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Advice on engagement ring


N22
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I thought I would start here for advice. I am looking for an engagement ring. My girlfriend is very practical and has said that "size doesn't matter". However, believe it or not, girls don't always mean what they say. My budget is very limited, but don't want to buy something too small. Anytime anyone gets engaged the first thing all the girls talk about is the ring. I don't want to be seen as a cheapskate (even though I might be) and would hate it if she did not like the ring because of a small diamond. Is .5 carat too small? I've seen some three stone rings online with smaller stones. What is the consensus on those? I know there are 4 C's but it seems like a small carat diamond looks cheaper to the uneducated, regardless of the other characteristics. Any guidance would be extremely helpful. Thanks!

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A good starting point might be to post your rough budget, so that the knowledgeable folks here can propose a few options near your working range. Fortunately for consumers on limited budgets, as most are, there are numerous size vs. quality tradeoffs available.

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She is surely aware of your limited resources and it would be irresponsible to go beyond what you can sensibly afford without starting out life together with an unnecessary debt. The balance between money for the ring and other things that you might need to spend your money on isn’t something we can help with. Getting the most for what you decide to spend, on the other hand, is something that the people here love do dig into.

 

Neil

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There exist what are called "bluff stones" which are diamonds that don't have the "numbers" on the lab report to designate it as an Ideal, excellent, or even very good cut but nevertheless face up in a very appealing way and by virtue of facet angles and alignment appear bigger than their actual carat weight.

 

You will need to work with Diamond Vendors that have the ability to source these kinds of diamonds, call them in for evaluation, and provide you with the necessary information so that you can determine if it meets your criteria and budget.

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Hey N22,

 

Based on your comments, you are wondering if size actually does matter. Now, I'll say that when my fiancee proposed to me 5 months ago, he was very proud of the beautiful diamond he was presenting me with, because it was the highest quality stone he could afford and he picked it out himself after weeks of searching. It was the one that "sparkled" the most for him, so it was the one he chose to buy for me. That being said, he could have simply chosen a larger stone with a little less luster, not colorless, with visible inclusions, etc. or just walked in to a store and picked up the first thing he saw. My diamond is .51 carats, colorless, and it sparkles like a dream. Every time I look at it I am reminded of how hard he worked searching for my diamond and how hard he tried to make it everything he wanted it to be. That is what is most important to me.

 

The budget you mentioned, I will warn you, is not applicable to the diamonds that most of the people on the forum are describing. You would be hard pressed (I believe) to find any sort of half carat diamond with certification for $1200. You should try an online search to see if anything jumps out at you. Maybe what you should do is decide what is most important to you. I am sure you can find many non-certified diamonds in your price range that will do just fine.

 

In the end, it truly is the thought that counts. There are those that prefer a large rock no matter what, just because it is large. Some prefer a smaller, more "perfecct" gem. In the end, it is what the ring stands for that should truly matter and your girlfriend will hopefully love the gift that you spend time and money purchasing for her.

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It sounds like you and your girlfriend are very fortunate to have found each other. She obviously cares more about you and her future than impressing people with the size of a diamond. You obviously are willing to work at learning how to get her the best diamond you can afford rather than taking the easy out of running down to the nearest mall to make a uninformed purchase decision. Because of your budget perhaps you should consider purchasing from a vendor that would allow you to eventually purchase a better quality/larger stone by trading your first stone in for full purchase credit. A second option might be a trellis setting of three smaller less expensive stones. A third option may be to buy a small solitare and in a few years have the stone reset on one side of a trellis setting that has a larger center stone. With the third option you would retain the sentimental value of the original stone. I hope this advice helps and there are certainly more experinced individuals on this forum that may have better advice. I am giving you my 2 cents worth because I just went through the emotional roller coaster of trying to find the "perfect" engagement ring. Our budget circumstances are different, but that really is not important. It is not really about the budget it is about how much you care about working to do your best for your lady. When she knows how much thought and effort you made for her, she will never think for a moment about the physical qualities of the diamond. I know that is what really impressed my fiancee.

Good luck and contact the people this forum, they will do their best to help you.

 

Steve

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$1200 is a sufficient budget for a 0.50 cut, even if you save a few hundred of it for the ring, labor to set etc. The suggestion above of finding a jeweler with an agreeable trade-up policy is a good one. By the way, there’s nothing wrong with half a carat. When I got married, it was with a plain band for exactly your reason. My daughter has a 0.30ct stone in hers.

 

Use the link at the top of the page for ‘find online jeweler’ to get a feel for how the various attributes relate to one another and to the prices. Even if you don’t want to buy online this is a useful tool for getting a feel for what things cost and how it changes when you vary the size/shape/color/clarity/etc.

 

Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ISA NAJA

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My daughter also wears a 1/3 carat engagement ring.. They were far more interested in owning their first home rather than blowing a lot of money on a ring (even with me making it for them)..

 

My wife, when she wears a ring at all, wears her great grandmother's ring with a very small old mine cut diamond..

 

It's all about the love between the two of you rather than the size of your bank account :)

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