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engagement ring buying advice

DaveDr89

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All,
I'm in the market for an engagement ring/diamond. I've done some reading about the 4C's etc but still consider myself quite the novice. I presume I can go by the ratings of the AGS or GIA certificate for the diamond as a gauge to make sure I am not getting swindled, but I assume there is large amount of price variability, especially in these economic times. Are the internet dealers (e.g., bluenile.com) a viable option or should I just crossed this off my list? Any other advice much appreciated. Also, I'm considering getting the matching wedding band at the same time and have a preference for platinum w/ channeled diamonds for this. What's a rough benchmark for the proportion of the total budget spend on the diamond, engagement ring, and wedding ring?
thanks!
 

JustinW

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My better half, who knows rings, diamonds and platinum FAR too well mentioned that bluenile has good prices.

Personally, I like antique styled rings with a bit of character.

While total surprises are brilliant - there is something to be said for consulting your proposed betrothed on her ring preferences/tastes. She will be wearing it for life and it will be closely inspecting by all her female friends!
 

TheFoo

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The single most important variable is cut quality (I don't mean the shape of the diamond). The proportions and symmetry of a diamond will determine how much light is reflected. A flawless D-color diamond can still look dull if the cut is bad.

It's up to you how much you want to spend on each ring; personally I'd spend far less on the wedding band. If you haven't already, you might want to consider whether the lucky girl will want a wedding band that matches yours--if she does, a diamond-studded one may not be the way to go! If possible, I'd wait until after she says yes to go wedding band shopping together. If for no other reason, it might seem somewhat presumptious to her otherwise.

Is there a reason why you want channeled diamonds in her wedding band? If you want to have diamonds in it, pave would be much prettier and more delicate-looking.
 

thekunk07

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just go to stuart moore rather than trying to understand this shit. if you knew what you were doing, you'd be a woman or a diamond dealer.
 

TheFoo

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Originally Posted by thekunk07
just go to stuart moore rather than trying to understand this shit. if you knew what you were doing, you'd be a woman or a diamond dealer.

It's a gigantic expenditure and doesn't take that much diligence to do it right and save money while getting a better diamond and ring.

Wouldn't a true iGent insist on carefully picking a loose stone and getting a bespoke ring made?
 

rnoldh

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All of your comments make sense and are a wise way to buy.

I've heard very good things about Blue Nile though if you are in a major city and have access to a genuine wholesale operation ( and not a retailer ) you can probably do as well with more personal service than an internet purchase.
 

West24

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we always get these threads lol. heres my opinions (im a certified gemmologist yay!) and jeweller. as mafoofan said, cut is huge and is something where the jewellery company can screw with you. everyone knows the 4 c's, so they come in thinkign they are prepared etc,but most people dont know shit about cut etc. so they tell you how itd a vs1, f colour, so it sounds like a pretty nice diamond. yet there is no brilliance, fire etc. its because the cut is shit. too high of a crown, too large of a pavillion etc. if you are trying to look for a deal, you can always try and buy the diamond seperate, and the ring seperate. this way you can see different diamonds and maybe even get a good deal because you have an inclusion in the diamond which isnt visible face up etc. this is huge for coloured stones, with the opticals axis etc, where some stones will show amazing colour through the optical axis, and be clear when viewed perindicular to it.
 

Renault78law

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Blue Nile is good prices. Posters in prior threads have stated they knew jewelers that had access to the same stones that can get them for less. I have not had any experience with those.

I insist on GIA cert and VG cut. The cost of the wedding band and ring is trivial compared to the cost of the diamond.
 

DaveDr89

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that's what I am worried about ... my guess is that even if I study diamonds for say several weeks I will still lack the expertise to really know, similar to how it takes awhile to rate a good suit, etc. .... I suppose one solution would be to find a gemologist to help but that would be costly I suppose, or RE the measurements on things like the crown and pavillion are there guidelines that you can give so that within certain ranges I can avoid what you are talking about?
 

DaveDr89

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what do you mean by trivial? Less than 10% the price of the diamond combined?
 

JustinW

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You might also want to ask where the diamond comes from. If they say Canada they should be able to provide some documentation to the effect. If you get a vague 'the dealers get the best stones from Africa' you might be getting a 'blood diamond'. Given all the symbolism inherent in an engagement ring, you or your fiancee may not want it to be tainted like that.

My wedding band cost as much as the engagement ring WITHOUT the centre diamond, if that's any help to you.
 

unjung

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They're hunks of carbon in a manipulated market. Buy her speaker wire instead.
 

Renault78law

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Originally Posted by DaveDr89
what do you mean by trivial? Less than 10% the price of the diamond combined?

I apologize, I shouldn't have said trivial, since I have no idea what your budget is. What I should have said is there is no rule of thumb as to proportion of stone to rings. A $1200 setting is going to cost $1200 regardless of whether your stone is .25 carats or 2.5 carats. Generally, the tiny stones in the band will not be certified so it will be difficult to see measure their quality; it will be difficult to see the quality as well, especially in a channel.
 

athletics

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1. Don't sacrifice the cut or dimensions
2. Look at it outside, as long as the color is ok, you are good. Once its set, its harder to tell
3. Get the biggest size you can afford (as long as it still looks good).
 

Jay-D

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To the OP -
There are a few questions you should ask yourself about the lucky girl. Is she going to care where you purchased? I for one went the route of Tiffany's and spent $20K +, but that is what I had to do. Trying to find something at a deal is great, but if your girl is on the superficial side or a business professional, the place does make a difference. In you girl's eyes, you will not go wrong with Tiffany's or another name dealer. Just be prepared to spend some dough.
Good luck!
Jay
 

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