 PM »
Do not buy your future wife a second hand rock unless she's Mrs. MM the II :)

An ebay rock is a gamble for certain. I went through this last year. I ended up getting a beautiful signature diamond ring through Brian Gavin. They are first class company.

Your wife will look at it a millions of times as will all the family members and her girlfriends.

Fortunately for me, last year I did not know MMM. I spent $18K on the ring, $12K on the honeymoon and spent $50K on a stone wall on the property. I called it the "year of the rocks" had some rocks in my head too ;)

The diamond dazzles, I even stare at too. It's a beautiful ring

This is definitely the wrong forum for diamond input. 1.5 Carat diamonds range in price big time as you know. The $18K I spent was on a 1.55 CT ring. That's about 2.5 months salary. Buy what makes you both happy

As you said, once in a lifetime.......

« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 08:08:25 PM by fmzip »

chasesfish

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2013, 07:56:29 PM »
I bought a second hand ring and we've been happily married for 9.5 years :)

She probably is MM II though :)

chasesfish

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2013, 07:58:13 PM »
If the lifestyle of this forum appeals to you, and a $7k rock appeals to your girlfriend, you may want to have more discussions about long term lifestyle goals before investing in geology.

I think you said this more eloquently than I did

catccc

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2013, 08:09:14 PM »
I don't think moissanite is a great choice.  It's an over priced substitute, if you are going to get a simulated diamond (aka fake diamond), find a well cut cubic zirconia. CZs are closest to diamonds in terms of optical properties.  If the are cut and polished by a pro lapidary (like diamonds are, not by a machine), they are an excellent choice.  If you are buying moissanite, you are buying marketing, IMO (just as much as diamonds, though...).  They are not diamond like and the dispersion and refraction are much further from the same properties for a diamond.  The dispersion is way higher, plus they are doubly refractive.

  I very heavily researched sims in advance of getting engaged.  There is (was? I don't think there are many active members anymore) a forum that was dedicated to sims and I spent a lot of time there with people discussing the virtues of sims.  It was a big waste of time since DH ended up getting a diamond for me, GIA certified from blue Nile.  But I guess I it's nice to knowledgeable about a random topic.  Anyway, I am quite pleased with my diamond.  I also would have been happy with a high quality cz.  If he got me a moissanite, I'd be tempted to swap that stone out for CZ.

If you are interested in a diamond, hit the forums at pricescope and maybe keep your purchase a secret from fellow mustachians to avoid face punches.

englyn

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2013, 08:20:24 PM »
You're contemplating buying something neither of you are sure you actually want because it might be a good deal; that's where the facepunch is coming in.
Figure out what you want first and how much you want to spend and then work out if this offer fits that.

TickInTime

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2013, 08:36:10 PM »

You're contemplating buying something neither of you are sure you actually want because it might be a good deal; that's where the facepunch is coming in.
Figure out what you want first and how much you want to spend and then work out if this offer fits that.

Facepunch accepted!!  Cart before the horse mentality.  I guess I got excited at the thought of beating the "retail pricing game," but from the posters above it looks like this is not the stone I was thinking, nor do we know exactly what we want yet.


Looks like we need to talk more about preferences and such.  Thanks all for the punch in the right direction!!
« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 08:43:30 PM by TickInTime »

CommonCents

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2013, 08:46:44 PM »
I'm glad you edited your post 18 above (although it threw me for a complete loop when I kept trying to copy it to quote it and it wasn't there).  I think you misunderstood the point Cyrano was making, which was that you didn't seem to be on the same page in terms of spending and that was more critical of an issue.

TickInTime

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2013, 09:14:51 PM »
In all fairness retirement in the average americans eyes this day and age is something old people do when they cannot work anymore, or if you are lucky choose not to work anymore.  The 401k/403b concept is not explained at all in any employer I have worked at and to be honest I am not sure why I even looked into mine.  Two years later I am on a great page financially but wish I started sooner.

I have shown her the simple math post by MMM.  She is getting it but is very math/numbers adverse so doesn't want to think about it.  The more automation in this case the better.

We need more education in this country about finances micro/macro & personal/government/corporate; but I digress....

Dicey

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2013, 10:34:10 PM »
This one makes me laugh. *IF* the ring is that important, spend some money on it, but get the most bang for your buck as possible. Then trim the fat somewhere else. Husband asked before proposing (before he was husband) what kind of ring I'd like. I suggested he just go to Costco and buy a band with a couple of little diamonds on it. Well, he did go to Costco, and he did buy a band, but the diamonds are far bigger than I ever imagined. You know what? I do look at it a zillion times a day and I love it every time. As for the actual wedding, we eloped ($400 all in) and then waited a year to take a honeymoon ($1200 max). We just bought a new house and we'll probably throw a party for family next spring. Budget will probably be around 1K, which will be cash. Unconventional? Yes, but damn, I smile every time that sparkler winks at me. Would I have spent the money? No. Am I glad he did? Hell, yes!

chasesfish

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2013, 05:38:22 AM »
I would actually second the Costco recommendation IF you have to have and diamond and IF it has to be new. Your guaranteed their markup is no more than 12% over their cost.

catccc

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2013, 06:46:52 AM »
This one makes me laugh. *IF* the ring is that important, spend some money on it, but get the most bang for your buck as possible. Then trim the fat somewhere else. Husband asked before proposing (before he was husband) what kind of ring I'd like. I suggested he just go to Costco and buy a band with a couple of little diamonds on it. Well, he did go to Costco, and he did buy a band, but the diamonds are far bigger than I ever imagined. You know what? I do look at it a zillion times a day and I love it every time. As for the actual wedding, we eloped ($400 all in) and then waited a year to take a honeymoon ($1200 max). We just bought a new house and we'll probably throw a party for family next spring. Budget will probably be around 1K, which will be cash. Unconventional? Yes, but damn, I smile every time that sparkler winks at me. Would I have spent the money? No. Am I glad he did? Hell, yes!

I love this, and it sums up my view pretty well.  DH got more than I wanted, but I'm really pleased.   My diamond is not huge, only .65 carats, but this is plenty for my barely size 4 finger, and it highly graded and sparkles like the dickens.  I wondered after I got it when I would stop wanting to stare at it all the time, and 7 years later, it still catches my eye multiple times a day.  We did a wedding in a public park in Hawaii with a economical officiant.  We had a huge guest list, but nominal attendance due the to destination aspect.  Then we honeymooned for over a month on the cheap (camping and hostelling all around Hawaii).  Memories of our wedding and honeymoon are far more valued than extra carats would be.

Adventine

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2013, 06:49:34 AM »
If the lifestyle of this forum appeals to you, and a $7k rock appeals to your girlfriend, you may want to have more discussions about long term lifestyle goals before investing in geology.

Precisely.

jba302

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #25 on: November 21, 2013, 07:16:24 AM »
My wife lost her ring (well, I lost her ring). We got the check from the insurance company ($8.5k replacement value on a $13k "appraised value"), looked at each other and said "fuck getting a new ring", especially after getting an earful from our agent about how much of a scam the diamond market is. She now wears just a palladium band quite happily.

Also, if you do get an expensive ring, look into Agreed Value and Stated Value floater policies. AV policies pay based on the appraisal (but will be more expensive) while SV policies pay based on replacement cost, which is virtually guaranteed to be less than you paid for it with diamonds.

acroy

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2013, 07:29:13 AM »
I bought a very nice 3/4 carat oval cut diamond from a reputable EBay source for $900, had a local jeweler polish & mount in white gold for around $150, and it looks fabulous.

As I recall the prices go exponential as you move up the Color & Clarity chart.

So the one I bought is I color, SI2 clarity as I recall. Not far up the charts but still looks phenomenal to the uneducated eye.

Best of luck in your search!

willn

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2013, 07:35:37 AM »
Maybe my experience is relevant.  I was modestly frugal and trying to save more, but not focused as I am now,  when engagement fever hit my life.  Fiance then, (wife now) was a spender and not particularly materialistic but what she does want is the best.  And she wanted a big pretty rock.

10K later and she (we) stared at that beautiful big thing for a few months, we marry, all is well, and now 3 years later she doesn't wear it because its just too blingy and it embarrasses her.  It was a great lesson in opportunity cost as now we would love to have 5K of that to take a trip or max our Roth for the year or ???

Point is, be very thoughtful, because what you want now, can change drastically.

As an aside, I have learned a lot from my wife regarding spending--she sometimes seemed careless about it, but the attitude she has regarding money--that it is abundant and you can go get some if you need it, has been very valuable.  It's an emotional shift that means I both make more, and combined with MMM tactics, save more.  So if you need to spend a lot on a ring, so be it.  Go get that money.


rubybeth

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #28 on: November 21, 2013, 07:51:41 AM »
I would actually second the Costco recommendation IF you have to have and diamond and IF it has to be new. Your guaranteed their markup is no more than 12% over their cost.

I highly doubt the truth of this. I have found Costco prices to be similar to other online vendors, and the quality is questionable, whereas vendors like Whiteflash, Brian Gavin Diamonds, James Allen, etc. all have certified stones by the most reputable sources (GIA and AGS stones are preferable because they reliably grade stones).

OP, you started on Pricescope, why didn't you ask for help in their forum? They can help you get the best deal, and will always warn you to beware of "family deals," because everybody in that situation usually gets burned.

JessieImproved

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #29 on: November 21, 2013, 08:44:40 AM »
I so wish we had not wasted money on diamonds when we got married, but that was pre-MMM.  We could be at least $6K richer right now with compounding.  But then again, if I had started growing my mustache 10 years ago when we got married, we'd be way more than $6k richer...

In other words, hindsight is 20/20.

the fixer

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2013, 11:21:50 AM »
Just to provide some context to all the people who like sparkly things, I'm a man wearing a stainless steel wedding band I bought on ebay for $6.50. It also catches my eye at least once a day and I like its shininess, especially since it never needs polishing. Hedonic adaptation people! Or maybe it's just the Y chromosome...

Ishmael

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #31 on: November 21, 2013, 11:37:08 AM »
Wow. You're posting about spending 6-7K on a rock to MMM forums? You really don't get the concepts here, I guess.

<facepunch>
OK, here's my thoughts - it's bat shit fucking insane to spend that. The idea to do so has been implanted into you (and your girlfriend) by others so they can make massive amounts of money off your labour, knowing that it's extremely emotionally charged.

So you spend 6 months of your life working to buy a rock, and your girlfriend gets it to impress people with. People who are impressed with ownership of rocks don't understand what matters in life, so that's pretty worthless. For the rest of her life, she'll spend much more energy/attention making sure she doesn't lose it, get stolen, etc.

</facepunch>

I spent $120 on our engagement ring, and we've been happily married for more than 15 years (and I could have afforded a 6-7k one back then). My wife wears hers all the time and loves it. I advise taking the money and investing it to decrease the stress level in your future marriage, or at least spending in on 2-3 really awesome vacation experiences that you'll be able to look forward to, and savour the memory of for the rest of your life.

giggles

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #32 on: November 21, 2013, 01:31:26 PM »
Way, way overpriced for what you are getting.  As others have said, there are many less expensive/just as nice rings you can go with via second hand.

If you are dead-set on a new ring, you need to look at Blue Nile.  You can get a diamond that is just as big including setting than less than what you are willing to pay for just the diamond on this case.

okashira

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #33 on: November 21, 2013, 03:10:37 PM »
Can we close this thread? This is just trolling purely off topic.

TickInTime

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Re: Diamond Decisions. Let's Get Analytical!!
« Reply #34 on: November 21, 2013, 03:25:13 PM »
Can we close this thread? This is just trolling purely off topic.

Done