Men, Listen up. Many men ask their significant other to marry them during the holiday season. This means that numerous clueless men are looking for engagement rings as we speak. I was like you about 3 years ago. I was on a budget, but I wanted to get my girl a ring that she would be proud to show off to her friends. I did a ton of research, and now I am going to pass off my wisdom to my fellow gender.
1. Stay out of the retail jewelry stores. Men like convenience, so they are naturally attracted to the name-brand retail jewelry stores. Let’s put it this way – The moment you step into that store, you are a minnow, and the salespeople are the sharks. Believe me, you will be eaten alive, unless you really know what you are talking about. My guess is that you won’t know what you’re talking about. Again, stay away from the retail stores. The mark-up on these rings are astronomical.
2. Know the four C’s. Knowledge is power, and if you know something about diamonds, it will help you negotiate better. The four C’s of a diamdon are as follows: Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat Weight. Most of us are familiar with carat weight. Basically, the bigger the diamond, the higher the carat weight. Girls want two things in a diamond. They want it to be big and sparkly. Carat weight takes care of the “big” part, but the other three C’s affect the “sparkle” factor of the diamond. The way that a diamond is cut affects the way that the diamond refracts light. The clarity and the color of the diamond affect the cloudiness of the diamond. Go here to study the charts for clarity and color.
3. Shop for diamonds online. E-tailers have less overhead than brick-and-mortar retail stores, therefore they have lower prices. There are many reputable online jewelers nowadays, so don’t feel weird about buying a diamond over the internet. Browse sites like Amazon, Overstock, Blue Nile, Ice Store, and many others out there that sell engagement rings and individual diamonds.
Okay, if you follow those three steps, then you are ready to start saving money on a ring. My first rule for saving on a ring is figuring out your fiance’s preferences. Find out whether she would rather have a really nice band, or a really nice diamond. If you are on a budget, then you are going to have to sacrifice one of the two. Personally, I think that you should focus on spending the majority on a nice diamond, because that is the most symbolic part of the ring. You know the saying, “A diamond lasts forever”… and your marriaige will too if you follow this advice. If you go with a nice diamond, then look for something in between the .75 ct and 1 ct range. A .85 carat diamond looks about the same size as a 1 carat, but it is hundreds of dollars cheaper. Also, you can shave even more money off the price tag by going with middle-of-the-road clarity and color. Find a diamond with a color between the H,I,J,K or L range. You will not be able to tell the difference in color from higher grades. Then, find a diamond between VS1 – SI2 range of clarity. These imperfections are not visible to the naked eye and they reduce the price of a diamond significantly. If your woman want a pavet setting, then make sure you spend the majority of your money on the setting and get her a .40 - .50 ct diamond with the same color and clarity specifications. The diamond always looks bigger in a setting with dozens of smaller diamonds. Next, buy the diamond and the setting separately. This is one of the few times that buying separately is better. Find a diamond dealer or shop at the internet stores listed above. The best part about buying the diamond separately is that you can customize what kind of diamond you want. Jewelry stores give you limited choices in size, color, and clarity. Lastly, negotiate your price. You might not be able to do this with an internet store, but if you find a dealer, you can tell them your budget and see what they can do for you. Don’t be bashful. If you educate yourself first, then you’ll have more negotiating power.