And since we're on the topic of engagement rings ...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Frederick, Nov 30, 2001.

  1. Frederick

    Frederick Second Unit

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    In one of the other threads, I saw someone metion getting their S.O. an engagement ring for X-Mas. That's SO funny, `cause my girlfriend and I (got a new one for those who remembered me breaking up with one a few months ago) were just talking about that. I'm not one for that soulmate stuff, but her and I hit it off immediately. And since then, our relationship has become one of the most fulfilling relationships I've ever been in. We've talked about finding a place next year, so naturally the idea of marriage had came up (why wait when you find everything that you've been looking for), and I had thought about getting her a ring for X-mas ...
    I was engaged many, MANY moons ago, and that ring wasn't anything special. We were young, and poor, so I got the best thing I could at the time. But now, I'm doing much better, and I could possibly go pretty high. But do I need to?
    What's with this 2 months salary business? Is it before or after taxes???? If I was to do after, I'd be in the $6000 range for a ring. Isn't that a bit much???? My girl isn't into anything big or flashy, and I believe a carat would be fine. And she isn't helping. Out of pure frustration, she's given up on looking for a ring. We've moved on to getting each other different things for Christmas, which is cool because our list of things to get other people has gotten a tad ridiculous [​IMG]. We don't care, though: it's Christmas. It's about giving, but I still want to get her one by March of next year ...
    So what do you guys suggest? A carat? [​IMG] a carat? Should I get something that I like? Should I set a limit, and if so, what limit is sufficient? 2K? 3K? I'm looking for suggestions here, guys. And any suggestions from the women out there would be appreciated as well ...
    Freddy C.
     
  2. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    I think that 2 month salary thing is stupid.

    Now, I love the little polished rocks a great deal, but to get so hung up on them and make up rules about how much to spend is just ridiculous.

    Furthermore, if you take your $X000, you can get a very large, but flawed diamond, or a small, but nearly perfect one. Don't believe the hype that bigger is better. Personally, most diamonds don't do anything for me - I like colored stones. The exception are Russian diamonds which are faceted slightly differently and are amazingly bright and brilliant. They are generally small, though.

    If I were to get married, I would probably choose some custom ring with a unique design. I really don't like the standard styles you see in the big chain stores. Perhaps if your girlfriend is frustrated because there's just so much unimaginative junk out there? (My design would be a gold dragon holding a small Russian diamond, with the tail curling around my finger.)
     
  3. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    Congratulations, Frederick. When you've found the RIGHT one, you just know it!! I've been blissfully married for over four years now, and it was the same way for me. I never thought I'd want to get married, but when I met Heather we knew we were in it for life. [​IMG]
    As for the ring the best bet is to go shopping together, let her look at the rings and pick one out she likes. Take note of it, and get her sized. You don't have to buy it right away, you can always wait a while (save up the $ if needed, maybe even for a bigger rock), then surprise her sometime! If you don't get her the ring for Christmas, maybe you can swing it for Valentine's Day.
    When Heather and I were dating and fantasizing about the eventual, inevitable engagement (this was back in '95), we went to the jewelry store, and we looked at rings that both she liked and I could pull off buying. Then a month or two later, when we went Christmas shopping, we separated so we could buy each other's gifts, and I slipped into the jewelry store and bought The Ring, and surprised her that Christmas! I didn't want to wait. [​IMG]
    The 2 months salary is just a guideline, to give you an idea, it's not a hard and fast rule. If you have extra money kicking around, you can spend more, or if you have a lot of debt (or your significant other likes a less expensive ring), spend less.
    Have fun, and best of luck to you and your (hopeful) eventual bride to be! [​IMG]
    KJP
     
  4. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

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    I'm going to repeat what I said in the other thread about bluenile.com. It is the most helpful website I've ever seen for helping you make tradeoffs about a product and seeing the associated costs. The prices are good there too.

    In my bit of research, my first priority was to get an "ideal cut". The crystalline structure of all diamonds is exactly the same so there is a recognized standard for the exact angles and cuts (with allowable tolerances) that should be made on a diamond. The proper angles will reflect the most light back at the viewer giving the stone its brilliance and "fire". I think that's the quality that is most striking about a diamond, far more so than clarity, color, or even size. Inferior quality cuts are made to maximize carat weight from the raw stone.

    Because of symmetry, only round diamonds can receive the "ideal" cut designation. If your tastes run to a different shape, then I encourage you to get the highest quality cut available in your shape. For the same money, the fire you get from a high quality cut will cover up what you might be giving up in color.
     
  5. andrew markworthy

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    A few considerations:

    (a) unless you mix with professional jewellers, nobody is going to know what quality the stone is;

    (b)big is not necessarily better, and I agree that design is more important than carats, but by the same token, saying 'although you need a magnifying glass to see it, it's a really good quality stone' is unlikely to impress anyone

    (c) remember that your SO is going to be wearing that ring for the rest of her life, and during that time your salary and lifestyle are going to get better (we hope!). The ring is to match what you're going to be in the future, not just now

    (d) bear in mind things like your SO's skin colouring and finger size - a massive ring may shriek out 'this costs loads of money' but it'll look stupid on a dainty hand

    (e) consider antique jewellery - there's no 'law' to say the ring must be brand new

    (f) get the damn thing insured!
     
  6. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    Andrew,

    I have to disagree with a couple of your points.

    You don't have to be a professional jeweler to be able to notice the quality of a diamond. All you have to do is look at a few that are not in the standard mall chain store. I once found one of these stores offering a very large "snow diamond" at an outrageous price. In reality, it was a subpar diamond filled with inclusions and wasn't worth anywhere near the price they wanted.

    Diamonds are also graded on color. Go see some quality stones and you will be amazed by them.

    I don't think jewelry should be about impressing anyone. It should be to make the wearer happy. And the best way to be truly happy is to take a good look at all different grades of stones so you yourself can make an informed decision as to quality/size. Getting a great big flawed off-white rock just to wave under people's noses is not what I consider a smart move.

    Frederick,

    Another thing to consider is something untraditional. I mentioned the custom ring earlier, but you might also want to look into matching 24K rings. Believe me, once you see a 24K gold ring, you will not want to go back to 14K. Sure it's soft as anything, but man is it beautiful. And 24K gold jewelry is not nearly as expensive as you might think. Go to a gem or jewelry show and find sellers from Hong Kong. They have some fantastic stuff.
     
  7. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

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  8. brian a

    brian a Second Unit

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    I'm the one that mentioned the two-month thing in the other thread. As everyone here has said, it's just a guideline that someone came up with long ago to sell diamonds.

    That being said, the factors that pushed me into that dollar range are, as was said above, this ring should live with you forever and if possible you should step it up a few notches now so that it doesn't look to shabby latter on. Of course, you can upgrade later on. I have to admit that I am a little sentimental for that. The ring that I gave her is special to us both, and I want to to stay with us forever. Many don't feel the same way about this and are more comfortable upgrading down the road. You should decide which camp your in before you buy.

    The other factor was that this should be a significant purchase. In fact it should hurt a little. This ring is a physical representation of what this woman means to you. The level that hurts a little obviously varies and won't follow a two month rule. No one suggests you should put your self in financial risk (i.e. bankruptcy), but it should be one of the biggest purchases of your life.

    Again it's just my opinion. There are no rules.

    brianca..
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Copying what I said in the Xmas gift thread:
    The "two months salary" business comes from de Beers, the diamond cartel, who also coined the "A Diamond Is Forever" phrase, and essentially created the Diamond ring == Engagement Ring mythos, in the 40s, I believe.
    More simply, the diamond mystique, place in romantic culture, and the consumer market for diamonds is only about 60 years old and is a marketing fabrication, created by the advertising geniuses at de Beers.
    That said, you are looking for a way to express your love for this woman and your desire to spend the rest of your life with her. Do what will bring the two of you the most joy -- be it big sparkly diamonds or a simple "I Love You. Marry Me." unencumbered by jewelry.
    When choosing diamonds, given a fixed first C
    - Cost
    you must compromise on the remaining 4 C's:
    - Carat
    - Cut
    - Color
    - Clarity
    Only you know what your girlfriend would best enjoy: large (big Carat) but off-white (lesser Color)? Maybe an exquisitely Cut, but smaller Carat diamond?
    And don't forget the cost of the setting, ring, etc.
    Figure out what you want to spend, then go shopping. Take time to visit several jewelers and have them show different diamonds, that have varying degrees of the Cut, Color, Carat, Clarity, so you can see what you like best.
    Then pull out the credit card, look away, and try not to flinch -- it will only sting for a moment [​IMG]
    Don't stress about the two-months salary. The Ring-Nazis won't drag you away if you don't. Besides, you need your money more than de Beers does [​IMG]
     
  10. brian a

    brian a Second Unit

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    I should also mention that at the time I bought my wifes ring, I was at a place in life where I was able to pay cash for it. I'm sure things would have been much different had I been charging it.

    Do you think that $3000 means more to someone making $30,000 than 10k to someone making 100? I'm seriously asking. I'm not sure what I think about that.

    brianca..
     
  11. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

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    Well Brian. It's harder to live on $27000 than it is to live on $90000.

    One other word about engagement ring upgrades. We've been married for 15 years and the original diamond my wife is still wearing needs an upgrade. However, even if we go with a new bare diamond solitaire, the old diamond will be remounted in a new piece of jewelry so the sentimental aspect of that ring will stay with us.
     
  12. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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  13. brian a

    brian a Second Unit

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    But you have to assume your expenses grow with your income. You probably don't live in the same house or drive the same cars when you make 100k.

    Quality of life increases but disposable income doesn't grow as fast as you might think. You can't say that I was fine when I made 30k so when I make 100k I'll have 70k to piss away every year. It'd be nice, but I doesn't work that way in my experience.

    brianca...
     
  14. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    Depending on the cut of the stone you can get more bang for the buck as far as size is concerned. An emerald cut(rectangular) is very long but shallow where as a round cut stone at the same size would be a bit smaller in comparison due to the depth.
    My wife picked out a princess cut(square). I got her a 1.25 carat, F color, SI2 with a white gold band for $4500 at Kay's. It was marked at $5000 but i made them an offer. Most places are negotiable with their diamond prices due to extreme markup [​IMG]
    Jeff
     
  15. Frederick

    Frederick Second Unit

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    One day we were in the Loop (that's downtown for you non-Chicago people [​IMG]) for breakfast, and we made a deal: I could go looking around in Toy's R Us (I'm a 31 yr. old kid. I admit it), if she could go looking around in this place called Ultra Jewelers. Well, needless to say she was in her store longer than I was in mine. And I did learn some things while pretending not to be watching:
    1) She favors a marquise-cut (sp?) diamond, perferably in a setting of some sort. She doesn't like a plain stone on a band. She's like you in that regard, Julie. She wants it to be "different". But I don't think she'd go for the dragon [​IMG] ...
    2) She favors platinum. All of my stuff is yellow gold, including my bracelet. But she favors things that resemble silver. I saw her eye some white gold rings, but she doesn't really care for yellow gold. Go figure ...
    3) She has long, skinny fingers. I knew that, but the person in the jewelry store was making a big deal about it. Something about the stone and the contour of her fingers. I had eyed a nice watch when they were discussing that, so I really did miss that conversation ...
    I've been to www.adiamondisforever.com looking around, and I saw some nice stuff. I'll try the other site that was mentioned. I wanted to spend about 2.5K-3K, but when I mentioned that to the jeweler, she gave me a look that made me feel as though I was being cheap, and my girlfriend looked at me as if I wanted to spend WAY too much money. That was just a recon mission, though. We haven't hit Jewelers Row yet. That should be interesting. Keep the ideas coming, guys. This is helping me a lot ...
    Freddy C.
     
  16. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    A marquise cut is a oval shape but with tips on both ends. They look best on women that have long slender fingers so she may want to try one on before deciding. The emerald cuts are also nice too but don't shine as well due to the uneven cutting.

    Good luck on the platinum. It ain't cheap, typically 2-3 times the cost of a gold band. That is why we wen't with white gold. White gold is really plain old yellow gold but mixed and coated with either nickel, silver or some other 'silvery' color to mask it's yellow appearence. I've been happy with it so far but under certain types of lighting you can sometimes see a little of the yellow gold tinge to it.
     
  17. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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    I think I'm one of the few lucky men whose wife didn't want a big ring because of her belief of it being superficial and "just a ring" and not a symbol of love. I tend to agree with her because I think too many people (I HATE girls that say I want such and such a karat or I won't marry [horrible women]) put such an effort into how big the rings needs to be and not the significance of the meaning behind the ring. Needless to say, she was very happy with the ring that I picked out for her and spent less than $1000.00!

    Anyway, just my experienced view on the whole engagement ring ordeal.

    But again, I state that I am of a lucky few.
     
  18. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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  19. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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  20. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Man, this thread is moving fast!
     

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