Post # 1
Hi Bees! My bf and I are getting engaged in the next few months so I am obvi in ring shopping/researching mode!! Ive been stalking the WB ring board like crazy.I wanted to get your take as experienced, ringed bees as we begin the process! As you can probably tell, I plan to be very involved in the ring selection process and my bf is totally on board with that. In fact, I think he is happy to have some of the pressure off of him.
First a little background on my ring mini drama. We had decided to use a family diamond and I would choose the setting. However, I went to a jewelry store the other day to try on different cuts/styles of rings and decided I hate the cut of the family diamond! Uh oh… SO now I have to tell him we cant use the family diamond and he needs to purchase one. I am going to tell him tomorrow. I’m sure he will understand but I do feel bad!!
One thing I wanted to see if you all had opinions about is where to buy the ring. From what I understand there are a few places to get rings:
- Mall jewelry store chain (I have heard they mark up rings like crazy)
- Local jeweler (do they mark up the same way the chains do?)
- Blue nile
- Straight from designer – tacori, tiffany, etc.
What do you think is the best option? I like the idea of buying from a local store so I have somewhere to take my ring for repair, cleaning, etc but feel like bluenile has the cheapest prices.
I have also heard that it is most economical to purchase the diamond first and then get it set in a ring. So maybe the best way to go is buying the loose diamond from bluenile and then bringing it to a local jeweler to get set and finished??
Anyways – sorry for the long post but I would appreciate any advice you have for a soon to be engaged and (even more) WB obsessed gal. Is there anything you wish you knew before you or your FI purchased your e-ring? What about the process really worked for you or didn’t? Thanks so much gals!
Post # 3
I think it’s a great idea to get the diamond through an online retailer and then get the stone put into a setting at a local store. My ring was purchased through Union Diamond online and we are both happy with the final product. During the process my FI spent a lot of time going to all different local jewelers to look at stones and settings. In the end he went with his first choice, a diamond I had sent him a link to about 6 months prior!! Anyway- my advice to you is to make sure you are both happy with the final results. Listen to other people about “risks” of certain settings or whatnot, but be sure you both love the ring in the end. If you’re buying a diamond online you could also check out James Allen.
Post # 4
We used a family stone and I choose the setting. We went to a local store for the setting and they have been wonderful! I think they might mark it up a little but I feel like the quality I got from them was better than what I was seeing in the Mall stores. But the local store does not offer an extended warranty which for some might be an issue. But they are always very nice and helpful when I go in for whatever reason and they do everything in house (sizing, setting, fixing) the same day you go in. Gotta love that! And it is family owned so they remember me, which is really nice, more personable. I have bought other jewelry from the mall store and just never really liked their service, they always have to send the item out and it takes weeks to get it back, and they always marked everything up a lot. So I would not go there, IMO.
I do have to say that I do sometimes wish I did not pick out my ring. I kind of wish that it was a surprise that he picked out himself. He picked out other jewelry in the past and I always loved it, he has great taste. So I do wish he had picked it our on his own.
Post # 5
If I wanted to biggest bang for my buck- I would get a diamond from diamonds.com or something like that online and then pick out a setting online then take it to a local jeweler and have him set it. That would be the best way to get a deal. However, I personally support local business, so I always promote using a local jeweler. And it is handy to have a local jeweler for repairs and sizing.
Post # 6
We went shopping at a local jewelery store originally and got quoted for a custom ring. FI ended up buying the ring from a chain jeweler (Littman) and it is perfect! It has more details for just as much money! We are very happy with our ring and plan to buy our bands from the same chain. The lifetime insurance plan is quite affordable as well. I can not comment on buying online, but personally I like to purchase bigger ticket items in person. As far as designer rings go, you are paying mostly for the name.
Post # 7
The classic e-ring mistake is to get an e-ring that is not part of a set with a wedding band, and then discover no wedding bands really go with it. However, you find it, I’d suggest picking out the e-ring and wedding band at the same time.
Post # 8
Definitely don’t buy your ring from a brick and mortar store, you can save up to 50% by going online and the quality is usually much better! I love blue nile rings and they have a great reputation but if you really want to get the best bang for your buck then I would suggest checking out the pricescope forum (“show me the bling” and “rocky talky” are the best boards). They will literally answer any question your have and find you the best deal. I was a bit overwhelmed by the boards the first time I visited because it’s not the best designed site and there is a lot of information but it’s well worth checking out!
Post # 9
I wish that my husband had looked at wedding bands to go with my engagement ring and had something designed or kept wedding bands in the back of his mind when choosing my ring. I LOVE my ring -its stunning- but because of the way it is laid out it doesnt fit well with other rings. I am going to upgrade to a nicer wedding band down the line, but many things do not look good with it and it sucks!
Post # 10
I don’t have a ring yet ( ) but have you checked out diamondsbylauren.com? They have some amazing settings and absolutly gorgeous stones, and with them you have a choice to just buy a stone, just buy a setting, or buy a finished ring. I don’t know what your price range is but their completed rings run anywhere from $600,000 to under $1,000 and they have some designer things like Henri Daussi (my new obsession). Also, their diamonds are really good quality. I haven’t been into any mall stores, but online all their diamonds seem to be of much lower quality so I would definitly recommend at least buying your diamond online.
Good luck finding the perfect ring! I’m super excited for you 🙂
Post # 11
There isn’t anything I wish we had known because my FI researched his butt off and I think he did great! What he did know (and I’m glad he did) was:
– quality is way more important than size
– there are cuts other than round and princess
– a diamond is a diamond is a diamond (i.e. a tiffany diamond is not better in any way than a bluenile diamond)
My FI got my ring at bluenile and I am thrilled with it because it is excellent quality and way cheaper than he would’ve payed in a brick and mortar store. If he’d gone to one of those stores I’d either have a smaller stone, a lower quality stone, or a FI in debt over a ring.
Post # 12
FI probably knows more about diamonds than i do at this point. th 4 C’s and all… One thing i did tell him was “stay away from the mall”…just like you, i’ve heard their markups are insane. Other than that he did just fine without any of my help. He picked out a ring i would have picked myself. He went to this place here in town called Diamonds Direct. They were AMAZING! and if any of you are in NC i think there is a locaiton in Raleigh and Charlotte i would say its worth the trip..i dont know the cost but i know my FI and he shopped around and told me he got a great deal there. I think there may be one in Birmingham AL as well.
Post # 13
oh P.S. I would stay away from Tiffany or Tacori…they are beautiful rings but not worth the money. with the money you spend on a name brand ring you can get something incredible from a regular jewler.
Post # 14
Mall stores = HUGE RIPOFF. We actually purchased my ring direct from an artist, and got a great deal on it.
Post # 15
I don’t agree with online buying only – my FI brought in the specs he want and the store (family owned local store) went out, found 4 that were what he wanted, and ALL OF THEM were cheaper than blue nile. The entire ring – custom made – was cheaper than just the stone from Blue Nile.
As you enter your married life, I’ve learned it’s really good to have a jeweler you can trust, and if you bring in the specs and a price from Blue Nile, there’s no reason a jeweler shouldn’t be able to beat/match what you’re looking for.
Post # 16
One thought about the family stone: have you thought about how pairing it with side stones might change the look of the shape? For example, I fell in love with the shape of ovals set east-west, and at one point considered pairing a cushion or radiant with two half moons to acheive a similar profile. Admittedly, it’s probably harder to play with a round or a marquis, and if you love the solitaire look, then this won’t work for you, but it might be worth looking into.
Other thoughts: we found pricescope.com to be really helpful…they’re definitely pro-James Allen. In terms of quality, the quality of the cut is by far the most important factor in terms of sparkle, so I would recommend prioritizing budget dollars towards that (and size second). Also, you might be less color-sensitive than you think…I wound up with a stone that was lower on the color scale than what we were originally looking at, but it doesn’t bother me at all. Then again, some people are more color-sensitive. Finally, don’t settle for anything that isn’t eye-clean in terms of clarity…my parents gave me diamond studs that are not, and it bugs me every time I look at them. Can’t imagine how much worse that would be on my hand!