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Ring buying advice needed.

Gunner

Monkey
May 6, 2003
534
0
Framingham, MA
To all those married Monkeys out there.

How did you guys decide on a place to buy an engagement ring? Recommendations from friends or just randomly go to jewelers and find a ring you could afford? Or hit up a big name brand store and hope to not be bent over the counter by the salesman? :) Seen some reasonable stuff online on what I assume are reputable 'online' stores...but pretty weary of something that I can't see in person....so pretty sure i'll steer clear of that route.

And to those wise asses that will prob tell me to not get married....me and the gfriend already bought a house together...so I've thought about it long and hard before today ;) She rules, loves bikes, doesnt mind that i spend lots of time doing video away from home, and is a damn fine cook :) And she also mentioned at one point: "I don't think its fair men don't get anything in an engagement. When we get engaged you'll get a really awesome present from me"

So I have that going for me.....which is nice :)
 

mandown

Poopdeck Repost
Jun 1, 2004
14,095
1,522
Transylvania 90210
I went the Robbins Bros route. I got something that was nice and the grrrlie went shopping with me and gave me the :thumb: on the ones she liked. I just wrote the check and assumed that it was worth it. If we were going to be together till death, then a few dollars of discount wasn't going to make much of a difference over a lifetime. Of course less than a year later things went down the pooper and she walked away with a nice mountain bike (OK, two) on her finger.

I had a friend of a friend that was pissed about how small her diamond was. She'd show off the ring and immediately let everyone know it was a Tiffany ring, so it was EXTRA expensive and super high quality, which is why the diamond wasn't a big rock. It was pretty obvious she was bummed that she didn't get a bigger rock.

I also had a close friend that went online and found a super nice vintage ring from ebay. Not sure if he just got the setting then had a diamond added. But I seem to remember the story being about how inexepnsive it was, yet it was still VERY nice looking.

Of course, there is the Tom Leykis school that says women should be worried about guys who buy big expensive rings because it shows they are not responsible and reasonable with money, and will piss it away on something that has all its value as a symbol, not as an investment.

Those are my stories.

Edit - You will know it when you see it. You just gotta look around... kinda like when you found her.

We were in Antwerp, Belgium... and it seemed like a smart thing to do.

:thumb:
Antwerp is nice.
 
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kickstand

Turbo Monkey
Sep 18, 2009
3,445
392
Fenton, MI
A friend of mine worked at a jeweler, so I trusted his judgment that he wouldnt steer me the wrong way. My ex wife was happy to have a nice ring. She didn't help pick it out, I kinda new wahat she wanted and that was that.

Spend what you can afford, and if she isn't greatful to have what you give her than she is the wrong chic.

Sounds like you shouldnt have that problem, so learn what the differences are in cut, clarity, quality, etc. and shop around a bit just like you would a bike.
 

dante

Unabomber
Feb 13, 2004
8,814
8
looking for classic NE singletrack
My wife (then GF/fiance) and I sat down and decided we'd rather have a bigger down payment for a house than a piece of jewelry (mostly her idea, not mine). Then again she's not into the whole ostentatious consumption aspect, so it was totally understandable. So I'm no help in this at all...
 

dante

Unabomber
Feb 13, 2004
8,814
8
looking for classic NE singletrack
Of course less than a year later things went down the pooper and she walked away with a nice mountain bike (OK, two) on her finger.
A friend of mine worked at a jeweler, so I trusted his judgment that he wouldnt steer me the wrong way. My ex wife was happy to have a nice ring. She didn't help pick it out, I kinda new wahat she wanted and that was that.
So how is it that women have suckered men into paying 3 months salary on something when they're not required to put up a similar dowry? :confused:
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
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avoid the big chains is the best advice I can give.

I bought Liz a set of diamond earrings, and I went the local family owned route (its a store that's been in business for like 4 family generations). Granted, I did pay a little bit more, but they had better quality stones. Also, the particular location I went to has a policy that if you buy diamonds from them, you can trade them in anytime you want (even years later) and get 100% of what you paid applied towards a larger/better stone.
 

jonKranked

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Nov 10, 2005
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My wife (then GF/fiance) and I sat down and decided we'd rather have a bigger down payment for a house than a piece of jewelry (mostly her idea, not mine). Then again she's not into the whole ostentatious consumption aspect, so it was totally understandable. So I'm no help in this at all...
I'm in somewhat of a similar situation. The topic has definitely been discussed, and Liz would rather put the money towards a really nice stone than towards a fancy wedding (boo-ya!). FWIW, she also would rather have the bulk of the money invested in a stone than the setting, so later down the road we could have the stone put in a new setting, and a different (read: smaller, cheaper) stone put in the original setting. Even better - because she wants a pretty big rock, she's more than willing to help fund it.
 

TreeSaw

Mama Monkey
Oct 30, 2003
16,673
445
Dancin' over rocks n' roots!
Spend what you can afford, and if she isn't greatful to have what you give her than she is the wrong chic.

Sounds like you shouldnt have that problem, so learn what the differences are in cut, clarity, quality, etc. and shop around a bit just like you would a bike.
Excellent advice here!!!

My wife (then GF/fiance) and I sat down and decided we'd rather have a bigger down payment for a house than a piece of jewelry (mostly her idea, not mine). Then again she's not into the whole ostentatious consumption aspect, so it was totally understandable. So I'm no help in this at all...
I too am not into flashy jewlery and didn't want a big rock on my finger.

avoid the big chains is the best advice I can give.

I bought Liz a set of diamond earrings, and I went the local family owned route (its a store that's been in business for like 4 family generations). Granted, I did pay a little bit more, but they had better quality stones. Also, the particular location I went to has a policy that if you buy diamonds from them, you can trade them in anytime you want (even years later) and get 100% of what you paid applied towards a larger/better stone.
I too would recommend a locally owned & operated jewler. They might be a little more expensive, but you're supporting a local business, creating a raport for future purchases and you'll get something more unique than going to a chain which is a plus in my book too!
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
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I too would recommend a locally owned & operated jewler. They might be a little more expensive, but you're supporting a local business, creating a raport for future purchases and you'll get something more unique than going to a chain which is a plus in my book too!
Not only that, from my (albeit limited) experience, they tend to MUCH more knowledgeable as well. And if they don't have something in the safe, they'll gladly make a few phones then handcuff a briefcase to their wrist to get you what you want.
 

bizutch

Delicate CUSTOM flower
Dec 11, 2001
15,922
8
Over your shoulder whispering
When me & the wife were on vacation, this couple showed us a nice rock on her finger. She said their jeweler suggested this route. They bought a very nice setting with a cubic zirconia and used the rest of the money to pay for an awesome honeymoon, 2 weeks instead of 1 in the some tropical place. Then at year 5, they replaced the costume rock with a real diamond.

There wasn't a chic in the room not swooning over that idea brother! Total win.
 

Gunner

Monkey
May 6, 2003
534
0
Framingham, MA
awesome advice everyone!! I dont know why, but i'm intimidated by this whole process and I havent even started yet. Dropping the coin doesn't really bother me, I have $$ saved up and should be able to pay for about 90% of it upfront. (yes, emptying my savings is a LITTLE scary :) )
 

Arkayne

I come bearing GIFs
May 10, 2005
3,745
13
SoCal
Learn the C's, buy a jewelers loupe and don't count out Craigslist . There are tons of ladies out there who recently broke up, divorced and pissed off enough to sell for cheap.

It doesn't hurt to have a friend who works in the industry too.

Otherwise, Robbins Bros will treat you right, but you pay a premium for that service.
 

mogulskr

Monkey
Aug 28, 2002
641
0
NH
When I bought mine many years ago I went to the diamond building in Boston on Washington St. Didn't really have a clue what I was doing, but all the jewelers in there were very helpful explaining things. Plenty of jewelers to comparision shop with as well.
 

aixelsyd

Chimp
May 16, 2007
83
0
We went to Barmakian Jewlers up in Nashua. Friends of ours had used them and highly reccomended them. We were not dissapointed. Our local family owned jewlery store wanted over a $grand$ more for the same ring. Barmakian also will customize any ring to suit what she likes, as this is the route we took.
 

Gunner

Monkey
May 6, 2003
534
0
Framingham, MA
We went to Barmakian Jewlers up in Nashua. Friends of ours had used them and highly reccomended them. We were not dissapointed. Our local family owned jewlery store wanted over a $grand$ more for the same ring. Barmakian also will customize any ring to suit what she likes, as this is the route we took.
There's actually a Barkmakian Jeweler in Framingham and they were the first place I was going to hit up before you mentioned them....good to know!
 

kickstand

Turbo Monkey
Sep 18, 2009
3,445
392
Fenton, MI
I too would recommend a locally owned & operated jewler. They might be a little more expensive, but you're supporting a local business, creating a raport for future purchases and you'll get something more unique than going to a chain which is a plus in my book too!
I'm all for supporting a local company as well.

In my case my buddy worked for a larger regional chain, but I was supporting his commission so i felt good about it.
 

mandown

Poopdeck Repost
Jun 1, 2004
14,095
1,522
Transylvania 90210
Learn the C's, buy a jewelers loupe and don't count out Craigslist . There are tons of ladies out there who recently broke up, divorced and pissed off enough to sell for cheap.

It doesn't hurt to have a friend who works in the industry too.

Otherwise, Robbins Bros will treat you right, but you pay a premium for that service.
That was my experience.
 

Racerx7734

Monkey
Mar 4, 2002
616
0
Hostile Sausage
I have been married 16 years.

I bought what I could afford at the time, not really the biggest ring, but rather the best one I could. Remember its not the carats its the quality.

At my 10 year anniversary, I was doing a little better in life financially and splurged on the ring I always wanted to buy her and re-proposed to my wife.

Do some ring research and get the nicest you can now, remember anyone can go get a 5 carat ring from Zales for $399.00 but a 1/4 carat for $399.00 of quality would be my preference.

For what it's worth, my wife still likes to wear her first ring more.....because she is so cautious with the expensive one.

Tacori makes a great ring, beautiful, unique ring


Hope this helps.
 

bizutch

Delicate CUSTOM flower
Dec 11, 2001
15,922
8
Over your shoulder whispering
Oh, and hindsight being 20/20, my wife and I got screwed. We bought from a mall jeweler. She is low maintenance and found a band that had diamonds and wanted something simple. They were tiny, inset and flush, so she figured it would be functional for her. She wasn't a fan of the rock sticking up or 2 rings, engagement and band.

Well, now, she hates it b/c we had to take it back more than once for things and guys ignore it and come in for the kill anyway. She said she wants a rock now to let others know she's legitamitely married.

It won't keep the wolves at bay, but it will cut down on the pups yelping at her ankles some.
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
58,184
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Oh, and hindsight being 20/20, my wife and I got screwed. We bought from a mall jeweler. She is low maintenance and found a band that had diamonds and wanted something simple. They were tiny, inset and flush, so she figured it would be functional for her. She wasn't a fan of the rock sticking up or 2 rings, engagement and band.

Well, now, she hates it b/c we had to take it back more than once for things and guys ignore it and come in for the kill anyway. She said she wants a rock now to let others know she's legitamitely married.

It won't keep the wolves at bay, but it will cut down on the pups yelping at her ankles some.
don't buy her another ring, buy her a can of bear mace
 

Colonel Angus

Monkey
Feb 15, 2005
598
44
land of the green chiles
I bought a $5K engagement ring online from a company called Blue Nile. They keep a current list of what stone are available, what the weight and clarity are, and of course the price. I did some research and determined that their prices were way more competitive than local jwelry stores. The also have a variety of settings to choose from.
 

mdc

Monkey
Jul 8, 2006
242
15
Uxbridge
Decenza's in Framingham is where I bought my wifes setting. I've used them in the past for a few things and have always been really happy. As far as the rock goes- buy the best color, cut and clarity that you can. A huge diamond with a big black fleck in it is def. not the way to go! Also its not a bad thing if its GIA certified....
 

Gunner

Monkey
May 6, 2003
534
0
Framingham, MA
I bought a $5K engagement ring online from a company called Blue Nile. They keep a current list of what stone are available, what the weight and clarity are, and of course the price. I did some research and determined that their prices were way more competitive than local jwelry stores. The also have a variety of settings to choose from.
That's the one place I was looking at online that I would consider buying from. Anyone else's thoughts?
www.bluenile.com
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
58,184
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media blackout
That's the one place I was looking at online that I would consider buying from. Anyone else's thoughts?
www.bluenile.com
My advice in regards to purchasing online: if you do go this route, have it confirmed with an independent jeweler that the stone you received is the stone you paid for (in regards to the 4C's) immediately upon receipt. I've heard of a few people getting burned in this manner - they received a stone that was lower quality than what they actually paid for.


That being said, from what I've heard Blue Nile does have a good reputation.
 

say 10

Chimp
Jul 30, 2004
85
0
NH
I did some research before I went out looking for my wife's ring, best thing I did was bring someone that was already married so if I was not sure of someting or missed a question to ask, they were there to step in and make sure I wasn't getting screwed over.
 

vinnycactus

Monkey
May 27, 2004
617
32
Matthews, NC
Check out long's jewelers in Burlington Ma. My wife's aunt is a jeweler there. Shoot me a pm if you want to check it out. I can put in a good word for you....;)
 

mandown

Poopdeck Repost
Jun 1, 2004
14,095
1,522
Transylvania 90210
looked at bluenile.com back in the day, but no experience... oh wait, i think i looked at them to buy a watch for my mom's retirement gift. liked what i saw, but no memory of good or awful experience.
 

Prettym1k3

Turbo Monkey
Aug 21, 2006
2,867
0
In your pants
Dang. I tried so hard to pull that "What do I get out of this engagement? A $10k bike?" My fiance's (now wife's) response: "You get me." My response: "You get me, too. So why a ring?" Logic isn't her forte', so I don't think I ever got a valid response to that.

I went with a jeweler that my family has purchased from for years. They're a wholesaler, so I got a smokin' deal.
 

AngryMetalsmith

Business is good, thanks for asking
Jun 4, 2006
14,886
2,584
I have no idea where I am
You guys are all forgetting one very important thing here. You need to pay attention to what type of jewelry she wears. Is it one-of-a-kind hand made by a metalsmith or jewelry designer or is it something generic like your basic mall jewelry ? Does she tend to wear, yellow gold, white gold or silver ? If she is an appreciator of art and fine craft and you buy her a mall or big box store engagement ring she is going to think that you don't know what she likes. This tends to carry more weight with women than just laying out a ton of cash for a phat rock.

Some women are very down to earth and a diamond is not necessary. I have made many engagement rings with a variety of precious and semi-precious stones where the customer simply did not care for diamonds. It has been my experience over the years that women who are the outdoor type typically do not like mall jewelry.

Pay attention to what she wears and how she decorates her home. If she leans toward well designed items to reflect her personality, you would do better by shopping at a gallery or a custom designer's studio.

Good luck.
 

Gunner

Monkey
May 6, 2003
534
0
Framingham, MA
actually I guess I forgot one really keep part here. I pretty much know what kind of ring she wants. I know what shape diamond, and what side stones she likes. We were talking one night about our friend's engagement rings and what we didnt like. So she just showed me what she likes :)
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
49,625
3,434
In a van.... down by the river
You guys are all forgetting one very important thing here. You need to pay attention to what type of jewelry she wears. Is it one-of-a-kind hand made by a metalsmith or jewelry designer or is it something generic like your basic mall jewelry ? Does she tend to wear, yellow gold, white gold or silver ? If she is an appreciator of art and fine craft and you buy her a mall or big box store engagement ring she is going to think that you don't know what she likes. This tends to carry more weight with women than just laying out a ton of cash for a phat rock.

Some women are very down to earth and a diamond is not necessary. I have made many engagement rings with a variety of precious and semi-precious stones where the customer simply did not care for diamonds. It has been my experience over the years that women who are the outdoor type typically do not like mall jewelry.

Pay attention to what she wears and how she decorates her home. If she leans toward well designed items to reflect her personality, you would do better by shopping at a gallery or a custom designer's studio.

Good luck.
If I did all that... I'd be a chick. :monkey:
 

buildyourown

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2004
4,837
0
South Seattle
Diamonds are for suckers. There is no such thing as a socially responsible diamond. Sorry to preach, but diamonds cause lots of strife all over the world, socially and environmentally. All in the name of vanity.

How about custom Ti?
I made my wife's ring out of implant grade Cobalt Chrome. Stupid hard, holds a polish very well, and completely unique.