Engagement Ring

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Topic Author
aamr
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 9:39 pm

Engagement Ring

Post by aamr »

Hey everyone,
Looking to buy an engagement ring for the future wife. Wondering if any of you more experienced Bogleheads have any advice.

Went to Tiffany and found a nice 1.5 ct engagement ring with a round diamond in 18K rose gold. Carat: 1.53, Color: E, Clarity VVS1, Cut: excellent. Price: 45K

Checked on White Flash (an online diamond seller) and found a similar round diamond for much cheaper. Carat: 1.505, Color: E, Clarity: VVS2, Cut: "A Cut Above" (essentially excellent). Price: 21K. So if I buy this diamond + rose gold ring (another 300-800 dollars) then essentially I am saving somewhere around 23 K and some change.

Another online seller is James Allen.

Am I thinking about this right? Anybody have any other advice about buying engagement rings?

All the best,
AAmr
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CAsage
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by CAsage »

It all depends on what your future wife really values. Tiffany is about double just for the name. There are lots of threads about buying diamonds here previously, look for some. Check out rarecarat for comparison shopping for stones. James Allen is lovely for settings (25% off randomly and frequently).
Salvia Clevelandii "Winifred Gilman" my favorite. YMMV; not a professional advisor.
7eight9
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by 7eight9 »

Buy the highest color you can afford with the lowest clarity you can tolerate.

That said, this is a nice similar stone, 1.50-Carat Round Cut Diamond Ideal Cut | E Color | VVS1 Clarity for $30,839
https://www.bluenile.com/diamond-detail ... ondDetails

And another one - 1.53 Ct. E IF Round Cut Diamond for $29,920.
https://www.goodoldgold.com/diamonds/id/3797570

I have no affiliation with either site.

You will pay a premium to buy from Tiffany & Co.

Personally, I would set it in white gold or platinum.
Last edited by 7eight9 on Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Misenplace
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Misenplace »

This topic is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (how we spend our money).

Moderator Misenplace
skis4hire
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:54 am

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by skis4hire »

My local jeweler was more than happy to sell me the gold ring and set my existing stone.
Not sure if you meant that or buying the gold ring and having it set by the same online retailer as the stone.

I didn't get the ring size perfect on the 1st go so I had to return to the local jeweler for an adjustment which was painless.
I have friends who have purchased diamonds online and had good experience.
The diamond business is all a racket so get the best price by whatever means you can.
caffeperfavore
Posts: 408
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:45 am

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by caffeperfavore »

Shop around. No one will know it's from Tiffany or someone else.

I say this as someone that purchased an engagement ring from Tiffany.

But, what does she want? Does she even want a diamond? There's been a trend away from it as people seek more unique and interesting options, not to mention the racket that diamonds are (I'm sure you've done some reading and know what I'm talking about). Does she want something funky? Something old? Etc. And don't pay one cent more than you have to.
92irish
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by 92irish »

Many years ago when living in the city, I went to Tiffany in New York and bought my wife a solitaire platinum diamond ring. Forgetting now but just about same size your are looking at. She came out to the city and I proposed as a surprise. The little blue box did the trick and she said yes. So far so good.

Fast forward twenty years, she does not wear the ring and keeps it in the safe deposit box. As it turns out, it is too big for her taste and the diamond physically sticks out (catches on things). She's also very active and seems like a ring you'd wear to fancy parties, and not just around town. She's also had a hard time keeping it sized right (fingers changing) and the big diamond flops/moves around (not comfortable to her). She now just wears a basic platinum band.

I guess the moral of the story is - shop with her and make sure she really wants that kind of "bling" ring. Although the element of surprise is nice, make sure she thinks about as it is a long term decision. Also think about practicality of everyday life and if a big diamond fits in her lifestyle.

Live and learn I guess - but the Tiffany ring and all I spent for it hardly brings a lot (if any) joy to my wife now.
corysold
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by corysold »

92irish wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:15 pm Many years ago when living in the city, I went to Tiffany in New York and bought my wife a solitaire platinum diamond ring. Forgetting now but just about same size your are looking at. She came out to the city and I proposed as a surprise. The little blue box did the trick and she said yes. So far so good.

Fast forward twenty years, she does not wear the ring and keeps it in the safe deposit box. As it turns out, it is too big for her taste and the diamond physically sticks out (catches on things). She's also very active and seems like a ring you'd wear to fancy parties, and not just around town. She's also had a hard time keeping it sized right (fingers changing) and the big diamond flops/moves around (not comfortable to her). She now just wears a basic platinum band.

I guess the moral of the story is - shop with her and make sure she really wants that kind of "bling" ring. Although the element of surprise is nice, make sure she thinks about as it is a long term decision. Also think about practicality of everyday life and if a big diamond fits in her lifestyle.

Live and learn I guess - but the Tiffany ring and all I spent for it hardly brings a lot (if any) joy to my wife now.
My wife is similar. She only wears her engagement ring for special occasions and just wears the wedding band typically.

That said, I would still make the same purchase and it doesn't bother me at all that she doesn't wear it.

But I would make sure your future wife does actually want such a ring before purchasing it.
joebruin77
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by joebruin77 »

Don't laugh, but I would personally check out the rings offered by Costco. Like any other product they carry, Costco tends to carry excellent quality rings at or near wholesale prices.

For example, I just checked their website. Here is an example of a ring currenlty offered on their website:

Round Brilliant 1.83 ctw VVS1 Clarity, G Color Diamond Platinum Wedding Ring
(round center diamond is 1.56 ct)
Item 1276369
Your Price $17,499.99$
Shipping & Handling Included
GIA Included

And although I am a romantic at heart and hope for the best, just in case she says no, Costco has an excellent return policy :D
Topic Author
aamr
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 9:39 pm

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by aamr »

Thanks for all the replies. I especially appreciate the other places to look recommendations like truecarat and Costco.
She does want a nice ring. She is classical that way. I will keep looking for the best deal and make sure there is a return policy so that when it arrives if it's not visually appeasing I can return it.
I did also entertain having a gemologist appraise the diamond ring for me immediately after getting it to see what they think. But maybe I won't do that.

Ultimately, I just want a ring that is brilliant and looks pretty so it will make her happy. Don't want a dull ring.
delamer
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by delamer »

Good experience with Blue Nile. Their website is easy to use.
7eight9
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by 7eight9 »

aamr wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:28 pm Thanks for all the replies. I especially appreciate the other places to look recommendations like truecarat and Costco.
She does want a nice ring. She is classical that way. I will keep looking for the best deal and make sure there is a return policy so that when it arrives if it's not visually appeasing I can return it.
I did also entertain having a gemologist appraise the diamond ring for me immediately after getting it to see what they think. But maybe I won't do that.

Ultimately, I just want a ring that is brilliant and looks pretty so it will make her happy. Don't want a dull ring.
A GIA certificate should be sufficient to quantify what you are buying.

Personally, I wouldn't spend my money to get an independent gemologist appraisal.
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sport
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Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by sport »

joebruin77 wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:23 pm Don't laugh, but I would personally check out the rings offered by Costco. Like any other product they carry, Costco tends to carry excellent quality rings at or near wholesale prices.

For example, I just checked their website. Here is an example of a ring currenlty offered on their website:

Round Brilliant 1.83 ctw VVS1 Clarity, G Color Diamond Platinum Wedding Ring
(round center diamond is 1.56 ct)
Item 1276369
Your Price $17,499.99$
Shipping & Handling Included
GIA Included

And although I am a romantic at heart and hope for the best, just in case she says no, Costco has an excellent return policy :D
I was also going to suggest Costco. They have excellent prices and they won't cheat you.
https://www.costco.com/CatalogSearch?de ... engagement
They have a very wide price range. There is even one for $364,999.99
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MrBobcat
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by MrBobcat »

I'm so glad I was poor when I got married. 1/3 carat engagement ring at JC Penny's - $230, which so far has worked out to $7.18/year.

That being said I'd second the look at Costco.
joebruin77
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by joebruin77 »

7eight9 wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:33 pm
aamr wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:28 pm Thanks for all the replies. I especially appreciate the other places to look recommendations like truecarat and Costco.
She does want a nice ring. She is classical that way. I will keep looking for the best deal and make sure there is a return policy so that when it arrives if it's not visually appeasing I can return it.
I did also entertain having a gemologist appraise the diamond ring for me immediately after getting it to see what they think. But maybe I won't do that.

Ultimately, I just want a ring that is brilliant and looks pretty so it will make her happy. Don't want a dull ring.
A GIA certificate should be sufficient to quantify what you are buying.

Personally, I wouldn't spend my money to get an independent gemologist appraisal.
Most of the rings sold at Costco include the GIA certificate, as well as shipping and handling.
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Watty
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Watty »

aamr wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:38 pm Anybody have any other advice about buying engagement rings?
There are lots of threads on buying diamond engagement rings or not. There is a search box in the top right corner of most of the webpages you can use to search for them.

A few general takeaways;

1) Be sure that you frankly talk about the ring to figure out what is important to both of you. Do not try to surprise her with a ring that expensive. It could be that buying a less expensive ring and using the money for something like a house downpayment, a big trip, a nicer car, retirement savings, or something else would make more more sense for you. A 1.5 Ct diamond ring may be too large for her to regularly wear.

2) When I bought my wife an engagement ring it was a lower grade and a small fraction of the price you are looking at and about half the size. My wife would occasionally get well meaning comments about it from people like waitresses or store clerks but this made her feel very uncomfortable like the ring made her stand out too much and she might be a target for being mugged because of it, and she was not even in bad parts of town or anything like that. She would often turn the ring around so that the diamond did not show or leave it at home. She would also take it off when she was doing things like gardening. A couple of times that lead to a frantic search looking for it and a few people noticed she was not wearing a ring and ask if there was trouble between us(there wasn't). I ended up getting her a plain gold wedding band that matches mine and the diamond ring now rarely comes out of the safe. She now has a diamond engagement ring, matching wedding ring which is now soldered to it, and a plain everyday wedding band. You might want to plan on getting her an everyday ring too from the start.

In prior posts I have also jokingly suggested that if you are going to get her a $45K ring then before you do that you should go to the bank and get $45K in cash and have her walk around with that much cash in her pocket to see how comfortable she feels.
aamr wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:38 pm Carat: 1.505, Color: E, Clarity: VVS2, Cut: "A Cut Above" (essentially excellent). Price: 21K. So if I buy this diamond + rose gold ring (another 300-800 dollars) then essentially I am saving somewhere around 23 K and some change.
I am not a diamond or jewelry expert but a few things I have picked up over the years that you should research.

a) It is a waste money to get a near colorless diamond if you are going to mount it in a yellow or rose gold ring. The problem is that the diamond will pick up the color from the gold so you can no longer tell that it is near colorless. Colorless diamonds should really be mounted in white gold or platinum. If you are going to use rose gold then getting a diamond that has a hint of color will not be an issue.

b) Rings get dirty real quick so it is problematic to put a high quality diamond in them since once they are the least bit dirty they will look little different than a lower grade diamond. High grade diamonds work best in other types of jewelry that does not get dirty so quickly.

c) Understand the problem with "blood diamonds" that are mined using slave and child labor which is not very romantic. This a real problem and even if something is certified as not being a blood diamond there is a chance that the certification was faked.

https://www.google.com/search?q=blood+d ... 66&bih=625

d) Synthetic, or lab grown, diamonds are getting better and less expensive every year. These are chemically the same as mined diamond so they are not fake diamonds like cubic zirconia or Moissanite. They have already disrupted the diamond market some and the impact will likely be more in the future. Some people already prefer synthetic diamonds since they have less environmental impact and they can be sure that they are not blood diamonds. Decades from now if you or your estate goes to sell the diamond ring it may be worth very little by then. It may not be as extreme but at one point aluminum bars were displayed as part of the French crown jewels.
Last edited by Watty on Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
4runner818
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Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:11 pm

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by 4runner818 »

I purchased my wife's engagement ring from James Allen. My wife was very happy with her ring. I should note that she picked everything out herself (type of diamond/cut/size, etc), and when it was delivered it was exactly what she was looking for. We did go to several jewelry shops, and they either didn't have exactly what she wanted or if they did it was significantly more expensive than the comparable ring at James Allen.
hi_there
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by hi_there »

I sympathize with the expectation of buying a diamond ring but still feel conflicted, since the proceeds from diamond sales ultimately end up going to a cartel of reputedly questionable ethics.

If only OP had managed to buy this ring 2 days earlier. Prices might have been materially lower!

De Beers Raises Diamond Prices Most in Years
January 18, 2021, 10:52 AM EST
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... f=8wHPVsBX
Wildcat23
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Wildcat23 »

Just bought an engagement ring to propose in Maui over Christmas - she said no however.............................. kidding

I went with James Allen - slightly better priced for what I was looking for than Blue Nile - and I preferred the bands they had as well.

I went with a G, IF pear shaped in yellow gold - it looks fantastic. You can absolutely get a sparkling G diamond in rose/yellow gold as the band will make the diamond pop.

Shane Co and our other brick and mortar experience were not good - they just try and sell you on an over-priced diamond that you can get online for much cheaper

I am sure Tiffany's diamonds are really nice so you can't go wrong there !
illumination
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by illumination »

You're throwing away a massive amount of money for that blue box. You could get like twice the ring for the same price going through a reputable wholesaler. Jewelry in general is already a big rip off, Tiffany is adding insult to injury. It's quality, but you're really paying a massive premium for that marketing.
FlamePoint
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by FlamePoint »

Have you considered just getting the diamond and having it placed in a simple 4-prong setting? That would allow your fiancé to then pick out her final setting (I believe some jewelers simple trade in the original for the new). This is what my DH did and it pet worked well for me. The most valuable part of the ring is the diamond, so upgrading the setting should only cost $1-2 thousand more.

Also, make sure to schedule the ring on your home insurance policy ASAP. Your current insurance will cover you for theft, but not a lost ring. Scheduling it gives you “all perils” coverage with no deductible. An appraisal is typically required for this, but most jewelers you purchase from should be able to arrange for one.
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lthenderson
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by lthenderson »

MrBobcat wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:50 pm I'm so glad I was poor when I got married. 1/3 carat engagement ring at JC Penny's - $230, which so far has worked out to $7.18/year.
+1

For me a wedding ring is like a marriage litmus test. If your spouse has issues because you bought a $500 ring instead of the $50,000 one, is that a sign of issues to come? My wife said yes to an $500 ring. We never disagree about money. Just saying.
Workaholic
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Workaholic »

I'd go along with the general consensus and say Tiffany's is an unnecessary markup on an item that already has plenty of mark-up. I went through a local , higher-end jeweler that carries high-quality pieces, Rolex watches, and is well regarded as the top jeweler in my area. I spent close to $14K on the engagement ring, wedding band, and my wedding band. IF I would've went to Tiffany, just the engagement ring alone with the same quality stone was going for $20K. And it wasn't like the ring I bought was inferior, it was simply the markup for the Tiffany name and blue box was at such a huge premium.

And personally...I truly don't consider Tiffany to be all that in the first place. Most of their stuff is fairly ordinary...if you truly want the "best of the best" you need to go to somewhere like Graff or Harry Winston and you'll see some truly astonishing pieces with equally astonishing price tags! I wasn't terribly impressed with anything that Tiffany had on display.

Save half of that money for a great honeymoon and find the same ring somewhere else for $25K. :moneybag
Jags4186
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Jags4186 »

If you want a single solitaire diamond, you do not need to focus much on color. A solitaire diamond with a white gold or platinum band should be a J color (GIA or AGS grade). J is the lowest grade on the “colorless” scale and will only look yellow if put directly next to a higher grade diamond. In fact, that’s how all diamonds are graded, simply compared to other reference gems... If you get a yellow or rose gold band you could go slightly lower (K or L but I’d look at it) as regardless of how colorless the diamond you get, it will always pick up the yellow hue of the band.

If you are getting a diamond with side diamonds, or a diamond band, you want your center diamond to be 1 color lighter than the surrounding stones (so if you have F side stones you want an E center diamond). Of course, taste varying, you can get a bigger solitaire diamond with a lower color grade by not having other diamonds directly next to them to compare.

Cut: You want the highest grade cut possible. It’s what makes the diamond “sparkle” and look the right size for it’s weight. Either GIA Excellent or AGS Hearts and Arrows for a round cut, or ideal or excellent for other cuts.

Clarity is tricky. If you’re buying in-store you can go SI2 if you’re purchasing a stone where the imperfection is not visible or if it is visible it can be hidden underneath a prong. Don’t get a SI2 diamond with a big black blotch in the center. If you buy online, I’d recommend GIA or AGS VS2 as that should ensure the diamond is eye clean.

Hope this helps:

FWIW, I got my spouse a platinum band, GIA certified solitaire, excellent cut, J color, VS2, 1.53 carat stone. It cost $8000 5 years ago.

The biggest issue buying from Tiffany are as follows:
1) Unless they’ve changed, Tiffany in house grades all their diamonds. Tiffany of course is very high quality, but it’s not like for like with GIA or AGS.
2) Tiffany won’t sell you stones like the ones I mentioned above. Tiffany won’t sell you a J color stone, so you’re forced to purchase a more expensive stone. Tiffany won’t sell SI2 stones so you’re forced to buy VVS1 or VVS2 stones.

Tiffany WILL retain it’s value better than other jewelers jewelry, but let’s be honest. If you bought a $42,000 stone and can resell it for $35,000 and if my $8000 ring could resell for $4000, you lost more money even though I lost 50% value and you lost ~18% value. Of course, you hope to never have to resell.
Trader Joe
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Trader Joe »

aamr wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:38 pm Hey everyone,
Looking to buy an engagement ring for the future wife. Wondering if any of you more experienced Bogleheads have any advice.

Went to Tiffany and found a nice 1.5 ct engagement ring with a round diamond in 18K rose gold. Carat: 1.53, Color: E, Clarity VVS1, Cut: excellent. Price: 45K

Checked on White Flash (an online diamond seller) and found a similar round diamond for much cheaper. Carat: 1.505, Color: E, Clarity: VVS2, Cut: "A Cut Above" (essentially excellent). Price: 21K. So if I buy this diamond + rose gold ring (another 300-800 dollars) then essentially I am saving somewhere around 23 K and some change.

Another online seller is James Allen.

Am I thinking about this right? Anybody have any other advice about buying engagement rings?

All the best,
AAmr
Go with Tiffany. Your future wife will love it.
mogg
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by mogg »

If future wife wants a Tiffany and doesn't care about other factors, then get a Tiffany. Some people are only happy with Tiffany's.

If you or future wife want best bang for the buck, then get an a diamond form a reputable online retailer (blue nile, whiteflash, jamesallen, etc). Of the C's Cut is most important since it makes diamonds sparkle. Next is is Carat since you can see how big a diamond is. Next is Color, but color isn't very important since it's hard to see the color after the diamond is mounted. Generally you can evaluate color of the diamond by looking a the bottom of the diamond. Finally, Clarity is unimportant since no one is going to put the diamond under a magnifying glass to see its imperfections. Get a diamond with a GIA (or AGS) certificate.

If you or future wife want to get a poor diamond, while pretending to get a good diamond, then get a diamond with a non-GIA/AGS certificate such as IGI. Diamonds that would rate poorly on GIA will rate highly with other certifiers. A poor diamond rated by GIA is a great diamond rated by IGI since IGI is fulfilling the demand for cheap diamonds that are rated highly (even though the rating is undeserved).

Costco generally does not sell GIA diamonds, so Costco should probably be avoided.

If you want an expensive poorly cut, high clarity diamond, then go a local retailer (e.g. Kay) since these are what are generally available in the stores.

If you want to really learn about diamonds, post the diamonds you are evaluating on pricescope.com
Last edited by mogg on Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Workaholic
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Workaholic »

FlamePoint wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:20 pm Have you considered just getting the diamond and having it placed in a simple 4-prong setting? That would allow your fiancé to then pick out her final setting (I believe some jewelers simple trade in the original for the new). This is what my DH did and it pet worked well for me. The most valuable part of the ring is the diamond, so upgrading the setting should only cost $1-2 thousand more.

Also, make sure to schedule the ring on your home insurance policy ASAP. Your current insurance will cover you for theft, but not a lost ring. Scheduling it gives you “all perils” coverage with no deductible. An appraisal is typically required for this, but most jewelers you purchase from should be able to arrange for one.
I'd recommend insuring jewelry, particularly expensive pieces of jewelry, separately from a company like Jewelers Mutual. I've had a policy with them for years and highly recommend them. Much easier to work with a company that is dedicated to a very narrowly tailored market than to work with your homeowner's insurance over an issue like a lost or stolen ring.
khangaroo
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by khangaroo »

When I was searching for engagement ring ideas and searched this forum I found one of the best pieces of advice I ever read on this forum - I wish I could remember who said it so I could give them credit but it was:

The engagement ring should not be a surprise but the proposal should be.

My interpretation of that is that you should be ring shopping with your future wife to see what she truly wants. If she wants that $XXk ring and you're in agreement with those implications (e.g., having to pay down that debt or what you could've done with that money instead) and if she wants a $XXX ring then that's cool too if you're both on the same page of those implications (e.g., what her friends/family think).

My wife and I created a Pinterest page and she added rings to it. She said if I picked any of those then she would be happy. Let's just say the rings she picked out, I had no idea she wanted. I was going to go with the traditional diamond but she wanted an emerald. She loves her ring and wears it everyday.

Best of luck mate!
Workaholic
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Workaholic »

mogg wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:41 pm
If you want an expensive poorly cut, high clarity diamond, then go a local retailer (e.g. Kay) since these are what are generally available in the stores.

If you want to really learn about diamonds, post the diamonds you are evaluating on pricescope.com
Agree 100%. Should say...avoid ANY and ALL of these chain, mall jewelry stores. They rarely carry anything of quality and unfortunately will try to talk you into something that probably isn't worth a fraction of what they're asking. You CANNOT get a high-quality 1 carat diamond for $3K no matter what those sales people tell you.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Sandtrap »

I could only afford a $600 wedding ring when DW and I were married. That was nearly all my savings and a lot of $$$ back then. I think I was making $12/hour.

Isn't it the thought and the intention that counts, and the commitment and promise that goes with it?

What about spending reasonably and saving the rest of that money toward a first home, or things like that together?

The important thing about an engagement ring is the follow through.. . . . . . . :D :D
j :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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7eight9
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by 7eight9 »

Jags4186 wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:35 pm If you want a single solitaire diamond, you do not need to focus much on color. A solitaire diamond with a white gold or platinum band should be a J color (GIA or AGS grade). J is the lowest grade on the “colorless” scale and will only look yellow if put directly next to a higher grade diamond. In fact, that’s how all diamonds are graded, simply compared to other reference gems... If you get a yellow or rose gold band you could go slightly lower (K or L but I’d look at it) as regardless of how colorless the diamond you get, it will always pick up the yellow hue of the band.
J is not "colorless". It is the very bottom of the "near colorless" category.
https://www.gia.edu/gia-about/4cs-color
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Talfred
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Talfred »

About twenty years ago I decided to propose to my girl and went to Tiffany (the flagship store on 5th Ave.) as I knew it would make my intended happy. I had a good experience choosing and buying the ring, although I knew I was paying extra for the brand. At purchase, I was given a return schedule which specified declining percentages of refund that would be available over time. Something like 80% after 4 weeks, 60% after 8 weeks, etc.

I gave her the ring, she was thrilled, and so was I. Some months later, the relationship changed and she broke off the engagement and gave me back the ring. Although, per the return schedule, I was entitled to something like 10% of the purchase price, I decided to go to the store and see what I could talk them into. The salesman immediately referred me to a manager who sat me down in a private area and asked me why I wanted to return it. I explained the circumstances and he very promptly told me that he would override the return schedule and give me a 100% refund. I walked out of the store with the full purchase price refunded.

Ever since then, I feel duty-bound to stand up for Tiffany when I enter this sort of discussion. Sometimes it's worth it to pay for a premium brand.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Sandtrap »

lthenderson wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:22 pm
MrBobcat wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:50 pm I'm so glad I was poor when I got married. 1/3 carat engagement ring at JC Penny's - $230, which so far has worked out to $7.18/year.
+1

For me a wedding ring is like a marriage litmus test. If your spouse has issues because you bought a $500 ring instead of the $50,000 one, is that a sign of issues to come? My wife said yes to an $500 ring. We never disagree about money. Just saying.
Well said!
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Picasso
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Picasso »

Go for the online seller. Better value.

I bought Diamond for my wife via phone from a Sotheby’s estate jewelry auction in London. Paid $18k for a diamond that appraised for $65k.
sport
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by sport »

mogg wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:41 pm Costco generally does not sell GIA diamonds, so Costco should probably be avoided.
joebruin77 wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:51 pm Most of the rings sold at Costco include the GIA certificate, as well as shipping and handling.
There seems to be a difference of opinion. Here is one that specifically states it includes GIA certification:
https://www.costco.com/princess-cut-1.0 ... 16654.html
akrizzle88
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by akrizzle88 »

Check out Lauren B - NYC. That's where I got mine. Definitely cheaper than tiffany's but a very respectable brand. Don't buy the setting from one of those brand name stores, james allen, blue nile etc. They do not custom built the setting for the stone, which can cause the ring to look odd regardless of the stone quality.
mogg
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by mogg »

sport wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:41 pm
mogg wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:41 pm Costco generally does not sell GIA diamonds, so Costco should probably be avoided.
joebruin77 wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:51 pm Most of the rings sold at Costco include the GIA certificate, as well as shipping and handling.
There seems to be a difference of opinion. Here is one that specifically states it includes GIA certification:
https://www.costco.com/princess-cut-1.0 ... 16654.html
I stand corrected, most costco diamonds 1 carat and above include a GIA certificate, smaller ones do not.
Jags4186
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Jags4186 »

7eight9 wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:17 pm
Jags4186 wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:35 pm If you want a single solitaire diamond, you do not need to focus much on color. A solitaire diamond with a white gold or platinum band should be a J color (GIA or AGS grade). J is the lowest grade on the “colorless” scale and will only look yellow if put directly next to a higher grade diamond. In fact, that’s how all diamonds are graded, simply compared to other reference gems... If you get a yellow or rose gold band you could go slightly lower (K or L but I’d look at it) as regardless of how colorless the diamond you get, it will always pick up the yellow hue of the band.
J is not "colorless". It is the very bottom of the "near colorless" category.
https://www.gia.edu/gia-about/4cs-color
Same difference.
Flora
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Flora »

Choose white gold or platinum with a GIA certified stone (my advice - don't pick rose gold or yellow gold).
rich126
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by rich126 »

I just went through this and was going to use Blue Nile but my gf knew someone in the business and gets diamonds from NY. Not sure what deal I got but I am sure it was better than tiffanys or a big jewelry store. Others in her family did serious searching on prices and thought he got the best price from them.

Anyhow my gf wanted an emerald cut. Depending on the style the importance of the 4 cs vary. Since an emerald cut isn't as deep as amore typical round cut I believe clarity is more important.

Bottom line she got what she wanted for a reasonable cost since she isn't very materialistic. Personally I would never have gotten involved with someone that was materialistic by that is me.
Goal33
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Goal33 »

I got my wife’s at Brilliant Earth. It was something like 4000. I was making 130k at the time.
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by SimonJester »

lthenderson wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:22 pm
MrBobcat wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:50 pm I'm so glad I was poor when I got married. 1/3 carat engagement ring at JC Penny's - $230, which so far has worked out to $7.18/year.
+1

For me a wedding ring is like a marriage litmus test. If your spouse has issues because you bought a $500 ring instead of the $50,000 one, is that a sign of issues to come? My wife said yes to an $500 ring. We never disagree about money. Just saying.
+1000 spend the extra money on building memories together, ie travel, vacations, experiences etc...
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
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Tamarind
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Tamarind »

Unless you know your prospective fiancee prefers to be surprised, you should shop with her or at least ask her to show you pictures of things she likes. Best way to ensure you get something she likes and don't overspend on things that don't matter to her. If she does want to be surprised, get one of her relatives or friends to clue you in.

For example, DW and I didn't bother with an engagement ring at all. But we spent about $3500 on wedding rings, mokumegane with no stones. She dislikes diamonds, loves her ring. Do you know what your gf likes and dislikes?

The other reason to shop together is in my opinion a proposal should never be a true surprise. Exactly when and how, sure, but she should know that you are planning. Get on the right foot early of making big decisions together.
QBoy
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by QBoy »

My story: Many years ago, I gave my future wife a small family heirloom ring when we were engaged and I was a student. Fast forward. On our 25th anniversary, we shopped together for a new ring at Tiffany's when our financial circumstances had much improved. About 4 carats. Overpriced, to be sure. But she loves it, and I love looking at it on her finger. It somehow reminds me of how lucky I am. Some decisions transcend a rational cost-benefit test.

I am not sure what lessons are to be learned.
getthatmarshmallow
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by getthatmarshmallow »

I wouldn't pair a colorless diamond with a warm-toned metal. It will look just fine but the warm tones would suit a nearly colorless diamond just as well.

I've read that there are largish price jumps at popular break points. The move from .99 to 1.00 carats incurs a bigger premium than the move from .98 to .99. I imagine frugality on this purchase isn't much of a concern given what you're considering, but thought it worth pointing out.

+1 on asking her what she wants. We were more or less broke when we got engaged, and my diamond is small, but it suits me well and I wouldn't want anything much bigger -- and I wear it nearly every day without fear of losing it. In my social circle at the time there was also a bit of a prejudice against diamonds, with women opting for sapphires or rubies or having rings without stones custom made. Again, I imagine if you're dropping $50K on a ring you know her tastes and expectations, but... it wouldn't hurt to be sure.
Adam11
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Adam11 »

OP, you should watch Marcus Lemonis’ “Streets of Dreams” recent episode on diamonds, and then decide which direction you want to go.

Clark Howard is big on lab-made diamonds. If you absolutely insist on buying a mined diamond, he says to shop for it at Costco.
Cartographer
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Cartographer »

As others have said, make sure you're ok with the prospect that the ring might eventually never be worn. That's what happened to our rings. (though they were cheap enough that they just sit on a counter, no need for a safe)

Some additional tips:
- Apparently diamonds just under a size cut-off are noticeably cheaper than those just above (e.g. 0.99ct vs 1.01ct). I guess people value being able to say "1 Carat diamond".
- A single diamond is much more expensive than multiple diamonds of the same total weight. So a 3 stone ring would be cheaper than a larger solitaire. 3 stone rings are also less likely to snag on things.


Workaholic wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:42 pm I'd recommend insuring jewelry, particularly expensive pieces of jewelry, separately from a company like Jewelers Mutual. I've had a policy with them for years and highly recommend them. Much easier to work with a company that is dedicated to a very narrowly tailored market than to work with your homeowner's insurance over an issue like a lost or stolen ring.
Insuring jewelry never made sense to me. In expectation, you will lose money on any insurance (the insurer has to make money, after all). For things like health, cars, and homes, rare catastrophic events can lead to extreme financial hardship. It makes sense to pay the insurance premium in these cases to mitigate the risk of such hardship. For jewelry, you (1) can never replace the sentimental loss, (2) don't have to replace it at all, and (3) if the replacement cost were so great as to create financial hardship, you cannot afford the jewelry in the first place.
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by nigel_ht »

aamr wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:28 pm Thanks for all the replies. I especially appreciate the other places to look recommendations like truecarat and Costco.
She does want a nice ring. She is classical that way. I will keep looking for the best deal and make sure there is a return policy so that when it arrives if it's not visually appeasing I can return it.
I did also entertain having a gemologist appraise the diamond ring for me immediately after getting it to see what they think. But maybe I won't do that.

Ultimately, I just want a ring that is brilliant and looks pretty so it will make her happy. Don't want a dull ring.
Ah, the appraisal doesn’t mean much...it would (hopefully) confirm the specs of the diamond but you’ll never get whatever they say it’s worth...it’ll be 20-50% of the retail unless really special.

I might try an estate sale or two.

Alas, diamond engagement rings are kind of a scam. Doesn’t mean I didn’t buy one, I did. 1.something caret canary yellow (borderline...it’s a shade light) in a platinum setting.

Sits in a safe deposit box.
Hubris
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Hubris »

We went vintage for engagement and wedding bands, 2nd marriage for each of us and we do like to “recycle”...our rings are great(mine was Tiffany platinum band from ?’50’s) and one of my wife’s rings have engraved initials and a date from ‘20’s...not for everyone but we love the style(s) and sense of history...and the price.
123
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by 123 »

92irish wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:15 pm ...and the big diamond flops/moves around...
I almost thought of this as a humble brag.
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