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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!

26 Comments

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#16
Quote from oewiz View Post :
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.
I second the Craigslist - although I know there is a stigma attached to buying a "used" ring, I would never buy a new ring. I just got my 15 year ring and we bought it off of Craigslist. We got a Tacori ring which appraised for $15,000 for $5,000. It is my dream ring and I absolutely adore it! I was able to get my hubby the matching band on eBay for $1200 and it appraised at $5000 - so don't be afraid to check second hand - you get WAY more for your money.

Now that I have said that, I know that you will buy her a new ring and I understand why Big Grin. I was the same way when I was younger - so I get it! Good luck to you - you sound like you have a very good head on your shoulders!!

Ally
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#17
We got our wedding bands from whiteflash.com a few years back. The prices seemed to be comparable with Blue Nile, and we were happy with their customer service. (in case you decide to shop around Smilie )
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Last edited by y2kbug April 8, 2012 at 07:35 PM
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#18
Awesome, thanks so much for the advice everyone!
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#19
If I were going to do this, I would buy used or the synthetic diamonds, since supporting the DeBeers cartel is not something that I am willing to do.
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#20
Quote from zzyzzx View Post :
If I were going to do this, I would buy used or the synthetic diamonds, since supporting the DeBeers cartel is not something that I am willing to do.
I completely forgot to mention synthetic diamonds. This is a great suggestions. You can get a near perfect synthetic diamond for a fraction of the cost of a natural diamond and they are chemically, physically, and visually identical to a natural diamond.
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#21
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

Amen to that Wink
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#22
My advice would be to find a diamond broker in your area. They can cut you a better price than you will find most anywhere else. Do some research and ask questions about diamond brokers. One tip I learned is if you find a broker, and find a diamond ring that you like. Have them ship it to a friend or family member in neighboring state. You should save the taxes that way. I had a friend who had his broker sell and ship his ring to a family member in another state. By shipping out of state, he saved the taxes. Here is an simple example. When you buy a car, you don't pay the tax rate in the city you purchased it it, you pay the tax rate in the city you are licensing it in. If there is a store in your state, and there are no affiliated stores in the neighboring state, you can ship an item to that state and not pay the taxes on it. Clear as mud?
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#23
Also, try to get as close to a certain size with out going over. For example, if you want a 1 carat diamond, find a .99 carat diamond. There is a HUGE price increase once you cross that size mark. Same goes for a .5 carat.......find a .499 carat. Get right up to it with out going over. It is largely the same size, but you will get a huge price discount because you didn't cross the "sizeing point"
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#24
Quote from energyzer View Post :
My advice would be to find a diamond broker in your area. They can cut you a better price than you will find most anywhere else. Do some research and ask questions about diamond brokers. One tip I learned is if you find a broker, and find a diamond ring that you like. Have them ship it to a friend or family member in neighboring state. You should save the taxes that way. I had a friend who had his broker sell and ship his ring to a family member in another state. By shipping out of state, he saved the taxes. Here is an simple example. When you buy a car, you don't pay the tax rate in the city you purchased it it, you pay the tax rate in the city you are licensing it in. If there is a store in your state, and there are no affiliated stores in the neighboring state, you can ship an item to that state and not pay the taxes on it. Clear as mud?
Quote from energyzer View Post :
Also, try to get as close to a certain size with out going over. For example, if you want a 1 carat diamond, find a .99 carat diamond. There is a HUGE price increase once you cross that size mark. Same goes for a .5 carat.......find a .499 carat. Get right up to it with out going over. It is largely the same size, but you will get a huge price discount because you didn't cross the "sizeing point"

Great info on the carat sizing, and also on the taxes. That's another draw I had to BlueNile when I first started looking. On top of being competitive in the stone prices, I would also end up saving ≈ $400-500 in taxes.
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#25
Quote from Brian1 View Post :
I completely forgot to mention synthetic diamonds. This is a great suggestions. You can get a near perfect synthetic diamond for a fraction of the cost of a natural diamond and they are chemically, physically, and visually identical to a natural diamond.
Where? Couldn't find any real synthetics, just mossnite
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#26
Quote from zoglog View Post :
Where? Couldn't find any real synthetics, just mossnite
Here's one place [diamondnexus.com]. There a many others though so I'd shop around.
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#27
Quote from Brian1 View Post :
Here's one place [diamondnexus.com]. There a many others though so I'd shop around.
People on pricescope seem to like http://d.neadiamonds.com/ for the synthetics.


Heres some relevant info on diamond nexus. I would stay away. They are simulants.. aka CZ

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/d...on/603199/
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Last edited by bradfox2 June 2, 2012 at 04:36 PM
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