Author Topic: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???  (Read 4172 times)

jeff2017

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Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« on: October 19, 2018, 09:30:12 AM »
Have went once before a few weeks back, primarily to some of the more well known bigger stores in town, (NOT mall shops, rather Jewelers). SO attended that day and will tomorrow as well. The first day went better than I expected and seemed to be a good initial learning experience, I know some of the nouns and verbs, but certainly not an expert.

I have friends that have bought at most of the places in town and each had their reasons why they liked each place. The place we're going tomorrow is a more organized "appointment" in an office building rather than having a large retail front (higher overhead) and has been in business 40+ years, small family-owned business with <10 employees. We're meeting with the Founder's son, who appears to be around our age. My gut reaction is this is more up my alley versus the big box stores.

That said, I don't know much about this process and have read as much as I can online, but was curious what tips the forum might have. SO is frugal, so this won't be a massive purchase, but at the same time, I don't want to go cheap on something like this, she definitely wants to keep the cost down, likely <$5K price range.

Here's a question regarding pricing, is there room for negotiation? Example: Say we find the perfect ring and they say that costs $4,500, what would be the best response?


GizmoTX

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frugaliknowit

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2018, 10:15:59 AM »
Is the place you are going to for used or new?

If it does not bother you or fiance, buy used, think reputable Pawn Shop.  You get MUCH better bang for the buck!

jeff2017

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2018, 10:18:58 AM »
I think this is a useful article: https://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/how-much-should-a-man-spend-on-an-engagement-ring/

I wish I would have posted this sooner, just read that article and it is BY FAR, the most helpful info I have come across, thanks for sharing.

The part about Clarity was particularly interesting, who cares what it looks like under a microscope!!!

jeff2017

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2018, 10:24:47 AM »
Is the place you are going to for used or new?

If it does not bother you or fiance, buy used, think reputable Pawn Shop.  You get MUCH better bang for the buck!

Planning to buy new, while SO is frugal, not sure if she would be on board with Used

GizmoTX

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2018, 10:35:18 AM »
The stone(s) could be used, but mounted in a new setting.

neo von retorch

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2018, 10:46:02 AM »
Strongly consider used. After all, something like 70% of the cost is that "new" smell (er... what?) that vanishes the instance you put it on. 1 millisecond of it being new and hopefully 60 years of it being used.

We got our engagement / wedding ring set at https://www.idonowidont.com/marketplace/engagement-rings for about $1600. Retail for that same set would've been in the $4k range. Getting the "perfect" ring for a third of the price might let you get a "nicer" ring than you would have otherwise. Odds are, that won't result in complaints!

Remember, you're marrying someone for sharing a life with them - sharing goals, being partners, making choices that result in the best lives for each other. My spouse and I had a discussion around this very thing, and yes, it wasn't the easiest. After being brainwashed almost since birth about getting the perfect Tiffany jewelry for her special day, here I was, suggesting that maybe that brand name wasn't as important as all the things we could do over the course of our lives if we make really good decisions, especially around how we spend money. There were tears, but we came out the other side stronger for having done it, and we're a very strong couple now. (We're also making excellent progress towards our bigger goals in life!)

mm1970

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2018, 10:52:42 AM »
The stone(s) could be used, but mounted in a new setting.
+1

Or consider something like Moissanite.  Nobody will really know it's not a diamond.

Mostly, I'm not a fan of the diamond industry.  I have one, because I was young and didn't know any better back in the 90s.  But I wouldn't get suckered into one now.

Although on the used vs new, I'd probably not buy used because I hate shopping - and it's kind of like thrift store shopping.  Too much "hunting".  I just want to get in, find what I want, and get out.

okits

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2018, 11:16:00 AM »
One route suggested (by a mom-and-pop small jeweller to a friend): buy the stone on Blue Nile, get a jeweller to set it.  Maybe a way to get a "new" diamond for less?

yourusernamehere

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2018, 11:30:15 AM »
Is the place you are going to for used or new?

If it does not bother you or fiance, buy used, think reputable Pawn Shop.  You get MUCH better bang for the buck!

Planning to buy new, while SO is frugal, not sure if she would be on board with Used
My (rather fancypants tiffany-style solitaire) is from a pawn shop and I've never thought about it as "used." At this particular shop I think most of the wedding sets they sell are custom or store-made, not just re-sold sets that other people actually wore. They have their own jewellers who make new sets.

Before hubby and I got engaged we went to the pawn shop that he ended up using, but at first it was to sell my rings from my previous marriage. The pawn shop would not take them! They were not high enough quality for them to resell. I thought that was interesting, and I think it must have played a role in hubby deciding to shop there when he proposed.

It may not hurt to look and listen about what she wants, get some pricing and information, and then maybe wander into a pawn job that specializes in jewelry just to see. The difference in price and quality may be jarring enough to convince both of you that it's the way to go, or you will at least know you considered your options.

use2betrix

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2018, 11:48:08 AM »
I did research on cut/color/clarity first. I looked to see what the highest quality of those items one could see with the NAKED EYE. I knew I didnít need anything better than that, and started my criteria from there.

Also, a ďtrickĒ I learned, is that you can find a diamond with a larger table (visible surface area) and smaller depth, and it will appear larger than one of equal weight with a smaller table and more depth.

After that - I searched online. Forever I thought I was going to go with bluenile, however I ended up purchasing from adiamor and got more for less. I was very happy with my purchase and her ring is beautiful. She gets tons and tons of compliments. Sheís very mustachian (but I am not lol). I spend enough on other garbage I personally didnít want to see her finger for 50 years and think ďsure am glad I slumped on that ring and bought <insert more worthless item Iíve wasted money on> insteadĒ

socaso

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2018, 04:49:10 PM »
My husband surprised me with the proposal and there was no ring (I was not expecting one at all) and after the proposal he said we should get a ring. We decided to buy the stone first and then take it to a jeweler and get the ring made. I don't have a diamond, I think they are pretty but after years of living in a HCOL city with lots of ladies who had huge rings I realized I wouldn't even be comfortable wearing a big flashy rock. So consequently I have an orange sapphire with a white gold band and the whole thing cost under $500. I love my ring but after we got married I mostly just wear my wedding band because two rings is a bit annoying so I'm extra glad we didn't spend thousands of dollars on something I only wore a lot for the first year I had it.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2018, 05:02:35 PM »
Strongly consider not a diamond. I wish I had a fake one
 Looking back, it was a silly thong to spend money on.

ROF Expat

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2018, 05:16:17 PM »
A diamond is a commodity with a predictable value.  The only challenge is in establishing its value and comparing it to others.  Personally, If I were planning to spend in the neighborhood of $5,000, I wouldn't even consider a diamond that doesn't come with a GIA certification.  That way, you can be sure of what you're getting.  Minor differences in color cut and clarity are often not visible to the naked eye, but they have a real impact on the value of the stone.  If a shop shows you that "perfect ring for $4500" and it is a GIA certified diamond, you can immediately compare the price with a similarly graded stone from a company like Blue Nile (or anywhere else).  If it isn't GIA certified, you are basically taking the word of the salesman on the quality and you will have no way to assess its value (unless you're a gemologist).  GIA certification doesn't cost much, so if the stone isn't certified (unless it is very small or of relatively low quality), you should wonder why that is the case.  There are other groups that grade, but at least some of them are known to have much looser standards than GIA.  Jewelers often give highly inflated "appraisals" of stones, but how can this appraisal be accurate if that same jeweler is selling it for a much lower price?  Remember, diamonds are a measurable commodity, just like gold.  Even a pawn shop isn't going to sell a diamond for half its value any more than they're going to sell you an ounce of 24 karat gold for half its value.  To be fair, a pawn shop might have a lower markup than other retailers, but so will the online sellers that don't have to pay for a brick and mortar storefront. 

As far as "new" vs "used,"  I wouldn't care; as long as the diamond is GIA certified.  After all, every diamond is a billion years old when you buy it.  That said, I'd recommend letting your SO's preferences be your guide.  Does your SO want "new?" If so, that would be good enough for me.   What are her preferences on size, shape, setting, etc.?  As other posters have pointed out, maybe she would prefer a colored gemstone or even a synthetic. 

Most importantly, Congratulations on getting engaged!  I wish you nothing but happiness in your married life. 

ROF Expat

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2018, 05:22:22 PM »
BTW,  if your local jeweler does offer a good deal on a GIA certified diamond, there are good reasons to buy locally, even if the cost is a little higher.  Buying local means supporting a local business and it means having a relationship with a local jeweler.  When you want your ring (and maybe even other items) cleaned, resized, or prongs tightened, or reappraised for insurance purposes, I would expect that to be free or done for a nominal cost from the original jeweler.  If you buy it elsewhere, you should reasonably expect that same jeweler to charge you full price. 

Civex

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2018, 08:37:05 PM »
I would recommend using the visit to get an idea of her taste/style and then shop online.

I shopped online and my wife received a much nicer ring as a result. IMO and the opinion of diamond nerds-see Pricescope, cut is the biggest factor for diamond performance. This website has specs that you can plug into sites like BlueNile and limit your search to diamonds that are way nicer than the average brick and mortar store's. The cut is what makes the diamond throw light, so a well cut smaller stone will reflect as much/more light as a larger stone.

I went through BlueNile and I shopped James Allen as well.


https://niceice.com/diamond-buying-secrets/5-minutes-diamond-buying-success/amp/

familyandfarming

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2018, 08:53:21 PM »
Consider Costco or Sam's Club.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2018, 11:21:21 PM »
That article is spot on, but it forgets one very important thing -- you don't have to buy a ring.



Of course I'm also a cheapskate, because that blade was less than 3% of my salary at the time. I didn't do some of the things it wants you to, because DW's response at suggesting ring shopping together so I could gauge what she liked almost got me stranded in a town-of-100-middle-of-nowhere-cornfields. That made me have to solve the problem on my own... and I realized a ring wasn't strictly the only, or even right solution for DW.

As should be obvious, she said yes.

She has commented that she didn't get to show it off for the engagement months and so that was a little sad. (Turns out wearing 3' of steel is frowned upon. Who knew?) On the other hand she has a story nobody will forget.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 11:24:56 PM by AccidentialMustache »

Goldy

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2018, 08:10:36 AM »
As a hobbyist gem cutter I get asked by countless people for advice on picking a ring and stone.  My recommendation is to avoid the mall stores and either work with a local jeweler or buy the stone online from a place like blue Nile and have a local set the stone. 

For picking out the stone I disagree with the article, my order is Cut>Carat>Color=Clairity.  Bling is made by a good cut, it doesnít matter how big that stone is, it is poorly cut it will look like glass.  Clairity has a very small impact assuming you are not looking at SI2-3, donít go that low. Get into the VS or VvS zone and donít worry about it.  Color is another one where you just need to get in the right range D-G is great.

When I got engaged I already knew what my wife wanted in terms of settings.  Unfortunately for me she fell in love with a beautiful setting at Tiffanyís that could be had for a whopping 14k plus 2.5k for the wedding band.  Being fairly frugal back then (read poor grad student) I looked for options and found blue nile.  I also found someone online who made settings that were identical but were not stamped with Tiff.  I hand picked the stone on BN website and had a local professional jeweler set the stone because it was a complicated setting that I didnít want to mess up.  For the wedding band I found one on eBay and had it polished up.  Total cost was 2500 for the engagement ring and stone and another 500 for the wedding band for a total savings of $13,500.

One final comment.  My wife continues to get compliments from people on her ring over 10 years later because even though itís not the largest stone at .54c it lights up like a disco ball in bright light like while giving a presentation or hiking on a trail.  She loves that there was thought out into it and that I didnít spend 16k on it. 

Feel free to PM me if you want

jeff2017

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2018, 09:42:53 AM »
Thanks for all the responses and advice. Heading out shortly, wish me luck!

jeff2017

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2018, 09:44:14 AM »
As a hobbyist gem cutter I get asked by countless people for advice on picking a ring and stone.  My recommendation is to avoid the mall stores and either work with a local jeweler or buy the stone online from a place like blue Nile and have a local set the stone. 

For picking out the stone I disagree with the article, my order is Cut>Carat>Color=Clairity.  Bling is made by a good cut, it doesnít matter how big that stone is, it is poorly cut it will look like glass.  Clairity has a very small impact assuming you are not looking at SI2-3, donít go that low. Get into the VS or VvS zone and donít worry about it.  Color is another one where you just need to get in the right range D-G is great.

When I got engaged I already knew what my wife wanted in terms of settings.  Unfortunately for me she fell in love with a beautiful setting at Tiffanyís that could be had for a whopping 14k plus 2.5k for the wedding band.  Being fairly frugal back then (read poor grad student) I looked for options and found blue nile.  I also found someone online who made settings that were identical but were not stamped with Tiff.  I hand picked the stone on BN website and had a local professional jeweler set the stone because it was a complicated setting that I didnít want to mess up.  For the wedding band I found one on eBay and had it polished up.  Total cost was 2500 for the engagement ring and stone and another 500 for the wedding band for a total savings of $13,500.

One final comment.  My wife continues to get compliments from people on her ring over 10 years later because even though itís not the largest stone at .54c it lights up like a disco ball in bright light like while giving a presentation or hiking on a trail.  She loves that there was thought out into it and that I didnít spend 16k on it. 

Feel free to PM me if you want

Thanks. I might shoot you a PM once I get back, this sounds like it is up your alley.

bryan995

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2018, 04:45:38 AM »
Buy online!

I did a lot of reading on the pricescope forums. Ended up buying from white flash jewelers.
Tips, cut is very important. Buy just under a whole number in terms of size.
Eg .85

Looks like a 1 but is significantly cheaper, some people care too much about the number.
 
This is the one I ended up with 7 years back.
https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-2813971.htm

Wife is always getting compliments on the ‘fire’. $5-6k was significant way back when, ~1 months salary, now its very small percentage - glad I did it.

I also prioritized cut > size > color > clarity

« Last Edit: October 21, 2018, 03:46:06 PM by bryan995 »

bryan995

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2018, 04:46:02 AM »
Dupe

tralfamadorian

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2018, 08:18:22 AM »
Buy just under a whole number in terms of size.
Eg .85

Looks like a 1 but is significantly cheaper, some people care too much about the number.

This is a biggie that I think most people overlook. Example based on current full rap prices:
0.99ct, H, VS1 = $6,200
1.00ct, H, VS1 = $8,000

jeff2017

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2018, 03:23:40 PM »
Update:

Had our "appointment", it went okay. SO leads off saying she believes she is most interested in a "Cushion" diamond and the salesman says they don't carry many cushions, at all, as they believe they are more prone to break (is that true? idk). He suggested a "Radiant Cut" to look at.

We were there for nearly 2 hours and spent almost the entire time looking at their different bands and landed on 2 that SO liked. I appreciated that we went through a bunch as SO has not found a ton she liked thus far. We very briefly looked at several diamonds, the two we looked at were as follows: First One =.54 carat, VS2, F (Color) and was $1,700 for a total price of $3,500 with the band. The Second One = .61 carat, VS1, G (Color) for a total price of $3,800 with the band.

The salesmen suggested, if we were seriously interested, that he could bring in some Cushion cuts to look at as well and wanted to follow up this week once he could find cushions that were in our price range and suggested another meeting to go over diamond options as, again, nearly all the time was spent looking at bands.

We then went back to the first jewelry place that we went to previously and the same woman was working. She seems like a sharp person, has been in the jewelry business for 30 years, certainly knew how to sell as well. Turns out she also used to work for the place we had been at earlier that day. SO found one band/ring combo she liked and the saleswomen tried quite hard to close the sale and get a deposit, to no avail, as we're still in "finding the right ring mode". Long story short, the band SO liked was $1700 and the women kept showing us expensive diamonds, but ended up with a $2,890 Radiant diamond that was .7 carat, VS2, F (Color). She "talked to her manager" and said she could sell it to us for $3,850 total.

Not sure exactly what to make of all this, but that is where we are at. Open to any comments or feedback on the rings described above as well.

Other Comment: I'm glad I brought SO along as there are sooo many different styles and the ones she chose would NOT have been what I would have guessed.

Other Comment #2: I can see why guys do this solo as I'm sure finding the "perfect" ring can be a neverending process, but on the other hand, I'd rather her reallyyyyy like the ring given the cost.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2018, 03:27:55 PM by jeff2017 »

TheExplorer

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2018, 04:11:53 PM »
It's been touched on. But you need to be careful when stores tell you the diamonds quality - cut, colour, Clarity etc. The particular certificate is important. If the store is determining this they will be softer on grading the diamonds they are selling. There are also differences between third party certificates.  Eg GIA are known as best/hardest graders.

Not all diamonds with same 4 Cs are equal and depends on who is doing the grading.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2018, 04:13:38 PM by TheExplorer »

jeff2017

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2018, 04:15:04 PM »
It's been touched on. But you need to be careful when stores tell you the diamonds quality - cut, colour, imperfections etc. The particular certificate is important. If the store is determining this they will be softer on grading the diamonds they ate selling. There are also differences between third party certificates.  Eg GIA are known as best/hardest graders.

Not all diamonds with same 4 Cs are equal and depends on who is doing the grading.

Sorry, I should have mentioned, each of these places had GIA certificates.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2018, 04:20:27 PM »
While cushion cuts and radiants have roughly the same outline, they are very differently cut. Many people have a strong preference for one or the other, so if your SO wants a cushion cut, then tell the jewelers to bring in a selection of cushion cuts with the parameters you want if you two decide to continue shopping at a brick and mortar. There are exchanges out there where the jeweler can order the diamond then send it back with a certain number of days if you decide it's not for you at no charge to them.

All the prices you were given were too high especially for a "fancy" cut that will command a discount over brilliant cuts. And now that you've shopped in person, you two should have a better idea of what you want and can shop online. Could you tell the difference between the F and G? Or the VS1 and VS2?

For example, here's a good price for a 0.56ct F VS2 cushion for $930 (presuming you're paying in cash MMM style):
https://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD10975189

Here's your search engine to look around yourselves:
https://www.pricescope.com/

Most the big retailers are free shipping and free returns.

Milizard

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2018, 04:31:29 PM »
One route suggested (by a mom-and-pop small jeweller to a friend): buy the stone on Blue Nile, get a jeweller to set it.  Maybe a way to get a "new" diamond for less?

This is exactly what my DH did.  I cared more about the setting, but he really wanted to get me a high quality stone.  He got a great stone and a good price on Blue Nile.  That sucker shines.  I had no idea it would matter so much.  The jewelry stores tried to sell us crap stones.  And you know what?  I almost always only wear the wedding band alone. It's just more comfortable that way.

jeff2017

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2018, 04:45:55 PM »
While cushion cuts and radiants have roughly the same outline, they are very differently cut. Many people have a strong preference for one or the other, so if your SO wants a cushion cut, then tell the jewelers to bring in a selection of cushion cuts with the parameters you want if you two decide to continue shopping at a brick and mortar. There are exchanges out there where the jeweler can order the diamond then send it back with a certain number of days if you decide it's not for you at no charge to them.

All the prices you were given were too high especially for a "fancy" cut that will command a discount over brilliant cuts. And now that you've shopped in person, you two should have a better idea of what you want and can shop online. Could you tell the difference between the F and G? Or the VS1 and VS2?

For example, here's a good price for a 0.56ct F VS2 cushion for $930 (presuming you're paying in cash MMM style):
https://www.bluenile.com/diamond-details/LD10975189

Here's your search engine to look around yourselves:
https://www.pricescope.com/

Most the big retailers are free shipping and free returns.

Definitely paying cash :)

Conceptually, I'm on board with buying the diamond online, but hard to imagine buying the band online, as it's one of those things SO needs to try on.

For those that buy online, do you typically but both the diamond and band online or just one? Also, any general guidance on what a jeweler would charge to mount a diamond? Likely if we bought their band perhaps? Also, SO likes the concept of having a place in town to get the ring cleaned and/or deal with any issues. If the jeweler perhaps only mounts it or only sells you the band, will they typically provide these services for free or no?

tralfamadorian

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2018, 05:05:21 PM »
Definitely paying cash :)

Conceptually, I'm on board with buying the diamond online, but hard to imagine buying the band online, as it's one of those things SO needs to try on.

For those that buy online, do you typically but both the diamond and band online or just one? Also, any general guidance on what a jeweler would charge to mount a diamond? Likely if we bought their band perhaps? Also, SO likes the concept of having a place in town to get the ring cleaned and/or deal with any issues. If the jeweler perhaps only mounts it or only sells you the band, will they typically provide these services for free or no?

Setting should be free if you're buying a band from them. If you bring in your own setting and stone, about $50 for a 1/2ct if the head is the correct size. Cleaning should always be free from any jeweler at any time regardless of your purchasing history from that store; it costs them nothing and gives you a moment to browse. By any issues I presume a raised prong? Maybe $25. Rings do not take much maintenance and I would not make purchasing choices based on potential future costs. Resizes ~$50 plus the cost of metal, if any.

The band costs you mentioned sounds a little high but that depends on the style of the band. Can you find a similar picture online?

jeff2017

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2018, 05:12:36 PM »
Definitely paying cash :)

Conceptually, I'm on board with buying the diamond online, but hard to imagine buying the band online, as it's one of those things SO needs to try on.

For those that buy online, do you typically but both the diamond and band online or just one? Also, any general guidance on what a jeweler would charge to mount a diamond? Likely if we bought their band perhaps? Also, SO likes the concept of having a place in town to get the ring cleaned and/or deal with any issues. If the jeweler perhaps only mounts it or only sells you the band, will they typically provide these services for free or no?

I have pictures, will post shortly of the one in particular SO liked most.

Setting should be free if you're buying a band from them. If you bring in your own setting and stone, about $50 for a 1/2ct if the head is the correct size. Cleaning should always be free from any jeweler at any time regardless of your purchasing history from that store; it costs them nothing and gives you a moment to browse. By any issues I presume a raised prong? Maybe $25. Rings do not take much maintenance and I would not make purchasing choices based on potential future costs. Resizes ~$50 plus the cost of metal, if any.

The band costs you mentioned sounds a little high but that depends on the style of the band. Can you find a similar picture online?

Goldy

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2018, 08:22:50 PM »
I was hoping you would update this.

Stone setting is on the order of a hundred bucks.

You mentioned 3 of the 4 Cís but seriously, donít neglect the cut quality. 

bryan995

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2018, 09:32:13 PM »
Here is my pricescope thread from awhile back.
https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/lurker-turned-member-er-diamond-search-6500.180282/

Apparently I cared about HCA, ASET, idealscope metrics. No recollection now :). The dimenaions of the stone come into play and affect the Ďfireí.  Though much of this may be specific to round cuts.

Iíd still recommend online over local. Can always have it very easily resized if need be (ours was).
I remember I got a $75 coupon + 2% wire + 1% PS discount.

Dr.Jeckyl

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #34 on: October 23, 2018, 10:25:16 AM »
Don't be cheap, but don't go broke. I'm frugal by nature but I got my wife, girlfriend, fiancee...whatever, she's my wife now and has been for 10 years :)...the ring she liked. It's something she'll have forever and it cost more than my car. Then again my cars value increases/decreases depending on how much fuel is in the tank.

Most important, CONGRATS!!!

GuitarStv

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #35 on: October 23, 2018, 10:28:58 AM »
If you're like me and rarely use your credit card for big purchases . . . make sure that your bank doesn't call your home and end up asking your fiancee about the expensive jewelry purchase being made if you're trying to keep things a surprise.  :P

bryan995

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #36 on: October 23, 2018, 10:18:29 PM »
Also, if you do not yet partake in CC churning, now is a great time to start!

Check out the Chase Ink Preffered Biz card.
https://rankt.com/cards/chase_ink_preferred_business/

This card alone gives $800 back after $5000 spend, thats almost a 20% discount right off the top!

Send me a PM if you decide to go for it, I would love to refer you :)

« Last Edit: October 25, 2018, 04:16:04 AM by bryan995 »

jeff2017

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #37 on: October 23, 2018, 10:35:01 PM »
Also, if you do not yet partake in CC churning, now is a great time to start!

This card alone gives $800 back after $5000 spend, thats almost a 20% discount right off the top!

Send me a PM if you decide to go for it, I would love to refer you :)

Say what??? Don't plan to quite spend that much, but you have my attention?

tralfamadorian

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #38 on: October 24, 2018, 06:57:07 AM »
PM for referral? Thatís a little sketchy. Itís the chase ink business preferred, I presume?

MrOnyx

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #39 on: October 24, 2018, 07:15:59 AM »
Not to come across as self-righteous, but I'm a little underwhelmed by how little Moissanite/ synthetic diamonds were mentioned in this thread.

I won't rant about the diamond industry, because I do not want to introduce any negativity into the atmosphere here, but please consider not buying a traditional diamond. Moissanite shines brighter than diamond and it is borderline impossible for an untrained eye to tell the difference between them - especially at a glance, and especially without a specimen of both to compare as reference. That said, here's an article I found that highlights some of the differences between the two and offers more info: https://www.jewelrynotes.com/how-to-tell-the-difference-between-moissanite-and-diamond/

Being synthetic also means that Moissanite is perfect. Well, I'm not an expert, but I've read that it being synthetic means it doesn't suffer the same natural blemishes and imperfections that regular diamonds have.

As a frugal person, I like to think I'll be picking Moissanite when it comes time to pop the question, but it also just so happens that it is (in my view) prettier than diamond.

neo von retorch

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #40 on: October 24, 2018, 07:22:17 AM »
@jeff2017
I would check out the Capital One Savor. Spend $3000 and instantly get $530 back ($500 plus 1% cashback) and I do mean instant. Like, the next day after you spend it, it's available to redeem. Really good stuff.

Of course, $800 is better. The Chase Ink Business Preferred will let you get that. But you do need to apply as a business. It usually works, and you can check out sites like NerdWallet and DoctorOfCredit for tips. Either of the above cards likely need 720+ credit scores. You don't need to spend ALL $5000 on the ring - you can spend a big chunk on the ring, and then spend the remainder on everyday expenses (i.e. groceries and gas) over the next 3 months.

bryan995

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #41 on: October 25, 2018, 04:14:30 AM »
PM for referral? That’s a little sketchy. It’s the chase ink business preferred, I presume?

Yes yes. Sorry left out the card name. It’s the CIP. Chase ink business preferred. You can do plenty of reading on it here or doctor of credit or reddit or flyertalk etc.

If your very new to CCs then you will instead want to stick with a personal card with a sign up bonus as neo mentioned.
CC churning is a fun way to hack a discount into preplanned large purchases. Just don’t spend more because of the card/bonus ;)
« Last Edit: October 25, 2018, 04:17:59 AM by bryan995 »

ROF Expat

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #42 on: October 25, 2018, 11:56:37 AM »
Not to come across as self-righteous, but I'm a little underwhelmed by how little Moissanite/ synthetic diamonds were mentioned in this thread.

I won't rant about the diamond industry, because I do not want to introduce any negativity into the atmosphere here, but please consider not buying a traditional diamond. Moissanite shines brighter than diamond and it is borderline impossible for an untrained eye to tell the difference between them - especially at a glance, and especially without a specimen of both to compare as reference. That said, here's an article I found that highlights some of the differences between the two and offers more info: https://www.jewelrynotes.com/how-to-tell-the-difference-between-moissanite-and-diamond/

Being synthetic also means that Moissanite is perfect. Well, I'm not an expert, but I've read that it being synthetic means it doesn't suffer the same natural blemishes and imperfections that regular diamonds have.

As a frugal person, I like to think I'll be picking Moissanite when it comes time to pop the question, but it also just so happens that it is (in my view) prettier than diamond.

I don't think you come across as self righteous at all.  Moissanite, lab grown diamonds, CZ, are all alternatives to diamonds.  So are colored gemstones.  Even though gem grade diamonds aren't particularly rare, the diamond industry has done a very good job of marketing them.   Logical or not, a lot of people (particularly brides) have their hearts set on a natural diamond.  If that's what one's significant other wants,  it might be a better purchase than a Moissanite, no matter how illogical it might seem.  I didn't raise the alternatives because the OP asked about diamonds and I assume the OP had already considered and rejected the alternatives. 


jeff2017

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #43 on: October 25, 2018, 12:31:38 PM »
Not to come across as self-righteous, but I'm a little underwhelmed by how little Moissanite/ synthetic diamonds were mentioned in this thread.

I won't rant about the diamond industry, because I do not want to introduce any negativity into the atmosphere here, but please consider not buying a traditional diamond. Moissanite shines brighter than diamond and it is borderline impossible for an untrained eye to tell the difference between them - especially at a glance, and especially without a specimen of both to compare as reference. That said, here's an article I found that highlights some of the differences between the two and offers more info: https://www.jewelrynotes.com/how-to-tell-the-difference-between-moissanite-and-diamond/

Being synthetic also means that Moissanite is perfect. Well, I'm not an expert, but I've read that it being synthetic means it doesn't suffer the same natural blemishes and imperfections that regular diamonds have.

As a frugal person, I like to think I'll be picking Moissanite when it comes time to pop the question, but it also just so happens that it is (in my view) prettier than diamond.

I don't think you come across as self righteous at all.  Moissanite, lab grown diamonds, CZ, are all alternatives to diamonds.  So are colored gemstones.  Even though gem grade diamonds aren't particularly rare, the diamond industry has done a very good job of marketing them.   Logical or not, a lot of people (particularly brides) have their hearts set on a natural diamond.  If that's what one's significant other wants,  it might be a better purchase than a Moissanite, no matter how illogical it might seem.  I didn't raise the alternatives because the OP asked about diamonds and I assume the OP had already considered and rejected the alternatives.

I'm glad you brought this up as I had NOT considered lab grown alternatives.

SO is NOT set on a diamond, with her being involved in the process and seeing the pricing of the setting and the diamond, she is actually the one trying to keep the cost lowww. My fear is this is short term thinking and she might actually wish she had the diamond further down the road.

I have close to zero knowledge on these lab grown options, quick read shows they appear clearer than a diamond and do not get dirty? Regarding pricing, one article references these being 10%-15% the cost of real diamonds?

Also, I wonder how would a lab grown "diamond" look if set onto a setting with diamonds on the side (most settings we are looking at have the side diamonds which she likes).

Another random alternative. Talking with my parents and found out my Grandmother (deceased) had a diamond ring that never got worn and is now sitting in a jewelry box. My Mom is NOT a jewelry person and said she never wears it and it will likely sit in the box forever and offered it to me. I looked briefly and think it is a bit smaller than what we have looked at (not sure, but she thinks it is 0.3, not certain though). We have been looking at diamonds in the .5 to .75 range, so unfortunately wish it were a bit bigger.

okits

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #44 on: October 25, 2018, 12:41:45 PM »
Another random alternative. Talking with my parents and found out my Grandmother (deceased) had a diamond ring that never got worn and is now sitting in a jewelry box. My Mom is NOT a jewelry person and said she never wears it and it will likely sit in the box forever and offered it to me. I looked briefly and think it is a bit smaller than what we have looked at (not sure, but she thinks it is 0.3, not certain though). We have been looking at diamonds in the .5 to .75 range, so unfortunately wish it were a bit bigger.

There is no lower cost than free.  :)  You could ask your SO if she would accept the family ring for now, and a ring of her choosing later (whenever she wants).  She may find, after the wedding, that she prefers to wear only a wedding band or doesn't really care to have a new ring made.  When my DH and I got engaged some people made a fuss that I didn't want an engagement ring; after the wedding no one cared (so there can be an aspect of wedding hoopla that places temporary over-importance on engagement rings).

If there are any other financial demands in your life right now (e.g. wedding costs, debt pay-down, saving for retirement) you won't divert funds from that and can more comfortably devote financial resources to a love-it-for-life ring down the road.  Another avenue to consider!

Shinplaster

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #45 on: October 25, 2018, 12:55:33 PM »
Our DIL also had a ring she inherited from her grandmother.  DS had it reset in a new design in platinum  - cost $1500 CAD total.  It's a beautiful ring, and nice that the diamonds aren't sitting in a box anymore.

zygote

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #46 on: October 25, 2018, 02:10:51 PM »
My engagement ring is a family heirloom that originated with my great great grandmother. My grandmother gave it to my mother years ago. My mother never liked the setting, so she gave it to me. I can't remember the exact size of the diamond, but I think it's under 0.5. The setting makes it look bigger than it is.

I love it because it was free, because it has meaning, and because it's unique. I've never seen another setting like this one. Every once in a while I look at other people's trendy rings in a grass-is-greener kind of way, but I wonder if I would like a modern ring less over time as styles change.

I was always planning to wear a wedding band on its own after the wedding because I'm not a super flashy person, and also the engagement ring is a weird shape. But I loved wearing it so much that I got a band specially made to fit next to it. I wear them both as a set daily.

Definitely see what your SO thinks about your grandmother's ring. She may surprise you.

Aelias

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #47 on: October 25, 2018, 02:21:47 PM »
Strongly consider not a diamond. I wish I had a fake one
 Looking back, it was a silly thong to spend money on.

Happily married 11 years with a CZ ring.  It was a custom job at local jeweler--basically a white and rose gold version of a cheap ring he bought me when we were first dating.  I love it and always will. Don't have to worry about where the stone came from. No one knows it's not a real diamond and it doesn't matter.  I think it was $400?

ROF Expat

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #48 on: October 25, 2018, 03:21:17 PM »
Not to come across as self-righteous, but I'm a little underwhelmed by how little Moissanite/ synthetic diamonds were mentioned in this thread.

I won't rant about the diamond industry, because I do not want to introduce any negativity into the atmosphere here, but please consider not buying a traditional diamond. Moissanite shines brighter than diamond and it is borderline impossible for an untrained eye to tell the difference between them - especially at a glance, and especially without a specimen of both to compare as reference. That said, here's an article I found that highlights some of the differences between the two and offers more info: https://www.jewelrynotes.com/how-to-tell-the-difference-between-moissanite-and-diamond/

Being synthetic also means that Moissanite is perfect. Well, I'm not an expert, but I've read that it being synthetic means it doesn't suffer the same natural blemishes and imperfections that regular diamonds have.

As a frugal person, I like to think I'll be picking Moissanite when it comes time to pop the question, but it also just so happens that it is (in my view) prettier than diamond.

I don't think you come across as self righteous at all.  Moissanite, lab grown diamonds, CZ, are all alternatives to diamonds.  So are colored gemstones.  Even though gem grade diamonds aren't particularly rare, the diamond industry has done a very good job of marketing them.   Logical or not, a lot of people (particularly brides) have their hearts set on a natural diamond.  If that's what one's significant other wants,  it might be a better purchase than a Moissanite, no matter how illogical it might seem.  I didn't raise the alternatives because the OP asked about diamonds and I assume the OP had already considered and rejected the alternatives.

I'm glad you brought this up as I had NOT considered lab grown alternatives.

SO is NOT set on a diamond, with her being involved in the process and seeing the pricing of the setting and the diamond, she is actually the one trying to keep the cost lowww. My fear is this is short term thinking and she might actually wish she had the diamond further down the road.

I have close to zero knowledge on these lab grown options, quick read shows they appear clearer than a diamond and do not get dirty? Regarding pricing, one article references these being 10%-15% the cost of real diamonds?

Also, I wonder how would a lab grown "diamond" look if set onto a setting with diamonds on the side (most settings we are looking at have the side diamonds which she likes).

Another random alternative. Talking with my parents and found out my Grandmother (deceased) had a diamond ring that never got worn and is now sitting in a jewelry box. My Mom is NOT a jewelry person and said she never wears it and it will likely sit in the box forever and offered it to me. I looked briefly and think it is a bit smaller than what we have looked at (not sure, but she thinks it is 0.3, not certain though). We have been looking at diamonds in the .5 to .75 range, so unfortunately wish it were a bit bigger.

If lab grown diamonds are an option for you, you might want to have a look at the new "lightbox" diamonds.  They are lab grown diamonds made by DeBeers in sizes up to one carat.  I gather their interest is to try to undercut and dominate the lab grown diamond market.  Their pricing is $800 per carat.  They don't want to do wedding jewelry (they want to encourage people to buy their mined diamonds for that), but you could buy a piece and have it reset.  They sell an 8/9 carat stone in a sterling silver pendant with a halo of synthetic diamonds for $900.  You could buy the pendant and see if you like the look of the diamond.  If you don't, you can return it.  If you do like it, you can have the center stone reset with natural diamonds or resuse the lab grown diamonds that come with it.  It should look fine with either, as there's no real difference between a lab created diamond of this type and a natural diamond. 

DeBeers doesn't have the stones graded, but I strongly suspect the quality will be very good.  Anyway, you don't have anything to lose since they offer free returns for 30 days. 



MrOnyx

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Re: Going Engagement Ring Shopping Tomorrow - Tips???
« Reply #49 on: October 26, 2018, 06:26:05 AM »
I don't think you come across as self righteous at all.  Moissanite, lab grown diamonds, CZ, are all alternatives to diamonds.
*snip*
I'm glad you brought this up as I had NOT considered lab grown alternatives.

SO is NOT set on a diamond, with her being involved in the process and seeing the pricing of the setting and the diamond, she is actually the one trying to keep the cost lowww. My fear is this is short term thinking and she might actually wish she had the diamond further down the road.

*snip*

Well in those two cases, I'm glad I brought it up.

If your SO is not set on having a real, natural diamond, and you're okay with the lack of apparent prestige when someone asks you 'is it a real diamond?' and you have you say no, then I'd definitely suggest looking at these low-cost alternatives. Ask if any jewellers around you offer these substitutes. As ROF said, there are many others - CZ, white sapphire and coloured gemstones to name a few.

To end on a light-hearted - if a bit cheesy - note, I remember one Redditor who made me smirk when I was reading about synthetic diamonds a while ago, who said "Buy her something that's as perfect as she is. Buy synthetic." If that person doesn't work in marketing/copy writing, then they really should!