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jessica_brooke

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
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26
Hi everyone. My name is Jessica and my boyfriend and I have been together just over 5 years. (I'm 22 and he is 23). He is graduating in May with his masters in finance, and I am in my first year of law school in CA. We currently live in the same city, and plan to move in together this fall (staying in CA). We've talked about our future a lot, but recently he has made a few casual references to e-rings. He's asked me about my ring size (which I think I know but I'm not sure - I don't currently wear any rings) and also what kind of ring I wanted/expected (but again, very casually). I was kind of thrown off guard, and as I'm not the kind of girl who has had her e-ring picked out since birth, I basically said I had no idea.. and suggested possibly browsing/ring shopping together? (He does know I don't like yellow gold, but that's pretty much all I know at this point). However, he didn't seem that enthusiastic about ring-shopping with me, and I got the impression he wants it to be more of a surprise.

At that point I started looking online at websites like Shane Co and Blue Nile and even google and ebay to get some ideas, and I still don't even know what I would like! Some days I was thinking cushion or radiant, other days a RB. At first I thought I preferred a halo band, then baguettes, and now I'm thinking a classic solitaire. (Clearly I don't know!) I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want a princess, marquise, or heart shaped diamond, but I also dont want to get set on one particular design and then have him get me something else. Honestly, I'd be thrilled with anything he gets me as long as it isnt totally hideous. (I'd still say yes, but maybe an exchange would be in order).

We're still very young, although we will both be graduating without any debt and with some money in the bank. He also has a pretty nice job lined up for after graduation. However, the 2 months salary thing seems quite high and unreasonable. A few weeks ago he casually asked me to pull up a jewelry website and when I clicked on e-rings it listed the pre-set ones from high --> low and he bugged out! (it started with $15-20k rings) I told him not to freak out - that the site was listing them from high--> low and that they all didnt cost that much and that I definitely did not expect him to spend anywhere near that. He seemed a little relieved, but said he had expected a ring to cost somewhere around $1-3k. I showed him some examples of e-rings in that range, and then a little higher so he could see. I also pulled up blue nile and showed him that you can get an idea of what different stats and stones and settings will cost, and that I just wanted to make sure he did his research so he didn't get ripped off spending too much on a bad quality stone.

At this point all I've really told him is:
- white gold not yellow (which he already knew, i just confirmed that)
- do some research and try not to get ripped off!
- its ok if his mom helps him look (he had mentioned that) but i really dont want her to pick it out!


Now I'm wondering if I should go looking on my own to get an idea of what I would like and drop some hints or just let him do his thing.

At first I wasnt sure if we were too young to be thinking about e-rings and marriage, but now I can't stop thinking about it and it's really killing my productivity! (It's not that I'm desperate to get engaged immediately, but I keep thinking about rings and other stuff and I read this site for 2 hours this morning!) I have a big appellate brief due next week and I haven't even started outlining for Property yet.
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
14,167
Hi Jessica,

What I would def. do, even if he doesn't want to go, is to try on as many rings as possible. I say this because what I *thought* I wanted (and had even told my BF that was what I wanted) isn't what I ended up with at all. It took a few months of trying on everything possible to really see what was flattering on my finger and what we both like.

My BF initially wanted to do it himself, but after one trip into a local jewelery store, he realized he was way in over his head and let me work on it with him. The final details/delivery date are up to him, but I picked out the stone and gave him a whole folder of pictures of settings I like. He warmed up to the idea once we had been looking a few times.

Next time you're at the mall (but DON'T buy there and make sure your BF knows he can get a much better deal online) take him into a store and try on a bunch of rings with him. Make sure to clearly state why you don't/do like a certain ring, and he'll get the hint.

My BF and I are also both in graduate school, and have a smaller budget as well. You can get a gorgeous stone and setting with some help from PS with that budget, so don't let a jeweler tell you otherwise.

Best of luck!!!
 

sap483

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
988
Date: 3/12/2007 2:24:44 PM
Author: neatfreak
Hi Jessica,

What I would def. do, even if he doesn''t want to go, is to try on as many rings as possible. I say this because what I *thought* I wanted (and had even told my BF that was what I wanted) isn''t what I ended up with at all. It took a few months of trying on everything possible to really see what was flattering on my finger and what we both like.

My BF initially wanted to do it himself, but after one trip into a local jewelery store, he realized he was way in over his head and let me work on it with him. The final details/delivery date are up to him, but I picked out the stone and gave him a whole folder of pictures of settings I like. He warmed up to the idea once we had been looking a few times.

Next time you''re at the mall (but DON''T buy there and make sure your BF knows he can get a much better deal online) take him into a store and try on a bunch of rings with him. Make sure to clearly state why you don''t/do like a certain ring, and he''ll get the hint.

My BF and I are also both in graduate school, and have a smaller budget as well. You can get a gorgeous stone and setting with some help from PS with that budget, so don''t let a jeweler tell you otherwise.

Best of luck!!!
I agree. Try on as many rings as possible. Bring a friend that will give you an honest opinion if bf isn''t up for it. I thought I wanted an EC (which looked awful on me), then the Ritani Endless Love, then a thicker Scott Kay ring. When I found "the one" I didn''t want to go look anymore and my bf agreed that it was perfect for me, that''s how I knew...
 

jessica_brooke

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
26
thank you for your comments. my boyfriend''s brother recently proposed and his fiance was adament about getting a Tiffany & Co riing, which she did. My boyfriend says he thinks T&Co rings are way overpriced and while they are beautiful, I agree - too much $$$ for us! The two of them convinced my bf that buying in person is the only way to go, and that buying online is too risky. I don''t know how I feel - I know that dept stores and mall stores will try to rip you off, but what are the alternatives if he wants to see the ring in person first?
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
14,167
Date: 3/12/2007 4:49:38 PM
Author: jessica_brooke
thank you for your comments. my boyfriend''s brother recently proposed and his fiance was adament about getting a Tiffany & Co riing, which she did. My boyfriend says he thinks T&Co rings are way overpriced and while they are beautiful, I agree - too much $$$ for us! The two of them convinced my bf that buying in person is the only way to go, and that buying online is too risky. I don''t know how I feel - I know that dept stores and mall stores will try to rip you off, but what are the alternatives if he wants to see the ring in person first?
The GOOD news is that most vendors will be happy to ship a stone to you for inspection. Some will charge a fee, some will send it free (but you have to "buy it") then you are offered a free return policy. So you can see stones in person.

The other option is a quick flight. Many of these "online" vendors like Whiteflash and Engagement Rings Direct, do have offices that you can visit and see your diamond in person before you buy.

Buying online is risky if you don''t buy from a reputable vendor. Before considering a stone or a vendor post a question here and you will have an answer really quickly about whether they are reliable. THAT recommendation is much better than a local recommendation from a friend.
Best of luck!
 

jessica_brooke

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
26
Are there any reputable stores that wont rip you off? I cant imagine Mark flying somewhere to look at rings (especially since I doub't he would be buying anything too big or expensive) and he seemed pretty weary of buying online. He's never bought any jewelry online before (that I know of) and its kind of intimidating.

What about Shane Co, Kay Jewelers and Jarrods? Those were the three he had mentioned - do they rip oyo off big time? Is buying online really that much better? What if he picks out something I don't like - at least at a place like Shane you can exchange it if necessary. Can anyone recommend somewhere in CA (in the general vicinity of LA) that has high quality but wont break the bank?

Is it better to just forget baout this and let him do his thing?
 

poptart

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
1,899
My ring is from Kay's but it doesn't have anywhere NEAR the documentation it should or that I would like to have. Plus it is graded by IGI, which is a lot less strict on their guidelines. My DH did not get ripped off, per se, but he could have probably gotten something at least a little better for what he paid. He did a lot of research on diamonds themselves before hand, unfortunately he did not know that sometimes retail stores do try to take advantage, or they simply just don't know enough. All that suffice to say, if he had told ME that he was going to Kay's... I would have told him not to. I would have rather we purchased something loose online. Unfortunately, I found this site too late!

As for Jared's, my friend's FI got her ring there and it really was quite lovely. A good size with no visible inclusions, so in her case it turned out well. Of course, I don't know how much he payed, but the end product was nice.

*M*

ETA: My diamond actually is quite sparkly and is graded IF, so on GIA's scale, it might be a vvs1 or vvs2, but I have never had any problems with it, and it is a very pretty stone. I'm just saying you could probably get even MORE bang for your buck elsewhere.
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
14,167
Date: 3/12/2007 8:10:15 PM
Author: jessica_brooke
Are there any reputable stores that wont rip you off? I cant imagine my boyfriend flying somewhere to look at rings (especially since I doub''t he would be buying anything too big or expensive) and he seemed pretty weary of buying online. He''s never bought any jewelry online before (that I know of) and its kind of intimidating.


What about Shane Co, Kay Jewelers and Jarrods? Those were the three he had mentioned - do they rip oyo off big time? Is buying online really that much better? What if he picks out something I don''t like - at least at a place like Shane you can exchange it if necessary. Can anyone recommend somewhere in CA (in the general vicinity of LA) that has high quality but wont break the bank?


Is it better to just forget baout this and let him do his thing?
Those three names are the biggest rip offs around IMHO. There is a reason here on PS Mall stores are nicknamed "Maul" stores. Just go in there, feel the lights, and look at the crazy prices on things (AND the fact that most stones aren''t GIA graded, of poor cut, and poor quality). My BF and I went in there just for fun a few weeks ago and Kay''s was trying to sell a H I1 .75 carat in a white gold setting for $5,000!!! Crazy!!!! You can get a much much better deal AND better stone at almost any place.

Can you get a good stone at a B&M? Yes. But it can be a pain, and you will most likely pay more than online. You need to wade through a lot more junk.

If you MUST use a B&M, tell someone on here the cities you''ll be looking in and see if anyone has recommendations. But just know, you will almost ALWAYS pay more at a B&M and not always for the same quality stone. Try and see if your local weekly has a "best of" and sometimes a great jeweler will pop up there. We have a perfectly good jeweler here where we live, and initially we wanted to buy from them. But their settings were twice the price and the stones they offered not as nice as what we could get online. It took a little convincing, but after awhile I was able to convince my BF to buy online instead. I just told him that he could save $, get a nicer stone, and it meant no 3 hour trips to the mall to look at rings. No rational guy can say no to that.


And try your best to get your BF on PS to educate himself before he buys. This is the best resource out there, especially if you are on your own at the "Maul" stores.

Good luck!!!
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
Hi Jessica,

Welcome to PS! Never in a million years would I have considered buying a diamond (loose or in a setting) online, UNTIL I found PS. I read the tutorial above (under the "knowledge" section) and the one on www.goodoldgold.com ("the 4 Cs and beyond," I think it''s called -- I can''t remember). Your brain will hurt afterwards, but in a good way.
If you take the time yourself to learn as much as you can, you can begin to tell your boyfriend what is important to you (in terms of shape, etc.) and what you''ve learned so far.

Like the others suggested, go to jewelry stores and try on several different types of settings. I was convinced I wanted pave but I''ve changed my mind. I thought I wanted an emeral cut but the shape didn''t look good on me. I never would have known that if I didn''t try on a bunch of rings.

In terms of grading reports, stick with GIA or AGS (not IGI and maybe others?). Those are the two best labs, whereas IGI is less strict about their grading. I think poptart mentioned this already though.

Good luck! People here are very helpful and can help guide you if you''re confused about something or stuck. They certainly always help me!
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
Hi Jessica,

Not only am I buying online, but I''m doing it from the UK.

It does help that I can watch my vendor (Wink Jones) on Pricescope TV - and I got to see my stone on there too which was so cool.

I''m now midway through a custom setting and feel totally happy and confident that I will end up with the e-ring of my dreams, and one that I could never hope to find in a store especially not here in the UK without spending $$$$$$.

Personally I''m a coloured-stone girl, but if you''re a diamond fan take a look at Whiteflash or Good Old Gold.
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
Most of the online vendors here are very willing to help you find the right stone. And finding it is a process, even when you educate yourself as much as you can, you really still need to see the stone, a lot of times the numbers do not do it justice. I would absolutely go on your own and try styles and cuts on, determine what you really love and really don''t. Then, you can give your guy the head''s up about the details, and he can still surprise you which is so nice. Congratulations, this is an exciting time, and just be sure to communicate clearly so you are both on the same page!
 

jessica_brooke

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
26
Eep!! Mark took me out to dinner tonight and the conversation jumped from baseball to jewlery and he casually asked me if i knew my ring size yet. (I don't!) I guess this means I should go find out....


Do I need t ogo to an actual jeweler or can I measure this myself somehow? Sorry, this thread is jumping all ove rthe place now. Is this usually an early step in the process or done once he has the ring picked out? Should I ask?
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
I''d suggest going to a jeweler and being sized there. It''s a little awkward because the sizing rings are all attached on one big ring, but it does work. My fingers swell a little in the hotter months, etc., so even thought I was sized for 4.5, I''m going with 4.75. I like my rings to be a tad looser anyway. CHances are jewelers will want to size you more than once, depending on who you go to. It''s not too early to at least get that figured out. It''s one step in the right direction anyway.
 

partyjewels

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 29, 2006
Messages
476
It''s nuts how when you find the one you truly want to be with forever brings up marriage (even if it''s in a joking manner) and suddenly you can''t get it off of your mind even though the day it could''ve been the furthest thought from your mind! Ever since my guy went from joking around about marriage and babies to more concrete mentions of our future, I haven''t been able to stop thinking about it!!!!!!! At least you found this place where you know you aren''t alone :) While I wouldn''t be much help with the whole ring thing, I wish you lots of luck in finding your dream ring!
 

jessica_brooke

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
26
I went to a local jewelry store yesterday and had them measure my ring size. I''m a 6.5 on my left hand and a 7.0 on my right! Is that normal? is that huge? I''m not exactly petite (I''m 5''10) but my mom wears a 5 so I was assuming I''d be closer to her.
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
20,549
Date: 3/14/2007 11:32:06 AM
Author: jessica_brooke
I went to a local jewelry store yesterday and had them measure my ring size. I''m a 6.5 on my left hand and a 7.0 on my right! Is that normal? is that huge? I''m not exactly petite (I''m 5''10) but my mom wears a 5 so I was assuming I''d be closer to her.
HI:

"Normal"--of course it is normal--it is you!
No worries! We all differ--even amongst family members. For example, my sister and I are a year apart in age, and almost identical in height and weight. We even have the same "small" frame (size). But my ring finger measures a 6.25 and hers a 3.5. That is normal for us! Good luck on finding your ring--how exciting!

cheers--Sharon
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
I''m 5'' 10" as well and I wear a size 6 on the left hand and a 6.5 on the right.
 
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