Engagement Ring

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Flora
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:19 am

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Flora »

This is what I would buy for $21-$24k:


https://www.worthy.com/items/9918525

Tiffany & Company 2.02 carat round center stone, E color, VVS1 (plus 0.67 tcw side pear-shaped diamonds). GIA certified. Custom platinum setting.

This is 33% larger at possibly one-half the price.
Last edited by Flora on Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
Topic Author
aamr
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 9:39 pm

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by aamr »

Thanks for all the advice. I know what she likes. Also going to watch that Mark Lemonis episode. I appreciate all the input
SEAworld9
Posts: 168
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:13 am

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by SEAworld9 »

my experience (proposed december 2019). i knew nothing when i when i started:

- read everything at beyond4cs.com, some twice, some three times, some even more. also emailed the guy who runs it with questions.
- shopped james allen, whiteflash, brian gavin, blue nile, a few others. went with james allen.
- designed the ring myself based on examples that my wife's sister provided.
- focused on the center stone, with cut being most important by far. only shopped stones with the top graded hearts and arrows cuts (james allen true hearts, whiteflash a cut above, etc).
- for every stone in consideration, validated all specs (table, depth, crown, pavilion, girdle, etc), got certs, reviewed ASET images, etc.
- ended up with a 1.41 ct, AGS ideal-0 (james allen true hearts), H, VVS2. absolutely amazing stone. has triangle side stones and 10 paves (5 each side) in a platinum setting.

the thing sparkles like a mf'er. she absolutely loves it and even i sometimes just stare at it. wouldn't change a thing and it is 10000% worth it.

what i learned:
- like others have said, find out what she wants. this can be different than what she likes.
- try to learn as much as you can about stones so you can identify what's good and fits your requirements vs not.
- if you get a stone that has a top grade cut, it will more than make up for lower grades in the other 3 areas.
- if you view it like an expense, you might not spend enough. if you view it as an financial investment, you probably won't get the desired monetary return. it kind of just is what it is.*

*this is obviously a generalization and is secondary to the first bullet. also do what's right for your budget.
Last edited by SEAworld9 on Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
jbmitt
Posts: 562
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:00 am

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by jbmitt »

My wife’s engagement ring and our wedding bands are from Tiffany. Her engagement ring is similar quality but 1.37 and the price in 2018 was approximately half that quoted price for yellow gold.

You’re paying for the name, but there is a big price jump at common numbers like 1, 1.5, 2 carats.

Their service has been good. She had to have prongs and the setting looked at. We’ve visited their stores in Las Vegas, Denver, Columbus, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, and Maui and it’s always nice when they clean and polish them.

The rings are insured and it’s been somewhat of a splurge for us, but I wouldn’t change it. I had the money for the engagement ring in cash, we did finance at 0% her band so that we could spread out our wedding expenses but quickly paid it off.

I noticed that your profile notes ‘future high earner’. We all are hopefully, but she was several years out of training and I’ve been established in a career. I would not advise a purchase if you haven’t begun maxing out retirement accounts and ensuring adequate savings. I can’t imagine losing a job or asking family to help and having a big shiny ring.
Pandemic Bangs
Posts: 375
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2020 3:49 pm

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Pandemic Bangs »

aamr wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:38 pm
Am I thinking about this right? Anybody have any other advice about buying engagement rings?
Worst forum in the world for this question. :D Last diamond thread I saw was all simulants.

Tiffany is ridiculously priced. There are true ideal cuts and super-ideal cuts available elsewhere and for less. Tiffany was amazing back in the day but they are almost exclusively commoditized fashion jewelry now.

Ask on PriceScope -- they will be only too happy to help you find what you need and answer any questions. A lot like this forum and (? but) you won't be made to feel dumb.

Lower color-grade antique cuts are inexpensive, gorgeous, and really in vogue now. Think "L" and lower OEC. I don't know why they fell out of favor --way more interesting than colorless stones. And you can get 2- and 3-ct stones for what you would pay for an ideal-cut colorless. Lack of color is the most over-rated feature of diamonds, imo.

Browse Lang Antiques in SF -- incredible selection, honest descriptions, and very reliable. Not crazy-spendy, either. Can get a sense for what she likes.

Simulants are cheap but completely without value. I would go silicone band over a simulant. :D

I am not a fan of diamonds and bought my spouse one many decades ago. Diamonds are not especially rare. Less of a cartel vibe than a few decades ago but still not rare. If I were starting from scratch, I'd do an unheated sapphire any day.
Wait 'til I get my money right | Then you can't tell me nothing, right?
Basis
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:34 pm
Location: The Midwest

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Basis »

If your fiancée loves Tiffany, then she loves Tiffany.

Yes, you’ll overpay. But you’re not getting the ring for yourself. And you’re not getting a diamond ring as a value play regardless of the seller.

So... Splurge.
You see what you know.
Workaholic
Posts: 523
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:55 am

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Workaholic »

Cartographer wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:30 pm 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.
I don't think the thought of financial hardship has anything to do with insuring jewelry. If I'm purchasing something very expensive that I plan to wear on my person the majority of time, the possibility of this item getting lost or stolen is infinitely higher than any other type of possession. If I bought an item that was simply going to set inside a safe or a bank deposit vault, the value of insuring it would be negligible. Especially when you are wearing jewelry on a daily basis that IS the price of a new car, I find it wholly worthwhile to insure against the likelihood of it getting lost or stolen. My jewelry premiums yearly are less than 1% of the value of everything insured so it's worth it to me.
ddurrett896
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Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by ddurrett896 »

aamr wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:38 pm 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.

Am I thinking about this right? Anybody have any other advice about buying engagement rings?
Like others have said, you're paying for the Tiffany name. I'd buy a diamond and find and band she likes separate.

If you drop below 1.5 to save some $$.
rockstar
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Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:51 pm

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by rockstar »

You can buy used. Diamonds aren't rare unless you are talking about pink diamonds.
BedHead2020
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 12:04 pm

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by BedHead2020 »

delamer wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:31 pm Good experience with Blue Nile. Their website is easy to use.
Same here. I spent a great deal of time on the phone with my blue Nile rep, learning about rings and selecting the perfect engagement ring. I’ve used them many times since and they have been fantastic.
JackoC
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Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:14 am

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by JackoC »

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.
...
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
There was later back and forth on Costco which came to rest I think at admitting it's a good place to have good confidence you're getting good value, as with just about everything else Costco sells. Whereas again as with almost everything else Costco sells, people can come up with examples of better value elsewhere, but often involving risk of getting not good value.

The No.1 and No. 2 obvious drawbacks for an *engagement* ring is non-romantic aspect at that stage of a relationship, and relative lack of selection compared to some alternatives.

Fortunately in retrospect my wife's original engagement ring was worth little in $'s, because unfortunately it got stolen some years later. We bought a pretty nice ($13k, ~30 yrs ago) replacement at Fortunoff getting probably not good value but I was involved. Next stage (~40'sk upgrade) she did it herself through her friend in the business. She'd be open to Costco, she bought one significant but lower price piece there. But speaking of Tiffany I got her a ~$3k sapphire ring at the 5th Ave store once all by myself. It remains in competition with the nicer diamond as her favorite piece of jewelry. If $ and cents value were the whole issue, we wouldn't buy such items at all.
youngcd12
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:40 am

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by youngcd12 »

I bought my wife's engagement ring on James Allen. I was also searching on Blue Nile. We have since bought our wedding bands on Blue Nile.

I would highly recommend the online sites. Much better value than buying in store. Downside is you don't get to see it in person, but the photos and 360 views are so good that it's pretty close to seeing it in person. You still get the GIA certificates and everything. Overnight shipping in most cases, especially if spending that much. I even had to resize my wedding band twice and it was a painless experience.
fyre4ce
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Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:29 am

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by fyre4ce »

Did lots of research when buying now-wife's engagement ring. I let her pick out the setting, and I picked out the diamond. Still surprised her with a proposal though. She wanted white gold, so that pushed me up into the higher quality range of color. (I agree with others who say if you're buying a yellow gold setting, it's a waste of money to spend a lot on a colorless diamond.) I also found that cut tends to be the most important "C" and where one should spend the most money.

My research led me to AGS-rated diamonds (as opposed to GIA), who really emphasize the quality of the cut, and how it reflects light. There's an HCA Score that quantifies this. Whiteflash and Brian Gavin are two companies that sells them. The general consensus I found is that AGS-rated HCA-scored diamonds are a stricter standard of quality than GIA-Excellent; AGS-Ideal cut all meet GIA-Excellent, but not the other way around.

I was able to use a personal connection to get a GIA-Excellent (not AGS, though it was a tough call), D color (higher than I wanted, but all that was available), VS1 clarity (plenty good enough to have no visible defects), 1.4 carat. While not AGS-Ideal, it had a HCA score of 1.3, which should qualify it for AGS-Ideal if it were evaluated by their lab. It looks beautiful, and has a very slight bluish-gray tint that I really like. I think I like the stone as much or more than my wife! It's a good size, and no premium cost for being just over one of the round numbers (1, 1.5, 2, etc.)

I spent about $16k on the stone and another $1500 on the setting. At retail price it would have been $20-25k, and most places that sell engagement rings (including all the name-brand stores like Zales) won't have that quality at any price. At the time I had an income around $200k and a NW ~$1M, with enough liquidity that I could easily afford it. I don't regret it for a second. My wife and I are frugal in other areas, and this is a nice item that we'll have forever.

I'd recommend a similar path for any other diamond hunters. There are ways to get the price down while still having an excellent cut, by scaling back on the other C's. Also, fluorescent diamonds are significantly cheaper (it's generally regarded as a defect by the industry), but you can't tell the difference except when under UV light, so this is a great way to cut cost without affecting the way it looks.
protagonist
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by protagonist »

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.
That is a point very well taken.

I gave my fiancee an antique ring handed down from my grandmother....a beautiful ring that she loves and that generates a lot of compliments....so I never had to go through this process. It also allowed me to bypass the ethical "blood diamond" dliemma of being part of the problem.

But yes, I think that shopping for an engagement ring can be a very good barometer for your economic future together. (That said, I do think that attitudes change over time).
texasfight
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by texasfight »

protagonist wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:14 pm
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.
That is a point very well taken.

I gave my fiancee an antique ring handed down from my grandmother....a beautiful ring that she loves and that generates a lot of compliments....so I never had to go through this process. It also allowed me to bypass the ethical "blood diamond" dliemma of being part of the problem.

But yes, I think that shopping for an engagement ring can be a very good barometer for your economic future together. (That said, I do think that attitudes change over time).
Just like if a woman wants a very small modest wedding, or even none at all -> Marry that women for she is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.
phxjcc
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Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:47 pm

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by phxjcc »

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 to the closest jewelry mart in a downtown area and get it there.

If you are in the LA Metro area, PM me and I can give you a reference.
phxjcc
Posts: 782
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:47 pm

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by phxjcc »

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 to the closest jewelry mart in a downtown area and get it there.

If you are in the LA Metro area, PM me and I can give you a reference.

PS: he can beat Costsco by at least 20%.
jaj2276
Posts: 535
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:13 pm

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by jaj2276 »

I bought my engagement ring at Costco. Paid $7k for a 1ct. Has the GIA certificate. Not sure why someone would pay higher for a designer name except my brother-in-law is about to be on his second fiancee (first one left him about 3 months after the marriage) and both times his then-girlfriends expressed their desire to only want a designer diamond ring.
aristotelian
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by aristotelian »

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.

That being said I'd second the look at Costco.
Me too. Went into a random shop on vacation in Italy and picked the cheapest one with a diamond. I think it might have been around $500. I couldn't even tell you the brand or carats. She said yes and we're still happily married 15 years later.

I have to say, even though I am gainfully employed I still can't imagine spending $30k+ on a ring.
forgeblast
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Location: PA
Contact:

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by forgeblast »

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
I used diamonds direct very happy with the process. Paid a lot less for a high quality diamond as compared to other brick and mortar places. Met the person face to face and went over diamonds, it was not online.
Workaholic
Posts: 523
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:55 am

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Workaholic »

jaj2276 wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:56 pm I bought my engagement ring at Costco. Paid $7k for a 1ct. Has the GIA certificate. Not sure why someone would pay higher for a designer name except my brother-in-law is about to be on his second fiancee (first one left him about 3 months after the marriage) and both times his then-girlfriends expressed their desire to only want a designer diamond ring.
I think your brother should reassess the women he is dating :greedy . I mean it can easily become a slippery slope.

I'd be curious to poll 100 women and see if they would rather have a 1 carat ring from Tiffany or a 1.5 carat ring from a no-name store. With, of course, the diamonds in both rings being equal in their quality and scoring.
JackoC
Posts: 2081
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:14 am

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by JackoC »

Workaholic wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:51 pm
jaj2276 wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:56 pm I bought my engagement ring at Costco. Paid $7k for a 1ct. Has the GIA certificate. Not sure why someone would pay higher for a designer name except my brother-in-law is about to be on his second fiancee (first one left him about 3 months after the marriage) and both times his then-girlfriends expressed their desire to only want a designer diamond ring.
1. I think your brother should reassess the women he is dating :greedy . I mean it can easily become a slippery slope.

2. I'd be curious to poll 100 women and see if they would rather have a 1 carat ring from Tiffany or a 1.5 carat ring from a no-name store. With, of course, the diamonds in both rings being equal in their quality and scoring.
1. Maybe. In fact an engagement that didn't work out for a nephew arguably had that aspect. Sister in law was willing to give 'heirloom' of perhaps $15k replacement value, no interest. Final price for new ring near $30k, engagement eventually broken, ring not returned (not going to debate the merit of that, but it's an added financial risk with an expensive ring). However, reasonable people can have quite different expectations about stuff like that.

2. No idea, but I think in some cases it would again be a matter of expectations and the premise might be questioned ('I'll take a 1.5 from Tiffany, thanks' :happy ). And saying 'oh avoid someone like that!' might or might not be reasonable.

It's a diverse and economically stratified society. Why objectively should it even be $5k? So once it's $5k, why shouldn't it be $50k, especially for person B for whom $50k is just as affordable as $5k for person A. I'm not saying the '3 month rule', has any particular validity expect to optimize diamond sales, but there's clearly a big relative factor. And it differs by social group too, and as in most topics it's probably mainly older people here commenting. My wife got herself a third diamond ring, complement to the less expensive one that replaced her original inexpensive (stolen) engagement ring, ~$45k IIRC, but a long time after we were married. I think she got good value but up to her, whatever she wants basically is OK with me, she's not going to propose something we can't afford, and nobody's business but ours. At the time of engagement there's often nitpicking of the bride/groom from some members of extended family to consider, and though of course the couple will say 'we totally trust each other', not the way you do if and after you make it for several decades.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by ResearchMed »

Workaholic wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:51 pm
jaj2276 wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:56 pm I bought my engagement ring at Costco. Paid $7k for a 1ct. Has the GIA certificate. Not sure why someone would pay higher for a designer name except my brother-in-law is about to be on his second fiancee (first one left him about 3 months after the marriage) and both times his then-girlfriends expressed their desire to only want a designer diamond ring.
I think your brother should reassess the women he is dating :greedy . I mean it can easily become a slippery slope.

I'd be curious to poll 100 women and see if they would rather have a 1 carat ring from Tiffany or a 1.5 carat ring from a no-name store. With, of course, the diamonds in both rings being equal in their quality and scoring.
This (not just this post... the thread) is again starting to dump on someone wanting an expensive ring, but it's worse than the fancy watch, because there is some sexism included, with all sorts of other characteristics being implied.

There aren't reactions quite like this when someone is asking about a moderately expensive car ("moderately" being in the mind of the beholder, etc.).
Not everyone wants to drive a Corolla, or even buy a used Corolla.
Plenty of BH members discuss having luxury vehicles of various sorts, and there are occasional mentions of exotic luxury cars (above $100k, possibly well above). I don't remember comments about those persons and other personality characteristics or marriage issues.

Let's assume that at least some of these couples could easily afford an "expensive ring" (again, "expensive" being in *their* minds and budget).
If it isn't interfering with other spending or various types of savings, why all the judgmental comments?

When people have good incomes, what is wrong with them choosing some luxury items? Should they really continue to live like grad students throughout?
And there are no doubt times when the person who will actually be wearing 'the ring' earns more, and may even be paying for it. Not the typical "romantic gesture/method", but there aren't really strict rules here.
And once the marriage takes place, in most cases (not all), finances get at least partially merged, and in many cases completely merged. In that case, "who paid" isn't as relevant anyway.

The above are NOT cases where someone can NOT afford a certain price ring, when the potential spouse is insisting upon something like 'that'. In that case, I suspect that isn't the only "difference" that will come to cause problems, if it/they haven't already.

It's the negativity about whether someone is a "worthy" marital partner based only upon comments about the type of a single item of jewelry, without evidence that it is unaffordable, or even that other "style" issues are also "expensive" or "too expensive for the budget".
A ring costing, say $20k is one thing for someone earning approx $100k, but something entirely different when someone (or the couple, of course) earn 2-3+ times that.

Finally, one of the advantages of being a good little Boglehead is that there will be money to *comfortably* pay for some expensive items, for those who want one or more of 'em: cars, rings, houses, private schools, whatever...

RM
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Pandemic Bangs
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Pandemic Bangs »

ResearchMed wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:10 pm When people have good incomes, what is wrong with them choosing some luxury items?
+1.

Just like the car threads.
Wait 'til I get my money right | Then you can't tell me nothing, right?
Carguy85
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Carguy85 »

You gotta ask yourself how much do you love her. :D Seriously isn’t it a little silly to try to get a good deal (cheapest price) on a real diamond ring that’s not name brand?? ....so Tiffany and Co is expensive....isn’t that the whole point?? Otherwise why not CZ? Taking her along to shop does seem like a really good idea though. Will give you an idea on what to expect down the road I suppose.
stoptothink
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by stoptothink »

Workaholic wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:51 pm
jaj2276 wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:56 pm I bought my engagement ring at Costco. Paid $7k for a 1ct. Has the GIA certificate. Not sure why someone would pay higher for a designer name except my brother-in-law is about to be on his second fiancee (first one left him about 3 months after the marriage) and both times his then-girlfriends expressed their desire to only want a designer diamond ring.
I think your brother should reassess the women he is dating :greedy . I mean it can easily become a slippery slope.

I'd be curious to poll 100 women and see if they would rather have a 1 carat ring from Tiffany or a 1.5 carat ring from a no-name store. With, of course, the diamonds in both rings being equal in their quality and scoring.
When I told my (now) wife 8yrs ago to choose what she wanted, she chose a $500 rose gold band with a morganite stone (it's since appraised at like ~$3k - morganite is WAY more popular than it was then), I knew I had won the lottery. I was ready and willing to spend more, a lot more. I thought she was unique in that she had zero interest in a diamond or an expensive ring at all, but I am finding out that it isn't rare at all. I'd say easily half of the women I know who have gotten married since have shared that sentiment.
Last edited by stoptothink on Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Workaholic
Posts: 523
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Workaholic »

ResearchMed wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:10 pm
Workaholic wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:51 pm
jaj2276 wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:56 pm I bought my engagement ring at Costco. Paid $7k for a 1ct. Has the GIA certificate. Not sure why someone would pay higher for a designer name except my brother-in-law is about to be on his second fiancee (first one left him about 3 months after the marriage) and both times his then-girlfriends expressed their desire to only want a designer diamond ring.
I think your brother should reassess the women he is dating :greedy . I mean it can easily become a slippery slope.

I'd be curious to poll 100 women and see if they would rather have a 1 carat ring from Tiffany or a 1.5 carat ring from a no-name store. With, of course, the diamonds in both rings being equal in their quality and scoring.
This (not just this post... the thread) is again starting to dump on someone wanting an expensive ring, but it's worse than the fancy watch, because there is some sexism included, with all sorts of other characteristics being implied.
The first sentence of my post was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. I don't seriously believe anyone should judge the merit's of their character based on material wants. Sorry you took it wrongly but no harm was meant.
Pandemic Bangs
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Pandemic Bangs »

stoptothink wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:35 pm When I told me (now) wife 8yrs ago to choose what she wanted and I have the credit card, she chose a $500 rose gold band with a morganite stone (it's since appraised at like ~$3k what we got it for). I knew I had won the lottery. I was ready and willing to spend more... a lot more. I thought she was unique in that she had zero interest in a diamond or an expensive ring at all, but I am finding out that it isn't rare at all. I'd say easily half of the women I know who have gotten married since have shared that sentiment.
Like a lot of gifts, this is not necessarily about what the recipient demands but about what the gift-giver wants to give.

In my work, diamond size is a proxy for engagement stage of life rather than income or net worth.

Jeweler "appraisals" are almost meaningless. A commercial-grade morganite in gold would be a few hundred $. And it's too soft for everyday wear like in an e-ring. So OP -- don't get one of those.
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stoptothink
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by stoptothink »

Pandemic Bangs wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:44 pm
stoptothink wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:35 pm When I told me (now) wife 8yrs ago to choose what she wanted and I have the credit card, she chose a $500 rose gold band with a morganite stone (it's since appraised at like ~$3k what we got it for). I knew I had won the lottery. I was ready and willing to spend more... a lot more. I thought she was unique in that she had zero interest in a diamond or an expensive ring at all, but I am finding out that it isn't rare at all. I'd say easily half of the women I know who have gotten married since have shared that sentiment.
Like a lot of gifts, this is not necessarily about what the recipient demands but about what the gift-giver wants to give.

In my work, diamond size is a proxy for engagement stage of life rather than income or net worth.

Jeweler "appraisals" are almost meaningless. A commercial-grade morganite in gold would be a few hundred $. And it's too soft for everyday wear like in an e-ring. So OP -- don't get one of those.
Morganites are an 8 on the Mohr scale and my wife has worn it every day for 8yrs without issue. So, yeah, I disagree. I don't care about the appraisal, it was given to us when she had her ring cleaned.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by ResearchMed »

Workaholic wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:35 pm
ResearchMed wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:10 pm
Workaholic wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:51 pm
jaj2276 wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:56 pm I bought my engagement ring at Costco. Paid $7k for a 1ct. Has the GIA certificate. Not sure why someone would pay higher for a designer name except my brother-in-law is about to be on his second fiancee (first one left him about 3 months after the marriage) and both times his then-girlfriends expressed their desire to only want a designer diamond ring.
I think your brother should reassess the women he is dating :greedy . I mean it can easily become a slippery slope.

I'd be curious to poll 100 women and see if they would rather have a 1 carat ring from Tiffany or a 1.5 carat ring from a no-name store. With, of course, the diamonds in both rings being equal in their quality and scoring.
This (not just this post... the thread) is again starting to dump on someone wanting an expensive ring, but it's worse than the fancy watch, because there is some sexism included, with all sorts of other characteristics being implied.
The first sentence of my post was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. I don't seriously believe anyone should judge the merit's of their character based on material wants. Sorry you took it wrongly but no harm was meant.
Okay :wink:

But unfortunately, there are many others here who express similar wording who are *not* tongue-in-cheek.
(Sorry that I happened to reply to your particular post. There are many others, in this thread and other "ring" threads.)

RM
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Pandemic Bangs
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Pandemic Bangs »

stoptothink wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:46 pm Morganites are an 8 on the Mohr scale and my wife has worn it every day for 8yrs without issue. So, yeah, I disagree. I don't care about the appraisal, it was given to us when she had her ring cleaned.
7.5 - 8.0 on the Mohs scale. It is also fragile (brittle), apart from the hardness. It is beryl, like emerald, and not for everyday wear in a ring. Fine for a pendant, though. Pretty color.

My spouse would destroy a beryl ring for everyday wear -- but she's very active!
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Colorado13
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Colorado13 »

Have you considered moissanite? Blue Nile and Brilliant Earth are online and the stones they sell are beautiful. Great color and clarity, along with lower prices rhan diamonds. Both companies (and others I am sure) offer gorgeous settings too. The stones are generally mined in more environmentally friendly ways than diamonds. However if your SO is set on having a diamond, you probably should go with that as the stone. A 6 prong setting is stronger than the 4 prong setting that others have mentioned.
stoptothink
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by stoptothink »

Pandemic Bangs wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:52 pm
stoptothink wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:46 pm Morganites are an 8 on the Mohr scale and my wife has worn it every day for 8yrs without issue. So, yeah, I disagree. I don't care about the appraisal, it was given to us when she had her ring cleaned.
7.5 - 8.0 on the Mohs scale. It is also fragile (brittle), apart from the hardness. It is beryl, like emerald, and not for everyday wear in a ring. Fine for a pendant, though. Pretty color.

My spouse would destroy a beryl ring for everyday wear -- but she's very active!
What does "not for everday wear" mean? I know many women who wear a morganite ring everyday and according to the jeweler who cleaned her ring they are quite popular today, so not sure what you are getting at. If it breaks, which I have never heard of, a replacement stone is a few hundred (according to you) as opposed to several thousand.

I was not making any sort of judgement, if OP's SO just has to have a $25k ring and he can afford it, have at it. Just sharing sentiments that a heck of a lot of women today really have no interest in a diamond and the most important thing is to get what she wants (FWIW, I have a friend who blew ~$40k on a ring his now wife couldn't have cared less about, and he couldn't really afford it and my stepfather did almost the same with my mother). I could easily afford a $25k+ ring for my wife, but I'm sure as heck glad she isn't into it.
sbillertpa
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by sbillertpa »

I purchased my wife a 2.07ct I VS1 Signature Modern Cushion Diamond (GIA certified) from Good Old Gold in NY in 2014. Cushion diamonds are challenging because the 4Cs don’t necessarily reflect the light performance of the diamond. Good Old Gold was one of the few dealers that provided light performance assays and videos of the diamonds that they post to YouTube while you are shopping. I’m a big fan of this company — no affiliation.

Recently, my wife and I have been shopping for an upgrade to her cushion diamond. Her original diamond is covered by a Lifetime Trade Up Policy and a Lifetime Buyback Policy. We are in the process of trading in her 2.07ct for a 4.02ct I VS2 Cushion. We received the full cost of the 2.07ct of $17,061 and the new diamond was $47,000.

I would also recommend Jewelers Mutual for insurance.
Beekman
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Beekman »

As someone who formally worked in the diamond business, I'd like to echo some of the previous thoughts and share the advice I normally give to friends -

1) Transaction costs are high, so think hard about what is important, and try to gather as many clues for what she wants in advance. I ran across many times where the buyer "guessed" what the recipient wanted... and wasn't quite right. Is the brand important? If so... get the brand she wants. Is size important, where she wants a certain carat size? What type of style? Or are you looking for best-bang for the buck? Have a plan going into it, to help narrow the choices and zero in on what is right for you.

2) For most diamond engagement rings, the diamond dominates the cost. The smart approach is to figure out the exact diamond you want first, then deal with the setting. If you are not sure about what setting type she wants, consider getting a simple solitaire placeholder ring to start, and pick out the setting together afterwards. Custom setting are also out there and reasonably affordable.

3) Jewelry is a high markup business, and especially so in physical retail stores. You will save a significant amount of money if you are willing to buy online... and unless you are shopping at very high end jewelers, the quality is better online these days from reputable dealers than in retail.

4) If you are looking at diamonds, I would seriously consider lab-grown diamonds. They are the same as mined diamonds down to the molecular level, and quality stones are indistinguishable between lab-grown and mined even to trained jewelers without special equipment. They avoid the issues with "blood diamonds" and environmental concerns around diamond mining, and they cost less to boot. Knowing what I know from the business, I'd 100% only consider lab grown.... and an increasing number of my old clients felt the same. As an indication of the market direction... the diamond business has been generally flat year-to-year.... but lab diamonds as growing at 20%+ year over year at the expense of mined diamonds.

5) Bang-for-the buck choices - Cut is critical, especially for rounds. I wouldn't consider anything but the highest rated cut from whatever certifying agency you use for rounds... Excellent for GIA, Ideal from IGI, etc. If non-round, can normally get away with a step down, just watch for cut-specific issues like bowtie, etc. Color depends on the type of metal you are using... I wouldn't go below G with a platinum or white gold setting, and you can definitely tell the difference between a D color and a G color in these circumstances. If going rose or yellow gold, you can get away with a lower color. Clarity.... VS is the best bang for the buck in the 1ct range. Avoid black carbon spots, and look at the actual stone to understand where and what type of defects exist, not just going off a rating. Sometimes you can get away with an SI, but usually the defects can be seen. Nobody without a loupe can tell if it's VVS or IF or a decent VS... so other than bragging rights, I don't see the point beyond "eye clean". Note that allowable inclusion size scales with carat weight... so the bigger the diamond, the more I'd consider moving up this scale into VS1 or VVS range.

6) Cut measurements. Diamond nerds like me hang out of Pricescope, where you can learn a lot about cut profiles, etc. Many if not most of my former customers came from pricescope, and it's great to have some background knowledge on diamonds so you buy a quality stone. However, don't get stuck in analysis paralysis over minute differences in HCA scores and cut angles. Heck, even the ratings agencies don't 100% agree on what is perfect. The measurements and cut ratings will get you close, but don't let the measurements drive you to not look at the stone and consider natural beauty, etc. Having looked at thousands of diamonds of a wide variety of cut profiles, I can assure you that minute differences in cut angles between otherwide ideal cut stones are just not noticeable, and become part of the noise with other factors like setting, inclusion location, lighting, stone getting dirty, etc. So absolutely get a top rated cut... but don't lose the forest through the trees.

7) Video! You need to see close up video of any diamond you buy. It's the industry standard now, do not buy a diamond without it.

8) Warranties, trade-in, etc - My opinion, it's like buying insurance on smaller ticket items. It's a good profit center for the vendor, usually not a good deal for the buyer. Diamonds don't break on their own, and typical damage we saw was due to physical impact, etc.... which is generally excluded. Trade-in policies also generally not worth it... they normally require an upsell that is covered by the markup, and they are rarely used. In general, while both nice to have, I'd say in most cases you are indirectly paying a premium for these policies that exceeds the value.

9) Vendors - Depends on what type of experience you want to have and your background knowledge. Bang for the buck - Brilliant Earth and James Allen are good general recommendations if you know what you want and are OK with an existing setting. They have a lot of inventory, reasonable prices, and nice websites. Both will sell diamonds at a variety of markups, and bargains can be had if you watch them and are careful about looking closely at actual video for inclusions. But... they have good and bad on their sites, and it takes some knowledge to sort through the noise. I personally would recommend considering a smaller vendor with a more concierge approach like D.NEA Diamonds or Good Old Old if you would benefit from expert advice to narrow your search, or if you wanted a custom setting for a price similar to existing designs from larger retailers. If going for brand, you might as well go into the store. Otherwise, avoid the retail stores!
Kris3
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Kris3 »

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
Within the past month, I purchased an ACA in 18K rose gold from Whiteflash and can highly recommend. Their transparency in terms of performance imaging and diamond reports was one of the deciding factors. We wanted the most perfect cut that we could find, and this was it. Brian Gavin was the other consideration.
Pandemic Bangs
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Pandemic Bangs »

stoptothink wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 6:06 pm
What does "not for everday wear" mean? I know many women who wear a morganite ring everyday and according to the jeweler who cleaned her ring they are quite popular today, so not sure what you are getting at. If it breaks, which I have never heard of, a replacement stone is a few hundred (according to you) as opposed to several thousand.
Not a money thing -- it's just the nature of beryl. It's not that it will shatter into a thousand pieces. Look at your stone under 10X and I'm pretty sure that you will see all the facet meet-points are abraded. Eventually this will affect the overall appearance - pretty sure it has already if your spouse wears this all day, every day and does not have "household staff." This even happens to much harder sapphires over a longer period (many decades). A good-sized fine gem can be "polished" without a big proportional loss in ct-weight; for a lower-cost small stone, it is not worth it.

I'm sure they are popular. They are pretty and can be quite pink. But an actual pink diamond in a size you can see? Not for most of us. :D
Beekman wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:53 pm Cut measurements. Diamond nerds like me hang out of Pricescope, where you can learn a lot about cut profiles, etc. Many if not most of my former customers came from pricescope, and it's great to have some background knowledge on diamonds so you buy a quality stone. However, don't get stuck in analysis paralysis over minute differences in HCA scores and cut angles. Heck, even the ratings agencies don't 100% agree on what is perfect. The measurements and cut ratings will get you close, but don't let the measurements drive you to not look at the stone and consider natural beauty, etc. Having looked at thousands of diamonds of a wide variety of cut profiles, I can assure you that minute differences in cut angles between otherwide ideal cut stones are just not noticeable, and become part of the noise with other factors like setting, inclusion location, lighting, stone getting dirty, etc. So absolutely get a top rated cut... but don't lose the forest through the trees.
+1 on PriceScope -- see upthread. You can disappear down this rabbit hole forever and diamond dealers will happily escort you there.

Know that the first swipe of a finger across your perfect stone will knock color and clarity grades off the appearance. Unless you clean it daily (at least), it will never look like the perfection it is supposed to be. Spouse cleans her "nice" but non-ideal RBC annually (? :D) and it is amazing the difference in appearance. Nearly everyone falls into this pattern -- like washing your new car. Hand sanitizer? Lotion? Anything on the pavilion (back) just kills it. The alternative is taking it off 20 times a day and leaving it in a restaurant bathroom.

I would not over-pay for color or clarity for these reasons. If you are getting RBC (and I think they all look the same = boring = like how all Teslas look the same!), I would want an excellent cut but it need not be ideal, imo.

And none (!) are "investments" in any way. Even if you are willing to lose half or 2/3 of the purchase price, no one will buy a one-off from a nobody like you or me. A few places might consign it if it.
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IMO
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by IMO »

Also advise, go to Costco or Sams. If anything, it will give you a baseline before you go to some high priced place. The one I bought/gave came with some standardized rating card, for whatever that is worth.

And to be perfectly honest, IMO, the whole quality of the stone thing gets a bit overblown in life. I mean honestly, it's not like someone looks at my spouse's ring/diamond and brings out a jewler's loop or whatever it's called, pulls her hand/ring up to it (and in their face) and starts to evaluate it's rating.

I doubt 99% (or more) of people out there, if they saw 2 diamonds of the same approximate cut/size at 2 feet away (a socially normal distance Covid or not) would be able to tell the difference. Most of us normal people will just look at a diamond's size and think, "crap that's a big diamond, must of cost alot." I await all the diamond experts who'll tell me how wrong I am and who the average person out there can quickly discern the differences in diamonds on a normal social view.

But buying a diamond is an emotional experience, emotion just in the way of common sense. And from what I understand, it's not like a diamond is considered a good investment in life.
z91
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by z91 »

Pricescope.com
politely
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by politely »

As a person with some experience in this space, I think you have received good advice, and will supplement as follows:

1- Tiffany is about 2x as expensive without increasing quality and is only worth it if your future fiancee (and you) value the Tiffany name. Also, there is some higher value in the secondary market if you think you will be selling. In my opinion, the name is not worth the cost since the diamond is a commodity and the Tiffany markup is based on the brand and the setting, and I don't plan on selling. I'll have much bigger issues if I have to sell the ring. You can get similar settings and stones for much cheaper. I did not go the Tiffany route, and am happy with my decision even after some decades.

2 - The retailers named so far have good reputations (eg, costco, whiteflash, james allen). But, at the size & price you're looking at, make sure the stone has a lab report - but be cautious about the lab issuing the report. Some are better than others. I view GIA as the standard for diamonds. If you are not receiving a GIA report, do some research to check the differences between labs.

3 - Pricescope is a good resource to determine market pricing.

4 - If you buy a diamond, I personally would choose something "colorless" (D-F) and something that was rated "excellent" in cut, polish and symmetry (also known as 3x) - but not really applicable if you are buying a non-round-brilliant stone. Also, generally, I would look to purchase VS1 clarity or above. Currently, cut is the rage in the market, and while sentiment may change, if your stone is not excellent cut you may face severe price cuts in the secondary market. If VS2 or below, I would be cautious and check the GIA report and see where the significant inclusion(s) was located. For me, middle of the table or black inclusions noted on the report would be a deal-breaker unless I could see the stone in person. I can usually see the difference and is why I'm particular, but if you and your future fiancee can't see the inclusions or the color differences, that means that you can buy a bigger stone with the same amount of money, and disregard my preferences. It's likely that most people won't notice a degree or two of difference based on a casual look. By the way, inclusions are evaluated at 10x.

5 - I think Beekman gave great advice, but I have a personal preference toward natural gems vs man-made. Synthetic diamonds are steadily decreasing in price as more sellers enter the market. To be sure, there are quite a lot of natural diamonds, but (in my opinion) they are not as likely to depreciate as quickly as synthetic diamonds. However, to be clear, I have bought both natural and synthetic diamonds for my spouse.

6- After purchase, I think the insurance recommendation of JM is helpful, and Chubb is good, too (may need to meet some minimum insurance amount). Make sure to understand the differences in what you will be receiving in the event of a claim, eg, replacement cost (or market value) vs agreed value.

7 - As someone that purchased a similar sized stone, let me self-congratulatorily applaud your decision. Personally I found that our 1.5ish ct. stone (approx. 7.4mm) was a good balance between smaller stones (eg, 1ct at approx. 6.5mm) and much larger stones (eg, 2ct at approx. 8.2mm) within our social circle. I thought it didn't look out of place among our friends, and wasn't embarrassingly small or large. Of course, this depends on your social circle and the effect you want to achieve.

Finally, good luck & best wishes!!
stoptothink
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by stoptothink »

Pandemic Bangs wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 9:31 pm
stoptothink wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 6:06 pm
What does "not for everday wear" mean? I know many women who wear a morganite ring everyday and according to the jeweler who cleaned her ring they are quite popular today, so not sure what you are getting at. If it breaks, which I have never heard of, a replacement stone is a few hundred (according to you) as opposed to several thousand.
Not a money thing -- it's just the nature of beryl. It's not that it will shatter into a thousand pieces. Look at your stone under 10X and I'm pretty sure that you will see all the facet meet-points are abraded. Eventually this will affect the overall appearance - pretty sure it has already if your spouse wears this all day, every day and does not have "household staff." This even happens to much harder sapphires over a longer period (many decades). A good-sized fine gem can be "polished" without a big proportional loss in ct-weight; for a lower-cost small stone, it is not worth it.

I'm sure they are popular. They are pretty and can be quite pink. But an actual pink diamond in a size you can see? Not for most of us. :D

Because under a microscope someone may be able to notice some differences, it is "not for everyday use" :oops: ? Over a long period (of decades), this may result in some "wear"? Statements like that are exactly why the industry is such a racket.

Best of luck OP, the one and only thing that matters is that you get what she wants.
fourwheelcycle
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by fourwheelcycle »

My wife and I were married when we were impoverished grad students. I bought an inexpensive diamond ring and my wife loved it! I cringed every time we took it in to be cleaned or to have a prong repaired and the jeweler said "Oh, that's a very nice diamond" - I knew it was not.

Over the years I wanted to buy her a new diamond "that was as perfect as our marriage". She insisted she loved her original ring, but she finally let me buy her a new one. It is much less than a carat, but it is nearly flawless. I ended up ordering it from James Allen. One of our sons had a very good experience, with a larger diamond, ordering from Whiteflash.
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Watty
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Watty »

IMO wrote: Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:21 am And to be perfectly honest, IMO, the whole quality of the stone thing gets a bit overblown in life. I mean honestly, it's not like someone looks at my spouse's ring/diamond and brings out a jewler's loop or whatever it's called, pulls her hand/ring up to it (and in their face) and starts to evaluate it's rating.
Even if they did they would still likely have a hard time telling the difference because the ring is likely dirty.

Having a dirty high quality diamond is kind of like paying a lot to buy a Ferrari to drive in stop and go rush hour traffic.

When someone gets even a lower grade diamond ring cleaned they will often be surprised how much better it looks. What they don't focus on is that they may have been walking around for six months or longer with a dirty ring and the freshly cleaned ring will quickly get dirty again.
Jags4186
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Jags4186 »

OP,

I really recommend you check out this website.

https://www.diamonds.pro/truth-about/

It will go through each aspect of diamond buying and what is and isn’t important. What you can and shouldn’t skimp on. Remember, most of these differences people talk about are only visible in a unmounted and brightly lit environment under magnification. It’s just not realistic to be in that scenario unless you’re looking to sell the diamond.
alfaspider
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by alfaspider »

You have to accept that just about all money spent on an engagement ring is wasted in the sense that you are not purchasing an object that will be worth anything near what you will pay for it. Even if you get a screaming deal, you will still be paying double or more what it would fetch on the used market.

With that in mind, it's not really about objective value, but value to your fiance. Ultimately, you are paying to make them happy. So I wouldn't get too much into the weeds on diamond grades, brands, or certifications. Just look at the actual stone and decide whether it looks good. The only thing that matters is that she is happy with what she gets.

If your fiance doesn't actually care but just wants something her friends can ooh and ahh over, the cheapest way out is a simulated diamond with a tiffany style but generic setting. Only trained jewelers are going to tell the difference between a nice moissanite and a $20k+ tiffany ring. If she must have a diamond but can be convinced to ignore branding, avoiding big box branded rings like tiffany will save you a boat load of money. A Tiffany style setting with a diamond bought on Blue Nile or similar outfit will cost half as much and be indistinguishable except for the lack of a "Tiffany" stamp on the inside. But if she needs to have a Tiffany ring to feel good about the ring, I'm afraid you are just stuck forking over an amount of money sufficient to buy a decent car.
getthatmarshmallow
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by getthatmarshmallow »

Another thing to consider, OP, is that the diamond industry is quite the racket. I don't just mean the idea of 'two months' salary', but the idea that what matters in the purchase are features of the diamond that aren't noticeable by most people. Most people can't tell 1.48 carats from 1.5 or G from H in color or very slightly included, etc. What they notice is size and sparkle. Any slight difference will be swamped by lighting, skin oils, choice of setting, and so forth.

The consequence of this is that unlike many other expensive purchases, there isn't much reason to try to optimize for value. If all she cares about is a big sparkly ring, then mossanite is possibly an alternative. If what she cares about is big and sparkly and diamond, then mossanite is going to be inferior even if 'objectively' it's a sparkly rock. But if she cares about big, sparkly, and from Tiffany, it's unlikely that big and sparkly and $15K cheaper will feel the same, even if it's 'objectively' a better diamond. So the choices aren't equivalent diamond + $15K for vacation, but somewhat disappointing diamond.

It's not rational at all if one is considering only the economics. But the engagement ring is mostly about social expectations. As I've said, when we got engaged, my nerdy social circle was hyperfocused on the problem of blood diamonds, such that people were either opting for no diamonds, or heirlooms/antiques only, or certified non-blood-diamonds. My current circle would appreciate the quality and cachet of a Tiffany diamond (one pays for the name but the quality is there, and a lot of us have Tiffany silver or gold jewelry) but wouldn't see it as required or aspirational -- just a beautiful luxury item.
getthatmarshmallow
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Re: Engagement Ring

Post by getthatmarshmallow »

alfaspider wrote: Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:30 am You have to accept that just about all money spent on an engagement ring is wasted in the sense that you are not purchasing an object that will be worth anything near what you will pay for it. Even if you get a screaming deal, you will still be paying double or more what it would fetch on the used market.

With that in mind, it's not really about objective value, but value to your fiance. Ultimately, you are paying to make them happy. So I wouldn't get too much into the weeds on diamond grades, brands, or certifications. Just look at the actual stone and decide whether it looks good. The only thing that matters is that she is happy with what she gets.

If your fiance doesn't actually care but just wants something her friends can ooh and ahh over, the cheapest way out is a simulated diamond with a tiffany style but generic setting. Only trained jewelers are going to tell the difference between a nice moissanite and a $20k+ tiffany ring. If she must have a diamond but can be convinced to ignore branding, avoiding big box branded rings like tiffany will save you a boat load of money. A Tiffany style setting with a diamond bought on Blue Nile or similar outfit will cost half as much and be indistinguishable except for the lack of a "Tiffany" stamp on the inside. But if she needs to have a Tiffany ring to feel good about the ring, I'm afraid you are just stuck forking over an amount of money sufficient to buy a decent car.
Ha, we posted nearly the same thing. This, exactly.
lightheir
Posts: 2581
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:43 pm

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by lightheir »

Tiffany is all about the name. But let's be real, so is the cost of the engagement ring - it's all how its perceived that is paramount.

Like it or not, there is a real subjective value for many (?most?) for showing this type of expenditure for the engagement ring. Meaning it's more than just a business transaction.

I will add as someone who bequeathed a Tiffany ring to my wife (and it was totally worth it, imo!) she rarely wears it. Too bulky, too expensive, easier to wear a low profile band instead. We actually worry about where we keep something like this, and it gets annoying!
Workaholic
Posts: 523
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:55 am

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by Workaholic »

lightheir wrote: Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:11 am Tiffany is all about the name. But let's be real, so is the cost of the engagement ring - it's all how its perceived that is paramount.

Like it or not, there is a real subjective value for many (?most?) for showing this type of expenditure for the engagement ring. Meaning it's more than just a business transaction.

I will add as someone who bequeathed a Tiffany ring to my wife (and it was totally worth it, imo!) she rarely wears it. Too bulky, too expensive, easier to wear a low profile band instead. We actually worry about where we keep something like this, and it gets annoying!
Do you have it insured through your homeowners insurance or through somewhere like Jewelers Mutual? If so, why worry about it? My policy covers loss so if it does disappear, I'm covered. No worrying about it.
surfstar
Posts: 2439
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Re: Engagement Ring

Post by surfstar »

lightheir wrote: Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:11 am Tiffany is all about the name. But let's be real, so is the cost of the engagement ring - it's all how its perceived that is paramount.

Like it or not, there is a real subjective value for many (?most?) for showing this type of expenditure for the engagement ring. Meaning it's more than just a business transaction.

I will add as someone who bequeathed a Tiffany ring to my wife (and it was totally worth it, imo!) she rarely wears it. Too bulky, too expensive, easier to wear a low profile band instead. We actually worry about where we keep something like this, and it gets annoying!
So...
synthetic or whatever they call them + Tiffany box = everyone's happy.


The amount of social engineering that "justifies" spending an absurd amount of money on a shiny object, that may not even be worn daily... :oops:
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