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Old 12-11-2013, 10:12 PM
 
1,784 posts, read 2,983,056 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn07 View Post
Isn't the norm 3 months income?
NO. Assuming you aren't a trolling jeweler, the "3 months income" messaging is a load of BS. Sinking 1/4 of one's annual income into a worthless investment (see above posts for the fact that appraisal price is NOT equal to the price you would ever sell your diamond for) is financial stupidity. You think the average person in NoVa who makes $100K a year spends $25K on an engagement ring? Yeah right...
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Old 12-12-2013, 03:18 AM
 
Location: Manassas, VA
1,559 posts, read 3,171,817 times
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My husband gave me a simple diamond that he purchased at the commissary. I had no idea he had gotten me the ring months before his actual proposal. My ring may not be the 'biggest, baddest, ring'. It is small (compared to today's standards) and simply mounted and I just love it, love it, love it. I know that he got what he could with what he could afford (and I know that he couldn't afford a whole lot) and it didn't matter if it was a diamond or not, he picked what he thought I would love and I love it because I love him and I love its meaning.

Now that I've taken a trip down memory lane....I like the idea of the dummy ring and having the jeweler put out the rings in the price range the OP has. But - Blue Nile is a really good deal too. I know a couple of folks who got the rings from there and they were very happy. Good luck.
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:06 AM
 
Location: The South
3,887 posts, read 5,338,543 times
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Think the OP got cold feet?
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Old 12-12-2013, 05:02 PM
 
111 posts, read 263,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn07 View Post
Isn't the norm 3 months income?
hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
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Old 12-13-2013, 02:14 PM
 
198 posts, read 310,603 times
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Somebody earlier mentioned Quest Fine Jewelers. We got my engagement ring there and were very happy with the experience. They don't advertise much and are located in a strip mall across from the Merrifield Post Office. I think they would be worth a visit - if you give them a budget and an idea of what you want, they can either find it or custom make something for you. My ring was custom made and I felt like we got more for our money than we would have at most of the other jewelers we visited. The rings also appraised for ~15-20% more than we paid.

As far as whether to involve your girlfriend...that's hard to say. In our case, we had been looking for awhile and when we went to Quest the first time, I basically told the jeweler what I envisioned. That was the last involvement I had. My fiance went back and negotiated final price, picked out the diamonds, picked it up, and surprised me with it a few weeks later. So I knew it was coming but not when/where...and he did manage to surprise me.

Good luck!
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:06 PM
 
Location: NW Penna.
1,758 posts, read 3,170,299 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowdenscold View Post
NO. Assuming you aren't a trolling jeweler, the "3 months income" messaging is a load of BS. Sinking 1/4 of one's annual income into a worthless investment (see above posts for the fact that appraisal price is NOT equal to the price you would ever sell your diamond for) is financial stupidity. You think the average person in NoVa who makes $100K a year spends $25K on an engagement ring? Yeah right...
^ I would not listen too much to that person. He does not have very much knowledge of diamonds.


The average diamond engagement ring in my small town is .75ct. And $5000 for a super ideal cut .75ct to .8ct diamond would buy a nice ring, without being prohibitively expensive. Those are the diamonds that increase in value: round brilliant, AGS 000 or GIA excellent cut grade (cut is everything and is what gives the diamond its brilliance and fire), hearts & arrows symmetry is pretty popular. Princess shape is waning. Other "fancies" like Asscher have seen their peak and are dropping in price. Pear, oval, marquise all might give you bigger stone for your money, all are less money per ct wt than round is. But round never goes out of fashion, either. Round and cushion are the most popular now.

Go visit Pricescope.com, niceice.com, and goodoldgold.com for education.

I don't recommend Blue Nile. They are just a drop shipper. James Allen is a mix of in-house stones and "virtual stones" that are held by cutters and wholesalers and advertised by JA. JA is hit or miss, and I found them slow to respond, and their stones not as nicely cut as the vendors that I do recommend.

Vendors that I have personally bought from and recommend:
Good Old Gold
Brian Gavin Diamonds
Whiteflash
All of those have in-house stones that are superbly cut.

Another vendor that has a rep for supplying great diamonds for people on a budget is I.D. Jewelry.
Excel Diamonds used to be on Pricescope but is no longer a PS vendor.

Knox Diamonds has some interesting and unusual settings, but they only sell settings + diamond so you'd have to buy the whole thing from them.

It's too late to get a custom setting for Christmas. Those need about 8 weeks to complete, and sometimes longer. Set it in a simple mass produced solitaire (like from Stuller) and take your time getting the permanent one made. Or you will be aggravated and disappointed and may not get the best quality and construction.

I've found a great time to get a big selection of nice diamonds is like Aug/Sept, because that time of the year there are few weddings, anniversaries, etc. and the vendors are stocking up on the cherry-picked SI1 and SI2 eyeclean stones for the upcoming Christmas rush. But there are few buyers competing at that time, so you get selection.

Prices online are not negotiable. There are no real "sales" because the margins are lower overall, all the time. Mall jewelers and some brick and mortar stores have big markups, and they can offer discounts because they are overcharging for the lesser quality that they offer.

You want a stone with report from GIA or AGS, not some lesser lab. EGL USA has been shown to overstate color and clarity by 2-3 grades, and is more lax on what they give "excellent" cut grade to. That's why EGL stones should be selling significantly less than GIA. See discussions at Pricescope.

Take your time shopping. Buying diamonds is like looking for a specific used vehicle: Sometimes you have to search and wait a while for what you want to become available.
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Town of Herndon/DC Metro
2,282 posts, read 5,572,048 times
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^^^

Fabulous information! Thx for sharing
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:12 PM
 
1,784 posts, read 2,983,056 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowdenscold View Post
NO. Assuming you aren't a trolling jeweler, the "3 months income" messaging is a load of BS. Sinking 1/4 of one's annual income into a worthless investment (see above posts for the fact that appraisal price is NOT equal to the price you would ever sell your diamond for) is financial stupidity. You think the average person in NoVa who makes $100K a year spends $25K on an engagement ring? Yeah right...
Quote:
Originally Posted by SorryIMovedBack View Post
^ I would not listen too much to that person. He does not have very much knowledge of diamonds.
Which part of my post should they not listen to? I firmly stand by the "3 months income is marketing garbage BS", so I'll assume you take issue with the bolded part.

In which case I'll ask: Have you ever sold a diamond back to a jeweler at the price it's appraised for?*
If so, congrats, because you're the extreme exception to the rule.
And as for the "worthless investment", I'd happily wager than 99% of the everyday buyers out there getting engagement rings are not going to be able to realize it as an "investment." Now, it's not sentimentally worthless, nor is it a bad purchase in terms of making the whole marriage process happen and making your fiancee happy, but in a financial context... not an investment.


And I used the word "realize" deliberately there, since you actually have to sell an asset to realize a gain.

* not counting trade-ins that are part of an upgrade purchase obviously
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