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How To Find A Decent Engagement Ring With Limited Budget?


ericzyw
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Hey everyone, so glad to find such many professionals here.

 

I'm going to buy an engagement ring to propose to my girl friend, but my budget is quite limited, which is $1,000 tops. I searched a lot of stores online but couldn't find a brand that has reasonable price to trust.

 

At first I considered Blue Nile, but some reviews say it is not different from Costco or Walmart. But I really want to buy it from a more professional dealer. So can anyone give me an idea about what brand to choose for a $1,000 ring?

 

By the way, I just want a classical solitaire ring. For the size of diamond I have no exact requirement. It would fine if only the diamond doesn't look too small on the ring.

 

Thanks!

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For starters, Blue Nile is a fine outfit, as are Costco and Walmart by the way. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. You could do a lot worse than any one of these 3. If you want to get advice and buy from a diamond professional, all 3 are a bit of a mixed bag, as are most jewelry stores. Remember that you're shopping for a jeweler first and a ring second, not the other way around. Are you comfortable working with someone far away through the phone and internet or would you rather have someone you can meet 'in person' and near home? Guessing from your post I'm going to assume the later. Where is home?

Edited by denverappraiser
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Thanks!

 

Yep you're totally right. But the sad thing is I'm at State College, PA. I'm not sure jewelry dealers in such a small town are good choices. I'm considering to go to NYC or Philly someday for this ring, but shopping for a ring in like 4 or 5 hrs seems quite impossible. So maybe online shopping is my only choice.

 

In this situation, should I try to find a satisfying one from the stores here in downtown or buy online? I really want to get the best ring with my limited budget:)

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Online is almost always cheaper. Local stores can deliver a more satisfactory shopping experience. Whether or not that's worth it to you depends on your own criteria. Occasionally there are 'deals' to be had on the secondary market, like pawn shops and craigslist but this can be problematic and comes with it's own headaches.

 

Finding one online that has an office in Philly or NYC where you can go to look at it in person seems like a pretty good compromise. As I'm sure you know, NYC and the environs has no shortage of jewelers. I"m told that there are buildings in NYC that have more diamond dealers than my whole state so I certainly understand the small town problem. On the other hand, With the advent of FedEx and the Internet, your small town jeweler can be remarkably competitive if they want to . You wouldn't BELIEVE the rents those people in NYC are paying for those tiny little booths. Small town kids like you (and me) are what they eat for breakfast at the street level stores on 47th street.

Edited by denverappraiser
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The 'diamond finder' utility here is a really helpful educational tool. Even if you have no intention of shopping with any of these people, it is a good way to learn what happens to the price when you change one of the attributes and it's a good benchmark to use when you want to beat up your hometown guy and tell them that you can get it cheaper somewhere else.

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One other suggestion: 4-5 hours may not be enough to "see everything, decide everything, buy everything". They are certainly enough to target a couple of good quality dealers in NYC and environs to inform yourself leaving the credit card at home. Then do your shopping online. It's pretty difficult to understand the difference between D and H colour online; you'd be surprised by how many people think H will look yellow based on the description they read ... while it doesn't at all.

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