Post # 1
My boyfriend and I are on a pretty tight budget because we are planning to purchase our first house, and we’re trying to figure out where an engagement ring fits in there. I’ve been researching alternatives to the standard diamond engagement ring, and I’m wondering if anyone has any experience with any of these:
I would LOVE to have a real diamond, but I’m not overly concerned about it if there’s a good way to get something that looks traditional but is more affordable. I’m worried, though, about the durability of non-diamond alternatives if I plan to wear the ring every day.
As for antique or used rings, I don’t know where to look! I live in NYC, and I can’t get a good read from online searches on where I can search these out.
I have big fingers, so I’m looking for something that’s at least a carat, up to 2. Or a setting that uses multiple smaller diamonds. My finger will dwarf anything too small! And our budget would definitely be under $5,000–the lower the better!
Thanks so much!
Post # 3
I should add that one of my concerns, even though I think it’s kind of silly to worry about this b/c it’s nobody’s business, is that people would see a non-diamond ring that LOOKS like a diamond ring and A) know that it’s not a diamond and B) judge me for it. I’m proud of my boyfriend and me for wanting to save our money for other things, but I’m worried others will just think we’re cheap! Does anyone have experience with that, and is there a non-diamond option that would look enough like a diamond to fool most people?
Post # 4
We got my ring & band for 3500 and it is 1 carat with a few stones on each side down the band. We paid for most of it and financed 1000 of it. We just had to shop around.. for a while… and patience is not my thing! lol My sister has a 2 carat cz and has to get it replaced every year (VERY inexpensive) because it gets dirty really fast and cracks easier. It looks fine tho! the ONLY way you can tell its not a real diamond is if i put my ring next to hers. And how often would that happen to you? probably never. I would recommend to get cz’s and not tell anyone.. no one can tell 🙂 adn whenever yall CAN afford it replace your cz’s with a real diamond!
Post # 5
From what I’ve seen on the boards a lot of the bees have had luck with moissanite and that it doesn’t have the problems that a lot of CZs have.
Personally, I would invest in a good setting that you can always keep and upgrade the gem to a diamond when you have the financial ability (if you even want to). That way, you keep the setting that he proposed with.
Post # 6
Ok first off, I don’t think you should be looking to fool anyone because you wont be fooling yourself. You obviously put a lot of emphasis on having a real diamond (which is ok most of us do!) so I have a feeling that you would think of your ring as fake which is NOT a god way to think about your engagement ring. So, that being said my suggestions are:
1) Get on pricescope and look at the wholesalers for diamonds there. You’ll get a great diamond for a great price that a retail store would mark up for their own profit.
2) Look into halo rings! A 1ct halo will look masive, like a 1.5ct at least. I know this because my friend has a 0.8 ct halo and it’s as big as another friend’s 1.5ct. It’a great way to bump up the look of the size without the total cost.
3) Understand what diamond specs you can live with and what you can’t. For example, do you care more about the color or the size or the clarity or cut? Everyone is different. I always say to put cut above everything and then color because those two things make the biggest difference. Remember, a 2ct badly cut diamond on your hand will be outsparkled by another girl’s 1ct ideal cut EVERYTIME. Once you’ve decided what is important, compromise on the other C’s and see if you can get a beautiful diamond in your price range.
Hope that helped!
Post # 7
I say to shop around. We bought my setting at Jared I cant get the side view to load right now but the stone is set up. The band at jared was 599. At out local jewelery store a band with same cc’s was 1300. My center stone on the other hand we bought at the local store because the SAME stone at jared was over 2k more!
As for moissanite ive seen rings cost MORE then my diamond and i dont think its worth it. Check out Overstock & amazon too!
Post # 8
I don’t know where you could look in NYC, but we got my engagement ring and are getting my wedding band from Shane Co. In our area, they have the best prices and the best quality. I chose not to get a diamond because I wanted a bigger stone and I didn’t want to pay a big price for a diamond. We budgeted less for all of our rings than you have budgeted for your engagement ring. I chose a 6mm – 1.32 Carat Papadacha (orange) sapphire with 42 smaller round diamonds – .36CT surrounding it. They are two separate rings put together to make one ring. I have gotten a lot of nice compliments on it, and only a few “How do people know it is an engagement ring?” comments. I just tell them, it is on my engagement ring finger, and I love it, so I don’t really care what other people think. I don’t think anyone is going to think you are cheap. Most people can’t even tell what type of stone you are wearing; whether it is real or not. Just find something that you love and don’t worry about what other people think. You are the one that is going to be wearing it for the rest of your life, so you are the one that needs to be happy with it.
Post # 9
You can get a very nice diamond for $5K!! It seems like you’d prefer a diamond, and you can more than do it on that budget. Maybe I am missing something, but why not just get a diamond?
You could get an average/lower quality 1 carat center stone in a solitaire setting, or a VERY high quality .50 or .75 center stone in a pricey setting. You could also get a VERY nice 3 stone diamond ring for 5K that would give you more finger coverage… (you said you have big fingers, etc).
Post # 10
Here are a couple ideas for you:
Look for diamonds that are not PERFECT. Just because a diamond doesn’t have the ultimate cut, color, or clarity doesn’t mean it isn’t sparkly, and doesn’t mean you will see flaws in it. A near-colorless diamond still looks clear. You can get a 1 carat diamond for a great price if you spend time looking.
If you can be patient, why not get your wedding band first… and wear that as your engagement ring, then get the e-ring when you are married.
If what you really want is a REAL diamond, I would suggest saving up for one instead of going out and buying an alternative ring, then updrading later on. Put the money towards the real thing. I just can’t see spending money on a CZ, or a white sapphire, or a moissanite if what you really want is a diamond. Just be patient and save! 🙂
Post # 11
I say if you’re going for size and wanting to stay under the $5,000 mark then you should seriously consider moissanite. I wish I had found it sooner. I think the fact that it was originally found in a meteorite is the cool thing. It’s beautiful and it doesn’t really matter if it’s “real” or what ever. It’s the meaning behind the ring.
Post # 12
We saved a TON on my ring.
First, we priced out rings at retail locations.
Then we went to a private jeweler…one who does not have the overhead that the retailers have, and told him what we wanted. I got a larger stone, better quality, and for a much better price. WE saved several thosand and got a much better ring, plus it is really one of a kind since the jeweler made it just for me!
We also traded in gold. Gold is extremely high right now, so we got quite a bit for some old pieces that I was no longer wearing. AND, the private jeweler gave us more money on that than the retailer wanted to give us.
Post # 13
My suggestion for ANYone looking for jewelry is to NETWORK! Retail marks up jewelry more than 3x! GASP! I would ask around to ALL of your friends, co-workers, and anyone else you could think of to find a WHOLESALER!
We got my engagement ring from a client of my moms who is a diamond dealer. I ultimately got a 1 carat round soliater in a 6 prong white gold setting FTW at 1700 dollars…. it appraised for 4600! SCORE!!!!
So yes that would be my suggestion! It would definitely be worth the asking and searching. =)
Post # 14
Another thing to consider is shopping the pawn shops, if you are not icked out by having a pre-owned ring (nobody but you and him would know, though)… In this bad economy people are letting go of some amazing jewelry just because they need the cash….
Post # 15
Honestly, Costco has a lot of great deals on jewelry, especially e-rings and wedding bands. I dunno how you feel about that though….
Post # 16
My fiance got my ring from langantiques.com and had a great experience with them! My ring is from the 1950s, which I love, and he got a lot more ring for the money he spent than if he had bought new. And I think it’s cool that it had this whole history before me, and as a bonus, it’s environmentally friendly!
ETA: We also looked at an antique jeweler based in NYC… I’m trying to think who he was, but he had a very good reputation… Leigh Jay Nacht. http://antiqueengagementrings.com/