Personal Investment Chatter

Engagement Rings. Are. Expensive. Do you have advice on choosing a diamond? Cut, color, clarity, and carat. What’s a good price range to be in? And where did you buy your ring?

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TALK TO YOUR PARTNER I’m a woman in a hetero marriage, and I can’t imagine how nerve wracking it would be to make a decision of that magnitude without your partner’s input. If you’re in this profession you likely understand that relationships are partnerships, and significant financial decisions (some may call it an investment) should be done together. Your partner may not want a diamond. They may want a lab diamond. They may want to spend that kind of money on a house down payment or a vacation. There are 100s of options, and evaluating what’s best for your future together should be of a higher priority than guessing what your partner wants. With that said, my hubs bought a loose diamond in India many years before he knew me, and had it set in a straightforward setting. Since then I’ve had it slightly changed, and plan to redo the setting at around our 5 year anniversary. I love the flexibility of changing my setting as our lives change. It works for us

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What was helpful for me: go to a jeweler and actually see the differences in color, clarity, and carat. You’ll find that you do not absolutely need a VVS clarity a D color, though the internet would tell you anything less isn’t a pretty rock. My wife’s rock is a SI2 and H, which looking at scales online alone you’d think was a tinted speckled mess, but it looks brilliant to the naked eye mainly due to where the inclusions are and how the diamond is set. Also don’t buy from Tiffany’s... best advice I have for you.

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Wife and I got engaged during college and knew we’d have a lot of debt and wanted to buy a house. While getting a beautiful ring was important, spending thousands at that point is by in our life wasn’t that important to us. I proposed with a cheap ring (<$400) and told her I want to go shopping for one that she wants after. Ended up spending $1400 for both of our rings, and she has something she’s happy with (mine is a $80 ring on amazon because idgaf about jewelry and am bound to misplace it). We can go jewel shopping for her whenever we want once we’re financially stable. Even now though, in this stage in my career, probably wouldn’t spend more than a check, we have other priorities and I’m confident she’s my life partner no matter how shiny the artificially valued rocks on her hand are

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Blue Nile for an online option. Got mine there, plus the wedding rings, plus another ring. Very much agree, talk to your SO about what they want, look at diamonds in person to see what you’re getting into, but we trusted our final purchase to Blue Nile and it was great.

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I proposed to my now wife when I was poor AF. Like legit had serious negative worth. I waited until the tiny ring went on discount sale and purchased it. I think it was $700 or so and I sweated paying that thing off. I’m so glad she’s not materialistic. Celebrating 12yrs married soon. YRMV.

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This story means more than dropping 20K without dropping a sweat. Good for you guys, and happy early anniversary!

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I used to work at a jewelry store. All the rings and marked up way to high. Find some kid that works at a mainstream store (Helzberk, Kay, Zales) and ask him to buy you the ring at the employee discount rate and give him a kick back. Worked for me

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Big proponent of NOT going ring shopping with your girlfriend, just seems very anticlimactic. But you do need to understand what she likes. Get your girlfriend's preferences from one of her close friends if you can, it was a lifesaver for me. Also spend what you're comfortable with, don't try to keep up with the Jonses.

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As someone who went thru this In the past year, a couple of pieces of advice: You 100% need input from your sig other on preference - cut, setting, etc. I would be direct on this vs trying to infer from small comments. I’d also suggest getting one of her close friends or family members involved if possible to bounce ideas off of. Budget is highly personal. My suggestion is just know that there will ALWAYS be a more expensive diamond out there. Don’t get caught in the upsell trap, maximize the bang for buck on your budget and be happy with that. Talk to multiple dealers... some will be really pushy and upsell hard, some will actually work with you etc, but all the info is valuable. There are diminishing returns on price to value on stuff like cut, color, clarity, etc... even on size (1.94 karats is sig cheaper than 2.00 for psychological reasons). Find these sweet spots and try to use to your advantage. Hope this helps

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You definitely need input from your future fiance for cut and setting. Get help from one of her friends that can discreetly find out if it's a surprise, or shop together if not. Outside of carat, the rest is rarely visible to the naked eye shop that's where you save a little. I think the one I got was 1.7ct, SI1 and F. If you get an SI, make sure the inclusion isn't visible any angle with the setting (i.e. sometimes it's only visible from the bottom, which is usually always blocked by the setting. Spent around 15k.

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I spent $20k on a tiffany recently. Luckily had the money saved from previous years, but honestly will take awhile to recover financially. Happy wife happy life? 🤷‍♂️

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3.7ct and up or bust! I’m a traditionalist when I think about stuff like that...which means I’ve also financially planned for that years in advance which makes it less of a discussion and more of a surprise for my partner since there’s no financial implications to our pot of money

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I read somewhere that the average ring size in the US is 1 carat and it’s less in Europe, .8 or something, because they don’t buy into the whole “diamonds mean love” thing as much

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Why would you ever pay more for an inferior product with a possibly unethical source and put money in the pockets of the diamond cartel? The ring I proposed with had a large center stone of Moissanite. I can't understand the argument for a visibly identical product. It's not traditional but I involved my wife in window shopping, visited several independent jewelers to see unique ring designs and she ended up loving a design that was radically different from anything she ever wanted. I never told her which ring I settled on as she liked a few but I could tell her favorite, and she had no idea on timeline for the proposal. Totally happy with how everything worked out. Also - Moissanite is naturally occurring, rarer than diamonds and can be brought to Earth by meteorites. I'm paid to be an expert, why wouldn't I pay an expert to forge a perfect stone in a lab?

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Agree in talking to your SO, even casually. My ex-husband cashed in stock to buy a $20k ring. I had no desire for an expensive ring and would much rather have saved that money. It was just one of many things that made me realize (eventually!) that he didn’t get me at all.

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Start with your budget and talk to your partner about her liking. The cost will vary a lot depending on what cut, color, clarity, and carat you are looking. When I bought the diamond for my fiancé (now wife) it was my largest spend in my life. So spend time going to a local jewelry store and ask them about different types of diamond. Then you’ll get a sense of price and what you want. Good luck with the search. All that matters is your partner should be happy, whatever you decide to choose.

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Just went through this. Bought a lab created diamond from Brilliant Earth in Georgetown, DC. 2.04 carats, VVS2 clarity. Lab > Natural imo because 1) genetically they are identical to natural diamonds 2) they’re cheaper 3) my conscience is clear, as there’s no chance it was a “conflict” diamond. My SO basically picked the cut, so she’s very pleased. I ended up spending about four paychecks (2 months) on it and I just had it appraised at 35% more than purchase price.

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I went through this a year ago and it turned out perfectly. I disagree with some of the comments about you 100% needing to discuss this with your partner. Every relationship is different. Tips for if you want to pick on your own: 1) For the 4c’s, really depends on what you think your partner values. My partner was less on size and more on clarity and color. This is where you should go to a jeweler and see for yourself in person the differences. There’s a certain threshold that an untrained eye wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. 2) Price matching. Pretty much all the online sites and jewelers offered to price match. You can go search databases for the right configuration you’re looking for and find the GIA number and ask your jeweler to get it for you.

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