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Noob needs engagement ring

joe12pack

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
13
I am a complete noob. I am headed to Vietnam to see my fiance leaving on Nov 8th (8 days from now) so time is of the essence.

I am not interested in diamonds as I don't believe they are as precious as people believe them to be. The reason is that I have quite a bit of experience investing in gold bullion. When you buy gold and then turn around and sell it back to the dealer you will lose a small amount. However when you buy a diamond and turn around and sell it back to the dealer you just bought it from you'll get 50% if you are lucky. Sorry if that offends some of you.

So I am interested in semi-precious gems like emeralds or sapphires. My budget is up to $3000.

I have run across this site that sells lots of amazing looking engagement rings but I have no idea if these are of decent quality or what to look for.

http://eragem.com/sapphire-engagement-rings

Anyone have any comments?
 

Niel

Super_Ideal_Rock
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You need an engagement ring in a week.

That means you need one that is already in existence. Unless you want to propose with the ring that isn't her size, it need stone be her size too.

You don't want a semi precious stone. Sapphire are precious stones, and you'd also find them inflated. If you're against diamonds that's fine, but you that's really irrelevant if your betrothed wants a diamond.

If she doesn't want a diamond, what gemstone does she want?
Sapphire's, spinels and chrysoberyl are stones appropriate for everyday wear. Other stones are not strong enough.

After you know what type of stone and what color, we need to know what style ring she likes and what size.

Hoenstly might be better to wait until you come back. But if you need it nke, we can see what we can do :)

I don't like era gem becuase I have no idea what the treatment is of the sapphires
 

joe12pack

Rough_Rock
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Oct 31, 2016
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Niel - thanks for the feedback.

She just told me to get whatever I choose and she will love it. She's a very simple country girl and is happy to be with me. She just wants a ring-- any ring.

Yes - you are right I want a precious stone (not semi-precious).

I'll take a look at your ebay link.

She said she's a size "9" but that seems very large compared to the sizes I have been seeing (seen mostly 5,6 and 7). Are there different ring sizes in other parts of the world like shoe sizes?
 

Niel

Super_Ideal_Rock
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joe12pack|1477967868|4092524 said:
Niel - thanks for the feedback.

She just told me to get whatever I choose and she will love it. She's a very simple country girl and is happy to be with me. She just wants a ring-- any ring.

Yes - you are right I want a precious stone (not semi-precious).

I'll take a look at your ebay link.

She said she's a size "9" but that seems very large compared to the sizes I have been seeing (seen mostly 5,6 and 7). Are there different ring sizes in other parts of the world like shoe sizes?
Is this why you don't feel it necessary to put thought into the purchase?
 

joe12pack

Rough_Rock
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Oct 31, 2016
Messages
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Is this why you don't feel it necessary to put thought into the purchase?
Not sure what you mean. I am doing as much research as I can into this. I wouldn't have signed up and made a post if I were thoughtless.
 

Niel

Super_Ideal_Rock
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joe12pack|1477968981|4092528 said:
Is this why you don't feel it necessary to put thought into the purchase?
Not sure what you mean. I am doing as much research as I can into this. I wouldn't have signed up and made a post if I were thoughtless.
What I mean is, have you figured out what gemstone she wants? Have you figured out her style in ring? She gave you her ring size but you seem to think you know better than she does. And you want it all done in a week.

Just becuase she say shell take whatever doesn't mean you should actually get her whatever.
Is she on Pinterest? Has she sent you rings she likes? What's her style?
 

joe12pack

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
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Niel|1477969396|4092530 said:
joe12pack|1477968981|4092528 said:
Is this why you don't feel it necessary to put thought into the purchase?
Not sure what you mean. I am doing as much research as I can into this. I wouldn't have signed up and made a post if I were thoughtless.
What I mean is, have you figured out what gemstone she wants? Have you figured out her style in ring? She gave you her ring size but you seem to think you know better than she does. And you want it all done in a week.

Just becuase she say shell take whatever doesn't mean you should actually get her whatever.
She doesn't have a preference in gemstones. She will be happy with whatever I give her. With that said I don't want to give her a $10 cheap ring from the gumball machine. I want to give her something *I* think she will like and within my budget. That is what she asked me to do. So it's up to me to figure out what to get her and I have narrowed it down to a sapphire or emerald. So I will get her what I like *and* what I think she will like. For various reasons this is all last minute and I am doing my best to learn as much as I can about sapphires and emeralds.

Does that make sense?
 

Niel

Super_Ideal_Rock
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To that point I think emeralds are out, they will not wear well, particularly if she is a country girl who uses her hands.

Sapphires come in all colors, are you aiming for blue?
Do you care about treatments?

Also, what kind of style is she? What color jewelry does she wear? Does she wear any? Is she girly? Tomboy? Wear earings? Necklaces?
 

joe12pack

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
13
Niel|1477970295|4092535 said:
To that point I think emeralds are out, they will not wear well, particularly if she is a country girl who uses her hands.

Sapphires come in all colors, are you aiming for blue?
Do you care about treatments?

Also, what kind of style is she? What color jewelry does she wear? Does she wear any? Is she girly? Tomboy? Wear earings? Necklaces?
She's definitely not a tomboy. She sells gold in a family gold shop of all things.

I think blue / blue-green is fine. Something simple that looks awesome.

So far the eragem.com website has the best examples of what I am looking for - simple, vintage/retro and elegant. However I have no idea if these rings are worth $3k+?

http://eragem.com/wm11357.html I like the band on this one but the stone doesn't pop / bright enough for me

http://eragem.com/wm11702.html this is ok but is missing that specialness

http://eragem.com/wm11655.html I like this. classy. but again the stone isn't amazing.

http://eragem.com/wm11594.html

http://eragem.com/wm11377.html this one is a little more than my budget but I could stretch a bit

http://eragem.com/wm11044.html the band on this one seems generic as I have seen it on many other rings.

Now this stone looks AMAZING to my eyes: http://missouririversapphire.co/product/1-6ct-unheated-sapphire/

but it's a loose stone and I'd need to find a ring/setting for it. I don't know how difficult that will be.
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
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5,495
joe12pack|1477964877|4092508 said:
The reason is that I have quite a bit of experience investing in gold bullion. When you buy gold and then turn around and sell it back to the dealer you will lose a small amount. However when you buy a diamond and turn around and sell it back to the dealer you just bought it from you'll get 50% if you are lucky. Sorry if that offends some of you.
Welp, the same thing applies with colored gemstones as well - if you try to sell them back to a vendor, they're going to be worth only a fraction of the price. That's how retail works. You can mitigate a significant bit of the loss if you buy pre-owned though.

Needing it in a week is cutting it close. You have to choose ASAP and get it mailed quickly. You don't have time to get a loose stone and a setting. You have to buy a completed ring, preferably from somewhere that will overnight or two-day FedEx it to you so you can look at it and send it back and order another if you don't like it, and also have time to get it sized (which you might be paying a rush on to have it done in time).

This is my favorite of the ones you linked:
http://eragem.com/wm11044.html
It's a classic style and the stone looks like it's a nice color. While you may have seen this setting before, you've seen it before for a reason - a lot of people like it. It's also a durable style and in platinum.

Also if she says she's a size 9, believe her. 7 is the average size, so 9 isn't that far off.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Apr 22, 2004
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37,368
If you want the best for your budget, you will not find it within a week. You are now forced to buy a completed ring which limits your options greatly. Buying the stone and ring separately means getting the best value for your money. Have you given any thought as to the treatment of the sapphire? Heated or unheated? Shape? Size? Colour?

I would not pick an emerald for everyday wear. The sapphires you have chosen are mostly medium blue with medium to low saturation. As mentioned above, coloured gemstones are much the same as diamonds. You will not recoup anywhere near what you paid for it should you sell it in the secondhand market, therefore, buy something that you will both love every time you look at it.
 

joe12pack

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
13
Chrono|1478000582|4092593 said:
If you want the best for your budget, you will not find it within a week. You are now forced to buy a completed ring which limits your options greatly. Buying the stone and ring separately means getting the best value for your money. Have you given any thought as to the treatment of the sapphire? Heated or unheated? Shape? Size? Colour?

I would not pick an emerald for everyday wear. The sapphires you have chosen are mostly medium blue with medium to low saturation. As mentioned above, coloured gemstones are much the same as diamonds. You will not recoup anywhere near what you paid for it should you sell it in the secondhand market, therefore, buy something that you will both love every time you look at it.
I have come to the same conclusion as you that I will not find an uncompromised ring within a week. This has been a great experience learning about these colored gem stones.

As for heated/unheated I believe I prefer unheated but I really can't tell you why other than I *believe* not messing with the stone is better? And color/shape is just whatever catches my eye. I've seen lots of dull stones that don't make me say "wow that is amazing" in terms of color, brilliance, etc.

For example: This to me looks unusual and special and the fact that it shows the original gem before it's cut is so cool: http://missouririversapphire.co/product/1-88ct-unheated-sapphire/

Can I find a setting for this? Definitely not in 1 week.

Here's are some options I think I have:

Option 1. As SparkliesLuver suggested- perhaps I can "make the engagement ring later" together. Maybe get her a very inexpensive ring now for under $1000?

Option 2. Related to option 1 but I buy the gemstone now and bring that to her and explain my plan to her to make a ring together. She is a gold jewelry dealer after all and deals with having jewelry made all the time. That way I can direct my entire budget towards the ring and not waste some of it on a cheaper ring. Maybe we can have the ring setting made in Vietnam together with her?!

The only potential drawback with this plan is that this is Vietnam and it's a different culture and I'm not sure how a gem and a bunch of explanations will be received.

Finally- she measured the circumference of her finger and said it was 6mm and I looked that up and that is about a size 9.

Thanks again to everyone's help. Oh one more thing-- I certainly agree it's possible that sapphires are subject to the same massive instant depreciation that diamonds are. I'm not saying they are not as I am still learning about the world of colored stones. I just know for sure that diamonds are not as precious as most people believe and the De Beers family has massive warehouses full of diamonds and this is confirmed with my earlier example of buying a diamond and immediately turning around and selling it back to the dealer for a massive haircut. For something that has no moving parts and is so easy to classify by appraisers how it can lose such massive value is a mystery to me.

If I bought a 1 ounce gold bullion from a dealer today for $1300 I could turn around and sell it for $1250 for a small loss (this explains the nature of retail vs. wholesale). If this were a diamond the dealer would give me $650. Huh?

I am hoping that the colored gem world is such a small niche market that this type of artificial inflation isn't the same as diamonds which are more of a homogenized mass produced market with the De Beers marketing campaign convincing everyone during the 1950's that a woman required a diamond worth 2 month's salary if he truly loved her. Before the 50's women wore very modest rings.

Buying an emerald or sapphire is my own little way of rejecting the De Beers marketing campaign.

Anyway I digress. Back to coming up with a ring or colored gem for my lady in 8 days.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Heat treatment is permanent and stable, and does not affect the durability of the sapphire.

Dullness can come from both the poor cut and poor saturation. It looks like you are attracted to fancy precision cutting? I'm not even sure you can find the right sapphire within the week.

6 mm is NOT size 9. The diameter of my finger is close to 20 mm (meaning the circumference will be more) but I wear a ring size 4.5 Please recheck with her.

Fancy cutting but doesn't need a custom setting, with very bright blue.
http://www.multicolour.com/detail/?1052563121

j2w_ysa915aa__1_.jpg
 

Niel

Super_Ideal_Rock
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im still very fond of that pink sapphire on ebay for you.

yes its pink and not blue, but its unheated, its vintage, its subtle, and its already a ring thats in budget. the cut and color are both beautiful and the band is all gold so regardless of her finger size you could size it appropriately

i really dont think youll get better than that

with that said im still looking,

https://www.etsy.com/listing/276510590/gia-certified-318ct-unheated-blue?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=gia%20sapphire&ref=sr_gallery_6

_1492.png
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Niel's choice is very beautiful and certainly seems to meet all your requirements.
 

joe12pack

Rough_Rock
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Oct 31, 2016
Messages
13
Niel|1478015697|4092671 said:
im still very fond of that pink sapphire on ebay for you.

yes its pink and not blue, but its unheated, its vintage, its subtle, and its already a ring thats in budget. the cut and color are both beautiful and the band is all gold so regardless of her finger size you could size it appropriately

https://www.etsy.com/listing/276510590/gia-certified-318ct-unheated-blue?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=gia%20sapphire&ref=sr_gallery_6
I'm not a fan of the pink color and the setting is not my style.. looks too gaudy for me and perhaps something an older woman might wear.
 

boerumbiddy

Brilliant_Rock
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Messages
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The last one Niel posted is blue, not pink! Classic timeless style and unheated as well. And I just noticed that the dealer is having a 10 percent off sale. Use coupon code sale10
il_570xn_204.jpg
 

Niel

Super_Ideal_Rock
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joe12pack|1478017380|4092677 said:
Niel|1478015697|4092671 said:
im still very fond of that pink sapphire on ebay for you.

yes its pink and not blue, but its unheated, its vintage, its subtle, and its already a ring thats in budget. the cut and color are both beautiful and the band is all gold so regardless of her finger size you could size it appropriately

https://www.etsy.com/listing/276510590/gia-certified-318ct-unheated-blue?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=gia%20sapphire&ref=sr_gallery_6
I'm not a fan of the pink color and the setting is not my style.. looks too gaudy for me and perhaps something an older woman might wear.

Haha halos are extremely popular in engagement rings. But if you say so

How about this gal
https://loupetroop.com/listings/rings-colored-stone-center/purple-sapphire-in-tacori-setting
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Are you opposed to a halo? JuliaB on Etsy has lots of sapphire rings, but most are in a halo setting (not sure if that's too "busy"). Here are 2 examples:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/276018476/ceylon-blue-sapphire-engagement-ring?ref=shop_home_active_36
https://www.etsy.com/listing/197878135/blue-sapphire-engagement-ring-agl?ref=shop_home_active_39


She also has more "classic" styles that are more plain, but you'd have to ask about getting a sapphire mounted in them (which would take longer than a week)
https://www.etsy.com/listing/198214052/lily-solitaire-engagement-ring-mount?ref=shop_home_active_1
https://www.etsy.com/listing/473675512/custom-design-laurel-engagement-ring?ref=shop_home_active_7
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
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Lovinggems|1478003051|4092606 said:
Are you sure she's a US size 9? Asian sizing is different.
For some reason I thought his girlfriend was an American in Vietnam? But if she is actually Asian then yes, probably look up whatever the Asian sizes are AND he needs to keep in mind that there are different cultural considerations when it comes to rings. I'm not sure about colored gemstones but with diamonds most Asian cultures place a higher emphasis on perfection than size - they want high color, high clarity, and best cut. This would mean a brightly saturated blue sapphire or red ruby.

And re: the pink sapphire Niel has posted - I believe most Asian countries have a much pinker definition of ruby than Western ones do, so it's quite possible it would qualify as a ruby to her.

joe12pack|1478011996|4092655 said:
Thanks again to everyone's help. Oh one more thing-- I certainly agree it's possible that sapphires are subject to the same massive instant depreciation that diamonds are. I'm not saying they are not as I am still learning about the world of colored stones. I just know for sure that diamonds are not as precious as most people believe and the De Beers family has massive warehouses full of diamonds and this is confirmed with my earlier example of buying a diamond and immediately turning around and selling it back to the dealer for a massive haircut. For something that has no moving parts and is so easy to classify by appraisers how it can lose such massive value is a mystery to me.

I am hoping that the colored gem world is such a small niche market that this type of artificial inflation isn't the same as diamonds which are more of a homogenized mass produced market with the De Beers marketing campaign convincing everyone during the 1950's that a woman required a diamond worth 2 month's salary if he truly loved her. Before the 50's women wore very modest rings.
This information is about 20 or 30 years out of date. DeBeers has a much smaller market share than it used to (around or under 30% now, rather than the 90+% at its peak), and now prices are set by increasing demand from Asia, India, etc. They've fallen in the past year due to the Asian market buying less. Diamonds are more common than many colored gemstones, it is true, but still not common enough to be inexpensive. I'm not trying to convince you to buy a diamond. I have a sapphire engagement ring myself. Just tell you that your justifications are misinformed.
 
S

SparkliesLuver

Guest
I love option 2 but I wouldn't set it in an inexpensive setting. I'd ask her with just the stone, and then explain how you'd love to set it together, whether that happens over there or back here. But if you must have a completed ring, then yeah, this won't work.

The original Missouri River sapphire you linked to is very well cut. Jerry actually cut the same design for me (from a piece of rough I picked out), and I absolutely love it. I'm happy to share a picture, if you want. If everything about that one speaks to you, then purchase it and see if you love it in-person as well...if that seems like a viable option. Again, talking out loud.

ETA: Came across this and kiiiiiinda got the bug to ask Jerry how he thinks the finished stone would compare to the one you originally linked to. Not gonna lie, you'd save a lot of money. If Blaze could overnight it, and Jerry could work on it right away ...
http://blazengems.com/retail/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=83_36&products_id=1666
(I know this isn't a popular option because of the time frame, but ... I always like exploring a custom cut gem for an engagement ring. That's pretty special!)
 

Tourmaline

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If she works in a gold shop, she should have access to a ring sizer. You say she is a simple country girl. This is sounding like a "mail order bride" situation, which would explain why you don't know anything about her preferences or size. Good luck to you.
 

joe12pack

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
13
Tourmaline|1478025573|4092708 said:
If she works in a gold shop, she should have access to a ring sizer. You say she is a simple country girl. This is sounding like a "mail order bride" situation, which would explain why you don't know anything about her preferences or size. Good luck to you.
Actually my fiancé confirmed she's a size 6. Sizing and units are different in Asia.

She's no more of a mail order bride than you are not a red neck. Thanks for your contribution to this thread.
 
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