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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm looking for engagement rings and need some advice. I've tried to run searches for "rings," "engagment", and other permutations but came out short of the answers I wanted so here goes.

I've read up on the many C's of diamonds: cut, clarity, color, carat, certificates, and cost so I know what I'm sort of looking for.

This is the range of specs that I'm shooting for and I'd like to know if it's reasonable, if not lofty:
1.0-1.5 carat <-- is that a decent/normal size for an engagement ring?
round shape
D-F color
IF - VVS1 clarity
ideal-premium cut
looking to spend less than $10k

I guess I'll just list my many questions and hopefully some of you can give me some helpful answers for each one...

1. Should I go for a loose diamond and then get it fitted to a ring? I'm thinking perhaps get a loose diamond and then maybe fit it to a tiffany's setting- good idea or bad?

2. In relation to question 1, where should I look to get the diamond/ring/entire set? Obviously I shouldn't order one online before I see it even though it has an official GIA or AGS certificate right? If not, would going to those jewerly stores in a mall be a good idea or would they be rip-off prices? Where else would I turn to for a loose diamond or a diamond set in a ring?

2.a. Is it generally more expensive for a loose diamond + ring rather than a diamond ring? [instincts say yes, but quality is better?]

2.b. For loose diamonds, can the jewelry store fit any ring to the diamond you get? (I'm definitely looking for a round one).

3. In regards to carat size- I never really noticed other people's engagement rings so I don't know what the "normal" size should be. I don't want to get a small dinky ring obviously but I don't want to spend a crazy amount of money, so is a 1.0 carat ring "big enough?"

4. Do you usually get the engagement ring as well as the wedding bands all together or separately? Some places I've looked at have a whole set so I was wondering what the protocol is.

5. For the specs I drafted, am I shooting too high? Should I downgrade and not spend the 10k that I budgeted?

Ok. Well, my timetable is months so I've got plenty of time to look around and save. Ramen for 3 months! :)

Any help you guys can give will be great.
 

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I got a flawless, 1.0 K center stone, princess cut with 6 smaller princess cut diamonds on either side of the center stone platinium ring at that time for little under $6 k.... i know i wanted the center stone to be perfect and the ring to be strong (platinum) ...the side stones it didn't matter as long as the clarity matched the center stone

Get a diamond that reflects "you" or what you would love to present to her....I realize that its the act of proposing that wins your lady's heart and not necessarily the ring (imo :) )


Good luck and congrats in advance :thumbup:
 

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wow....10k budget....nice....

I will be honest....my wifes ring was like 300-400....and its not even real....and she knows it!!!

You see my wife understood the fact that we had no money at the time to spend on a nice rock....that all women want.....and she didnt care if its real or not. She is not the type that likes to show off to her girlfriends either....so that helped. But thats because our love is unconditional...which is great....incase there is some rough times ahead. You never know....and its nice to have someone stick by you then....rather then leave your arse behind cause you are broke. Hope thats not the case here...LOL

She didnt care....and I told her...when the time is right I will get her the one she would like....and she insists because to be honest....that ring is just another materialistic thing...that we really dont need. And she is right....and I love her for that!!!

And spending the money that most men spend on these things.....well....it blows my mind. I cant justify it....Im sorry.....I dont care whats the tradition.....I dont care that it lasts forever.....for 10k that shit better do that....and eat my wife out at the same time...LOL....just kidding...

BTW, I wouldnt know a dam thing....about dimonds...

But just an advice....tell her what I told my wife....see her reaction :lol: . That will tell you alot about your future wife and save you alot of trouble in the end... :wink:

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I went with a 1.0 carat for my wife. Round, IIRC, F, S1 purchased at a jewelry district here in the bay area.

Regarding clarity...unless your wife and her friends walk around with a jeweler's lupe in their pockets, they are not going to see the inclusions in the stone. This allowed me to step up to better color and size by trading a little clarity.

Good luck and congrats!

/karl
 

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true that. I would say color, cut, and cost are the most important c's... if you are going to drop 10K then you can worry about the little specs that no one will ever see and unless she is from rich family she won't care if it has a little spec of visible carbon in it...
 

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1. I always recommend that people go for loose diamond, then have it set on a ring.
Reason: with the money you are going to spend, you will probably get a diamond with a certificate of some sort. You will want to bring that loose diamond and cert to an independent jeweler and have them appraise it and make sure you got what you paid for. A diamond can't be verified if set. And if already set, the jeweler would have to take it off for a full inspection anyways.

2. With the amount you are spending, you should be able to negotiate a deal for the setting. I would choose a 5 prong setting because you are looking to buy an expensive diamond rather than a 4 prong setting which makes the diamond look bigger. The jeweler will agree with me. I'd buy both at the same time and have get a good deal and just ask the jeweler not to mount the diamond. This way you can go get an appraisal. You can ask him to mount it for FREE after your appraisal.

2a. no
2b. most likely yes.

3. If I recall, the avg US diamond ring is 0.4 carats. (somewhere around there)

4. majority of the time: separately. A wedding band should be done as a couple so your wedding bands match. That and many times women want to put an engraved something in there, so it's best if you do that all at once, or pay more in the future.

5. Your specs maybe shooting too high. ex: IF?? unless your a collector, I'd shy away from IF because all diamonds will downgrade to a VS1 over time. Diamonds maybe the hardest rock, but not the hardest substance. It DOES scratch. Scratches = inclusions, and therefore, Internally Flawless diamonds will become VS1's over a long period of time.

NOTE: since you have a lot of time, I'd buy one, send it to GIA and have them inscribe something on the girdle, THEN go get it appraised and set.
incribing ensures that your diamond will not be switched by a dishonest jeweler.

As a last comment, remember that women/friends of women look at two things when gawking at a diamond. 1. Size, 2. brilliance (how it shines and blinds you). This is why Carat and Cut to me are the most important C's. I'd focus on those. An ideal cut will blind you ;)

Good luck to you.
 

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My engagement ring cost $130 at a flea market. It has two crystal chips, one diamond chip, and two rhinestones pave set in a row of 5 hearts. They had to cut it off me when I got fat with my first pregnancy.

I also have a 0.5ct flawless white diamond that I never wear. I prefer to drive my Rabbit.

My sister has a pair of 0.5ct (each) studs. Those are her engagement "ring". She is USAF, so no rings beyond a wedding band.

For God's sake, $10K is a damn car. Think of your future together, not some stupid huge stone. That can come later. Buy a funky, beautiful ring that she can identify with you, not some stupid rock that she will only use to be one better than her friends.
 

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atomicalex said:
My engagement ring cost $130 at a flea market. It has two crystal chips, one diamond chip, and two rhinestones pave set in a row of 5 hearts. They had to cut it off me when I got fat with my first pregnancy.

I also have a 0.5ct flawless white diamond that I never wear. I prefer to drive my Rabbit.

My sister has a pair of 0.5ct (each) studs. Those are her engagement "ring". She is USAF, so no rings beyond a wedding band.

For God's sake, $10K is a damn car. Think of your future together, not some stupid huge stone. That can come later. Buy a funky, beautiful ring that she can identify with you, not some stupid rock that she will only use to be one better than her friends.
You are my idol Alex!! You go girl!!!

I didnt think I would hear that in this thread....besides my stupid arse :)

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, these are some really helpful [and fast] responses!

So, following all the suggestions, I've downgraded my specs to this:
>=1.0 carat
round shape
D-F color
>=SI1 clarity
ideal cut
looking to spend less than $10k

Oh, and I forgot that I wanted to have it set in a platinum ring. Is that a good choice? I was thinking either platinum or white gold but platinum is stronger and brighter (I believe).

[passaturbonium] And as to the ring being a materialistic thing, I do agree with that. But I've been fortunate that I've been able to save some money (ever since I stopped modding the car :lol: ). She's also the kind of girl that doesn't ask for much but to me this is something I think I want to splurge a little on her. Just wanted to add that so you don't get the wrong idea of me having too much $ or her being from a $ status...
 

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mrkazoo said:
[passaturbonium] And as to the ring being a materialistic thing, I do agree with that. But I've been fortunate that I've been able to save some money (ever since I stopped modding the car :lol: ). She's also the kind of girl that doesn't ask for much but to me this is something I think I want to splurge a little on her. Just wanted to add that so you don't get the wrong idea of me having too much $ or her being from a $ status...
No I didnt think that at all.....just giving you some pointers to take into consideration.

When and if you buy this ring....I reall really hope you feel as good about it....as the day you bought it.......15-20 years from now..... :wink: 8)

Bro I think she would rip your head off if she found out how much the ring is....if she is a smart,good hearted and understanding women.

I know I would if my wife gave me a 10k gift..... unless you are getting ready for the HID or Stage 3 purchase...in that case just spend what you need ;)

Ok I will stop....I dont want to get you introuble....

Good luck

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AA, but the car will depreiciate, and if purchased correctly, the diamond will only lose value on the bid/sell spread. However, as inflation comes, so will the price on the diamond, while the car goes down. However, I am not saying that a diamond is the best investment either. That being said, spend what you want. If you are happy where your money goes, then a big :thumbup: . We all spend our money on things, and as long as it is socially acceptable spending, then have at it.

Of course, my wife has a .71ct stone, decent clarity and color in a custom platinum setting. The wedding ring has 4 chips that surrond it in another custom platinum setting, but I only spent about 25-30% of your range. However, that was over 10 years ago and I was only 23 at the time.
 

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Diamonds are an emotional investment, not a financial one. A diamond is a horrible investment if you plan to wear it.

You don't need to spend money on diamond characteristics that you can't see. You won't be able to appreciate what you paid extra to have!

Also, a 1 carat stone will look different on a size 4 finger vs a size 8.

I got my fiancee a signature ideal cut princess diamond from Blue Nile and it sparkles like crazy. She gets so many compliments on it. Get the best cut possible, it is something that you'll be able to see and appreciate. I see big diamonds on ladies hands everyday that are poorly cut and look like a piece of glass.

Will you or anyone else be able to tell the difference between a colorless and near colorless diamond that's mounted in a setting? No, you won't. So, save $ and get a near colorless stone (G, H or I). If you were to line up an F, G, and H diamond, the human eye couldn't tell them apart.

As far as inclusions go, you can save money and get a VS2 or SI1 stone. You'll need a jewlers loop to see any inclusions.

Also, you'll need to get a seperate insurance policy on the ring. It won't be covered under renters or homeowners policies.
 

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Whoa.. I just went through this. First, congrats on your upcoming proposal. I just got engaged about 8 or 9 months ago. I consider myself a semi diamond expert..hahah. Well, lets just say I did my homework. My fiance picked it out and we did the shopping together. There was no surprise there, she just didnt know when she was going to get it, which killed her. She looked for a few months for her matching wedding band and engagement setting. Then, we went www.dirtcheapdiamonds.com (don't let the name fool you). They are awesome and the service is great. I first got an H and it was too yellow, compared to the side diamonds. So, we sent it back free of charge and got another GIA E, 1.14ct, SI, ideal cut with a slight blue flouresance. The inclusion is so small and out of sight, you can't see it with the naked eye. The cut is very important, b/c it give you the sparkle. With the slight blue flouresance, it glows blue under a black light or when we go to a club. It's really neat. It's like it has a light in it. Anyway, the same exact loose diamond was 7k in the mall and I got it for $3400. So, the diamond, $3k setting, appraisial and insurance cost me about 7k total. The entire ring appraise just over 10k. If I were to do it again, I would get an F or G color, this one is super clear and I think I/we like it slightly darker. Also, be careful on the settings. The one we have has 97 small diamonds which some were chipped from the factory. We had them replaced but it messed up the ring a bit and couldn't be fixed as much as we wanted. Just imagine if you kept denting a rim and tried to hammer it round again a few times, well the same thing goes for rings and metals. If you think she might like to pick out her own setting later or a matching set for you guys to look at together, just get very plain and simple solitaire setting. Check out www.bluenile.com and other places. Just watch their prices.

Check out Jewlers mutual for insurance, they are one of the biggest and best. Better than my home owners ins.

Pay attention to the certs and get your own loope to look at the diamond. I did. Call the guys at www.dirtcheapdiamonds.com and they will tell you how and what to look for in a diamond. There is no pressure from them and they are more than helpful.

Good luck, let us know if you have any more questions.
Kevin

Here is a dark pic of the rings, they are really much brighter.

 

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Have you checked out bluenile.com?

If not you should. They have some pretty good pricing. I was looking at 1 10 yr anniversary upgrade for my wife's ring and found some pretty nice stones their.

Whatever you decide on, good luck.
 

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exactly what i was going to say vdubtx i also used bluenile and was very very happy with them and their pricing
 

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mrkazoo said:
1. Should I go for a loose diamond and then get it fitted to a ring? I'm thinking perhaps get a loose diamond and then maybe fit it to a tiffany's setting- good idea or bad?.
Definitely. This way you get to choose the exact stone you want to give her in the setting you prefer. You also get a chance to get the stone examined by a professional (i.e. Sarin, MegaScope, BrillianceScope, etc...)

mrkazoo said:
2. In relation to question 1, where should I look to get the diamond/ring/entire set? Obviously I shouldn't order one online before I see it even though it has an official GIA or AGS certificate right? If not, would going to those jewerly stores in a mall be a good idea or would they be rip-off prices? Where else would I turn to for a loose diamond or a diamond set in a ring?
Well, online stores are not all that bad of an idea. Bluenile, Whiteflash and the like offer great diamonds and good prices....better than what you'd find in retail. They also offer you the chance to review hundreds of stones by criteria without the hassle of a sale rep (which in most cases has to get the stone you want sent in). Most online places have the certificate available online.

Going to a mall will give you a good idea of what to look for, but after you've taken a look, I'd bet on an online vendor.

mrkazoo said:
2.a. Is it generally more expensive for a loose diamond + ring rather than a diamond ring? [instincts say yes, but quality is better?]

2.b. For loose diamonds, can the jewelry store fit any ring to the diamond you get? (I'm definitely looking for a round one).
Yes and no. Most "pre" set stones are chosen to meet a price point or on the flipside to show off a particularly incredible stone and setting combination. The prices will most likely be similar if the set stone is the exact stone you wanted.

For your second question, the answer is yes and no as well. Most settings are pre-made to fit a range of stone sizes and shapes. For instance your setting will be one that could fit a round in the 1.0 to 1.25 carat range.


mrkazoo said:
3. In regards to carat size- I never really noticed other people's engagement rings so I don't know what the "normal" size should be. I don't want to get a small dinky ring obviously but I don't want to spend a crazy amount of money, so is a 1.0 carat ring "big enough?"
That's a personal preference really. I ended up getting a .80 stone that was cut so well that in addition to the brillance and fire, the spread of the stone makes it look a little bigger than a poorly cut stone of the same size.

I'd say the most common of all folks is about a half carat. If you run in a more upper middle class crowd, it's about .70 to 1.0.

mrkazoo said:
4. Do you usually get the engagement ring as well as the wedding bands all together or separately? Some places I've looked at have a whole set so I was wondering what the protocol is.
Most people get these separate, since the bride will most likely choose her wedding band.

mrkazoo said:
5. For the specs I drafted, am I shooting too high? Should I downgrade and not spend the 10k that I budgeted?
I'd say, get a nice .80-.90 carat stone. You're going to pay a premium for that 1.0 mark. Get a well cut stone (I can't stress that enough) and and quite honestly, most folks won't be albe to tell the difference. I think a good budget from what you're describing is about $6500. Get a K04 and some 18" rims with the rest.

Honestly, any stone you get her woll mostly likely get the response you want, but if you're nit-picky like me I can't stress getting a good cut enough. Then worry about Color, Clarity, and lastly Carat. If you're wondering, I got my girl this:



AGS 000
.80 Carat
F Color
VS1 Clarity

Check out www.pricescope.com. That was an incredible site for me to learn and discuss with other diamond experts. I learned a whole bunch! Lemme know if you need any more help. Good Luck!
 

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[caugh]don't do it[cough]
Sorry, just saw Old School last night ;)


Mr Kazoo..for your new specs you should be able to get one for around 5K. when I was suffereing from temprorary insanity and bought my then gf an engagement ring I ended up with a .75 carat, marquis cut, H color, SI2, set for like $2500 on sale. So shop around. You can get a great diamond for 5K
 

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ChkYaHead said:
[caugh]don't do it[cough]
Sorry, just saw Old School last night ;)


Mr Kazoo..for your new specs you should be able to get one for around 5K. when I was suffereing from temprorary insanity and bought my then gf an engagement ring I ended up with a .75 carat, marquis cut, H color, SI2, set for like $2500 on sale. So shop around. You can get a great diamond for 5K
Whatever happened to the ring since.... :(

maybe some of us can learn some lessons... :) 8)

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Have you checked out bluenile.com?
Blue Nile is awesome. Although I didn't have the same budget as you, what I got at Blue Nile would have cost me at least double at any jewelry store. I firmly believe they will give you the BEST diamond money can buy(at a great price). Overnight shipping is included and they build the thing to your standards. Mondera is also a very good site. We got our wedding bands there.

Jonathan
 

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passaturbonium said:
ChkYaHead said:
[caugh]don't do it[cough]
Sorry, just saw Old School last night ;)


Mr Kazoo..for your new specs you should be able to get one for around 5K. when I was suffereing from temprorary insanity and bought my then gf an engagement ring I ended up with a .75 carat, marquis cut, H color, SI2, set for like $2500 on sale. So shop around. You can get a great diamond for 5K
Whatever happened to the ring since.... :(

maybe some of us can learn some lessons... :) 8)
I came to my senses. the lesson learned..never get married. ok, not really, but make damn sure she's the one. If you have any doubts AT ALL, don't do it. Marriage won't make a rocky relationship stronger. Marriage won't help you win your girl back. Marriage won't satisfy your low self esteem.
 
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