How to Save on Engagement and Wedding Rings
Shopping for Jewelry
Fabulous Fakes for Your True Love
I am trying to locate a reasonably priced engagement ring. My boyfriend is rather frugal and doesn't want to spend over $2,000. I would love to have something decent, since we've been together for 5 years! I was wondering if purchasing outside the states (Bahamas or Latin America) would be a good bet? Are there any websites that are credible in this area? I'm at wit's end on this topic! Thanks for all your help!
For the reader who's searching for an affordable diamond ring, have you considered "going faux?" I would rather have a real man than a real diamond, and you would not need to insure a cubic zirconium, nor would you have to worry about it if it were lost. It's just an idea from someone who wishes she knew about cubic zirconium back when she got engaged and wishes the money (and interest) on my diamond had gone for a down payment on a home! One source is http://www.czjewelry.com/
a reader in VA
Go to Bluenile.com for a fantastic deal on a diamond ring. This is an extremely honest company. My son just got a beautiful ring and even the jewelers here in our town told him they could not have given him a price even close to what he got for the quality stone he purchased from Bluenile.com They offer a 30 day money back refund if you're unhappy. You won't be!
B.A. in AL
Consider buying a "used" diamond ring. Check the newspaper ads for one, or look at pawn shops or antique stores. If you do buy a used ring, take it to the jewelers and have them check the settings and polish it up for you. It will look like new.
I'd always admired my mother's engagement ring. When my husband and I got engaged, I wanted one like hers. We looked at many stores but nothing new came close. Then we stopped at a coin shop where they sold estate jewelry. There was a beautiful ring like hers but even better. I loved it. It cost only $225. A week or so later, we came back and there was the matching wedding band with five small diamonds. We bought it for $50. We bought from an established coin shop and also had the rings checked by another jeweler.
My brother shopped relentlessly for a "good" diamond for his bride-to-be. He happened to have a friend who was a diamond addict and knew all about the grading system. At a pawn shop, he found an amazing deal, and called his friend to come see it. The pawn shop owner agreed to let them take it to an appraiser. The appraiser offered to immediately pay him more than twice the pawn shop dealer's asking price. It was a nearly perfect diamond. He bought the ring and had it reset.
When a budget is necessary for wedding rings, sometimes the best way to find just the ring that you want is the local newspaper. Often times, people are selling them for different reasons and you can often get a good deal that way. Also try small jewelry shops in town. They often offer great rings at a fraction of what you might otherwise pay at a bigger jewelry store.
When my husband and I went shopping for a diamond ring, we found an "insurance jeweler." He didn't have a fancy store, just an office. He specialized in replacing jewelry that needed to be replaced after being lost or stolen. We saved about 50% on our stone. We also selected a "radiant cut," which was less expensive because it was not as popular. However, it was just as beautiful.
The jeweler also sent us shopping to the local malls for wedding ring sets. When we found a ring that we really liked, we memorized the tag number. He was able to get it for us for 33% off.
Recently, Canada has enjoyed a huge diamond find in the Northwest Territories and the diamonds are recognized as some of the finest in the world. My daughter and her husband were married in July 2003. They purchased their engagement ring in Toronto, Canada. They are both teachers and shopped around carefully first. Then were recommended by a fellow teacher to a jeweler who designs rings to your specifications. The ring they had designed cost $3000 Canadian and was later appraised at $5,000 for insurance purposes. $3000 Canadian converts to $2000 U.S. approximately. There are many very reputable jewelers in Canada.
I am a regular reader of the Stretcher and a jeweler. I would not recommend going outside the US, as you are risking a substantial sum with little or no recourse. I suggest that you interview several local jewelers who are independently owned and see how much ring they will sell you for your budgeted amount. Pay in cash and be open to some variables as many jewelers have diamonds come their way which belong to older customers wanting to sell. Often these represent a good value. Stick to the basic solitaire and I am sure you will find a jeweler who is willing to take a little less profit to make the sale today. Christmas is the biggest diamond selling season and therefore least likely to yield your best deal. Shoot for mid to late summer and late in the month when bills are coming due again.
Ellen in Costlyfornia
As a florist by trade, I listen to many brides discuss various aspects of their wedding plans, including rings. The best advise about rings came from a bride who worked at a upscale jewelry shop in our area.
She told me the rings that were sold at her shop were the exact rings that sold for much, much less at the local K-Mart and Wal-Mart stores. The wholesaler catalogs are identical, so the quality is the same.
My husband and I purchased our rings 19 years ago. We did not have much money and we asked at the jewelry store for rings within our budgets. The jeweler brought us to the "used" section. We happily bought beautiful used rings, which have been on our fingers since.
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