Forum Thread

Engagement Ring. !BIG PURCHASE! Help Wanted

Drewsah 14 10 April 4, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Hi all,

Beginning that once-in-a-lifetime (at least that's the plan Big Grin ) hunt for an engagement ring for my LONGTIME girlfriend.

I'm looking mostly at BlueNile because of their selection, solid prices, and great service/reliability.

However, the only thing I have found that will take the sting out of the purchase would be FatWallet's cash back for BlueNile. It is normally at 3% but I have seen it go on "sale" on a few occasions to 5-6%. That is a nice chunk of change since I have a budget of around $7,000-$8000.

My question to you SlickDealer's is: Do you know of any other outside the box methods of maximizing savings on a big ticket item like this? All of BlueNiles' coupons on various deals sites tend to exclude diamonds, so they aren't much help. Any input will be greatly appreciated! Even a few extra percent savings will = big bucks.

Thanks!

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#2
I don't shop at Blue Nile anymore...just had a few bad experiences with them. That's just me though. They did eventually correct the problems I had with separate orders, but it's not worth the trouble for me anymore. I know there are probably many folks out there that have had perfectly fine experiences with them.

I would encourage you to look around at some locally own jewelry stores (not chains) just to see what is available. I've gotten such great customer service and pricing from my local stores. That's just been my experience though.

And obviously, wherever you get the ring...get it separately appraised.
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#3
Quote from Drewsah View Post :
Hi all,

Beginning that once-in-a-lifetime (at least that's the plan Big Grin ) hunt for an engagement ring for my LONGTIME girlfriend.

I'm looking mostly at BlueNile because of their selection, solid prices, and great service/reliability.

However, the only thing I have found that will take the sting out of the purchase would be FatWallet's cash back for BlueNile. It is normally at 3% but I have seen it go on "sale" on a few occasions to 5-6%. That is a nice chunk of change since I have a budget of around $7,000-$8000.

My question to you SlickDealer's is: Do you know of any other outside the box methods of maximizing savings on a big ticket item like this? All of BlueNiles' coupons on various deals sites tend to exclude diamonds, so they aren't much help. Any input will be greatly appreciated! Even a few extra percent savings will = big bucks.

Thanks!
My brother just somehow used a coupon there for a big purchase. lemme ask and if it's valid I'll get back to you.

I was comparing Blue Nile and Costco and actually went the Costco route. Joking about their excellent return policy with the fiance was apparently not the smart thing to do Wink They have a "custom" jewelry line. It's not exactly custom but if you tell them what you're looking for they may have it. Combined with the Executive membership I saved me some coin Big Grin
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#4
nice article.
http://www.moneycrashers.com/how-...ment-ring/
I would set a budget and take a look at various places. Did she give you an idea of what type of cut she wants, how big (not ring size but size on her finger), etc.

My main advice since we are on slickdeals is not to kill yourself getting a super expensive ring. You want something that she likes, that means something and that is not cheap but no need to pay it off over years. My wife and I got engaged when I was in school on financial aid and I spent a decent amount but she even says now that the knowledge of how special the ring is means so much more than the cost. I got it at a reputable dealer in the St. Thomas (certified independently at a higher price) but I doubt that is an option Smilie
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#5
Quote from johny3 View Post :
nice article.
http://www.moneycrashers.com/how-...ment-ring/
I would set a budget and take a look at various places. Did she give you an idea of what type of cut she wants, how big (not ring size but size on her finger), etc.

My main advice since we are on slickdeals is not to kill yourself getting a super expensive ring. You want something that she likes, that means something and that is not cheap but no need to pay it off over years. My wife and I got engaged when I was in school on financial aid and I spent a decent amount but she even says now that the knowledge of how special the ring is means so much more than the cost. I got it at a reputable dealer in the St. Thomas (certified independently at a higher price) but I doubt that is an option Smilie
Thanks for the article. Every bit of info helps.

Yea, I know that she likes a princess cut, and won't be too concerned about having a certain size of stone or anything. She'll just be over the moon that I manned up and did got picked out something myself haha.
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Quote from LivninSC View Post :
My brother just somehow used a coupon there for a big purchase. lemme ask and if it's valid I'll get back to you.

I was comparing Blue Nile and Costco and actually went the Costco route. Joking about their excellent return policy with the fiance was apparently not the smart thing to do Wink They have a "custom" jewelry line. It's not exactly custom but if you tell them what you're looking for they may have it. Combined with the Executive membership I saved me some coin Big Grin
I have actually been considering Costco too. If you can get past the mental stigma that someone may associate with buying an engagement ring from Costco, they actually have really high quality stuff at competitive prices (Costco mantra I guess).

Nice part about BlueNile vs. Costco is that they don't charge sales tax (significant with a $7-$8K purchase) & I really dislike Costco's settings... I will keep an eye out on their site though. No Costco nearby that I can skip out to and browse on my own unfortunately. Let me know what comes of your brother's experience. Maybe he knows something I don't =)

Thanks so much for the input so far guys. I really appreciate it.
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Quote from Drewsah View Post :
I have actually been considering Costco too. If you can get past the mental stigma that someone may associate with buying an engagement ring from Costco, they actually have really high quality stuff at competitive prices (Costco mantra I guess).

Nice part about BlueNile vs. Costco is that they don't charge sales tax (significant with a $7-$8K purchase) & I really dislike Costco's settings... I will keep an eye out on their site though. No Costco nearby that I can skip out to and browse on my own unfortunately. Let me know what comes of your brother's experience. Maybe he knows something I don't =)

Thanks so much for the input so far guys. I really appreciate it.
I didn't love Costco's settings either but their custom program had different settings. One actually that we were exactly looking for. I believe the custom program also just has stones by themselves.

My brother used the site www.Evreward.com

It basically tells you what discounts you can get. For example urlhasbeenblocked and shopdiscover give you 5% back. I think he got 10% back with his AMEX as well but not sure that is still valid.
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#8
Are you near a Mervis? That's where I got mine. Good prices and great diamonds. I always thought Blue Nile was the Kmart of jewelry stores??
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#9
Don't do it!
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Quote from dealgate View Post :
Are you near a Mervis? That's where I got mine. Good prices and great diamonds. I always thought Blue Nile was the Kmart of jewelry stores??
Really? Granted I am new to this type of thing, but I was under the impression that they had a decent reputation. I will check into "Mervis's". Thanks!

Quote from drozek View Post :
Don't do it!
Haha. Don't do what? Get engaged? Trust me, I've been with this girl for over 8 years (since high school). We have probably been more of a married couple than most real married couples for 6 of those years haha.
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Last edited by Drewsah April 5, 2012 at 10:24 AM
#11
Quote from Drewsah View Post :
Really? Granted I am new to this type of thing, but I was under the impression that they had a decent reputation. I will check into "Mervis's". Thanks!



Haha. Don't do what? Get engaged? Trust me, I've been with this girl for over 8 years (since high school). We have probably been more of a married couple than most real married couples for 6 of those years haha.
IDK if he was referring to getting married or to buying the ring. I personally think marriage is fine, but IMO, I do have reservations about tying up upwards of $10,000 on a piece of jewelry so soon in life, when you really need to be putting your money to work for your future instead. Same applies to the ridiculous costly weddings. But, some people cannot be convinced of this - they somehow associate higher cost = larger love, when nothing could be further from the truth (nevermind the fact that money problems are the leading cause of divorce). I was fortunate that I found a woman who actually convinced ME of this.

Just my opinion. I'm not trying to preach or tell you what to do. I thought of this when I saw the "don't do it!" post lol... Either way, I wish you guys the best! Smilie
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Last edited by dorkino April 5, 2012 at 10:36 AM
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Quote from dorkino View Post :
IDK if he was referring to getting married or to buying the ring. I personally think marriage is fine, but IMO, I do have reservations about tying up upwards of $10,000 on a piece of jewelry so soon in life, when you really need to be putting your money to work for your future instead. Same applies to the ridiculous costly weddings. But, some people cannot be convinced of this - they somehow associate higher cost = larger love, when nothing could be further from the truth (nevermind the fact that money problems are the leading cause of divorce). I was fortunate that I found a woman who actually convinced ME of this.

Just my opinion. I'm not trying to preach or tell you what to do. I thought of this when I saw the "don't do it!" post lol... Either way, I wish you guys the best! Smilie
Thanks mate, I always welcome advice. I do agree with you btw. I'm really only going to spend what I've got sitting in an old account and I am willing to spend it for this. She never asks for anything and I want to get something special for her.

I'm in a good place right now financially, and figure it's a one time purchase and want to make the most of it. Luckily, we already know we're doing a low-key, fun wedding with close friends and family. No desire to spend $50k on some ridiculous ceremony. We'll take that $$$ and do something fun (travel, down payment on property, etc...).
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Listen to LivninSC. Costco is the best place to buy an engagement ring. They have the best value hands down.

Nothing Costco sells has more than a 14% markup - including their jewelry - which, in the jewelry world, is almost unheard of.

They also offer the best return policy of any company in the world, that I know of. They offer an unconditional, lifetime, 100% money-back guarantee and return policy.

I'd be proud to have bought an engagement ring from Costco, not ashamed. It shows you're intelligent, smart with your money, and only want the highest quality.
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#14
I got engaged about 6 months ago. I actually went to a chain and thought the price/customer service were excellent. We went to Robins Brothers. I knew the type of ring style she liked because of some "hints" she gave every time she saw a ring she liked and hung the picture up in her room, lol. I ended up getting it custom made (to make it a little more unique). The price came out to almost $10k.

As you can see in the second picture, the middle of the ring actually comes out and that is the wedding band.

Good luck!
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#15
My advice is to
1.make sure you either know absolutely the shape, clarity, carat size, color, and cut quality of the stone and style of ring (antique? art deco? modern? halo? etc. ) your girlfriend would want OR buy from a place with a VERY good return policy (not just a trade in policy incase she likes a style of ring that the store doesn't sell, and make sure you have a long enough time period to return) in case she doesn't like it. It would suck to buy an expensive item that she just doesn't like or that isn't what she pictured. Also remember that the jewelery that she wears normally, may not reflect what she would want in an engagement ring, if at all possible, make her sister or best friend find out what she wants.

2. Go to the forums at pricescope.com, they are very willing to help newbs, and VERY knowledgeable, not just about diamonds, but also about what is a good deal on a diamond and where to find such deals. They'll help you find stones from online vendors, they'll help you figure out which of the 4Cs are most important to you, and they'll let you know if a diamond is worth buying.

3. If you are fairly educated about diamonds and don't mind a long search, consider craigslist. IF you do this, make sure to meet the seller at an independent appraiser (you'll have to pay for this, which is better because they'll be working for you not the seller) before forking the money over. Have the ring appraised to make sure you are getting what you want. You will find the best deals from private sellers trying to sell their own jewelery because no one wants to buy it, you can often get it for 1/2-1/3 the price it would cost you in a jewelery store.
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Last edited by oewiz April 8, 2012 at 12:40 PM
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