Post # 31
Also.. how confident are you that she wants to be surprised with the ring, vs. being able to help pick/design the ring and the stone?
What’s your timeline? If the proposal date is soon, it may be best to propose with a placeholder (costume jewelry ring, plain band, etc) and then pick out the ring together.
Post # 33
If her sister suggested a diamond than I would buy .5-1.0k real diamond off of BlueNile for about $2,000 and spend $500 on a setting. Good luck!
Post # 34
I am Team propose with a placeholder and pick out a ring together. Not only does that ensure you’ll get the ring right, it’s a good way to discuss finances, styles, priorities.
I am not familiar with the price of platinum but 2k for the setting seems crazy high. My entire custom ring cost 3200, and that’s with 2 premium peekaboo rubies, a 1.5 equivalent moissanite, pave diamonds, and white gold. I am worried that you’re paying too much? Unless she’s allergic to gold or nickel, white gold gets you so much farther. These are things you should be able to discuss with your gf freely. It’s a big purchase.
In an engagement ring, the stone is the standout. It makes no sense to me personally to spend 2k on the setting and 500 on the stone. I feel it should be the other way around.
Post # 35
The setting was actually $1780. It’s slightly pricier than similar James Allen and Blue Nile settings, but not by much, especially considering the social responsibility goals of the company. Platinum has the advantage in that it doesn’t have to be replated and the prongs are more durable, so it can actually be less costly in the long run. Was your setting much more elaborate than OP’s? Given the minimal cost of moissanite, I imagine your setting alone was probably 2.8K-3K of the total 3.2K, which makes it peculiar as a counterexample.
Post # 36
Another thought, if you think she is likely to be ok with a lab diamond, you could buy the lab diamond necklace through Lightbox first and propose with that, making sure to propose within the return period. You could then have a consult with a jeweler (with whom you had previously discussed likely designs and budget) already scheduled for the day after. That way you would have a token to offer during the proposal that she could wear and which would eventually become her ring and there would be no additional delay in purchasing the diamond, only in constructing the ring.
Post # 37
I got a lab diamond and got StarGems to make my setting, that is the best route to go. You will get exactly what your Girlfriend wants and stay on budget.
Get a lab diamond from Brilliant Earth or anothe online retailer (only a bit more expensive than Lightbox and you have more control over the stone you will receive).
Get the setting made by StarGems and give them the dimensions of your diamond.
Get the diamond set into the StarGems setting at a jewlers near your home.
I did this and am very happy with my lab diamond ring.
Post # 38
l do agree with pps re checking with her about a surprise ring rather than being part of the choice . Personally l would not like a placeholder ring at all, the ring you are given at the proposal to me is THE ring .
Her sister would be the best informant if you don’t want to give too much away.
Post # 39
@sandybeach: I took a quick look at Brilliant Earth. Their 1 carat lab diamonds of similar quality are almost twice the price. Didn’t you run into issues with the quality of your ring from Starsgem? Were they resolved? Also with current conditions affecting shipping and supply chains, it’s more difficult to recommend overseas jewelers at the moment. https://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/worried-about-my-ring-2/
Post # 42
Perhaps I misread: in your initial post you characterized the ring as “flimsy”.
I’m not sure I’d recommend Starsgem in this case. OP is coming from a default where most people go to a mall jeweler. Acquiring a ring through Starsgem, while slightly cheaper would involve extra steps, payments through Alibaba, and having to deal with shipping the ring back internationally if there are issues, etc. Plus he’d also have to find a jeweler to set the stone on top of that. Far easier and less risky, even if it’s slightly more expensive to shop around with local jewelers to design and purchase a setting.
“I realise my Star Gems ring is a bit flimsy, but I was intending to wear it until it started to break down and then get the setting made elsewhere at a higher standard”
Post # 43
my ring is holding up fine, it’s not as flimsy as I first thought. I guess for me having a setting I paid less for is worth the risk, because I really don’t worry about damaging it, but so far it’s proven me wrong and had taken some knocks and puppy bites.
Peronaly I would not want an expensive setting with a moissonite center. I’d rather all the budget go on the center diamond and a cheaper setting, but that’s just me. I guess OP needs to find out if his GF’s priorities are a higher quality setting or center stone, so that he can make a more informed decision.
Post # 44
1. Don’t feel weird about not getting from a mall jewelers like Kay. They mark up their prices and are in financial and legal trouble from what I’ve read so who knows how long they’ll be around?
2. Platinum is definitely the way to go for a setting. Doesn’t need replating. Holds up to a lot of abuse.
3. Options as others have mentioned: a) get a token placeholder now and pick out the whole ring together b) spend $ on her dream setting now with a placeholder sapphire or Moissanite (not sure you’ll find a decent lab diamond for $500) c) get a knockout lab diamond now and worry about the dream setting later
Online retailers are a great option because they have return policies and some of them have upgrade options.
Good luck. You know her best so follow your guts on this one. I’m sure she’ll love whatever you decide.
Post # 45
I am here to highly discourage you from a white sapphire. I bought one as a right hand ring. It was gorgeous and sparkly under those deceptive lights in the jewelers case.
Got it home and I find the stone is cloudy and does not sparkle at all. It also seems to pickup any smudge. I clean it all the time and it will look okay for half a day but then cloudy again.
Take everyone’s advice here on what sort of ring to give her or let her choose.