Author Topic: Engagement ring  (Read 3376 times)

en58

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Engagement ring
« on: April 13, 2017, 01:20:01 PM »
Hey guys, any advice on where to get an engagement ring? How much to spend?  Best price and deal on a ring?


wordnerd

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2017, 01:24:41 PM »
What kind of ring do you want? I felt strongly that I didn't want a diamond, so my now husband got me an engraved white gold band, which I also wear now as my wedding ring. He got it online, but I forget where now. It was about $500. I've worn 6.5 years now and absolutely love it.

prognastat

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2017, 01:32:44 PM »
Hey guys, any advice on where to get an engagement ring? How much to spend?  Best price and deal on a ring?

However little she will be happy with you spending. The engagement ring I got was about $300 and my wife still loves it, but at the time I had almost no income.

It depends a lot on what your fiancé wants and how much it is worth it to you. I would be worried if my partner was pushing for me to spend a ton on a ring. The thing to keep in mind is that it doesn't represent how much you love her and that there are many things that it could be better spent on such as investments or a downpayment for a house etc.

meghan88

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2017, 01:49:25 PM »
Spend as little as possible; buy used if you can.  And read this:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rohin-dhar/diamonds-are-bullshit_b_3708562.html

Khaetra

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2017, 02:02:39 PM »
Does it have to be a diamond?  There are some really pretty gemstone rings (emerald, sapphire, etc.) out there that are much lower in price but high in the wow factor, if that's what you're going for. 

11ducks

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2017, 05:09:13 AM »
Listen to what she wants (within reason)- I just wanted something that didn't poke up, so it wouldn't get caught on stuff. DH, God love him, got me a high set diamond- it's beautiful, and I love the sentiment and wear it, but it constantly gets caught/scrapes on things. I have to take it off for sport/gym/cleaning multiple times daily, it gets knocked around a lot (I'll likely knock out the diamond at some point at this rate). While it is precious and beautiful, I wear it less than I'd like to as it doesn't fit in with my lifestyle (It suits someone much more delicate and careful than I), I often just wear my plain wedding band.
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Raenia

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2017, 06:38:56 AM »
Another vote for finding out what she actually wants.  If she is dead set on a diamond, see if there's any family heirlooms floating around that she might like, or visit pawn shops and the like looking for styles she would like.  If she will be happy without a diamond, there's lots of other options depending on what she likes.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2017, 06:45:08 AM »
Find out what she wants and look into antiques via auctions. Antique diamonds are hand cut and have much more personality than machine cut modern diamonds.

FLBiker

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2017, 06:47:06 AM »
+1 to listening to what your to-be spouse wants (good marriage advice in general).

Personally, I don't care about rings.  I asked for a $100 wooden one (which I wrecked over 5 years, and now have a $100 recycled sterling silver ring).  DW wanted a trad diamond ring.  We looked at pawnshops but didn't see anything we liked, so ended up at an heirloom jewelry shop.  We spent ~$1800 on the engagement ring, ~$800 on the wedding band (also w/ diamonds).  And if we did it now (7 years in a couple of weeks) I suspect she'd have gone cheaper.  That said, she loves her rings.

Oh, and that time, I was making a little over $50K and DW was making ~$45K.

NeonPegasus

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2017, 06:59:17 AM »
Definitely talk with your wife to be about preferences.

DH gave me a family heirloom. Center stone was his great grandmother's and his grandmother added stones around it. It only took some minor modifications to the band to make it fit. I did not add a wedding band as it was already large enough. We did buy a simple gold band that I could wear when traveling.

Every woman is different and will have different ideas about what's important. I truly love jewelry and am big into the sentiment/symbolism of it. Almost everything I have has been a gift or inherited from someone else and each piece is a tangible reminder of the gifter. I have three daughters and was given a piece of jewelry at the birth of each one. Whenever I wear the jewelry associated with their birth, I think of them. When I actually dress nicely enough to warrant jewelry, my thoughts run something like, "I'll wear Nana's bracelet, DD2's earrings, mom's graduation ring and great grandmother's necklace." It feels like dressing myself in the love of my family.

I say that to illustrate one woman's appreciation for jewelry. Your girlfriend may not have any sentiment or symbolism tied to it and may see it completely differently. Pay attention to what she wears now and why she wears it. That will help you figure it out.

GreenSheep

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2017, 03:09:05 PM »
If you can, try to find out what she wants from someone other than her. Meaning, maybe she's talked to her mom or her girlfriends about it. The reason I say that is because in my case, the proposal itself was much more exciting than the ring. I never saw it coming, and I was totally shocked and ridiculously happy. That would have been ruined if he had been hinting around to me about what I like in a ring beforehand.

That said, I agree that a nice used one from a reputable seller would be great if you don't have a family heirloom that she'd like. (If you have an ugly family heirloom, or something that's not even a ring, maybe you can take the stone(s) and have a ring made. The stone is usually the most expensive part of the ring if you're talking about diamonds.)

I also recently spoke with a woman whose husband just gave her a loose diamond when he proposed, and then she had it put into a setting she liked. I doubt that's very cheap, but at least it would be a way to make sure she gets the setting she wants while still maintaining the element of surprise.

iris lily

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2017, 10:15:02 AM »
I just can't grok avoiding talking to her directly about what she wants. If you try to glean information free m other people, it will be filtered by them. You will get their opinion mixed  in with hers.

If you find that she does value a new diamond, then the trick of giving her one in a solitaire setting and letting her pick out final setting is a good one.

Personally, I think it is cute and also practical to propose with a fake ring, and later  take her ring shopping with a budget. The fake ring can be a CZ ring for $20 or a simple silver band.


falcondisruptor

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2017, 11:01:27 AM »
If you can't ask her and she hasn't been dropping hints, check what her friends have got and check online where the prices are usually more competitive and you can compare more options than in store.  Maybe get her best friend involved and see if she can do some detective work for you.

If you can ask her... do.

I know I wasn't the most excited about a big diamond that came from who knows where and would scratch who knows what!  LOL.  I asked for a kitten instead.  What shows commitment more than a living being?  (came from Gatineau, scratches everything.)

Every woman has her own ideas. 

In the end though, she'll be happy just getting married to ya!

valsecito

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2017, 11:53:51 AM »
I know of someone who bought his gf a cheap appartment instead of a ring. This is in an extremely LCOL area, mind you...

chris316

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2017, 12:54:58 PM »
I've thought about this....
Definitely you'll want to know what she wants but without sacrificing the element of surprise...
luckily me and my current GF are on the same page of thinking that the ring is really just a symbol for the bigger picture and is really a status thing neither of us care much about. So to us it has an extremely low worth...

To me jewelry is a scam... I've given A lot, A very LOT of expensive jewelry to girls I've dated in the past... I understand that an engagement ring is different but its not so much about the meaning as is it is about it getting lost, broken, or stolen... there is a very high chance one of those will happen...

I have a friend who's making wooden rings, probably could get one for $20...

Otherwise have thought about tattoos.... $40-100 each or so for a shop minimum usually, more if you want something more elaborate...
typically will hold more meaning, you can customize exactly how you want it, and will last forever... like marriage is suppose to...  ;)

« Last Edit: April 15, 2017, 12:58:45 PM by chris316 »

Firehazard

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2017, 06:24:14 PM »
Google up the Amora Gem.  It is a silicon-carbide man-made gemstone, similar to Moissanite, but incredibly well cut and off the charts sparkly and colorless.  Better looking than just about any diamond.  I think they are sold for around $500/carat.  I saw one in person once, a cushion cut, and it just blew me away. 

ringer707

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2017, 02:25:13 PM »
Second seeing what your gf prefers and if she would be interested in gem stones as opposed to a traditional diamond. There are many people who wear gemstones now so I definitely don't think it's out of the norm.

If she's set on a diamond, try the website Blue Nile. Nice quality for considerably less cost, and a lot of customization options.

ysette9

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2017, 02:32:55 PM »
We went Blue Nile and were pleased with the prices and choice. They were even able to make something for me in a different metal than what they offered online when I asked.

But seriously, just talk to your soon-to-be-spouse rather than us. My husband proposed without a ring and we selected them together. It is good practice for all of the other financial and other decisions to make as a couple. I didn't even know what I wanted until after he proposed and I started looking, so how was he supposed to have guessed in advance?
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Vindicated

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2017, 02:38:16 PM »
I had a discussion with my Wife (then GF) about it, and we decided to look at Moissanites & White Sapphires.  We ended up going with a Moissanite.

When one of her best friends first saw the ring, she was shocked and looked at me in an accusatory manner.  It's not that big, but it's not tiny.  We didn't tell her it was a Moissanite, but a diamond this size would've likely cost ~$10k.  No wonder she was shocked.
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Bee21

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2017, 02:47:59 PM »
Whatever you do, don't buy into that 'engagement rings have to cost your 3 months income' bullshit.

 2 colleagues (one wears a 18k ring) were gossiping about a 3rd, who wants to propose and bought a 5k ring, because he is such a cheapskate 😃. My husband found this story hillarious. He thought if he spent that much on a ring I would be livid. He knows me well.

samsonator54321

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2017, 05:59:35 PM »
About 6 months before I proposed we went around town and just looked at some rings because she wanted to see what was out there. I followed along and quietly paid very close attention.  She knew what style she wanted by the end of the day, and they actually had the same one when I went back 6 months later.

For the stone we went with lab grown. These are not artificial stones, they are real stones man made instead of made by the earth.  In some cases the only way the difference can be told are the man made ones are too perfect to be natural. It's a real stone and is chemically the same, just fraction of the cost. My wife wanted an emerald and the stone was 300 instead of 800 because we got lab grown. It looks great.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2017, 07:13:08 PM »
My husband also proposed first and we went ring shopping later.  The romantic "he pops a ring at her" is an advertising meme.  God forbid she hates the ring.  Or had no idea he was going to propose and is no way ready to get married.  Not saying this for OP, just in general.
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Hargrove

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2017, 07:13:22 PM »
These are not artificial stones...

I, wait, what do you mean? That's the definition of "artificial" stone. :p

I may be looking for one of these soon, but my SO has been pretty clear about being entirely disinterested in wearing an expensive ring. She actually views it as an unnecessary risk of theft and/or anxiety of losing, snagging, or breaking it. I will probably get one about ~$1500 or so.

NeonPegasus

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2017, 07:55:03 PM »
My husband also proposed first and we went ring shopping later.  The romantic "he pops a ring at her" is an advertising meme.  God forbid she hates the ring.  Or had no idea he was going to propose and is no way ready to get married.  Not saying this for OP, just in general.

Most legit jewelry stores are quite nice about returns and exchanges. I would never buy anywhere that wasn't.

My brother-in-law actually purchased several rings to propose with. The jewelry shop knew he would be returning all but one and were fine with it. And my BIL knew that his girlfriend would be too emotionally attached to whatever ring he proposed with so he wanted to ensure she actually got to pick something out.

The plan worked brilliantly. He got to surprise her. She had time to try each one out and pick the one she liked best.

Jouer

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2017, 10:44:27 PM »
Step 1: talk to her generally about rings. Her best friend should know exactly what kind of ring your girlfriend would like. When I took this advice, my now-wife's best friend actually sent me a picture of the ring preferences.

Step 2: do not buy a diamond ring retail. i.e from a jewelry store in a mall, etc. You will pay upwards of double what you can get in other ways. These other ways are:
a) buy online (technically retail....but much lower prices). I don't live in USA so am not sure of specific web sites.
b) go to a diamond broker and buy a loose diamond from them. Buy the setting (the ring) separately. You will pay half of what your ring will end up being worth according to an independent appraiser. Most decent sized cities have diamond brokers. If you don't live in a decent sized city take a road trip with your best man if you live within a couple hours of one. Imagine your fiancé saying "oh yea [you] went down to [big city] and had this designed by a broker". Massive brownie points and you get a fun drive with your best friend.

Ask some married men you know to be smart with money. They will hook you up with the local deal.

I had my wife's ring designed by an independent jeweler that I know. She loooooooves that she has a unique ring that was designed specifically for her. It cost half of what it is appraised as.

Step 3: do not buy an even carat. i.e. 1 carat. A 0.9 diamond costs way less than 90% of a 1.0 diamond without being able to tell the difference in size to the naked eye. Clarity is your friend. So is cut and colour. But don't get the absolute best here - that's for fat cats and spendypants.   

 

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Dicey

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2017, 04:58:13 AM »
Mine came from Costco, and I love it! When DH asked about ring preferences pre-proposal, I suggested a simple band with a few small sparklies would be fine. He knocked it out of the park. Love the ring, love him more.
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rubybeth

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #27 on: April 20, 2017, 06:49:14 AM »
This is an area of personal expertise for me. Most people have no idea how to buy jewelry. Feel free to private message me with any questions.

My top tips:

1) Find out what your girlfriend wants (search her Pinterest, talk to her sister/mom/best friend, or talk to her directly and involve her in the shopping). She may want something antique, something modest, something non-diamond. The only way to find out is by communicating. The proposal can still be a surprise, even if the ring isn't.

2) Set a reasonable budget based on reality. Don't go into debt for a ring. Keep in mind some places offer upgrade policies, so you can buy something smaller and very nice now, then upgrade for an anniversary.

3) Learn what you can about diamonds online. Cut is what makes a stone beautiful, not clarity, color, or even size. A well cut smaller stone will outshine a poorly cut stone any day of the week! Pricescope.com is a wonderful site with many experts/prosumers who want to help. Join us over there in the forum!

4) Don't buy from a chain/mall jeweler.

5) Buy online from a reputable jeweler that shows pictures of the actual diamond you are buying and setting, like www.JamesAllen.com, www.Whiteflash.com, www.BrianGavinDiamonds.com, etc. If not into diamonds, let me know and I can suggest other sites. A friend of mine got a lovely pearl ring for his now-wife. It's not very wearable for every day, but she got a nice wedding band she wears instead.

Again, feel free to message me with any questions.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 06:51:29 AM by rubybeth »
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letthelightin

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #28 on: April 20, 2017, 07:41:36 AM »
I'm in the "find out what she wants" camp, even that means using a cheap/fake/toy ring to keep the proposal a surprise.

If she's going to have to wear the ring every day, it should be something that is to her taste, in both style and price. 

My DH surprised me with a ring that 1) was very nice, but wasn't really my style, and 2) came with the baggage of a 1 year loan we then had to pay off. I've grown to love my ring, but if I could go back and have a say in what engagement ring I got, I would choose a different one.

Actually, knowing what I know now, I would probably skip the engagement ring altogether and just buy a wedding band. Then either invest the rest of the money, or use it for a house down payment. Maybe spend a little bit on a nice vacation too. Hindsight. :)     




PepperPeter

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #29 on: April 20, 2017, 10:20:11 AM »
Agree 100% with Rubybeth.  I am also a gem enthusiast and Pricescope is the place to learn how not to be taken advantage of.  I've also personally bought from James Allen and highly recommend it if she wants a diamond.

ysette9

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2017, 12:06:01 PM »
We found it educational to go to the cheap jewelry store at the mall and look closely at diamonds that were relatively far down on the cut/color/clarity/whatever scale and pick out at which quality level we could spot flaws with an unaided eye. We bought exactly the quality that was visually flawless unaided and not any better. I won't look at my stone under a magnifying glass and am perfectly happy not knowing the details of what tiny flaws are present.
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iris lily

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2017, 08:01:08 PM »
These are not artificial stones...

I, wait, what do you mean? That's the definition of "artificial" stone. :p

I may be looking for one of these soon, but my SO has been pretty clear about being entirely disinterested in wearing an expensive ring. She actually views it as an unnecessary risk of theft and/or anxiety of losing, snagging, or breaking it. I will probably get one about ~$1500 or so.
No, lab grown diamonds are not the definition  notion of artificial. My opinion. Here is what is "artificial:" cubic zirconias masquerading as diamonds.Even Moisseys, if they are falsely presented as diamonds.Glass in a ring mimicing a diamond is "artificial."

I have a gold Victorian ring with a piece of red glass as the stone. I would call that artificial, but back then real stones weren't so important for modest rings and besides, garnets were popular as red stones.

All my own definitions.

I probably wouldn't buy a lab gemstone, but I would buy an enhanced colored stone such as oiled emerald.

Hargrove

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2017, 08:34:06 PM »
No, lab grown diamonds are not the definition  notion of artificial. My opinion. Here is what is "artificial:" cubic zirconias masquerading as diamonds.Even Moisseys, if they are falsely presented as diamonds.Glass in a ring mimicing a diamond is "artificial."

Artificers often create things that seem like they could be natural, but they aren't, which is the sense in which "artificial" came to be used like "fake" and became pejorative, but "artificial" just means man-made. Lab-grown is definitely artificial. So is the red glass.

valsecito

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #33 on: April 22, 2017, 03:55:29 AM »
No, lab grown diamonds are not the definition  notion of artificial. My opinion. Here is what is "artificial:" cubic zirconias masquerading as diamonds.Even Moisseys, if they are falsely presented as diamonds.Glass in a ring mimicing a diamond is "artificial."

Artificers often create things that seem like they could be natural, but they aren't, which is the sense in which "artificial" came to be used like "fake" and became pejorative, but "artificial" just means man-made. Lab-grown is definitely artificial. So is the red glass.
I would never ever buy a mined diamond. It would feel like blood on my hands. There is no reliable way to avoid the abuse in the process.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #34 on: April 22, 2017, 05:50:01 AM »
I would never ever buy a mined diamond. It would feel like blood on my hands. There is no reliable way to avoid the abuse in the process.

Including Canadian diamonds?  Same environmental abuse as any other similar form of mining, but other than that?
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gaja

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #35 on: April 22, 2017, 06:06:53 AM »
No, lab grown diamonds are not the definition  notion of artificial. My opinion. Here is what is "artificial:" cubic zirconias masquerading as diamonds.Even Moisseys, if they are falsely presented as diamonds.Glass in a ring mimicing a diamond is "artificial."

Artificers often create things that seem like they could be natural, but they aren't, which is the sense in which "artificial" came to be used like "fake" and became pejorative, but "artificial" just means man-made. Lab-grown is definitely artificial. So is the red glass.
I would never ever buy a mined diamond. It would feel like blood on my hands. There is no reliable way to avoid the abuse in the process.
I don't like the look of diamond rings, but have the same issue with gold, and I'm allergic to silver jewelry. Fairtrade gold exists, but is terribly expensive. After years of speculations, I settled on a ring made of Finnish gold. The lapland mining industry is not perfect, but it is one of the better ones.
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valsecito

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2017, 07:43:33 AM »
I would never ever buy a mined diamond. It would feel like blood on my hands. There is no reliable way to avoid the abuse in the process.

Including Canadian diamonds?  Same environmental abuse as any other similar form of mining, but other than that?
I should have said I'm very close to the biggest diamond trading city in the world. Most of the diamond around here is African or Russian, definitely not Canadian.

Thank you for suggesting Canadian diamond mining might have a more reliable certification process. Even though I'd rather get the man made one anyway, because cheaper, higher quality, and much friendlier to the environment.

Mgmny

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #37 on: April 24, 2017, 11:16:38 AM »
Google up the Amora Gem.  It is a silicon-carbide man-made gemstone, similar to Moissanite, but incredibly well cut and off the charts sparkly and colorless.  Better looking than just about any diamond.  I think they are sold for around $500/carat.  I saw one in person once, a cushion cut, and it just blew me away.

+AmoraGem. My wife has a 1.5ct amora gem that cost something like $1500. The equivalent diamond retails for about $25-30k. We do well in the $ department, so the ring isn't a huge shock to people (and 1.5ct isn't obscene), but my wife gets compliments on it ALL THE TIME. It is INCREDIBLY sparkly (something like 20x that of a diamond, google for more info), and is mesmerizing to look at. I strongly recommend this.

MrsTuxedocat

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #38 on: April 24, 2017, 11:37:21 AM »
I have an amora gem too. It's amazing and oh so sparkly.

ElleFiji

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #39 on: April 24, 2017, 07:58:26 PM »
Just in case anyone is looking to buy me one, I want something classic looking, with a fake stone and affordable metal. Moissanite and amora look gorgeous. As stated by several happy people on these boards, the cost would be none of my business

RetiredAt63

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Re: Engagement ring
« Reply #40 on: April 25, 2017, 09:29:17 AM »
Including Canadian diamonds?  Same environmental abuse as any other similar form of mining, but other than that?
Thank you for suggesting Canadian diamond mining might have a more reliable certification process. Even though I'd rather get the man made one anyway, because cheaper, higher quality, and much friendlier to the environment.
Very carefully tracked, even have an ID number - see
http://www.canadadiamonds.com/canadian_diamond_certificate.htm

The amoras are very pretty, almost too sparkly for me.
The measure of civilization is how people treat one another.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/meetups-and-social-events/ontario's-own-camp-mustache-2017/ - MEET US THERE!