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Engagement ring on a budget...need some help

slickr4

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
10
Hey guys, I feel a bit awkward here because most every post I've read contains users with budgets upwards of 6k. Mine is a miniscule $2500. I've done a lot of searching on sites, but I'm just not certain on what to look for at my budget. It seems like everything in my range is either too good to be true (enhancing, low clarity) or just not giving enough wow to my eye. Is $2500 unrealistic nowadays? Where should I be looking, and what should I be looking for?
 

minmin001

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2011
Messages
2,047
there is no such thing as unrealistic budget. it's all about what we feel comfortable spending. there is no need to get yourself in debt just because of what others are paying.
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
I definitely think you can get a nice ring for your budget. like minmin said what are you looking for? we can try to find some options
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Are you willing to look at a vintage or antique ring?

And do you want a diamond for the center, or would you consider a sapphire center?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Here's a lovely set that would make a great impression. For example: http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/E-SI1-Ideal-Cut-Round-Diamond-1193811.asp (They have other 1/2 carat SI1's so if this one doesn't bear out as eyeclean there are other options) and this setting will make the center look much bigger: http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/pave/-18k-White-Gold-Pave-Set-Diamond-Engagement-Ring.html Under budget and it will blow her away.

Lots of options in your price range. Just let us know what you think she would like.
 

slickr4

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
10
Thank you so much for your initial posts! I go to sleep and wake up to some great info! So she's definitely interested in the Marquise cut / as well as some sidestones on the setting. However, is it possible to buy a ring without the sidestones for the engagement then add sidestones to customize the wedding ring? I don't think she's interested in vintage/antique rings. The budget is $2500 for both the ring and setting however if it was a place that did no interest financing for 12 months I could do $3k. My credit is good enough to qualify I'm certain of it. Thanks again guys for helping me out, this is WAY more stressful than even buying a car!!
 

nfowife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
544
how about this setting (slightly less $$ but very similar to what you posted- I don't know how the surprise diamond would work with the marquise setting anyhow to be honest):
http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/settings-with-sidestones/ring/item_58-1908.asp

And one of these- you'll have to request ASET scans, you can do that for up to 3 stones at JA:
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/G-VVS2-Ideal-Cut-Marquise-Diamond-1256815.asp
http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/H-VVS2-Ideal-Cut-Marquise-Diamond-1254948.asp

I'm not a marquis expert but these looked nice to my eye, if the aset looks good. And you would stay within budget, no financing necessary.
 

slickr4

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
10
Will definitely look into that setting with those diamonds...love the advice keep it comin :twirl:
 

natsplat

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2011
Messages
509
My partner and I have just built an ering, all documented on here, for less than $1500 all in, fully-designed in CAD = my dream ring. If you don't go with diamonds you don't have to spend a lot to have a ring of top quality. I've gone with tourmaline, but spinels, garnets, sapphires of all colours - all very cool and beautiful. In fact, my side stones are diamonds, so - whaddaya know! - I guess I do have a diamond ering after all! :twirl:

If you look at my topics next to my name, you can see my progress.

If I HAD to build a ring in your budget with diamonds in it, I would look for a lovely Old European Cut or Transitional on eBay (asking for advice on here of course) that speaks to you, and then make the setting stylish around it to highlight its unique qualities.

Either way, you're in the best of hands here.

Good luck! :)
 

farmer gal

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 26, 2011
Messages
1,063
I think if it were me I would get a setting like this if she likes the vintage look

http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/settings-with-sidestones/Antique-looking-Bezel-Pave.html

The setting you liked does not fit a marquise

JA will look at three diamonds for you to tell you which one is the best, I would also request asset images

http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-VS2-Ideal-Cut-Marquise-Diamond-1341360.asp

http://www.jamesallen.com/diamonds/I-VS1-Premium-Cut-Marquise-Diamond-1340341.asp

I couldn't find a third maybe someone else can find another one

Total cost would be around 2120

Here the ring is pictured with a marquise, your size would be somewhere in between

http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/sold/settings-with-sidestones/2952/Diamond-Ring.html

http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/sold/settings-with-sidestones/1701/Diamond-Ring-With-Sidestones.html
 

vintagelover229

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
3,517

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
slickr4|1311165833|2972866 said:
Thank you so much for your initial posts! I go to sleep and wake up to some great info! So she's definitely interested in the Marquise cut / as well as some sidestones on the setting. However, is it possible to buy a ring without the sidestones for the engagement then add sidestones to customize the wedding ring? I don't think she's interested in vintage/antique rings. The budget is $2500 for both the ring and setting however if it was a place that did no interest financing for 12 months I could do $3k. My credit is good enough to qualify I'm certain of it. Thanks again guys for helping me out, this is WAY more stressful than even buying a car!!
It would be difficult to add sidestones to an existing ring but what you could do is get a solitaire for the engagement ring and then get a diamond wedding ring.
 

sarahharris

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
21
Don't be discouraged by others' budgets. $2500 is plenty of money to buy a beautiful engagement ring.

A couple suggestions would be to choose a diamond shape other than round or princess. Those are the most expensive and you will get less bang for your buck if you go with them. Try a marquise, oval, or emerald shape.

Next suggestion would be to not focus too much on carat weight. It's important, but a stunning, sparkly diamond with excellent cut, clarity, and color will look better than a big diamond with poor quality.

Choose a solitaire setting if you'd prefer to spend more money on the diamond. If you want to compromise between the center stone and the setting, than go for a nice pave or diamond accented setting to go with a smaller diamond.

There are so many ways to stretch your budget and get a beautiful diamond engagement ring.

Good luck!
 

slickr4

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
10
I continue to be blown away by the amount of useful information / support. I have to admit the whole marriage / ring hunt is stressful, but you guys take a lot of the edge off! I'm actually excited now to explore these options! I cannot thank you enough for the piece of mind you've provided me, and, of course, I would love the opinions to keep coming!
 

TristanC

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 6, 2011
Messages
995
slickr4|1311188694|2973175 said:
I continue to be blown away by the amount of useful information / support. I have to admit the whole marriage / ring hunt is stressful, but you guys take a lot of the edge off! I'm actually excited now to explore these options! I cannot thank you enough for the piece of mind you've provided me, and, of course, I would love the opinions to keep coming!
Ignore the rest of the world. Your centerstone will probably be even bigger than the one my SO is getting. This isn't a competition sport, so breathe deeply, relax and focus on what the dear lady wants.

Prioritise your search according to how you want your budget to flow:

You have 2 options. First, you get a nice total ring that she will love and say yes to (remember the obective!) :) Some links here are to sites where you can browse for total ring options. Some of the vintage styles have been recommended because when you go vintage, you typically get a slightly more unique look and sometimes more 'value'. If she doesn't like vintage, many of the sites listed above will show good examples of lovely modern rings in your budget.

We can provide more help after you picked a few settings that you like or that she likes so that posters can show you alternatives you never knew existed.

The other alternative, assuming the lady is happy with a nice stone and you both feel ok about upgrading down the road, I would get a good diamond from a vendor here, and get a simpler yet classic setting in plated 14K gold to really maximise the budget. If you direct more of your money to the centerstone, you can eventually upgrade with sidestones at a later wedding anniversary whenever you feel financially ready.

This way you won't ever have to change the original centerstone as it will still be a nicer stone than if you got a complete more expensive setting. So the first round is nice stone, followup upgrade is spending on a setting with sidestones.

Both routes are doable.

Please consider non round or non princess stones, as these really are significantly more expensive than other shapes. Ovals and marquise cuts look larger for their carat weight, and are cheaper per carat to boot.

happy hunting!
 

MqLove

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 4, 2011
Messages
61
I just bought my e-ring for less than $2k, and it's exactly what I wanted. I wanted marquise with side-stones in palladium, and I like small jewellery, so I went for about half a carat. In the end I was surprised by the size - I could have gone smaller! I also ended up with a D colour VS2, so it all depends on what you want.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
http://cgi.ebay.com/75ct-H-Si1-Marquise-diamond-solitaire-ring-14k-WG-/200629507131?pt=Diamond_Solitaire_Rings&hash=item2eb673543b I like this marquise. Great price, nice size. Then we can REALLY wow her with the setting.


This one has a whole of of bang for the money, and it just might suit the two of you: http://cgi.ebay.com/DIAMOND-ENGAGEMENT-RING-2-04-MARQUISE-CUT-DIAMOND14k-/280669765934?pt=Diamond_Solitaire_with_Accents&hash=item415938c12e\

http://cgi.ebay.com/55ct-G-SI1-Diamond-Marquise-Engagement-Ring-14k-YG-/190449538688?pt=Diamond_Solitaire_with_Accents&hash=item2c57ad5680 This ring is beautiful. Just add some hand-engraving to the band and some millgrain and you have a winner for way under budget.
 

TristanC

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 6, 2011
Messages
995
I'm just wondering out loud, as a guy, once I make up a budget, I would actually like to spend most if not all of it. Like if it were well under budget, I would look for something 'better' till it came close.

So wondering if you were on the same page? Or would a 'deal' be more appealing?
 

slickr4

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
10
Guys, your help has been crucial, and we've been pondering a lot. I think we've come to a better understanding about what she wants. I think what we want to do now is highlight the diamond, rather than the setting. In order to do this she has agreed to a solitaire setting:

http://www.jamesallen.com/engagement-rings/solitaire-rings/ring/item_57-8435.asp

She has also come to like the princess cut, so, that being said, we want to get the most bang for our buck. For just the diamond I am looking to spend $2000. Can you guys post some good choices? Sparkle and brilliance is most important to us, not size. Thanks again guys!
 
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