Post # 1
Hey lovely ladies!
I need some advice. My dear man wants my help choosing an engagement ring. He doesn’t want me to worry about price tags, just to send him 5-10 rings that I love so he can get an idea of what to purchase for me. We both know it’s not a matter of if we get engaged, just a when.
I feel so honored and blessed that he is willing to consider me like this, but the problems are:
1) I feel so guilty that engagement rings are so expensive.<br /><br />2) We both hate the commercialization of diamonds/unethical practices and he does not want to buy me one because of it. <br />But I keep running into the idea that diamonds are the most durable and will age the best, so I feel trapped.<br /><br />3) I’m allergic to nickel, so I’d like to get something like palladium or platinum, but I worry that those metals will scratch easier.<br /> Does anyone know a hypoallergenic alternative other than tungsten that will be able to have a gem in a setting?<br /><br />4) I love the knot rings like http://www.gemvara.com/jewelry/strong-knot-ring-5mm/round-white-sapphire-platinum-ring/ktcgd<br /> but I’m not sure if Gemvara is reputable. The business reviews I’ve found have been very mixed. A lot of customers love their rings initially and then <br /> find that the ring doesn’t last (A stone falls out, etc.)
Sorry to vent, I just want some advice!
PS – I’d like to keep the ring under $1500 because I hate spending a lot of money on a piece of jewelry. <br />I’m not a “bling” person and I honestly worry about losing/damaging this ring.
Post # 2
shiver23: It sounds like you are okay with a simple setting. You will be able to get a very nice solitaire for $1500. Check out James allen. A lot of people have rings from there on this site. You can always check out the chai stores at the mall too, but I think you’ll get a better deal online. I’m curious to see what people say about Gemvara. I want to order something for my daughter from there:
You could get something simple but fun:
Post # 3
- Wedding: A very pretty church.
shiver23: White Gold doesn’t have to be made with nickel. Gold can be alloyed with palladium for example. Have you thought of an Amora Gem with a customer white gold/palladium setting? Alternatively are you morally against estate jewelery? Plenty of lovely old sapphire/diamond rings out there.
Post # 4
shiver23: Have you looked in Costco? I felt a bit weird about getting a ring from there at first, but it’s honestly such better value. My ring was about $2300 in Costco but when I looked in the high street jewellers it was about $4000! Same diamond ct, same gold ct amd same cluster setting.
Post # 5
Post # 6
shiver23: And saying that, obvs I know that my ring is still expensive, but if you go in store the usually have some really nice less expensove ones as well 🙂
Post # 7
Post # 8
shiver23: Hi there! I wanted to let you know that platinum is the hardest of the metals and will not require the upkeep of gold jewelry. It does scratch easier, but it more durable than gold and will last a lifetime. Also, like a PP said, you can have gold alloyed with other metals so that it is nickel free.
18k yellow gold does not contain any nickel, but this metal is softer and is prone to thinning and dings when worn on a daily basis. My advice is to contact a few jewelers, either in person or on the web, and discuss options for nickel free jewelry.
If you’re concerned with the unethical impact of diamonds, make sure you also consider recycled metals too, as precious metals are more unethically obtained than diamonds and gemstones themselves. This is where looking into pre-loved rings at pawn shops or antique stores come into play.
Brilliant Earth offers genuine lab-created diamonds and they use recylced metals. Lab-created diamonds cost just as much, if not a little more, than their natural counterpart. I’m not sure what cut and size you’re looking for, but you could check out their website and see if they have something you like.
The next closest gemstone as far as hardness, is Moissanite. Moissanite is a lab-created gemstone that is 9.5 on the Mohs hardness scale where Diamond is a perfect 10. Moissanite is similar to optical properties and is much more cost effective. My engagement ring came from MoissaniteCo.com and all their settings are made from recylced metals so it was both cost and environmentally friendly. You can find dozens of rings on their under $1500 without a problem.
White Sapphires are another great gemstone you can wear if you want it to look similar to a diamond. When cut well, their sparkle and glow is amazing and often hard to tell apart from diamonds. They are relatively durable and will last a lifetime with proper care. You can find white sapphires in most jewelry stores and online of course. I highly recommend Etsy, as there are hundreds of sellers that will work with you on a custom ring to fit your allergy needs and budget.
I will post a picture of my engagement ring below so you can see the optical properties of moissanite firsthand, although it is a canary stone in the center. I hope this information was helpful to you, please feel free to ask me more questions! 🙂
Post # 9
I wanted to make an edit to my post above, but I’ve already edited it three times for spelling! I wanted to add that after some research, the lab-created diamonds available on Brilliant Earth are cheaper than the natural diamonds on Brilliant Earth.
However, I think with a bit of shopping around, you may find that the lab-created ones are around the same price as the natural ones.
My advice is to exhaust all your options then go with the best one 🙂
Post # 10
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
1. Are you open to alternative stones like moissanite, sapphires, etc.? Or a stone-free setting?
2. I’ve been wearing my palladium rings for 4 years, and they still look great. Sure, there are scratches on the underside, but that happens regardless of the metal type you choose. At least with palladium you won’t lose any metal when the jeweler buffs out the scratches.
Post # 11
shiver23: Hi! I am recently engaged and had some of the same issues you are having. I also used to sell fine jewelry so I know a bit about it.
Lab-created diamonds are just as expensive as natural diamonds- the price is equally inflated.
If you’re concerned about sourcing and price- the best option is to go estate (used, vintage, etc.). The diamonds tend to be higher quality, and you aren’t contributing to modern mining practices since it was all mined years ago.
Engagement rings do NOT have to be expensive. Because the cost of diamonds is artificially inflated, they are like new cars- the second you take them out of the store they nosedive in value. So, you can get a STEAL if you’re willing to buy used. Plus you aren’t contributing to the awful conditions of mining, since those diamonds are already mined.
My ring is from the 1940s, it has three diamonds set in an art deco 18k gold setting. New, rings like mine (with similar carat weight/style) start at around $2000- mine was around $500. My wedding band is also vintage, 18k white gold with five small diamonds in it- I bought it for $150, it’s also from the 1940s. A similar band new would start around $700.
Even if you don’t like the look of antique jewelry, you can still buy used. Even if the ring is only a year old, buying used will save you a ton of money. I routinely see solitaires like the one someone posted above for as low as $300 used. Don’t get suckered into buying new.
Post # 12
shiver23: I have a gemvara ring. So far I love it. However it was a hit or miss a few times because I got one ring and it ended up not working out (2 prong) and I’m too active and needed at least a 4 prong. And then we got my ring size wrong. But their customer service was very nice and understanding to us and I love the ring I now wear. However, I was adamanent on no diamonds and wanted a color gemstone. Which is why I picked gemvara. They are BBB accredited which really helped me in deciding whether or not to use them. But do what’s best for you. If looking in person helps first and then buying online, go for it. Personally I wish I would have ended up going to look in person because I had no frame of reference on what carat size would look good and band width and all of that.
Post # 13
You should check out Brillaint Earth they are conflict free diamonds and they have vintage estate rings and build your own engagement rings – also if you want to try an alternative and cost effective stone check out morganite its beautiful
Brillaint Earth ‘Willow’ on platinum band $1150
Sam Sue Morganite Engagement ring $925 (Hawaiian based jeweler)
Post # 14
Platinum is hypoalergenic. It also feels great compared to gold.
As for conflict-free diamonds, I would reccomend going Canadian. Mine is from maple leaf diamonds and I highly reccomed them because they can track the diamond from mining all the way to your hands.
Hope that helps:)
Post # 15
Moissaniteco examples. These are kinda twisted knot like. And way under your budget!
If I was in your situation I’d definitely buy used from ebay, idonowidont.com, diamondbistro ect.. moissanite is also an awesome choice! Moissaniteco has plenty of beautiful rings under $1500