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Tell her how corrupt the diamond industry is, then spend the money on something worthwhile

Diamond rings are the worst consumer tradition ever
 

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I agree with high octane. I know quite a few happily married couples who never bothered with an engagement ring, and even some who didn't bother with wedding bands. If you step back from the tradition and look at it objectively, it's kind of silly. There are a lot more wonderful things you could do for the woman you love with the same amount of money.
 

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Well, my wife loves her wedding rings. They make her happy to this day -- and she tells me so reasonably regularly. This is years after being married, so I suspect that the investment worked out pretty well for me.

My general advice to you is: do what makes you -- and your betrothed -- happy. Diamonds aren't the only precious gemstone, but some people like them more than others.

As for my diamond-specific advice...

(1) Size != quality. I bought my wife a smaller diamond that had a nicer cut, clarity, and colour -- it's much more sparkly.

(2) Size != convenient. A huge honkin' diamond in a traditional solitaire setting is going to get whacked against things. I opted for a tension-fit diamond in a platinum setting, so it has a low profile against my wife's finger. (I'm also not a big fan of gold.)

(3) Weight. The weight of the ring is important insofar as the fact that a heavy ring can be reasonably annoying to first-time ring wearers, and can also be annoying when your finger gets cold and the ring shifts around a fair bit.


Lately, I've been rather taken by the concept of man-made diamonds -- these are actual diamonds, not diamond simulants. In particular, http://apollodiamonds.com makes nearly-flawless man-made diamonds via plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition. You may find this article interesting.

Other than that, there are a lot of natural diamonds available, though prices can be rather extreme.


K.
 

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I found Blue Nile to have good prices and excellent product. I've also purchased from Birks, which tends to be pricey. I can't recall any site that has good diamond buying guides, sorry. Google should be able to help you but there is a lot of fluff out there as well.
 

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I do like the symbolic meaning of a ring such as wedding rings, engineering rings, certain grad rings. I also know a few people who have lost fingers from rings, so I don't wear them myself

I just despise the diamond industry. If you had the slightest clue you couldn't look at them
 

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What do you mean?
Pl. elaborate or post any links.

-Harold
I have close friends who are and have been UN observers and I read and attend briefs I have access to

I don't believe for a second that 100% of diamonds are conflict free

The market was controlled by 1 privately owned company who knew exactly how to increase demand while controlling the supply

I'm a very materialistic person, so I wouldn't have trouble buying something like a diamond if I didn't loath its industry

I'll wear a pair of Nike shoes made in a sweat shop before I buy a diamond
 

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The KPCS is a huge step in the right direction. I like that companies are stepping up to self-regulate because international law is notoriously hard to enforce in this day and age. It looks really good on them anyways

But can you actually trust the diamond companies' word that 100% of diamonds they now sell are conflict free? Yet diamond conflicts rage on and these companies have stockpiled diamonds for decades as part of simulating scarcity

To each his own
 

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The KPCS is only a soft law. As such, it is not legally binding on the participating countries. Rather, the legislation is drafted using language such as agree, support and recommend. Due to this status, there can be no legal consequences for the violation of the recommendations within the scheme. The diamonds cannot be adversely possessed because they do not meet the KPCS requirements; participants cannot be subject to criminal legality.
Enough said
 

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They don't call them blood diamonds for nothing - lots of sources to read on the 'net. I don't think the diamond industry has cleaned it up, there is just less focus on it. Canada might be able to provide an alternative but unsure how you could keep the source segregated.

Daveking - not only is it about the diamond, it's about the ring as well. Perhaps consider designer rings with a smaller CCC diamond? I'm familar with Scott Kay, perhaps there are others too.
 

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First let me preface this by saying that I have a beautiful 1+ carat solitaire engagement ring and diamond eternity wedding band on my ring finger.

While they are beautiful and thoughtful gifts from husband and will make lovely heirlooms for my children, I am not emotionally attached to any jewelry.

I usually forget to put them on, so I only wear them about 1/2 the time. The symbolism of the rings is more important to my husband (he hasn't taken his wedding ring off in 15 years).

I feel that I don't need to wear a ring to 'be married' and that the marriage is more important than the bling.

The original purpose of an engagement ring was threefold:

* It proved to the bride's family that her intended could afford to keep her in a comfortable lifestyle
* It provided insurance to the bride and the bride's family that if her betrothed didn't go through with the wedding or left her after they were married she would have an asset to sell (since back in the day women rarely owned property/assets or had the means to be financially independent)
* It acted as a deterrant to other potential suitors by letting them know that she was spoken for

IMO the engagement ring has lost it's relevance. Being older and wiser, if I were to do it again I would skip the engagement ring, and use that money to increase our net worth. However since it is important to my husband, I would have had matching wedding bands made, designed by us to reflect who we are.

Most of my girlfriends who married young (like me) tend to have engagement bling. Most of my girlfriends who married later in life skipped the engagement bling and have just a wedding band or no wedding jewelry at all.
 

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Best advice, if you want to be able to negotiate the price at the jewelry store(markup usually about 200%), then my best advice, do not bring your girlfriend.

If she absolutely must pick it out herself, then have her go alone and if possible describe it to you. Later you go in and buy it (a few days later at least).

You see the problem with taking your girlfriend, is when the ring is selected, she will obviously be utterly in love with that particular one or she will at least pretend to think it is the most beautiful thing she ever saw. Either way, these non-verbal actions will ensure that the list price will be as low as the vender will go. Now you for instance can be looking at a few rings, with very little emotion. When it comes to the exact ring in question, you can ask questions or make negative comments about it and then non-chalontly make a low ball bid (50% to 60% of list price). I'll guarantee you that if you are dealing with someone in the store with authority, you will save thousands of dollars this way.

That $6,000 ring you want. There is no way the owner or manager is going to let you walk away, when you are willing to pay $3,600 to $4,000 for this ring, when he can have another built within 2 days for $2,000. Certainly not in February on a slow day.
 

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I was unsure if I could/should post a link that offered low prices on quality gems on this site but it seems like it would be of use/value to many www.herdreamdiamonds.com this is a young guy with a family business and does not have huge overhead for a glass and marble boutique in an expense shopping mall.

I have no interest in this business except that I am a very pleased customer. The rocks come with certs so there is no mystery as to origins. Blood diamonds are dirty gems and are not worth discussing in this thread anymore than if I asked, "should I buy a stolen car - if its a really good deal?)

I emailed my advice already and it was this. Buy bigger. I regret only buying a .8c rock it is beautiful (colour, clarity and cut are the best) however I could afford bigger soon after and would have spent more if I purchased a year later. This is now a family heirloom.

I have many friends who opt not to purchase an engagement ring "to feel married" and I totally respect that. Sure the diamond market is exactly that - a market - and it is shamelessly promoted by the big players. (If you give your fiancee a small diamond you are telling her she is not worth it, blah, blah, guilt, nothing new) I can make the same arguement for coke and santa and any Hallmark card topic. It is now a tradition, and an investment.

Lastly, one more piece of sensible advice is to buy somthing that can be returned. I know everyone thinks their engagement/marriage will never be called off, but when you want to get rid of it, a classic style is easier to dump than 50 little diamond chips all around the band and can't be resized. This is what a friend went through and needless to say lost a bundle of cash on the ring, in addition to everything else.
 

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I would kill my bf if he dropped $6000 on a ring. Yes , even if it was for me.

Sure I would like the ring but not for that price.

What we did instead was go to Pacific Mall and get matching engraved titanium bands. It cost under $200 for both rings and I won't squash my ring doing home renovation projects. I didn't feel right bargaining with the seller because my bf was there. It might have destroyed the mood so I let it go.

I hate to say it but you could even look for ads on craigslist or kijiji for the unfortunates that bought the wrong lady a ring. Or the wrong lady selling hers.
 

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The rocks come with certs so there is no mystery as to origins. Blood diamonds are dirty gems and are not worth discussing in this thread anymore than if I asked, "should I buy a stolen car - if its a really good deal?)
A stolen car has absolutely no relevance at all

But I do apologize for taking things off topic

Girls don't need a diamond as insurance now-a-days. They already get half of everything I own

If I was a girl I would want one though, to sell in case of divorce
 
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