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How long is it reasonable to save for a diamond ring?

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pyramid

Ideal_Rock
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How long would you personally say it is reasonable to save for a diamond ring? This is not for a first time engagement but for an upgrade ring. I know the longer a person saves the bigger the ring they can afford. I have sort of said to myself I will buy what ever I can afford in 2006 but is that too long to wait. How long would you personally put on it if you were doing the same thing and could not afford at the time to buy the ring. I know it depends upon how much you are able to save but I am looking at when realistically it will be too long to wait as opposed to having a ring I enjoy. I suppose everyone will be different just want to get some ideas.


Also is anyone else saving for a diamond ring over the long term like this?

I do not want to take credit or an instalment plan either so I am not considering this.
 

Giangi

Ideal_Rock
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Hello!
First of all, as you said, one MUST not even think about going in debt for a ring!
Second, I guess it depends on you. What ct weight do you want? Third, what about quality. I know you won't compromise on cut (and especially GIRDLE
), but you can get a VERY beautiful stone even at K color and/or SI clarity. This will cost you a bunch less or you'll be able to buy a far bigger stone.
Personally, I'm not able to wait too much when I buy or plan to buy something. But that's just me. I wouldn't wait till 2006. That's TOO long 4 me.

I'm sure you can make a compromise between budget, time and stone, thus making the diamond much more affordable. But let's face the positive aspect: everytime you look at it, it will remind you of all the efforts you made for it!

So, do what your heart really feels. Nobody's opinion is like yours. YOU have to decide and YOU will sport a beautiful ring (soon, I hope
). Nobody else but you!


BTW, one year or two is a nice place to start!
 

dancingmelimel

Shiny_Rock
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If you buy your stone from a vendor that offers a lifetime trade up, then you could perhaps get a lesser version of what you ultimately want in a year or so, and then upgrade down the line. Hopefully you could get a setting in which the two stones could be changed, so you wouldn't have to get a new one when you upgraded.

This is essentially my plan, except I'm at the first stone purchase now.
I am not going into debt, but am taking some money from house-downpayment savings. I've decided this is worth it to me right now because A)I'm in the ballroom dance world which is very flashy and my ring is too small.
I won't always be in this circle all the time, so I will get more out of having a larger, nicer stone now than I would later. B)I teach a lot of Wedding couples, and their stones are always significantly larger than mine. I'm tired of being embarrassed to compare.
And C)My husband has gotten several toys and treats he's wanted, and it's my turn!


So I've gone with the largest best cut stone I could get, with the lowest color and clarity I felt okay with, (and let me just say even with a loupe I'm hard pressed to find the inclusions in my particular si1,) while staying within my current budget. Later, after house-buying, I will probably upgrade to a somewhat larger stone, and see how I feel about the color and clarity at that point. I may be happiest with a warm colored stone, who knows.

Are there any similar factors in your own life, where you'd get more pleasure out of your ring sooner than later?

-Melissa
 

smaggard

Rough_Rock
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Jul 9, 2003
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I was saving for some time. I decided I wanted a nicer stone than I originally had planned, so I decided to finance the rest.
I disagree with the notion that one "MUST never consider using finacing to buy a ring". But much of it is personal preference and knowing your ability to pay off debt. If you're good at managing a budget etc., then in my opinion making a small monthly payment isn't such a big deal. On top of that interest rates are at their lowest in 50 years, so chances are you can get a great rate if you did do that.
Another thing is without use of credit, capitalism fails! Capitalism is driven by people using credit to make purchases and such, so I like to think I'm just contributing to the growth of the economy


But it's really a personal decision when you get right down to it. Everyone is different in their abilities to save money, pay off debt, and to stress or not stress over such things, so it really depends on those factors.
As for DeBeers' recs., that's just ridiculous. But then again I think it's ridiculous to listen to any specific "formula" for such important decisions, it really deserves some critical assessment of what's important and what isn't.
good luck in your search.
 

Hest88

Ideal_Rock
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I'd go the opposite route, which is what I did with my "right-hand ring." First I'd figure out what I wanted, then figure out how much it cost, then the maximum amount I could set aside for it each month, and that would determine how long it would take.

It makes no sense to get something cheaper if it's not going to thrill you. Waiting a bit longer to get the ring of your dreams just seems more sensible to me. But then, that's me.
 

pyramid

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Thanks everyone for your replies. I want to buy a diamond around the 1 carat mark, with F OR G colour and VVS2 TO VS1 clarity and with a H & A cut.

I was intending to do what Hest88 said but feel I cannot put the money in for a long time so was wondering if I should go down in colour a bit or set a time limit that I will buy what I can afford at that time.
 

dancingmelimel

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Hi Pyramid,

In the interest of having your cake and eating it too, why not buy a lower color or clarity stone sooner with a company with a good trade-up policy, and upgrade when you saved up more money? Is there a down side to this strategy?

-Melissa
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I agree with the smaller stone now and upgrades later thought. I'm not a patient person.


I want to get something like an ACA stone, but my funds are meager right now (wedding saving and house etc) so I'd maybe start with something like a .25c for fun. I wouldn't even have great color or clarity because I know I wouldn't be keeping this stone. So I'd maybe get an H or I and SI clarity. Plus it gives me a chance to have an H or I colored stone and really see what it looks like in person!

Whiteflash's policy would let me upgrade the stone for its lifetime (though I don't know the nuances of how OFTEN you can trade up!), so in another 2 years or so, hopefully I can trade up for a .50c stone of maybe G color and SI clarity. Then in another few years, a .75c stone of G color and VS clarity, etc. Depending on the priorities at the time that is--they tend to change over the years.


I would not want to wait 5 years or so to get the 1c stone that I would want. I'd want something to play with in the meantime. Even if you save madly for a year and then by a .50c stone at least you have made part of your goal. Then continue saving, wear your .50c stone with pride, and in another few years, get the full carat.

Oh and my thoughts on debt is that it's possible IF you can pay it off in a short amount of time. FI paid off my ring in 4 months which is the only way we would have done it on the card (and we got all the extra points on the reward card!
). Having debt for years does not make financial sense, esp for a luxury purchase such as a diamond.

Good luck
 

pyramid

Ideal_Rock
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Thank you dancingmelimel and Mara for giving me your opinions.
I meant to reply to this in my last post as I noticed that dancingmelimel had mentioned this but my reply was written in a hurry.

The only reason I do not want to trade up is because I already have a diamond in the half carat range but mostly because I am in the UK and only want to order the ring from America once because of all the nailbiting I will do about it arriving safely and also because I would have to pay vat and import tax which is together about 22.5% on the diamonds each time. Diamonds in the UK are a lot more expensive than buying through a dealer like GoodoldGold.

At the moment I could nearly afford a 0.70 G VS1 H & A (would be able to buy except do not have the money for the cost of the taxes)but would like to wait until I can make the 1 carat mark. I will not be able to save much in the coming year due to house committments etc.
 

Mara

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Pyr what about a .80 or similar H VS2 or something like that? Extra weight and a slight bump down on color/clarity that won't be visible in an excellently cut stone. Then you are much closer to the 1c mark, and you have a stone that appears the size it really is (as opposed to badly cut)....can save for next 2 years then get the 1c or more? Ultimately your decision but I have NO patience and am horrible at savings
. There is always something of higher priority taking precedence!
 

pyramid

Ideal_Rock
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Yes, there is always something of more precedence.

As I was saying the fact that it has to come half way around the world plus I would have to pay about £1000 in taxes twice if I traded up again. Another thing is getting the husband to agree to let me buy twice I think I may get away with buying one ring but not two. I am not promising myself but I would like also to get a F VVS2 1 carat if possible and if I paid twice for taxes I would think that money could have been used for a higher quality diamond. Who knows I may not be able to wait and end up buying under the carat but I probably would not trade up then. I really only want to do this one more time.
 

8*flash

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----------------
On 7/12/2003 12:19:42 PM Giangi wrote:

Hello!
First of all, as you said, one MUST not even think about going in debt for a ring!
----------------
Are you kidding me with this? I am a CPA and a CFP and this is absolutely ludicrous. First of all, debt is not a bad thing necessarily. People that are smart about it can use it to their advantage. Secondly, many people do a much better job "saving" when they have a set payment they need to make each month. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a low interest loan out to pay for a ring. You are in the drivers seat here. You set the terms, what time of the month you pay, and you can always pay it off early whenever you want. Not to mention it builds up your credit score. Don't sit here and shun people who take out a loan to put that special something on their special persons finger. And just think; for a few dollars more a month, this person might be able to afford something a bit bigger which his honey will CERTAINLY appreciate.
 

elmo

Brilliant_Rock
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1,160
I have to agree with Giangi - for the vast majority of folks, I think debt is for the necessities and unfortunate times in life, not for luxuries such as jewelry. But you're right, it is a personal choice.
 

Giangi

Ideal_Rock
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Well, I just expressed my opinion!

However, I don't think that someone needs to go in debt for a ring. It's a luxury item. It ISN'T necessary. You CAN live without a ring, but you can't live very well without a house! Don't you think so?
I do think that luxury items like diamonds or designer clothes (W D&G!) should be bought only when you can afford them without efforts. These are not a priority. I can't see why one should ask a loan to pay a ring. YOu can live without a ring or with a CZ for a few years.
Diamonds are beautiful, but they aren't all in one's life.
 

8*flash

Rough_Rock
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----------------
On 7/15/2003 9
6:38 AM Giangi wrote:

Well, I just expressed my opinion!

However, I don't think that someone needs to go in debt for a ring. It's a luxury item. It ISN'T necessary. You CAN live without a ring, but you can't live very well without a house! Don't you think so?
I do think that luxury items like diamonds or designer clothes (W D&G!) should be bought only when you can afford them without efforts. These are not a priority. I can't see why one should ask a loan to pay a ring. YOu can live without a ring or with a CZ for a few years.
Diamonds are beautiful, but they aren't all in one's life.
----------------
You've been dating a girl for 2 years. You want more than anything to ask her to marry you. You don't have any money saved up but you make a good salary. $300 or $400 a month for 36 months is a BREEZE for you. Why not take out a 3 year loan and pop the question with a gorgeous diamond instead of waiting years to save up so you can pay cash? It's the same logic. You are still putting away a monthly payment. You might be talking an extra $800 over the life of the loan that you pay in interest. Big deal? What's $800 over 3 years on a $10,000 purchase that will make the love of your life as happy as a clam and that much closer to the dream she is after?
 

Mara

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Credit should be used very carefully. Read the article in the Bride WorldWide forum about 'cost of a wedding' and people who put $6k on their card who can't pay it off 5 years later. Sure if you can pay $400 a month for 3 years, that's great. However I don't think many people can do that and have it be a 'breeze' for them.

IMO if you are going to go into serious debt for something that will take you 3-4 years to pay off, buy a car! The ring is a great luxury, but there is nothing wrong with starting out small if that's all you can reasonably afford and being smart with your funds.

Or if you can pay off the ring in 6 months or a year, then put it on a very low interest rate card and/or reward card. We put the ring on a Sony rewards card that has something like a 7% APR and FI paid it off in 4 months and we got massive amounts of points we can now put towards our next TV or similar. Now he is debt free again and very happy. I am also very happy to know that he isn't going to be paying for my ring for 3-4 years, especially we have other priorities like the wedding and then a house.

Keep in mind that not everyone also has perfect credit. If you don't have stellar credit, it makes it very hard for someone to get a low APR card, in which case they buy the 'perfect ring', plunk it on a 20% credit card and then they are paying just as much money to the interest as they are to the principal debt. Ridiculous!

So while I don't think that you should *never* incur debt for a luxury purchase (most of the cc small purchases we make nowadays tend to be luxury right?), if you know you can't pay off that debt within a reasonable amount of time, say no longer than a year, you shouldn't do it. Just buy something small OR save longer and shift your priorities to pay cash when it comes time.

My two cents...and I also don't think that Giangi is 'shunning' anyone who wants to incur debt for a ring.

(mmmm D&G)
 

Hest88

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 22, 2003
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4,357
I would have killed my DH if he'd bought such an expensive ring that it would have taken 3-4 years worth of "our money" to pay it off. But then, that's me and that's probably why we set the ring budget *together.*
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Exactly, Hest!!! Esp when chances are you will be married before that debt is paid off and then it essentially becomes your debt together anyway--thats NO fun!
 

Giangi

Ideal_Rock
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Yes Mara, D&G.


Hest, I agree with you 100%.
 

8*flash

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Buy a car instead of a diamond if you want monthly payments? Sure that makes sense. Buy something that will depreciate 20% the day you drive it away vs. something that doesn't depreciate in value at all, and in many cases actually is worth more than you paid for it. The two are quite different. As for high interest credit cards, I never said THAT would be smart. In fact I said just the opposite. An installment loan with low interest is a very sound investment for a large diamond purchase. The payments are fixed so you cant just say "I dont think I will pay this month" like a credit card and the amortization is perfectly laid out for you. Chances are, if you did your homework when purchasing an online stone, the cost in interest over the term of the loan wont even exceed the money you made when you bought it between the actual value of the stone and what you paid. It is an INVESTMENT and an ASSET. This isn't a sunken cost. If your wife takes on a little of the debt when she getts married, that is still THAT much more you both have on the asset/equity side in your lives. Why do you think when you apply for a mortgage they ask you if you have any expensive jewlery? Because it is an ASSET and counts towards equity even if you never have ANY intention on liquidating it.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
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----------------
On 7/15/2003 1:54:57 PM 8*flash wrote:

Buy something that will depreciate 20% the day you drive it away vs. something that doesn't depreciate in value at all, and in many cases actually is worth more than you paid for it.----------------
Ever tried to re-sell a stone? It's not a pretty scenario and you don't get what you paid for it, or even close. You can sell it on eBay for maybe 60% of what you paid, through a pawn shop for 20% of what you paid, or try to get a local jeweler to give you around 50% of the value for it. Those are rough estimates, but a regular old e-ring purchase for that purpose does not necessarily appreciate in value if you re-sell it. If you are talking about 'appraisals' which are inflated anyway..that's another story. I have seen people come on here saying they can't re-sell their stone and are shocked that it's not worth at least what they paid or more. It's a myth that your ring appreciates for re-sale.

Unless you plan to buy your e-ring AS AN INVESTMENT (which is even then not usually recommended by experts), then consider it a SUNKEN COST...and anything more than that is a benefit. I don't know that I'd want a sunken cost on my credit cards--and a car would definitely be more useful than a diamond ring.


My two cents.
 

8*flash

Rough_Rock
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As they say, a diamond is forever. Can you say that about the Buick with 200,000 miles on it? When I'm dead and buried 100 years from now I am confident my car will be scrap metal, whereas my beautiful 8* that I may or may not have paid using credit, will live on and on throughout generations of my family.
 

dancingmelimel

Shiny_Rock
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Jun 23, 2003
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The degree of harm of going into debt to buy a diamond depends largely on the stage of life and financial situation you're in. In the example you gave, 8*flash, you said:

"You've been dating a girl for 2 years. You want more than anything to ask her to marry you. You don't have any money saved up but you make a good salary. $300 or $400 a month for 36 months is a BREEZE for you. Why not take out a 3 year loan and pop the question with a gorgeous diamond instead of waiting years to save up so you can pay cash? It's the same logic. You are still putting away a monthly payment. You might be talking an extra $800 over the life of the loan that you pay in interest. Big deal? What's $800 over 3 years on a $10,000 purchase that will make the love of your life as happy as a clam and that much closer to the dream she is after?"

If you have no money saved up, you are also not prepared for expenses which will arise out of your engagement, like the Wedding and perhaps buying a House. Paying that $300 or $400 a month will end up compiled with wedding debt, and that could put a damper on home-buying hopes for a good long time. A sensible woman would probably prefer a more modest ring, or a cz and a solid financial start to the marriage. (This of course doesn't mean ALL women would.)

On the other hand, this scenario might not be a bad one for you, Pyramid. Perhaps once your house commitments pass, you might want to take on a loan with a payment of whatever amount you would have saved each month anyway. If the additional cost of interest is an amount you're comfortable with, that would allow you to enjoy your ring sooner! You've just got to run a good ole cost/benefit analysis and decide whether it would be worth it to you!


-Melissa
 

8*flash

Rough_Rock
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Melissa, I couldn't agree with you more. It certainly is dependent on your current financial situation. I can live with that comment. What I can't agree with is the statement made that sparked this whole discussion which was "First of all, as you said, one MUST not even think about going in debt for a ring!"
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
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The discussion is definitely not a black and white one. I agree to disagree on the nuances!
 

dancingmelimel

Shiny_Rock
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----------------
On 7/15/2003 3
7:10 PM Mara wrote:

The discussion is definitely not a black and white one. I agree to disagree on the nuances!

----------------
Hear Hear!


It is an interesting discussion, though.

Pyramid, I just noticed your original post states that you don't want to consider financing, so sorry I suggested it again.


-Melissa
 

lucy

Rough_Rock
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Jun 2, 2002
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55
would it be really bad to buy her a nice size cz and promise to replace it with the real thing (or better) someday? that way she would have a bigger stone to show (maybe people wouldnt notice it was fake). or get her her birthstone or an emerald or sapphire now and promise to switch it out later? i know it stinks when you cant afford something semi-substantial because it's the first thing her friends will comment on when she announces she's engaged-"let's see the ring!!!"
 
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