T Nation

Engagement Ring

Hey I have decided that I after all my years of being single that I have found the woman I’m supposed to be with. I am just starting to look for an engagement ring and need some help.

Where else can I look besides a jewelery store that is going to have outrageous prices? Can I have the ring apraised before I buy it? Any help would be great

If you want some help, listen to this advice. DON’T DO IT! My bet is that if you are too inexperienced/young to know how to buy a proper engagement ring, you definitely shouldn’t be getting married. Well, that is unless you are tired of having sex and being happy.

For those of you who didn’t know I actually have the ability to see into the future. I already know that this guy won’t listen to me and think he knows better and heandshe are different than everyone else and that 7 years down the road he will spend all his waking moments kicking his own ass for not heeding good advice.
If anyone else wants their fortune told it will be $50 bucks. I’m sick of working.


I just took the plunge myself so I know what you’re going through. I finally proposed to my girlfriend of 7 years in December.

The first thing you should do is find out what your girl likes. There are different styles, sizes, and cuts of diamonds such as emerald cut, princess cut, etc. Not to mention the different grades of clarity. Naturally, the better the clarity, the more expensive. Do a search on google for diamond clarity to see how they’re rated.

I’m not too sure where else you could find a ring other than a jewelry store. I wouldn’t recommend purchasing an engagement ring from the internet. Ask around to find a reputable jeweler in your area. Don’t be afraid to try and negotiate the price of the ring. Most of the jewelers I spoke to were more than willing to cut a deal. The price of jewelry is up right now but see what you can find.

Also, establish an amount that your comfortable spending and try to find something that you’re happy with in that price range. You’ll find a lot of nice jewelry and you can end up spending beyond your means in a hurry.

The most important part of the ring is the diamond itself so focus on finding a stone that you like even if its in a setting you’re not happy with. You can always have the diamond set in something else later. Once you have the stone you can even take it to another jeweler to find a setting. This can add to the cost of the ring though. The diamond I purchased was in a setting I didn’t like but the jeweler had one on hand that was exactly what I was looking for. She set the stone into the other setting free of charge.

I hope I didn’t give you too much to think about. When I started looking, I had no idea how much crap was involved with this whole process. Just take your time and make sure she’s worth it.

Good luck.

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If you decide to go through with this terrible idea, I’ve heard the best thing is to let her pick it. You would have to do this roundabout of course. For instance, you two are at the mall and walk by a jewelry store. You say " My buddy so and so just asked his gf to marry him, but she didn’t like the ring. OMG, he was pissed. blah, blah. Here I’ll show you what it looked like (Show her a random ring) What kind of ring do you like honey?" She is gonna be the one wearing it forever(hopefully) so she should pick I think.

c’mon apayne, don’t be so cynical. Today is my 19th anniversary (I’m 38), and the sex is great, she’s still hot, and I’m hoping for another 50 years!

Check out this site: http://www.titaniumcommitment.com

I have ordered rings form them 4 times (engagement, two wedding bands, and another band when mine fell off in a lake). They are based in Canada and work only in titanium, offering a couple different grades. These rings will not bend or break. If they do become damaged, they will be replaced. Of course, you’d have to be in a car wreck for aircraft grade titanium to be damaged that much. And being it’s so strong it can represent your own strength, or something like that. Anyway, click on “Stars” on their menu to see some rings with stones. They have a gemologist on staff to obtain stones for you fi you’d like, or send them your own. They’ve always treated me well and have been very helpful. I like it because my wife and I have never really like yellow gold, and it’s something defintitely different!

To-Shin Do


I have dealt with bluenile.com on more than 1 occassion. Prices are great and they send you out full specs on the diamonds. The ring a bought appraised for 5k more than what I paid. (earrings I bought this xmas appraised for 750 more)

Try to get an idea of the style she likes, then move from there.

Unfortunately, being in the middle of a divorce I must agree with apayne.

You could have a lot of experience with relationships and have none with engagement rings. Honestly, it’s not something that comes up all that much.

I lucked out and only dropped $450 on my wifes ring…
#1 she didn’t want a diamond, wanted something unique…so she got a 1/2 ct solitaire, with small trillion-cut diamonds on the sides.
#2 She had an old engagement ring she had kept from the guy before me and we traded it in. Saved money and made good use of bad memories.

We’ll be married 10 years this year.

White Gold > Platinum

I bought my gf a Platinum ring and its so hard to tell the difference between the Platinum and White Gold. I can’t tell the difference personally (except for the stamping on the inside of the ring that no one will ever see). Also, Platinum is a softer metal and will get banged up easier.

Go for White Gold and a big rock instead of Platinum and a small rock.

Well, there’s the old joke that there are 3 rings in a wedding:
– engagement ring
– wedding ring
– suffering

Okay, with that out of the way, let me tell you that a custom design is the way to go. Go ahead and buy a rock and present THAT to her, and then tell her that the ring is going to be something that you design together (things like infinity symbols and oak leaves work well). Find a good custom jeweler, and have them make a wax for you to look at. Fortunately, I have a GREAT custom jeweler in my area that is good, LOVES doing custom stuff, and everything I’ve had him do has appraised for at least TWICE what I paid for it. If you happen to be in the Seattle area, I could forward you the name and number for the guy (send me a PM).

Titanium - only problem is if you need to have it cut off due to hand swelling for some reason, well…you basically can’t. Not a huge worry, how often do you NEED to remove a ring? But, just so you know…

As rmnelson suggested, go to this site and read up:


They have a section that will educate you on the four C’s: Cut, Color, Carat and Clarity.

And actually, that site offers decent pricing too, if you don’t mind making a purchase like that on the internet – I believe they have an excellent return policy if you’re not satisfied.

I just bought a ring myself about a year ago, so I know how you feel.

In my personal opinion, color and cut are the two most important things – they determine most of how the diamond looks up close. Clarity is overrated, unless you need to re-sell the stone (knock on wood of course) – you need to look under a 10X magnification lens to see flaws in a decent quality stone, and making it so you have to look in a 100X magnification device doesn’t really do much for the ring. Carat (as in size) is important too, but I have a personal aversion to big, flashy stones, so I maximized the quality I could get in the other three categories while sticking to my price range and my pre-set “non-flashy” limit for size (this will depend on the size of your girl’s finger too – luckily, my petite fiancee has a size 3 3/4 ring finger…).

As brider said, it’s much better to get a custom design – and also to buy a loose stone. Of course, it depends on your budget, but you should be able to find a jeweler who will work with you no matter what you want to spend.

Someone else also had some good advice I want to echo: Find out what she wants first, then get the ring. Yeah yeah yeah about “she should like what I get her” – all fine and good, and definitely in terms of the cost of the ring. But in terms of the style you should see if she likes round cut vs. princess, one-stone setting or multiple, etc. You’re going to spend a good deal of money on it (irrespective of the amount you spend, I’m sure it will be an amount you consider to be a lot), and it’s for her, so you might as well make sure you’re getting something she wants. If you don’t want to ask her directly, the time-honored tradition is to get her friend or sister to do the recon and report back.

Best of luck.

ADDENDUM: I should add that if you are going to get a nice stone, make certain to get a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certificate for it.

[quote]Bob423 wrote:
Titanium - only problem is if you need to have it cut off due to hand swelling for some reason, well…you basically can’t. Not a huge worry, how often do you NEED to remove a ring? But, just so you know… [/quote]

I love titanium. Titanium drag blocks on a bagged truck are so much fun. You get to watch the nice white sparks :slight_smile:


If your beer bottle has more clarity, don’t buy the diamond.