Tis the season to get engaged! There’s plenty of advice from friends and loved ones about how to prepare, propose and of course buy that engagement ring. Since it’s that season, here are some things we’ve learned about buying rings and the advice of some experts in the business.
The jewelry industry as a whole has significant markups from 20-50%. The well-advertised stores offer the worst deals and play on the deep emotions of proposing to the one you love. “Historically, the diamond industry has been shrouded in secrecy and the old guard likes it that way,” said Josh Holland, a spokesperson for BlueNile.com. That shroud is no longer! With some good educational information and access to the internet, you’re armed to get what you want at a fair price.
Understanding the 4C’s (Carat, Colour, Clarity, Cut) is a good start and allows for better comparison as you shop.
The old standard of buying her an engagement ring based on 2-3 month’s salary rule is pretty well ignored by most girls today. It’s more the psychology around the ring. Men consider it a short term purchase while women consider it something to be cherished and held forever.
Find out what she wants. Consider this is not just a short term purchase. Whatever your budget, remember you only propose once and you’ll be with her for lifetime. Some rings are cherished enough to be handed down to the next generation. So, it’s put your best effort forward in buying a nice ring. The goal is to make your budget, whatever it may be, go as far as possible. And be wise to buy her a real diamond, not synthetic.
Here are some specific tips to consider:
- Find out what kind of ring she likes. There are two parts to this: the stone and setting. The stone is the actual diamond or jewel. The setting is the metal the stone sits in on the ring. There are different cuts of stones; square, round, oval, etc. Find out size she wants (as in carats). Lastly and most importantly, remember to find out her ring size.
- Learn and understand the 4 C’s. Discover online the value of the stones you’re considering so you know how the pricing is with retail stores you shop.
- Ask recently engaged friends where they got their ring. This could save you time and money.
- If you have a friend who’s a skilled gemologist take them to lunch to pick their brain about buying a ring.
- Consider the size of the stone and perfect setting size for her hand. A small stone on a large hand will seem to vanish.
- Remember that diamond prices jump upward at whole-carat sizes (.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, etc) compared with pricing of .95, 1.45, etc, where the diamond size is essentially the same.
- When visiting jewelers and finding some stones you like, write down the GIA number. You can use this to find similar diamond stock on the internet and discover what the jewelers markup is allowing you power to negotiate or go somewhere else.
- Once you’ve put the stone and setting together get it appraised and get it insured as soon as possible.
- Lastly, get a GIA certificate. Without that, the stone is worthless.
The goal? Educate yourself so you’re armed with information to get a beautiful ring she’ll love. It’s not about spending the most or getting the biggest. It’s about finding the right ring.
We hope she says yes.