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Confused Where To Go From Here...


the_invigorator
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Hello! I stumbled across this forum the other day and am really glad I did.

 

I'm here because I, like many of you, have found the love of my life, and intend on purchasing a symbol of our enduring togetherness to present to her as a gift for our engagement. I don't plan on popping the question until at least 6 months from now, but I figure starting early is a good thing.

 

Problem is, I feel like I've got a lot of ideas and don't really know what to do.

 

I know the exact ring that I'd like to get her. Some time ago, she sent me pictures of a gorgeous Hearts on Fire (HoF) ring from their website that she is absolutely in love with. The problem with this is probably not all that uncommon when it comes to engagement rings: it's beyond my budget. For the record, my budget (the absolute maximum amount of money I can afford to spend on the ring), is ~12,000 USD. Instead of immediately accepting defeat in the face of an expensive ring, I've decided to try and make it work somehow. To do this, here are my options as I see them:

 

Option #1 - Purchasing the ring from a hearts on fire retailer.

-I'm not sure what to make of this. On the hearts on fire website, the ring's starting price is listed at $9,000+ more than the upper limit of my budget. As I understand it though, the rings are sold through a HoF network of retailers, not through hearts on fire directly. My question is this: is it likely that a HoF retailer will sell a ring listed on the hearts on fire website for significantly less than the price listed there? This may be my only way to make this option work out.

 

Option #2 - Getting a very similar ring custom made at a local jeweler.

-I can get pictures of the ring online. I can print them out. I can bring them to jeweler and ask that they make me that exact ring, for a price that's within my budget. How viable is this option? Would I be better off purchasing the main (center) stone from my chosen jeweler or purchasing a loose stone elsewhere (perhaps online?) and bringing it in to the jeweler to have them mount it on the custom setting?

 

Option #3 - Purchasing the setting alone from a HoF retailer

-I've contacted HoF about the ring, and they told me that the ring's setting alone sells for ~8000 USD. Could I perhaps use the remainder of my budget to purchase a non-HoF loose stone to set in it? As HoF told me, purchasing the setting alone and mounting a non-HoF diamond in it will void the warranty and not guarantee a perfect fit. How important is this?

 

 

Bottom line: I want to get my girlfriend a ring that she loves, but is out of my budget, and am considering the above 3 options for making that work.

 

I apologize for the novel of a post, but am really looking forward to your replies!

Edited by the_invigorator
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[snip]

Option #1 - Purchasing the ring from a hearts on fire retailer.

-I'm not sure what to make of this. On the hearts on fire website, the ring's starting price is listed at $9,000+ more than the upper limit of my budget. As I understand it though, the rings are sold through a HoF network of retailers, not through hearts on fire directly. My question is this: is it likely that a HoF retailer will sell a ring listed on the hearts on fire website for significantly less than the price listed there? This may be my only way to make this option work out.

Very unlikely. One of the things that HoF asks of retailers is a price maintenance policy - and in any case, there isn't enough margin for the retailer to allow a discount of $9000 on a $20000 item.

 

Option #2 - Getting a very similar ring custom made at a local jeweler.

-I can get pictures of the ring online. I can print them out. I can bring them to jeweler and ask that they make me that exact ring, for a price that's within my budget. How viable is this option?

It is viable, but unless the setting is relatively simple (unlikely at $8k) or the jeweller already has templates/moulds/drawings/manufacturing experience of something very similar, it is unlikely to cost you less (as a setting), though you will almost certainly save a fair amount on the centre stone.

 

Would I be better off purchasing the main (center) stone from my chosen jeweler or purchasing a loose stone elsewhere (perhaps online?) and bringing it in to the jeweler to have them mount it on the custom setting?
There are considerable advantages in buying both setting and stone from the same jeweller, but the separate option may end up being cheaper.

 

Option #3 - Purchasing the setting alone from a HoF retailer

-I've contacted HoF about the ring, and they told me that the ring's setting alone sells for ~8000 USD. Could I perhaps use the remainder of my budget to purchase a non-HoF loose stone to set in it? As HoF told me, purchasing the setting alone and mounting a non-HoF diamond in it will void the warranty and not guarantee a perfect fit. How important is this?

[snip]

Guarantee and fit are more a question of the ability and policies of the jeweller setting the stone than anything to do with HoF; I would consider this as scaremongering by someone who clearly would be happier selling you both setting and diamond.

 

Much more interesting is the question of whether you should even buy the setting for $8000 and then have $4000 for the centre stone. Diamonds have the nasty habit of being rather expensive; $4000 doesn't get you something very big unless it's not white, not eye-clean, not well cut, not a diamond or none of the above. A $8000 setting is probably quite elaborate, and a smaller stone may "drown" in it. I'd suggest that you reverse the budget priority, and get her a truly nice stone (in whatever size, shape, colour and clarity you like) for $8-9k and put it into a simple but extremely well manufactured setting.

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