There are many big milestones in life but the one that you probably want to be the most memorable and perfectly planned is your engagement. In today’s world, there is a lot of pressure both for the proposer and the recipient. No matter how you plan to propose or what your perfect proposal looks like, we can all agree that the ring has to be stunning and complete perfection.
The tricky part about engagement ring shopping is that there are so many choices. Gone are the days of the one-stop jewelry shop or a hand-me-down ring from grandma. Now you have to weed through the online mega diamond sellers promising the best deal but no human touch. Then you have to contend with the choices of where to put your money. Do you want a diamond that looks good on paper (i.e. a certified diamond) or do you even want a real diamond? So let’s dive into the truth about engagement ring shopping and all the tips and tricks from someone who has been in the business for decades.
Shop for the engagement ring that SHE really wants
My brother-in-law wanted an “internally flawless” diamond. (If you want to know more about the 4C’s and the ranking of internally flawless diamonds, check out this blog.) To him, having that certification saying that his diamond is “IF” was a non-negotiable. He was going to pay a higher price tag for a diamond that was perfect on paper. What he didn’t know was that my future sister-in-law wanted a big diamond. She didn’t care about the clarity or color. She wanted a large pear shaped diamond with a halo setting. After he brought in some family, friends and Pinterest posts she had saved, he decided to get the biggest bang for his buck and bought the ring she wanted. The moral of the story is that you are shopping for a very special person and you should always have that person in mind when you are picking their dream ring.
Do you really need that certification?
This is a great question! GIA (Gemological Institute of America) is the most prestigious and the most highly trusted among diamond/gemstone certification. (This is where I received my training). Their Graduate Gemologists are the best in the world, but it comes with a price tag. Diamonds with GIA certifications tend to cost more because they are guaranteed to be what GIA says. That certification costs the jewelry store/jeweler money and raises the price of the diamond. This document can provide a lot of comfort to some and others do not care what a paper says about their diamond just as long as their diamond sparkles. If you have a jeweler that you trust or a reputable jewelry store that has been in business for many years, you can feel confident to purchase a diamond that does not have a certification.
Fake diamonds and/or CZ’s
This is usually a buyer beware topic. Keep in mind that “CZ”s are not diamonds. They are a much, much more affordable option to diamond. For instance, a one-carat hand-cut hand-polished cubic zirconia gemstone will retail for around $20 dollars, whereas a one carat diamond with passable cut, color and clarity grades will retail for around $1,500 dollars. So beware when and if you see an engagement ring with a CZ at a high dollar amount.
Also, keep in mind that a small diamond will always outshine a large CZ after time. CZs will scratch very easily and over time have a cloudy and dull appearance that even cleaning can not fix. Diamond is the hardest mineral known to man and will last a lifetime. They even sparkle underwater and even when they’re dirty from day to day lotions and soap build-up. CZs can't really withstand the day to day enjoyment that an engagement ring has to. So keep that in mind even if you are tempted by the larger size for the smaller price tag.
Getting the best engagement ring for the best price
Here’s the real secret to engagement ring shopping…buy refurbished. Before you stop reading, think about this, all diamonds are technically “used”. Diamonds do not jump out of the ground and end up in the Tiffany & Co showcase. Diamond is the hardest mineral known to man, so suffice to say, they’ve been around for a while. So no, they do not house any bad luck and are ultimately cherished no matter where they originally came from. Often times if you purchase a ring from an estate sale or from a store such as ours, so will see a better price than stores that are marketing “new” pieces. Our store even offers “repurposed” diamonds (if there is such a thing) and with that, you can select a “new” setting or custom designed setting to set the diamond in. This is the best of both worlds. Either way, the way to save money is to cut out the retail middle man and the mega mark up of retail stores. Need more convincing, that’s ok, check out our prices and the amazing engagement rings we offer, click here!
If you want more “truth” about engagement rings, just ask us. We are a trusted local jewelry store and have been in the business for decades. Not only are we transparent with our customers, we offer lay away options and a generous return policy. We would love to help you on your engagement ring shopping journey and be a part of your love story too!