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How much should I spend?

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Lex

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2002
Messages
2
Any help would be greatly appreciated as I am really lost at what kind of budget I should have in looking for a ring. Of course I have heard the two month rule, but is this really the norm, or just what the salesman wants you to believe? I'm fresh out of school and have well over six figures in student debt, but applying this test says I should spend over $20,000 for a ring - which seems insane to me. Am I being a cheap bastard if I look at rings closer to the $5,000 range? To me, it just makes far more sense for us to save the money toward a downpayment on a Condo or to pay off our debts.


Thanks for your help.
 

wilkbm02

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2002
Messages
3
I read on a webpage on diamonds (http://www.wam.umd.edu/~sek/wedding/mlynek.html), that the average size engagement diamond is .64 carats, with the average color being G or H. That should give you an idea of what others are buying. I think a $5,000 diamond is definitely above average and should thrill your girlfriend.
 

Greentree

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Messages
96
Aw, just grow into Lex. No need to blow the budget when you're just starting out. The whole point of this bulletin board is to help you distinguish a quality gemstone from an inferior one. Set a sensible budget, then using the guidelines provided here, buy the best you can afford.

I think most on the bulletin board would agree that buying a loose stone and having it set is preferable to buying one that is already mounted. Use the loupe and compare a VVS2, a VS2, and an SI2. Can you find the inclusions? Which ones bother you and which ones don't? Compare an F color to an I color. Is the color difference important to you? Compare a 66% table to a 56% table. Is the difference in brillance noticeable to you?

Don't sweat the carat weight. I think we all agree that a smaller, carefully chosen, beautifully cut gem is infinitely preferable to a large clunky one.:))
 

wndrful

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 19, 2002
Messages
40
You are on the right track. It just doesn't make sense to spend so much money on a diamond especially if both of you are just starting out. Who cares if someone thinks you are a cheap bastard! No matter how big a diamond you buy there always be someone who would think you didn't spend enough.

Then again, remember, when you are getting engaged you are getting in for the long run. This need not be the last diamond you buy. There will be anniversaries, babies and so many other occasions later in your married life that will be equally important, at that time, you will be doing much better financially and you can buy a much bigger piece of rock for her on any one of the occasions.

Read this:

http://www.dirtcheapdiamonds.com/dirtysecrets.cfm

PS Then again, thats ideal world. It can get difficult because men and women can think quite differently. (No flames please.) I understand where they are coming from. For example, a man rents his tux but woman buys her wedding dress which she wears only once in her life!

My girlfriend did set a lower limit on the ring she wants! But I am not as cheap as she thinks I am and looks like I will be certainly going over the limit. But then her limit was very reasonable.
 

Jess

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 20, 2001
Messages
91
You can get all the ring a girl needs for $5000. I would be thrilled (overjoyed, in awe, etc.). I think you need to take your student debt into consideration. You can't afford a $20,000 rock if you have that much debt. I am not engaged yet, but I know that I will begin my married life in debt, and my boyfriend will still be in school. I would like a nice stone, but it is more symbolic of your love and desire to be with her for the rest of your life than how much you are willing to spend on her. Save it for a nice house or getting out of debt. That will be worth more in the long run.
 

Caratz

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 4, 2002
Messages
222
I agree with Jess. With all that debt you really shouldn't overspend.

The only thing I would add is this: This is something that you are only going to do once. You don't want to overdo it and sink deeper into a hole that will take forever to climb out of. But you don't want to underdo it and regret that you didn't get a better stone. There was a thread over on DT on the subject of women who decided later on that they really weren't satisfied with their stones and wanted to replace then with bigger and better diamonds later. Personally I consider that SACRILEGE, and I would be a raving lunatic if my wife ever suggested "upgrading" the stone in the engagement ring. In fact, I would be greatly offended is she were to even seriously think about it.

Bottom line: Make a decision you know you will be happy with 10 years from now, 50 years from now. You CAN do that on a tight budget. If you do your homework you can stretch your money a long way.

Good luck!
 

Jess

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 20, 2001
Messages
91
If I was a guy, and I was planning on spending ~$5000, I would be looking at things like this
https://www.pricescope.com/origin.asp?id=641&sh=88&prc=4874

I searched by cut quality. there werent many options because these are stones that they know the crown and pavilion angles on, but there are many more out there. you just might have to do some searching and calling.
 

RubyBleu

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2002
Messages
64
You say if you go by the 2 month rule you should be spending over 20 g's?

That would mean that you are pulling in over 10 g's a month yes? And fresh out of school? Not bad. In your position (and I am :) ) I would feel guilty if I spent only $5000 - what's that? The price of smoking new laptop - hell, my mountain bike cost me close to that. It's all relative and there's nothing wrong with spending 5000 bucks on a diamond - that's good money and you can get an awesome stone, but if you are pulling in 10 g's a month, no matter what your debts are, what the hell's the worry? Spend 10 or 15 or 20 - who cares. Just get a nice ring with a nice stone (or stones) and make her happy. Oh ya - and get a pre-nup!

good luck (don't mind my cheek :) )
 

synapse

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2002
Messages
12
I make the same, if not more, amount of money as you. But some of my criteria are weird. I'm spending around $8500 when I can afford quite a bit more. But here are my criteria.

1) I wanted to pay cash
2) My fiance is Swedish, a culture where you are not supposed to think you are better than the person next to you, the bigger the size of the diamond the more dispised we'll be, so I have to go for the best quality.
3) I want some symbolic representation of our love, the clearest, whitest stone that has pure life when you look at it, dirty or not.

Weird standards that I'm placing on the engagement ring. This is a benchmark for a 7 year relationship for us culminating in a Wedding in a Swedish castle, that took 2 people from opposite ends of the globe to come together in America.

So symbolism was key for me. Trust me I won't pay the same premiums when I get other jewelry, tennis bracelet, Studs, etc.
 

Jess

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 20, 2001
Messages
91
I don't think that is weird at all, Synapse. You know, we are all caught up in the details on this forum because that is what it is for...don't get me wrong, I love it...but it is all about the symbolism. I would hate to think someone felt like what they could afford was not good enough. I know my boyfriend is struggling with that. All of our friends seem to be getting engaged as of late, and all are these huge rocks. I know he can't afford what they have but he wants me to be able to have the best. I would be happy with a Ring Pop at this point, but you know...
Anyway, good luck to you too!
 

pricescope

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 1999
Messages
8,266
Just FYI folks (not intending to tell anybody how much to spend)

I've read in Rapaport magazine a year ago that average price of an e-ring in the US is $2,500.

However, according to my own estimations, average price of a diamond sold in the Internet is about $5k.
 

curious

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2002
Messages
45
I agree with Garry...if you can afford it, go for it.

Afterall, a diamond is and INVESTMENT in itself.

My sister's husband spent $5,000 on her ring....you know what we all said, "He could afford much more than that..."
 

SAndrea91483

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 13, 2002
Messages
1
Lex,
I don't know if you are still looking for a ring as you posted four months ago, but I will still offer my advice. Personally, I think $20,000 for just a ring is absolutely insane (and this is from a female's point of view). I think even $5000 is way too much! Then again, I am the one who was raised to be cheap, so I am a bargain hunter. There are lots of nice rings out there for $1000 and less. My boyfriend got me this beautiful sapphire and diamond ring for what he *said* was $300 (but sometimes he lies and says something was cheaper than it actually was because I don't like him to spend too much). But on the occasion that I wander into a jewelry store I see some gorgeous diamond rings for anywhere between $100-$1000. I think one of the ones I liked best was only for $250; not sure of the diamond caret weight, but there were quite a few diamonds on it. If you want to spend $5000 and up, go for it. Some girls like expensive diamonds, others really don't care. Some girls don't even like diamonds. But as far as worrying about being a cheap skate, the girl you are giving it to should realize that a ring symbolizes more than how much you are willing to cough up for it. Spend whatever you feel comfortable spending. Even if you make $10,000 a month or so, if you're not comfortable letting go of it all for a ring, then don't.
:twirl:
 

bingbongbug

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 20, 2002
Messages
61
If it were me, and my sweetie had massive debt, I would be upset if he spent a lot on a ring. Not because of altruistic reasons, but because once she marries you, she's married to that debt too, part of which she's wearing on her hand. If she's the responsible sort that doesn't like debt, that is likely to weigh on her and taint how she looks at the ring. I know it would for me.

You have the right idea. Don't overspend when you have so much debt. You are being responsible and trying to have a more stable position for going into marriage. That's terrific! Don't let people talk you into overspending. Give her a reasonably priced ring now (5000 is more than reasonable in your position) and in the future, when your debt is all paid, you can give her another ring to celebrate an anniversary.

That way, she'll not have only one special ring, but two, and you won't be stretching yourself further than you need to.
 
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