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I apologize in advance, but I could really use some basic help. I am beginning to look for an engagement ring because I would like to propose in the coming months. I have to admit I know nothing about diamonds and am having a tough time understanding some of the other threads.

 

I have a budget of $7,000 - $10,000 and live in the Boston area. I was hoping to get a little bit of an understanding of this market prior to finding a jeweler.

 

 

I appreciate any input and advice that any of you may have and I look forward to learning a great deal on this site.

 

Thank You.

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I apologize in advance, but I could really use some basic help. I am beginning to look for an engagement ring because I would like to propose in the coming months. I have to admit I know nothing about diamonds and am having a tough time understanding some of the other threads.

 

I have a budget of $7,000 - $10,000 and live in the Boston area. I was hoping to get a little bit of an understanding of this market prior to finding a jeweler.

 

 

I appreciate any input and advice that any of you may have and I look forward to learning a great deal on this site.

 

Thank You.

 

There are lots of places you can search to find basic info on how diamonds are graded, like color, clarity, carat weight, etc.... cut is more complicated... but before getting to that point, why not start with even more basics.

 

What shape are you thinking to get? round, square (princess), or some other fancy shape?

 

What is her style? Do you intend to get her a basic solitaire or say a three stone ring, or something with lots of small pave diamonds, etc for a mounting? This will of course impact your overall budget.

 

So if I were you I'd learn the basics on diamonds, figure out what shape diamond and style ring you're in the market for, then come here asking for more info on cut, what alloy metal to get, and other more complex issues.

 

Good luck!

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...
thanks for the advice.

 

 

still no luck in finding anything that would make me make a purchase. I know I want to get a platinum band, but can't decide between a basic solitaire or a three stone ring??????

 

help please.....

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If it is for an engagement ring and you don't know what kind of style of ring that she is looking for, you would be better to maybe get a temporary setting of a solitaire in 14kt white gold. (The 3 stone rings are generally more for an anniversary.)That setting is only about $150. Then you could ask your vendor for a credit for that setting to the one of her choice. You could let her pick out the setting after you surprise her with the solitaire and explain this to her , that you wanted to surprise her but also for her to be a part of the choice.

That way you can't go wrong. :wacko:

In the budget of $6000-10,000, I would save some of the 10,000 for the future setting she might pick out in platinum. At least $3000 so you would have a budget of $6000-7000 for the center diamond. Have you got a grasp on the shape that she likes?

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I can’t with a straight face recommend the tutorial here but there are lots of the dealers who have excellent educational material associated with their sites. That should give you a good grounding in the way diamonds are described and what tends to affect the prices. Do keep in mind as you do this that different dealers will have different agendas and this will be reflected in what they do, and don't, tell you in their 'free' educational materials.

 

Jan’s advice of counting the center diamond and the ring as separate budget items is a good approach as well as getting a feel from her of what sorts of things she likes. Shape and general style are really something you have to narrow down early in the shopping process along with the budget. Even though they are separate budget items, I do recommend buying them both from the same source along with the assembly labor to put them together. Aside from the tradein opportunities, this prevents fingerpointing if a problem should turn up later.

 

Neil

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thanks for the advice.

 

 

still no luck in finding anything that would make me make a purchase. I know I want to get a platinum band, but can't decide between a basic solitaire or a three stone ring??????

 

help please.....

 

Well why not help us understand her style... Is she a more old fashioned type girl that likes vintage style items? Is she very simple and easy to please and maybe better off with a solitaire? Is her style more modern? Is she very particular about style and really likes to accessorize, etc? If so, you might just be better off getting a basic solitaire as Jan recommends for now.

 

What shape do her friends have? You can't go wrong with round or princess for most girls. I'd get their opinion before you buy asscher, cushion or other fancy shapes... with those women usually either love or hate them, unless they're about 5 carats, I've never heard of a woman that turned down a 5 carat cushion :wacko:

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she definately likes things very simple and she is very much a fan of antiques and a vintage look. But fortunately for me, she is very easy to please.

 

only one of her friends is engaged and she has a antique Tiffany's ring that the boyfriend got a hand me down from a grandmother.

 

I guess I will go with a single stone, but am still very lost. I am trying to avoid, just marching into a store with her and asking her what she likes. I want this all to be very much a surprise. I do have alot of time before I make this decision, which is why I am here.

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she definately likes things very simple and she is very much a fan of antiques and a vintage look. But fortunately for me, she is very easy to please.

 

only one of her friends is engaged and she has a antique Tiffany's ring that the boyfriend got a hand me down from a grandmother.

 

I guess I will go with a single stone, but am still very lost. I am trying to avoid, just marching into a store with her and asking her what she likes. I want this all to be very much a surprise. I do have alot of time before I make this decision, which is why I am here.

 

When you say something simple, antique/vintage looking, I thought of this ring right away.

 

It looks much nicer in person, it's very hard to take pics of hand engraved rings. The entire surface is all wonderfully hand engraved by an old smith here in LA that's been doing it for over 40 years. That ring has small diamonds on the head and under-gallery, diamonds along the shank, but it has a very solitaire look and feel to it, the little diamonds and just small accents.

 

It's shown with a 1 carat, highly set. It could be made with a bigger center and lower set if requested, these rings are all designed and made by hand one by one.

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Edited by Adylon
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Thank you both (and everyone else of course) for the help. It really helps me out to see these rings. I would say that I like Adylon's ring better, but she would prefer something like what Jan posted.

 

 

 

Jan what are the specifics on that ring?

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In the budget of $6000-10,000, I would save some of the 10,000 for the future setting she might pick out in platinum. At least $3000 so you would have a budget of $6000-7000 for the center diamond. Have you got a grasp on the shape that she likes?

 

can you explain this a little more? I am not sure what you mean here.

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It sounded like your budget was $10,000 for the whole ring so since you wanted a mounting in platinum I meant to reserve some for the mounting and spend less on the center diamond. For example, if you like the solitaire mounting that I put up the picture of, save about $1200 for the budget for the setting. That would give you $8800 for the center diamond.

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Yes the one that I posted the photo of that you liked is in that range. :)

 

Hello Jan,

Would you please e-mail me some specifics about the pictured diamond. Interested in a platinum or possibly yellow gold setting. I'm in Upland, CA.

 

I would appreciate any additional recommendations regarding similar diamonds/settings. Hoping to stay in the $8,500 range.

 

Thanks,

Docu

fx3vettman@rocketmail.com

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello...

 

For settings, I suggest learning what the difference between different styles are. Like what channel set vs pave set diamonds are. What looks 'antique' vs something more modern. And keep hand size in mind. In my opinion a thin/short finger and small ring size look better with small thin bands, with modest side diamonds if any. A larger size ring/longer finger would look better with a thicker band.

 

As for diamonds, buy them loose. Learn about the 4 C's and see what the most important aspect to her is... whether its the color or the clarity, the weight (caret), or cut. Some people want the best color possible, so they find a D-E-F color but settle with a lower but eye-clean clarity (VS1-SI1). See which one is most important and then work with the other aspects, I find this narrows it down better.

 

As for certificates... GIA is most trusted. Other labs have been around for less time and many jewelers have the opinion they are less accurate than the GIA. GIA certificates are lamentated though a diamond dealer may just show you a photocopy. They come with a report # that you can check online to make sure the certificate has not been forged. GIA certificates are great if you wish to sell the stone in the future or upgrade to a another diamond later.

 

 

 

I attached pictures of some 'antique' style settings...as you can see the antique styles are all varied greatly but the main details that give them that look are the hand-engraved bands, small pave set diamonds, cutaway detailing, etc.

 

Use the pictures as a guide, however almost any setting can be customized.

 

If you want to know more about the settings, contact info (at) enchanteddiamond (dot) com.

 

I hope this helps.

 

-Nicole <3

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  • 2 weeks later...

thanks to everyone, but I am really drappging my feet on this. I didn't think I would have to, but I guess I have to ask her what she likes in a ring because I can't really figure it out on my own.

 

I am trying to figure out how the best way to ask her to come on a mystery ride to the diamond ring store with me......

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As a trade off, why not prepare yourself for a virtual tour? There's quite a few online dealers/jewellers/manufacturers that take good pictures of their work and post them online; several are regulars on this site. Get yourself a number of these in a "favourites" folder on the browser, and go through them with her.

 

This would have the following advantages compared to a trip to the diamond ring store (is there only one you'd go to?):

 

1. You'd have a much broader range of styles and stones to look at compared to any one shop. Even Tiffany on 5th in NYC does not cater to all tastes, and that's a huge store.

 

2. Since you seem to put some value on surprising her, this would allow you to get valuable clues as to what she'd like and dislike. You can complete your mission later and let your taste and inclinations (and budget, perhaps) play a part in the final choice, still getting her a surprise. In fact, you can even tell her that! (And with 10 grand available, it should definitely be a nice surprise)

 

3. You seem to be very much at an exploratory stage. Unless you trust the store you are going to and you know you will be respected as a customer that's still making his (theirs) mind up and needs advice, not pressure, I would not want to be subjected to any kind of sales push at this stage.

 

4. You may be able to separate the "price" from the "taste"/"liking" much more easily. If your GF is anything like my wife, she'll be concerned about not having you spend more than you can afford. That's a difficult thing to do in many shops, since many of them will start from your budget as a driver to pilot their choice of what to show you.

 

5. If you are anything like me, going shopping for a relatively undefined item with a girlfriend is as close to purgatory as it can get :). At least it's not a dress.

 

One last thing. It's been said very often, but perhaps it bears saying again. The first thing to do when choosing an infrequent but important purchase where the seller has much more information/knowledge than the buyer, is to choose your seller! Find someone that you like, trust and is prepared to work with you in getting the best possible ring put together. The rest - well, the world is full of diamonds.

 

Just my 2¢.

 

Best of luck!

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Again thanks to everyone for all the advice, it has been great. I am happy to say that I took her on a mystery ride today and went to Barmakian Jewelers and she spent an hour with a very patient and freindly sales associate with whom I will be working very closely with in the near future. The only thing that I need to decide now is what size, color and clarity to go with.

 

I understand that the further down the alphabet you go, the more color in the diamond, but thats all I understand for now. But I have come along way in my opinion. Much more to learn, but the ball is very much rolling.

 

I just need to find a good clarity/color tutorial and need to get back in there and look at some diamonds....

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