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I want to decide on the choice of a ring, help me


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I have been looking through all sorts of stores with rings for a very long time and I can not decide on the choice of an engagement ring for my girlfriend.
I don't want her to say no because I love her so much.
My budget is A$2300
I consider options in three stores:

This ring is nice for the price, I like the design of the ring, because my girlfriend is dark and this ring will look great on her.
1/2 carat diamond


The price of the ring is within my budget, the diamond is 18 carats and it looks low-key. But my girlfriend likes minimalism and I thought she might like this ring too.


For the first time I consider jewelry from Tiffany and can't figure out what the price will be. If I understand correctly, the price depends on the parameters that I specify. But I think if the diamond is in the shape of a heart, my girlfriend might like it.

If you know where else they sell diamond rings at a decent price, I will be grateful to you.

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Welcome to Diamond Review!

I'm sorry, but I have some bad news. First of all, I think you are comparing apples to pears (and pears to elephants). The first store is advertising a ring; the second is advertising (and pricing) just the metal mounting.

I think the 1st ring is actually a complete ring - i.e. you'll get the ring and the centre stone for AUD2,000 or thereabouts. The problem with it is in the details. To start with, note that "1/2 ct TW" means that all the diamonds in the ring together sum up to "about" half a carat. There is no indication of how large the centre stone is, but it is certainly going to be significantly less than 0.50 ct. This may be OK, or not, depending on what you were expecting. Secondly, note that there is no indication of what colour that centre stone is - which means a visible yellow or brown tint is quite likely. Thirdly, what they do specify is that the centre will be I2 clarity. Is it bad? No - or at least not necessarily - but it does mean that there will be easily visible inclusions in the diamond. Here is a fairly good I2 (and it's a much larger stone, at nearly 1.70 ct):

colorless diamond

So, while the first store seems to be offering a "bargain", with AUD100 wine vouchers, free necklaces and all the rest, I don't think they are.

The price quoted for the second ring is just the price of the metal setting (and possibly the labour for mounting the centre stone into the ring), it does not include a centre stone - though it will fit one that is roughly a carat in weight. BTW - a diamond is not "18 kt"; the gold of which the ring is made is (i.e. it's 750 parts pure gold out of 1000). However, with the AUD400 left from your budget you can only buy a fairly small diamond (say 0.25 ct), and it probably would look rather odd in a setting meant for a 1 carat stone (if it can be made at all to fit).

To get the price for a Tiffany ring you need to adjust the parameters below the ring image, where it says "select a diamond". Unfortunately, this results in prices that are way out of your budget (the three displayed below are the cheapest options) - so I guess Tiffany is out, at least if you want a traditional engagement ring with a large(ish) diamond. If you are keen on the idea of Tiffany, they do make very nice rings (e.g. the "T" collection or the "Harmony", or the Paloma Picasso olive branch) that are more-or-less in budget, but they don't look like a traditional engagement ring.


Does this mean "no way José"? No, it doesn't - you can get a nice, white, sparkly and clean diamond of about 0.50 ct (a bit more if you go for a heart, maybe a bit less if you go for a round), with a GIA report to reassure you that it is fairly graded, set in a simple but good quality gold or platinum solitaire setting for your budget. Possibly even from one of these stores; just not these offers.

One of the frequent posters on this forum (@Furqan Shafi) has a store in Melbourne; I appreciate it's nearly 1,000 km away, but it's a lot closer than Europe or the US (for ease of shipping, taxes, returns, etc.), and it's in the same time zone as you - why not give him a call and see if he can help?

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Pawnshops - there are bargains there, but finding them requires some expertise. Unless you have plenty of time and/or some expert friends that can help you vet things, I'd leave them for some other time. 🙂

AU$ 2300 is not so cheap - you can get a nice diamond and a nice ring for that, but I think you should set some priorities/guidelines so that any vendor can help you more directly:

  • What shape would you like the diamond to be? You have mentioned heart and round. Any preference?
  • Any "minimum" criteria/grades: weight/size, colour, clarity? If it helps, for your budget, and assuming you don't want a very warm colour (some people like them, but most want "colourless"), I would say try to stay with colour 'I' or above and clarity SI1 or above.
  • What style setting you would like - my advice is to stay simple, and go for a solitaire. It's easy to spend all your money on a setting, and if you go for an elaborate design a) it will be more expensive and b) if poorly made, it will not be robust and loose pavé stones or even the main diamond.

For your budget, I would stay away from "ready made" rings with a diamond you cannot choose.

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It's a mistake to assume pawnshops are a cheap place to shop.  There are sometimes deals in there, but it's not fundamental. Like jewelers and pretty much any other merchant, they can and charge whatever they want. If you aren't doing a loan, the difference is mostly one of decor. 

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8 hours ago, JuliaPerkins said:

This is my first time choosing a ring and I don't know who to turn to.

Nearly everyone has this trouble. Jewelers are everywhere. Most people don't do a lot of this and therefore don't have a lot of experience at it. Not everyone has the same priorities but there are definitely some things to look for.

1) A past. You don't want to be anyone's first customer. That means look for stores that have been there for a while or websites that have a history. Google the store, the names of the owners and, if you turn up something like other stores that they've owned, Google those too. 

2) Someone you 'click' with. Nearly every jeweler can get whatever stone/ring you want. Most won't have it in stock. The jeweler is more like an ally in your search than a traditional seller.  It's not rocket science but there's a process. 

3) Buy from someone who takes returns. No refunds = No sale.  Period. Full stop.  Limits are reasonable, like 30 days or 10 days, and even restocking fees are ok (sort of), but you should have the right to think about it, to show it to your appraiser, your mother, and even a competitive jeweler if you want. While you're at it, read ALL the signs in the store, especially the ones that look like 'fine print', and the terms and conditions page on the website. 

4) Use a credit card. A real credit card, not Paypal, and not their in-house financing.  If they won't agree, walk away. If there's a problem, the bank is your friend.  

5) Use appraisers to your advantage. It's a way to decide what's made properly, if what the jeweler told you is the truth or baloney, and quite a few other things beyond the bottom line price. An 'appraisal' supplied by the seller is NOT the same thing.  Be careful about appraisers who are trying to sell you competitive things. That's not an appraisal, it's an advertisement.  

6) Get a 'feel' for the place.  Do they take their work seriously? Is it clean and well organized? Do they spell things properly on their website? Do their terms and conditions make sense? 

Do all of this before you even seriously consider the price. Price matters, of course, but you'll have plenty of opportunities to dig into that later.  The first issue is whether you want to be doing business with these people at all. If you get that part right you will have solved about 80% of your issues. 

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