Hi, I'm a man who is looking to propose next month while on vacation in Italy. Have a month to find a ring and get ready for the proposal, so I have a limited time window.
I don't really have any qualified women to ask in my life. My mother never got an engagement ring (her request) and my sister doesn't care much either. I'm the type of guy who doesn't care about these things myself, but want my girlfriend to be happy and realize mine does care about these things.
A close friend of mine just proposed. He spent $16k on a ring that doesn't really stand out in anyway. He bought from a local jeweler who was a friend of a friend and, I just don't get it. It's nice, but fairly standard. I
I'm looking for a ring that stands out, but I have a limited budget. I'm looking to stay under $8k, but if something great arose, I can stretch the budget. I have lots saved, but fear the impending house purchase, hopefully children expenses, and so on.
I am willing to save on things that are only visible under 10x magnification. So perfect clarity, and so on, are not really my concerns.
I would like a unique engagement ring and am leaning towards a colored diamond. While my girlfriend is into many of the name brands, the name brands for diamonds (Cartier, Tiffany's, etc.), seem like a bit of a rip off to me. I don't want to pay a premium because these companies had an effective marketing campaign 50 years ago and are living off of their reputation. I see diamonds as a commodity.
In other words, I've pretty much narrowed to an online dealer. I like what I've seen on dbl, but am considering other sites as well.
A few questions:
1) In my price range it seems as if the only colors available to me are: gray, brown, yellow and orange. While I realize a pink ring would be perfect, would a women even like a ring in these colors (I do, but is a brown engagement ring going to annoy a women)? Are colored diamonds (brown, yellow, etc.) acceptable for engagement rings or only for other jewelry?
As a note, I personally like the Champagne and Gray diamonds the best (from what I can afford, but not sure how other women would react).
2) Are there different factors for judging one of these rings? I can't imagine that the four C's hold the same weight as in colorless diamonds? Does clarity reduce in importance in colored diamonds?
3) I want a natural color and do not want something irradiated or with fake colors added in a process. Is it going to be hard to find a brightly colored diamond without these processes done? I want a bright or deep color (I suppose the term is vivid) as opposed to a diamond that is mostly clear and has hints or grey or brown and simply looks like an imperfect colorless diamond.
4) Any tricks for getting a ring size? She has a ring I could use to measure, but she would realize if it disappears for more than an hour or so. Any suggestions?
5) Would a girl want a colored diamond engagement ring or should I just go the standard colorless route?
6) I know platinum is generally preferred for colorless rings. Is this true of colored diamonds as well or does gold, white gold, or silver work better with these colors? Is there some chart to refer to for this?
7) My vacation is a lengthy 23 days
. Many online websites have a 30 day return policy. It will be difficult to time out the whole ordering and shipment process, vacation, and possible return within this 30 day window. While I am confident she will say yes, is it too risky to order online as I know I may not be able to return within the 30 day window? Will online sellers like diamondsbylauren extend the return policy in certain situations and does anyone have any experience working with a company in this regard?
I've matured to the point where I realize I don't know what women want and never will truly understand how they think about these things (which is how I know I'm ready for marriage
). So I want a window for a return.
Thanks for your help.