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Old 07-10-2006, 10:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Engagement ring question

I'm going to be purchasing an engagement ring in the near future and would like to know if anyone has any advice on diamond specifications. My budget is allowing me to go up to somewhere around a 0.44 carat diamond. This is not exactly big but I would like to know if it's a good size nonetheless? I will splurge for a bigger diamond if the stone will look too small. Also, does anyone know if there's a noticeable difference in colors G, H, I? Also, does anyone have a clarity of SI1 and if so can you see any inclusions in the diamond with the naked eye? Thanks a lot!
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Old 07-10-2006, 11:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you considered alternative stones? My wife wanted a sapphire, and you can get more stone for less money with most colored gemstones compared to diamonds.
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Old 07-10-2006, 11:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Pan and I recently became engaged. Due to the cost of diamonds and the incrased risk of theft I asked for sapphires. Not only is it my birthstone but it is quite beautiful and means more to me than any diamond ever would. My other thought on an engagement ring was this... get her one with both of your birth stones on it. Perhaps if hers is a sapphire one in the middle and a smaller ruby on each side if thats your birth stone. Or perhaps two hearts one hers one yours. You can have them custom crafted fairly inexpensively. Or better yet try estate jewelry sales.... you wouldnt believe what you could find.
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Old 07-10-2006, 11:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Some SI1 diamonds do have inclusions visible to the naked eye - you should check out the individual diamond yourself. As for size, "too small" depends on who you're asking. Is the ring intended to impress people or to symbolize your commitment? If the latter, then any ring will do if your sincere feelings are put into choosing it. If your intended is picky about these things, ask her opinion.

A note about diamonds, if you are a conscientious shopper: diamonds are a key resource in illegal weapons trading and financing of conflicts in Africa. Military and guerilla groups mine diamonds (often with slave labor) and sell them to finance their military operations. If your heart is set on a diamond and not a different stone, please check out this buyer's guide that tells what various retailers and suppliers are doing to ensure that their diamonds are KP (Kimberly Process) certified conflict-free diamonds. You can find a seller who works to be sure they're not selling blood diamonds:

http://www.globalwitness.org/reports....php/00289.pdf

You can read more about it here:

http://www.globalwitness.org/buyconflictfree/

The diamond wasn't the "engagement ring" stone until the middle of the 20th century when the diamond industry went on an advertising blitz. Prior to that, birthstones, parents' birthstones, or just something that suited the wearer's personality, were very standard. The ring as a symbol, more than the stone in it, was the important thing. There's no real "reason" to get a diamond except that it's conventional.
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Last edited by lurkette; 07-10-2006 at 11:44 AM..
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Old 07-10-2006, 12:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurkette
A note about diamonds, if you are a conscientious shopper: diamonds are a key resource in illegal weapons trading and financing of conflicts in Africa. Military and guerilla groups mine diamonds (often with slave labor) and sell them to finance their military operations.
The easiest way is just to look for a jeweler who sells diamonds from Canada. In recent years Canada has become the world's third-largest diamond producer, and their diamonds are clean: fair pay and working conditions in the mines, etc., profits not going to bloody third-world conflicts, etc. After all, it's Canada. And I hear the diamonds are high-quality, too. Some of the more PC jewelers will actually put up a sign to inform your that they sell Canadian diamonds.

But I'm also with Lurkette on the idea that it needn't be diamond. The demand for diamonds is more about marketing than looks.

Frankly, a one-karat $10 cubic zirconia looks as good as a nothing-special 1-karat diamond, and maybe one person in a few hundred knows enough to tell them apart, and then only if they look at them very closely. I like the colored stones better, as well. I think you're better off getting a really great example of a lesser-priced type of gemstone than paying more for a stone just because it's a diamond.

Last edited by Rodney; 07-10-2006 at 12:25 PM..
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Old 07-10-2006, 01:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Have you asked her opinion yet? Maybe she doesn't want the biggest diamond you can afford. Maybe she doesn't even want a diamond. It all depends on the person, and to a lot of women, size *doesn't* matter. Do you know what kind of metal she likes? (yellow or white gold, or platinum?) Would she care if it was a conflict-diamond or an ethical one? etc.

I think these are more important questions than the technical specifications, but that's just me. You know her better than any of us do.
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Old 07-10-2006, 02:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney

Frankly, a one-karat $10 cubic zirconia looks as good as a nothing-special 1-karat diamond, and maybe one person in a few hundred knows enough to tell them apart, and then only if they look at them very closely. I like the colored stones better, as well. I think you're better off getting a really great example of a lesser-priced type of gemstone than paying more for a stone just because it's a diamond.
Cubic zirconia can't be differentiated from diamonds by the naked eye. I would hope my SO would go this route instead of wasting money on a diamond. Nobody would know the difference.

One should OK it with the little woman though, some women see jewellry as an investment & want the real thing.
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Old 07-10-2006, 02:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Demeter
Cubic zirconia can't be differentiated from diamonds by the naked eye. I would hope my SO would go this route instead of wasting money on a diamond. Nobody would know the difference.
Although it doesn't really make a difference unless someone is very, very closely examining your ring, you can tell cubic zirconia from a real diamond with the naked eye.

While I was looking around for rings for my fiance, a jeweler told me that to tell the difference, simply look at the diamond while it is in bright light. Apparently, real diamonds don't have a prism effect, while fake diamonds do.

Either way, good luck!
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Old 07-10-2006, 03:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I would make sure though that if you decide to go the CZ route, she knows it is not real!!
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Old 07-10-2006, 03:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Im another one in the camp for alternative stones. Make SURE a diamond is what she wants before you waste the money on it. Dave was well aware I had absolutely no love for diamonds at all. I couldnt be more happy with my amethyst e-ring. But them Im one of those that finds it silly to be wearing the equivalent to a dining room or bedroom suit on my finger lol

(sorry I have no advice on diamonds lol but you could always join a wedding discussion board, because most of them have threads about women that know more about diamonds than they do the man they are marrying)
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Old 07-10-2006, 03:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The color and clarity knowledge is somthing you should read up on so you don't get overly screwed price-wise.

I had perhaps the most annoying shopping trip for my wife's ring, let me share with you what I learned.

Buy what looks good to you.

My wife's stone is an emrald cut .38 ct, and techinically speaking it shouldn't look as good as it does. However, the stone's been regularly mistaken for over half a carat. I have no problem with that, lol.

Also, it looks clear and clean as heck; though it's C's say it shouldn't. Also, it should have more visable inclusions than we can seem to see.

All the fuss over diamonds is a system to generate high prices for a bunch of rocks that shouldn't cost nearly as much as they do. If you keep that in mind, you'll hopefully keep yourself from being rooked. Beyond all that stuff, if it looks good to you, and the price is right: Buy that puppy.
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Old 07-10-2006, 05:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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...bedroom suit...
I've heard of birthday suits...
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Old 07-10-2006, 06:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I've heard of birthday suits...
This is a southernism I had to get used to - it's a bedroom SUIT. Even if it's spelled "suite" it's Bedroom SOOOT. Not Bedroom SWEEEET. The day it stops grating on my ears is the day I am no longer a yankee.
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Old 07-10-2006, 06:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies. It is a diamond she wants, but I'll be definetly looking into it being an ethical diamond. She doesn't really care how big the diamond is, she wants me to get what I can afford. I just don't wan't 0.44 carats to look too small...but I don't think it will. I'm thinking of ordering online too so that's why I'm not seeing the actual size of the diamond so wanted your opinions if you had such a diamond of that approximate size.
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Old 07-10-2006, 07:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hey all i dont wanan kill the conversation or bring it in the other direction but anyone know of a good emerald dealer or things to look for?
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Old 07-11-2006, 01:07 AM   #16 (permalink)
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The average diamond engagement ring sold in the U.S. is .33 carats total. So anything above that is gravy.

I recently bought a diamond engagement ring for my fiancee last October, and I did quite a bit of research on the subject beforehand. My best advice would be to find a reputable, well-known local jeweler. Not one of the mall jewelers. My fiancee actually used to work in the jewelry department of a major department store, so she knew her diamonds beforehand -- there was no fooling her with CZ or sub-par diamonds.

Given how much of an investment you're making, it's worth going to a jeweler who will let you examine the diamond under a 10x microscope, in the sunlight, etc. Don't half-ass it. Research, research, research, shop around (at good jewelers), then make your decision.

As for your specific questions; most women will not see a difference between a G, H, and I colored jewel. My fiancee, could, though. Nor can most tell the difference between I1 and VS1. Most women (and I would agree that most women are TFP are not the "most") look at size above all else. Which just so happens to be the most expensive factor of diamond pricing. I'd still go with quality over quantity though. I could have afforded a shitty .75 carat diamond ring, but I knew my fiancee would appreciate the quality of the .49 carat ring I got her. If your fiancee doesn't know the difference, you can always explain it, and she'll love you all the more.

As an aside, no, my fiancee did not demand a diamond engagement ring. In fact, we got engaged long before a ring entered into it, and she insisted many times that she did not want a ring. I may be old-fashioned, or whatever, but I felt that if I was going to marry the woman I loved more than the world, I should do things right. Again, I may be old-fashioned, but it made me feel good, and I love how it symbolizes our love for one another.
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Old 07-11-2006, 02:33 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I would recommend a stone with some real value; diamonds are only worth their weight in blood.
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Old 07-11-2006, 02:41 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Everything in America is worth its weight in blood. We are freaks. We are living off the rest of the world. 4 billion people toil their miserable existence in servitude to serve our 300 millions needs. It will end soon. Oil, our lifeblood, will not last forever.

We are the last permutation of advanced mankind.

We are very far removed from the average existence of a human in today's world, we who have regular access to the luxury we call the internet.

Might as well enjoy it while we can, eh?
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Old 07-11-2006, 04:08 AM   #19 (permalink)
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A few things I learnt when shopping for my wife's ring many moons ago:

3 smaller stones will cost less than 1 large one, and in my opinion looks less garish. So, for instance, get a ring with three 0.33 carat stones rather than one 1 carat stone. It will cost less and look classier.

The band is just as important as the rock. If you can, get platinum. It looks much better than white gold and it is noticeably heavier than gold as well. In my experience, most women will really appreciate the difference.
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Old 07-11-2006, 06:04 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DJ Happy
3 smaller stones will cost less than 1 large one, and in my opinion looks less garish. So, for instance, get a ring with three 0.33 carat stones rather than one 1 carat stone. It will cost less and look classier.
I have to agree - I love the three-stone look, but that's just me. Find out what your fiancee likes. And the setting is SO important. Does she want a plain band? Filigree? Thick or thin? Yellow or white gold? Platinum? If she's going to be wearing this forever, you want it to be something that is more classic than trendy, and that really resonates with her tastes.
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Old 07-11-2006, 06:13 AM   #21 (permalink)
 
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Yes, the 1-stone look is way over the top, to me (I do not like big garish stones). But again, maybe your lady prefers it.

Have you taken her ring shopping? Has she tried on a 0.44 single stone, and does she like how it looks on her hand? Is she athletic? (In which case, a massive single rock is going to be annoying, as it would be for me.) etc.

And platinum lasts longer than any other metal out there. Have her try on all three metals to be sure of what she likes. It's such an individual thing...
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Old 07-11-2006, 07:00 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Yep, ditto. Mine is a three-stone - two sapphires on either side of a diamond (I tried to convince him to do it the other way, but Q is a guy with ideals! ). The setting is platinum, with just a little filigree under the stones... hard to explain. Oh, here's a picture.


I did NOT want big and flashy, but some women do - feel free to ask her questions! You have to unless you're, well, psychic.
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Old 07-11-2006, 07:26 AM   #23 (permalink)
 
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Jess, the sapphires are beautiful! I also think rubies or emeralds complement a diamond well, from settings I've seen in stores.
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Old 07-11-2006, 07:57 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Thanks!
Yeah, sapphires are becoming more popular because they do go so well. that and the high volumes of people born in September, I guess!

Oh, I just wanted to echo the sentiments about a local dealer/jeweler - the one Q found took really good care of him and didn't give the whitewashed type of sales pitch AT ALL.
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Old 07-11-2006, 08:02 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Diamonds are so common. I don't understand why they are considered so valuble. However, since you're looking for a diamond, SI1's can be trouble especially in the sunlight and other bright lights. I had one jeweler tell me that there were no inclusions.. "umm what are these spots then?" Stuttering doesn't really help a sales pitch.. anyway, be smart and take time looking at various places and always always lowball the jeweler if you're looking at diamonds. Good luck.
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Old 07-12-2006, 03:15 PM   #26 (permalink)
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If you're concerned about blood/conflict diamonds I would think that you should do more than just buy certified ones instead. Every diamond that sells for lots of money, blood-free or not, serves to increase the demand and price for any kind of diamonds and make exploiting people more profitable.

Plus EVERYONE has a diamond. Get her something cool and unusual. Or maybe she would rather have a nice vacation than a rock on her finger.
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Old 07-13-2006, 09:17 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSoup
Although it doesn't really make a difference unless someone is very, very closely examining your ring, you can tell cubic zirconia from a real diamond with the naked eye.

While I was looking around for rings for my fiance, a jeweler told me that to tell the difference, simply look at the diamond while it is in bright light. Apparently, real diamonds don't have a prism effect, while fake diamonds do.

Either way, good luck!
From what I've read, they use a Under shortwave UV light, which makes the CZ gem luminesce a yellow, greenish yellow or biege color. With a longwave UV, it looks white.


But all in all, what matters is the intent behind the ring, and what makes the woman happy.
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Old 07-15-2006, 02:37 PM   #28 (permalink)
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No personal offense intended to you, but diamonds are for suckers. Sure you can tell the difference between a diamond and other stones, but which looks better? Definitely not the diamond. Don't get screwed by a monopoly that tries to tell you what you need to do or want.

I got my fiance the following:
http://titaniumera.com/detail.php?product=140&locale=1

And you know what? You can spend whatever you were just planning to spend on a diamond and still not get a stone that is as visually enjoyable in the light. Get a CZ and spend the extra money on workmanship and engraving for the setting.
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Old 07-19-2006, 07:48 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Thought I'd put my 2cents in. A place I found very valuable and where I ended up buying my diamond from was http://www.goodoldgold.com/ The site is very informative and the people who work there are very nice.

I did alot of research at http://www.pricescope.com/ . Check out their forums there, you can get a lot of good ideas. Also they have a search feature for diamonds which is nice. I went with quality over size getting a 0.56 VVS2, with very close to ideal proportions. It is well worth it, my wife still gets compliments on her ring almost once a week. Having a tension setting also helped the diamond, it looks great. Once place for tension settings is Gelin and Abaci, I found well reduced prices online compared to in store.

Hope this helps you a little!

edit: Here is the ring http://www.sndgems.com/TR054gelinabaci.htm

Last edited by pppg; 07-19-2006 at 07:52 AM..
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Old 07-19-2006, 10:18 AM   #30 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix
Thanks for the replies. It is a diamond she wants, but I'll be definetly looking into it being an ethical diamond. She doesn't really care how big the diamond is, she wants me to get what I can afford. I just don't wan't 0.44 carats to look too small...but I don't think it will. I'm thinking of ordering online too so that's why I'm not seeing the actual size of the diamond so wanted your opinions if you had such a diamond of that approximate size.

Ask around to see if anybody that you know (likely people who have bought diamonds in the past) knows a diamond wholesaler. If you can buy a diamond from a wholesaler you will either be able to save a whole bunch of money or buy more with the same amount that you were willing to spend. Also, for insurance purposes the diamond gets valuated at the retail value.
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Old 07-19-2006, 01:20 PM   #31 (permalink)
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I bought my fiancee's engagement ring online at bluenile.ca You go into this search engine and pick what style cut you want, clarity, color and carat and you specify how much you want to spend.

Then the search engine spits out all the loose diamonds that fit your criteria. .44 is a very nice size. I really didn't know how big a carat was but my fiancee's main stone is .62 and is very large (imo)

But bluenile is great you have access to the grading report that comes along with each diamond so you can check it out before you buy it. So you can see what level the flouresence is at, the girdle width and the specific inclusions each stone has.

I then picked out a setting and Bluenile puts it all together for you. They ship it out to you fedex and your good to go. Whatever you do when you buy the ring go and have it appraised right away to make sure you didn't get screwed over.

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Old 07-19-2006, 08:35 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Ok so I got the ring. Thanks for all your comments. I got it at Blue Nile and was very pleased with the service. I got a 0.44 carat diamond, G color and VS2 clarity. The diamond looks bigger than I thought it would , perfect size actually so it's all good. I'm popping the question in two weeks
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Old 07-20-2006, 03:03 AM   #33 (permalink)
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I'm popping the question in two weeks
Please come back then and tell us how it went. We love engagement stories.
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Old 07-20-2006, 07:26 AM   #34 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix
Ok so I got the ring. Thanks for all your comments. I got it at Blue Nile and was very pleased with the service. I got a 0.44 carat diamond, G color and VS2 clarity. The diamond looks bigger than I thought it would , perfect size actually so it's all good. I'm popping the question in two weeks

Congratulations.

How are you going to hold yourself back for two weeks though?
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Old 07-20-2006, 02:55 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Congratulations.

How are you going to hold yourself back for two weeks though?
It's going to be tough but I'm planning a small trip to a romantic location. I'd like it to be somewhere special and memorable.
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