Post # 1
So my ring story is pretty long, but to give any of you who aren’t familiar the short version, I’m a waiting bee with a ring in the house. Platinum, with 1/2 ct of diamonds down the sides but missing the center stone, which is fine because we want an aquamarine. The ring was an AMAZING deal but already at the top of my BF’s budget.
The jeweler we bought the ring at called the other day because we are planning to go look for center stones when they have their semi-annual “gem fair” next Thursday. He called me for some reason, even though he had BF’s number, too, to find out what kinds of stones we wanted to see that day. Then he asked me what our budget was and while I’m normally pretty good at this kind of stuff, it slipped out and I told him what BF said was the most he was willing to spend.
I tried to fix it by saying that was “our absolute highest” and we’d want to see “a variety of sizes and cuts and prices”, but he muttered the price I had said as he wrote it down, and then when he called BF yesterday (??) to confirm AGAIN that we would be there, he told him, “So Bunny said you guys were looking for something in the $___ range?”
I feel awful. I don’t want BF to spend any more on the center stone than he has to since he’s already spent so much more than I thought on just the ring. The only reason we’re going back to the jeweler is so the whole thing is warrantied at the same place. I was wondering if any jeweler-savvy bees could give me some tips for the day of to get them to show us cheaper stones, or bring the price down on what they show? I’m really afraid they’ll show us an $80 stone and say it costs $___ because that’s what we said we’d spend. I was thinking of just lowballing them back, as we’ve done some research online and have a pretty good idea that we can get the color and size we want for less than $100 (except it wouldn’t be warrantied at the same jeweler, and I feel a little weird buying a gemstone online). Any ideas?
Post # 3
Oy. One option would be for your BF to pull the jeweler aside and say something like along the lines of he was trying to look like a big man in front of you and therefore put the dollar amount up higher than it actually is, and the REAL budget is ___ and he really needs the guy to work with that because, he understands right?
It could work!
Post # 4
Dont feel bad at all! Just walk in and say you know I said that ___ was the MAX we would spend. BUT I would feel more comfortable at this ___. Can you do anything for that? As simple as that, people change their minds all the time!
Post # 5
I don’t know much about the jewelry business, but couldn’t you guys just tell him that you misquoted your budget? That you’d actually like to see some less expensive stones, as you realized the price you quoted was out of reach? It happens a lot, people *think* they’re going to spend an amount, but then after discussion, decide it needs to be lower.
Good luck and let us know how it turns out!
Post # 6
If you get the feeling he is pulling one on you, tell him flat out. As a negotiating tactic, that is a good one. Let him know, I told you something in trust, and now I feel like you are not being fair with me.
BTW, my FI bought my sapphire online. Love it, saved probably 40%. If things don’t work out, PM me and I’ll send you the website we used. It has a 360 degree video of every stone, so you get a good sense of it.
Post # 7
I would just be upfront and say that while that is your budget, you are interested in seeing the whole range of options they have to offer.
Post # 8
My opinion after dealing with jewelers…They’d rather make a mid-size sale as to make no sale at all! I’d go in after doing my homework…know what you can get for how much $$$, and know what is a “good deal”. Trust me, they are not going to loose $$$ on anything, and the mark-up is so inflated that they can work with you. I’d go in and say, okay, I know that I can get a ___ size stone for about ___ and that be top quality. What do you have in that range. Let him know that you’ve done your homework and that you’re not going to be snowballed. If he doesn’t come to the party, use the line about “My homeowner’s insurance will be more than glad to cover my ring for a small fee if we purchase the stone elsewhere.”. He will be more than glad to accomodate you if he thinks he might loose the sale…
Just my 2 cents. Don’t sweat letting the price range slip, you may just have to do extra homework so that you have something solid to stand on! Happy stone shopping!
Post # 9
Thanks bees! All very good advice. This is pretty much what I thought but it’s not something I want to play around with, ya know?
Mostly I feel like I betrayed my BF by spilling how much he was willing to spend. And I hope he doesn’t feel like I’m pinning him to the wall so I get a better stone– that’s not the case at all!
Post # 10
I’m in the jewelry business, specifically, I’m a Gemologist. My first question, Bunny, is why aquamarine? I would never sell someone an aquamarine as a e-ring due to the fact you are going to wear it every day for many years=) and aquamarines are a bit fragile. Aquamarine is the same stone as Emerald (Beryl) and is much softer than a diamond. Depending on how hard you are on your jewelry you will notice abrading (surface scratches, nicks, and chips) over time….
Is it the color that your after? or another reason for wanting aqua? Pricing will depend on size and quality, and very nice aqua can get pricey. I would be leary of buying online without seeing it in person to decide if you truly love the stone on your hand (shape, shade, cut) Its hard to compare $ online because you never really know if you are comparing apples to apples and getting the same quality stone.
Do your homework and go to another jeweler to compare what they have in person, that way you know you are looking at things that are the same size, cut, color, etc and you should be able to make an informed decision.
Post # 11
Thanks, Nicole. We decided we didn’t want a diamond for various reasons, but primarily because we wanted color. Our original choice was sapphire, but it’s my birthstone, and I already have a nice sapphire ring. Aquamarine is his birthstone, so it has some meaning to us. As far as color goes, we actually want a lighter color, which based on the research we have done seem to be cheaper than the others.
I do tend to be hard on my jewelry, but I probably won’t wear the engagement ring every day after we’re married for that exact reason. I will wear my band most of the time and wear the engagement ring for special (i.e., “gentle”) occasions.
Thanks for the info though– now I know to be extra careful.
I will definitely do as much research I can.
I’ll let you all know how it goes… four days!!!