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Teach me about Engagement Rings

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Teach me about Engagement Rings

Old 09-19-05, 12:44 PM
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Teach me about Engagement Rings

It's looking more and more likely that I'm going to pop the question to my girlfriend in the next couple of months or so. I've just started to look at engagement rings but I'm pretty much clueless on what to look for. Anyhow, I figure that some Otters here could school me on the subject.

1) How much to spend. I make about $35,000/year. My thought is to spend between $1500 and $2500. Does this sound about right? Too low? I want to get something nice without going overboard. My girlfriend claims she doesn't wan't anything gaudy or too expensive but I'm looking for something nice. She has really small hands so I know she doesn't want anything huge.

2) Cut. Clarity. Color. What should I be looking for?

3) Where to buy. We were out shopping and looked at some rings at Helxberg Diamonds. She fell in love with this ring so I at least have an idea. What do you think about it?

4) She definitely doesn't want yellow gold. She would prefer white gold or platinum. I realize platinum is more expensive but is it the better way to go? I would imagine that it would dull after some time but I also know that White Gold will yellow.

5) She likes styles that are antique with more ornate designs on the side like the one I linked to above. She also likes round stones. Any direct links to rings would be appreciated.

Any other thoughts would be appreciated.

(Yes, I know I should run away....fast )
Old 09-19-05, 02:56 PM
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Start at Blue Nile. I got my wife's engagement ring from there. It was exactly what I wanted, and the price couldn't have been beat.

For $2500, you can get her a really, really nice diamond solitaire. I found that you need to balance all the qualities of the stone in order to get a really nice one. I got a Very Good Cut, with F color, and VS2 clarity.

DO NOT BUY FROM A MALL STORE. The prices there are outrageous. Go in to take a look and what not, but don't ever buy from those places.
Old 09-19-05, 03:10 PM
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This isn't going to be helpful, but I'm posting in this because so far it's the only thread I can get into since somebody broke the forum...

You know what, though... Paris Hilton and her fiance, Paris, had a recent bit of news about their engagement rings. Paris-boy gave Paris-girl a choice of two engagement rings; she of course took the more expensive one. And *then* later decided she didn't like the one she'd chosen because the stone was yellow and she "didn't want yellow" for her engagement ring.

My engagement ring (73 years ago) was extra special because my then-fiance hand-made it from titanium according to my design. Titanium because it would last a long, long time. Ditched the husband in less than a year... but I still gots tha ring.
Old 09-19-05, 03:12 PM
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DO NOT, under any circumstance, buy from a Mall Store. You will pay 2 - 3 TIMES what the diamond and ring is worth.



To answer your question... get a feel for what SHE wants.. Since you have a few months till you get it, gathering info now won't tip your hat.

1. Does she want yellow gold, white gold, or platinum?

2. What shape is she fond of the most?

3. Does she wants side stones?


The rest is kinda up to you... She'll give you the starting foundation and you build on top of that. She'll just want the basics, but everything else she'll want to be done by you .


Here are some things to keep in mind....

Color, Clarity, Cut, Carat

The Color is important, because it will help determine it's shine. The higher "letter grade" the diamond is, the more 'yellow' it will look. So, lower letters are better.

Clarity is how many flaws, unclusions and carbon spots are in the stone. If you can see anything with the naked eye, put the stone right back and say "no thanks". IN MY OPINION.. anything you can't see with the naked eye is alright with me.

The cut will determine it's shape and HOW WELL it reflect light which will also add to the "shine" of the ring in the light.

Lastly is the carat which I think is the least valuable factor. I'd rather have a 3/4 carat stone that is shining in the sun, is colorless and looks great, then a 1.5 carat that is yellow and does not refract light well.


These are all questions that only YOU can decide my friend. Regardless, as long as you get the basics of what she wants, and you decide on all the rest, she'll love ya for it

Congratulations!

If you have any other questions, let me know. [email protected]

But there are lotttts of jewlers on here who will chime in as well

Last edited by Sominex; 09-19-05 at 03:14 PM.
Old 09-19-05, 03:12 PM
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Oh Yeah -- I second the thing about don't buy from stores at a mall. It's fun to go look just so you can get some ideas or inspiration about what you might want or might not want, but you can find a better place to buy from. I think online would really be the best selection; virtually infinite possibilities. Celtic rings are beautiful, I think. There are a ton of great places online, Blue Nile amongst them.
Old 09-19-05, 03:13 PM
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color and clarity can make up for a smaller size...get as good as you cann afford on those two factors and no one will notice the size because of all the BLING!

BTW Congrats!
Old 09-19-05, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by automator
1) How much to spend. I make about $35,000/year. My thought is to spend between $1500 and $2500. Does this sound about right? Too low? I want to get something nice without going overboard. My girlfriend claims she doesn't wan't anything gaudy or too expensive but I'm looking for something nice. She has really small hands so I know she doesn't want anything huge.
This should be between your fiance and yourself and should be determined on how much you think you can afford and how much you WANT to afford. If this is meant as a surprise, then I can only say to be practical.

Don't buy into the Jewelry stores propaganda that says you need to spend 2 months salary. That's bogus.

I spent $1,100 on my wife's engagement ring and wedding band (they came as a set). She picked it out. I made about $28k at the time. We didn't even want to spend that much, but we wanted something nice. Looking back, I think we should have got a manufactured diamond and spent even less.
Old 09-19-05, 03:22 PM
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Yes... definitely check out ONLINE buying.

If you are worried about getting ripped off, check out some of the places like suggested (Blue Nile) that have GOOD reputations. There are even Escrow Services available as well.


ALSO, If it comes up, look for a ring that is GIA certified. It will have the GIA # and symbol laser engraved on the side of the stone (you need a microscope to see it). And it matches with a certificate that you get with the ring.

This depends on IF certification is something you want with the ring. Some people do, some people don't.

But if you do.. just stay away from 'IGI' They have some really bad and very lenient grading I understand
Old 09-19-05, 03:23 PM
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Thanks for the info so far. I've heard that mall stores can be expensive but I am uneasy with purchasing a ring I can't hold in my hand and look at. How will I be able to tell what you can see with the naked eye? Inclusions, cloudiness, etc. Anyone else here purchase online?
Old 09-19-05, 03:33 PM
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I just looked at your link of the ring your wife liked... Gorgeous! She has taste similar to my own taste in rings, so I thought I'd post this. We were going to purchase a titanium ring online, before we decided that he'd make it by hand. This was the site we were going to go with...

http://www.tirings.com/index.php/cPath/28

"tirings" = titanium rings

You guys may not care a whit about the titanium thing. But I just think the color is absolutely beautiful, and some of these on this page have that somewhat antique-look which I especially love.

Making me jealous!! Very important to take your time. Dumb analogy, but it should be kind of like picking out a tattoo... in that you want to think a long time about what you and she *really* wants, look at a whole lot of different things AND go to a reputable place.
Old 09-19-05, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by mersaulte
I just looked at your link of the ring your wife liked...
Lets not get ahead of ourselves here...

Thanks for the link.
Old 09-19-05, 03:41 PM
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cubic zirconia, all you need to know.
Old 09-19-05, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by automator
Thanks for the info so far. I've heard that mall stores can be expensive but I am uneasy with purchasing a ring I can't hold in my hand and look at. How will I be able to tell what you can see with the naked eye? Inclusions, cloudiness, etc. Anyone else here purchase online?

I thought the exact same thing, and I worry about things like that more then anyone I know. I just took a leap and did it.


Of course she ended up being an evil, heart of stone cheating bitch, and I sold her ring before I gave it to her... but that's another story.


Regardless, do what ever you feel comfortable with!

There are some VERY good dealers online. I suggest you look for something you like online , contact the dealer and then voice your concerns to him/her. If they want the sale, let THEM ease you concerns.

Now, when you look for a ring online, it's like picking out a football player without having seen him in action. You are just looking at the stats. The measurements, the color grading, the clairty scale, the shape, the cut, etc,etc...
Old 09-19-05, 03:57 PM
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Unless you're looking at I2 grade diamonds, there is almost no chance that you'll be able to see inclusions/cloudiness with your naked eye. Even with I2, you're going to be hard pressed to see them unless you're looking really, really hard. If you can see them easily, then you're looking at an improperly graded diamond.

Getting a GIA graded diamond is iron-clad. They're even a little bit pickier than they need to be. I took my wife's diamond into a local shop to get a matching wedding band and the lady there was shocked as to the quality of the diamond. They had a diamond there that was slightly lower graded than mine that was QUINTIPLE the price I paid. Wheeee!
Old 09-19-05, 03:59 PM
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I see. So online diamonds are typically GIA graded? What is the grading scale?
Old 09-19-05, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by msdmoney
cubic zirconia, all you need to know.
Beat me to it! I suggest this too. Also read EVERYTHING here before you "pop" the question!
Old 09-19-05, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by automator
Lets not get ahead of ourselves here...

Thanks for the link.
Heh... sorry, got caught up in all the pretty bling, didn't even notice I did that! Blonde moment... [only a moment, though, as I'm not blonde]
Old 09-19-05, 04:07 PM
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I'm suprised no one gave you the most basic advice.......RUN!!!!!

Old 09-19-05, 04:10 PM
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Man, that nomarriage.com site is great.
I followed that advice before I heard about that site.
Old 09-19-05, 04:14 PM
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Teach me about Engagement Rings

The only thing you need to know is *NEVER* under any circumstances give one to a girl

Spoiler:
honestly, buy a diamond from a pawn shop, then purchase a new setting to put it in. You will save thousands (that your future wife will enjoy spending on other useless crap).
Old 09-19-05, 04:15 PM
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Check out www.diamondtalk.com. If you want to search for loose diamonds, www.pricescope.com. Here are some designs, click on custom http://www.van-graff.com/1024/Ingles/indexing.html my rings are custom 109. I went throught this whole searching process about 3 yrs ago. Let me know if you need more help.

Last edited by fourizonly; 09-19-05 at 04:19 PM.
Old 09-19-05, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by automator
I see. So online diamonds are typically GIA graded? What is the grading scale?
No, some diamonds are GIA graded. They can be either online or available in stores. GIA stands for "Gemological Institute of America".

Go to http://www.bluenile.com for information on how diamonds are graded.
Old 09-19-05, 04:43 PM
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Plan what you will spend, buy the nicest you can find with the naked eye.
Old 09-19-05, 06:03 PM
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Have a discussion to feel out what you're engagement present is going to be. Adjust your budget accordingly.
Old 09-19-05, 07:25 PM
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I am starting the engagement ring search as well:

I am seriously considering buying a white gold band with sidestones at one of theste two websites for $600ish:

http://www.dirtcheapdiamonds.com/

http://www.uniondiamond.com/

and buying a 1-1.5 ct CZ here for $70ish

http://www.cubic-zirconia-cz-platinum-jewelry.com/

I have already talked to my gf and she is fine with a CZ - but she is aslo fine with a $2000 diamond ring as well.

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