Author Topic: Engagement Ring  (Read 6199 times)

ryukucowboy

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Engagement Ring
« on: January 31, 2015, 06:45:02 AM »
Good Afternoon

I just recently discovered the MMM website and have been reading it furiously (I'm finishing up a deployment in Afghanistan so I have a lot of downtime).  I have diversified my TSP portfolio, started Vanguard portfolio, and have saved enough money during my deployment to buy myself a nice MMM approved vehicle when I return to the states.  I do have one problem that I thought I might seek the communities help with.

I've been dating my current girlfriend for almost three years and we've already discussed marriage and hammered out lingering future issues at least the foreseeable ones.  We've already discussed just doing a court house marriage and a nice dinner and some pictures instead of a huge wedding.  (We love to travel and thought we could use the saved money for a trip to Iceland this winter).  I know she isn't expecting anything expensive or fancy in regards to a ring, but I would still like to get a nice engagement/wedding band, but I always have MMM in the back of my head lol.  So I was wondering what would be the most efficient way on finding the best deal for a ring. 

Bear in mind that I don't have any jeweler experience.  I attempted to look up jewelry on Craigslist but I don't know enough jewelry to really get the best deal possible.  I'm looking for any advice or assistance you guys have to offer.  Thanks for the help and your time.

SaintM

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2015, 08:12:17 AM »
I cringe at the thought of buying used jewelry on Craigslist. I know there are a lot of people out there that need cash, but the last thing you want is to buy a cubic zirconia set in 24k gold plated silver--or worse.

People here would probably crucify me for saying this, but if you want real used jewelry I would compare the selection at pawn shops and used jewerly stores. Haggle you way down 20-33%, then get it appraised. In the small chance the ring is fake, the shop is on the hook.

Best of luck in Afghanistan and the proposal.

chemgeek

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2015, 08:33:15 AM »
I think an honest seller on Craigslist would be willing to meet you at an appraiser or jeweler (that you choose) to have the ring evaluated. They should also hopefully still have the certificates ( GIA, etc) that they got when they purchased the ring.

If that seems like too much work, a lot of people on these forums have had good luck going through Costco/BJ's/Sam's Club (seriously). Or, online reputable online retailers, like Blue Nile or James Allen. Blue Nile has a lot of selection, you can see the stones before you settle on them, and their pricing is lower than brick and mortar places.

Also, double check that she wants a diamond. People are going lots of different directions these days, moissanite, sapphire, ruby, emerald, lab made diamond. All of those options are unique and could be cheaper.

Good luck and congrats!

wtjbatman

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2015, 08:35:07 AM »
http://www.idonowidont.com <--- That's where I got my fiance's ring. It's real, and it's spectacular.

fiscalphile

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2015, 08:39:47 AM »
Check out etsy.com! There are a lot of small, independent jewelry artists that make beautiful stuff for a fraction of the price.  There are also "vintage" jewelry sellers there too. My fiancee picked out a beautiful engagement ring there that I love- it's from 1940s, small diamond, 18k gold, certified- cost $900.

SaintM

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2015, 08:52:08 AM »
I did get a very nice diamond ring at uniondiamond.com. I went with an EGL-certified stone rather than GIA, as the price for the size, cut, clarity, etc. was significantly less.

ryukucowboy

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2015, 09:02:06 AM »
Thanks for the help guys I really appreciate the assist.

iris lily

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2015, 09:09:39 AM »
Rings are so heavily styled that it is impossible to know what your girlfriend would like.

Get a sense of her style. Maybe she likes diamonds maybe not. But there are really beautiful rings for $1000.00 or even less.

Really you have to be careful about the styles sold on craigslist. So many of them are Marquis cuts from the 80s and 90s. Those are not fashionable at all now.

One day I sat down at our local craigslist and look at all of the used diamond rings. I would say that out of 100 rings two or three would be one I would consider buying for a young woman of today. It's not that they were bad diamonds it's that they weren't either overly priced or the setting was very far out of style.

I say this being a big fan of vintage rings. Vintage means not from 15 years ago it means more like 30 40 50 years old

lizzzi

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2015, 11:54:17 AM »
One of the suggestions I've seen on these forums is to give her a vintage family ring, if there are any floating around in your mother's or grandmother's jewelry boxes. Assuming your fiancee likes the ring--or it can be re-styled for her--and that any negative connotations (death, divorce) have faded away with the passage of time, a family ring can save you a fortune and yet have so much meaning.

My wedding ring--platinum set with little diamond chips--gorgeous--was an old family ring. It means the world to me. My engagement ring is a nice diamond solitaire (0.72 carat, good quality stone)  purchased new and just for me, in a fairly Mustachian transaction. I love them both. They don't match as a set, but look good together on my hand.

rubybeth

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2015, 12:29:39 PM »
Depends how much you're willing to spend. Maybe she's not even into an engagement ring, and a nice wedding band would be cool? I can highly recommend http://www.e-weddingbands.com/ as being the cheapest place for simple wedding bands, and they have some nice diamond options, too. Something like this is very wearable for every day, if she isn't into big diamonds: http://www.e-weddingbands.com/store/product11671.html

If she does want a more traditional diamond engagement ring, I'd have other suggestions, but it sounds like she might be into the low-maintenace thing.

Yankuba

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2015, 12:58:54 PM »
I did get a very nice diamond ring at uniondiamond.com. I went with an EGL-certified stone rather than GIA, as the price for the size, cut, clarity, etc. was significantly less.

I also used Union Diamond and was very happy with the experience. Whatever you do, make sure to get your purchase appraised by an independent appraiser - don't use someone the seller recommends. Be very wary of jewelry stores - they will rip you off to cover their rent. Diamonds are commodities - so you really shouldn't be able to get a great deal on them. They are priced based on the four Cs - online retailers like Blue Nile and Union Diamond have lower overhead so they can give you a better price than brick and mortar stores.

Spondulix

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2015, 01:47:03 PM »
A friend of ours (who's really into jewelry) recommended Costco when my husband got my ring. The quality for the price was a great deal, I hear. Although, when this friend got engaged not long ago he said Blue Nile was actually the best option for price/quality. He bought the stone alone and had the setting done locally, but Blue Nile will do settings, too.

jillian

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2015, 06:22:43 PM »
My husband was certain he would not buy a blood-diamond & I have no issues with that. 

I got a moissanite ring, it's 1/3 the cost & looks just like diamond.  The only complaint people have about it is because it is man-made it is perfect so it is more shiny than a diamond (is that really an issue?)  Hardness is the same or better. 

Check it out - I highly recommend!

This is where I got mine
http://promolk.com/testimonial.php

Recommended for all!

I also just got 1 ring (do women really need 2?) a very indestructable band with 7 stones on it.  $800 which was still silly (but better than the $2k most people spend)

I must say I regret just not getting a $100 simple band without any jewels though - those are badass.

mozar

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2015, 07:07:54 PM »
If you must transact using craigslist I recommend meeting at a police station. Some have lobbies open for the public.

catccc

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2015, 08:52:02 PM »
My husband was certain he would not buy a blood-diamond & I have no issues with that. 

I got a moissanite ring, it's 1/3 the cost & looks just like diamond.  The only complaint people have about it is because it is man-made it is perfect so it is more shiny than a diamond (is that really an issue?)  Hardness is the same or better. 

Check it out - I highly recommend!

This is where I got mine
http://promolk.com/testimonial.php

Recommended for all!

I also just got 1 ring (do women really need 2?) a very indestructable band with 7 stones on it.  $800 which was still silly (but better than the $2k most people spend)

I must say I regret just not getting a $100 simple band without any jewels though - those are badass.

I would not recommend moissanite- it is doubly refractive and looks like a disco ball compared to a diamond, if you are going for a diamond look.  A CZ is more optically identical to a diamond than moissanite.

MBot

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Re: Engagement Ring
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2015, 02:26:39 PM »
Depends how much you're willing to spend. Maybe she's not even into an engagement ring, and a nice wedding band would be cool? I can highly recommend http://www.e-weddingbands.com/ as being the cheapest place for simple wedding bands, and they have some nice diamond options, too. Something like this is very wearable for every day, if she isn't into big diamonds: http://www.e-weddingbands.com/store/product11671.html

If she does want a more traditional diamond engagement ring, I'd have other suggestions, but it sounds like she might be into the low-maintenace thing.

My husband and I got our wedding bands from there 9 years ago. Great bands.

If spending over $100 I would go for diamonds.
My engagement ring was $600 from a typical mall jeweller. 3 centre stones, 3 tiny ones on each side. Total 1/2 carat. Not bad, I think, for something worn every day. Too fancy or big and it just sits in a box later. This very similar one is available in a 1 carat now for $1000 http://www.peoplesjewellers.com/product/index.jsp?productId=53244846