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Engaged/married? What did you do for rings?

post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 
alright, im getting engaged this summer and wanted to know how some of you engaged/married dudes went about aquiring an engagement ring

What does the ring you picked look like?

How did you pay for it? Cash lump? Payment plan?

Im really excitied but to tell you the truth, I just jumped into this. Marriage has been the plan for months now, when im done school, but engagement this early has only been decided recently.

anything at all you could tell me would be great, im so excited!
post #2 of 79
At the ripe old age of 22, I flew to Scotland and picked up a silver and amethyst Luckenbooth brooch. The trip was more expensive than the jewellery. But my wife is of Scottish ancestry, so it was worth the bother, and I was much more foolish then. Of course I could have gotten one in the US. But that wasn't the point. And of course the rest of the family was expecting diamonds. But that wasn't the point, either.

For the wedding, (using the Scottish form of service and Scottish vows -- "all my worldly goods with thee I share"), the plainest gold rings we could find.

I had the money to pay for this, amazingly. I had no credit to speak of at that point, anyway.
post #3 of 79
It's a shame that the old version of SF was lost--there were two threads on this, one of which was started by me. I will try to summarize some of the comments and give my plans as well. 1. If you are unsure about her tastes, take her with you to pick out the ring. Or rings--someone mentioned his gf picking out 3 or 4 different ones and then he made the final decision. 2. Do you have any ideas already? That can help peopel tailor advice. Example: I want something with a 1900s-1930s look. I am only looking at actual rings from the period. (i) They are more original; (ii) they are way cheaper (example: a local shop has a new 1930s-looking setting in platinum for $10k and up, another shop has an estate rings (settings only) from the 1930s in platinum for $1000-$2000). 3. A diamond looks better against platinum than against white or yellow gold. 4. Speaking of, educate yourself on how to find a good quality diamond. Some sites: http://www.adiamondisforever.com http://www.goodoldgold.com http://www.bluenile.com 5. Don't be afraid to buy the diamond on-line. But do your research first. 6. Buying the stone(s) separate from the setting can save you money. 7. There are many opinions on the trade-offs between carats, color, clarity, and cut. I will let others speak to that. Some argue for size alone (carats), others for color and clarity. Your budget will probably determine size in the end anyway, as the size affects the price the most (all other things equal). I plan to buy a vintage setting from a local jeweler who does custom work and then buy the stone from him as well. He has a lovely selection of estate jewelry and stones, he does very nice custom work, and his prices are very good. After insisting I could do this all on my own, I did end up taking my gf to look at some of his rings. It clarified her tastes for me and now I can go and choose one on my own and feel confident that she will love it. good luck. bob
post #4 of 79
There's also a recent thread on AA. I'm not interested in feeding the deBeers mythology, so I don't plan on buying a diamond when I get engaged. But I'm in no danger of that, so take it for what it's worth.

Tom
post #5 of 79
If you want information from folks who don't have a commercial interest (or as much of a comercial interest as adiamondisforever.com and bluenile.com) in the issue, check out the pricescope forums: http://www.pricescope.com/idealbb/. You'll get a lot of advice on this issue, of varying quality. The biggest thing to remember is that the ring, and the process of acquiring it, need to work for you and your prospective fiancee. My only strong opinion is that a ring should be wholly paid for on the day it's given. Otherwise, it's not yours to give. It's a pretty old-school stance, but I think that it's a wise one. +1 on not feeding the deBeers mythology. Three practical options to avoid that: 1) buy an estate stone/setting, 2) Buy a Canadian diamond (pricey), or 3) buy a cultured diamond from Apollo or Gemesis (though I don't think that they're growing clear stones yet).
post #6 of 79
I was thinking more along the lines of emerald, but whatever, that's cool. Doesn't deBeers do most of the diamond mining in Canada?
post #7 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger02
Doesn't deBeers do most of the diamond mining in Canada?

The industry is a little nuts in terms of who is in bed with whom, and all the complex ownership arrangements. But the short answer, to my limited understanding, is that de Beers does mine some rough in Canada, but that there are significant non-de Beers sources as well. De Beers' market share of rough in Canada is apparently well below their world-wide share, which is somewhere between 60-80%.
post #8 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by breakfasteatre
alright, im getting engaged this summer and wanted to know how some of you engaged/married dudes went about aquiring an engagement ring

What does the ring you picked look like?

How did you pay for it? Cash lump? Payment plan?

Im really excitied but to tell you the truth, I just jumped into this. Marriage has been the plan for months now, when im done school, but engagement this early has only been decided recently.

anything at all you could tell me would be great, im so excited!

Bob did a good job of summing up what was discussed previously.

I am one of the people who used good old gold. I didn't shop on-line, I actually shopped in the store. My wife's family has been shopping there for the last 10-15 years so we got a lot of attention and excellent service when we were there. Their website is very informative. I learned far more from their website and my in store visits than I did from any other retailer. I am very happy with the entire experience and my wife receives compliments on her ring all the time.

In the end I bought a traditional round solitaire. I paid about 80% in cash and the balance on a credit card which I paid off in 2 months. This is definitely a purchase I think you should save up for. You don't want to bring that debt into the marriage.
post #9 of 79
I think it is important to set a budget first, know what you are willing to spend. Then set you sights on a style, round, emerald, asher, pear etc. After seeing friends go for quantity, i would tell you quality matters more so than quantity. That being said, a round diamond hides imperfections better than an emerald, which will allow you to go bigger without sacrificing a ton in quality. Good Luck!
post #10 of 79
Damn, I'm happy the tradition in much of Europe are just plain gold bands for engagement rings, like wedding bands. You just move it from one hand to the other at the time of marriage, or get a similar wedding band.

Few things depreciate as badly in value as jewellery does. I would do this:

- Get some technical knowledge and impartial advice, particularly when you've picked a few candidates. Neat trick: Make a deposit and take the candidate to an auction house or a dealer in antique jewllery - they normally do free valuations, and normally won't mind looking at it at all. It's part of their business plan to provide the service. This would also render a gemmologist's certificate unnecessary - you can always get a new valuation with a certificate later, if necessary.

- Buy from a reputable auction house or specialist dealer. A trip to the New York or Antwerp diamond districts is very educational, and might offer a good deal. Buy vintage, and if you plan to buy for the stones, seek out formerly really expensive jewellery in as bad a taste as possible, and then chuck the brooch/stick-pin/pendant. Or buy a good ring as it is.

- Have the ring restored or re-set at a good jeweller's, if necessary. These very often do not have store-front shops, just hidden-away messy workshops.

A few thoughts:

- The importance of the difference between old- and new-cut brilliants is overrated. An old-cut diamond with a good precise cut can be far nicer than a new-cut one. The rarer cuts, like baguette, marquise, rose-cut etc. can sometimes be bought for far less. One of the tricky points of a brilliant-cut stone is that they rarely can be re-cut without a significant reduction in size. This makes re-cutting brilliants almost pointless, but can in some cases heighten the value of other cuts, particulary the oblong ones, like baguette and marquise.

- Few people are able to discern slight imperfections in a stone. If you can't see them, and practically noone else can, what's the point of paying for perfection? Not a very romantic thought, I know, but this is really about getting practical value for money.

- The idea that it's bad luck to buy an old/second-hand/used engagement ring is another part of the deBeers mythology. Don't listen to it - fantastic pieces of antique jewellery have been destroyed because of the idea. Apart from that, an old piece will very often have a far better setting and general goldsmith's work. No point in destroying it, if not absolutely necessary, for reasons of taste or other.
post #11 of 79
straight up, fuck debeers

just be original and get a damn sapphire ring or something

the idea of an unadorned metal band also appeals to me
post #12 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by oman
straight up, fuck debeers

just be original and get a damn sapphire ring or something

the idea of an unadorned metal band also appeals to me

While I agree that deBeers has a stranglehold on the diamond market, and while I think their commercials are borderline offensive, if I had purchased something other than a diamond engagement ring for my wife, I would have been beatend soundly about the head and neck and sent to bed without supper. My point is, before you deviate from the standard American custom of the diamond engagement ring, make damn sure your fiancee-to-be is on board. If not, you're just asking for pain.
post #13 of 79
At this point, I wouldn't marry a girl who wasn't on board. Again, I'm in no danger of that.

"Diamonds. She pretty much has to."
post #14 of 79
A girl's two cents (albeit one who's finger is unadorned and will be staying that way for a while...):

I used to think an engagement wouldn't be complete without a little sparkly diamond on my finger, but I've since become convinced that, while the tradition is nice, it is more special and desirable to have something different than everyone else--like an emerald or sapphire.

I wouldn't say that most women share that view, but you might be surprised. I like being different, and I personally think that spending as much as people do these days on diamonds is a little ridiculous.

For what it's worth,
Sara
post #15 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by operationexpat
I used to think an engagement wouldn't be complete without a little sparkly diamond on my finger, but I've since become convinced that, while the tradition is nice, it is more special and desirable to have something different than everyone else--like an emerald or sapphire.

Sara's point is a good one, and illustrates why it's so important for the process to be right for you guys - there is no overall "right."

Some women definitely want a diamond, some women (like Sara) would be even happier with a less traditional stone, etc. etc.

I spoke to me fiancee about the possibility of using a cultured stone. She thought that it was a great idea, but some women would balk. We also talked about getting an antique ring. Again, some women would balk.

Also, women oftentimes aren't totally sure of what they want, either. My fiancee started out wanting some sort of extremely modern setting and an emerald cut. She ended up falling in love with an antique ring from the 30's that's pretty much the exactly opposite. So definitely make it a joint process.
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