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Congrats! You just decided to propose. Now, you just have to buy the ring but that’s probably going to be one of the larger purchases you’ll make in your lifetime.
The first recorded use of an engagement ring was in the 15th century when then Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy with a then very rare diamond ring.
In the late 19th century, diamonds were found in South Africa and a cartel was created that is named DeBeers; they were very smart business men, had different marketing campaigns and used their influence to tell people especially in the US that an engagement can only be serious if a diamond was used and later on, a diamond that cost at least two monthly wages.
The problem about diamonds is there are lots of controversies. On the one hand, there is something called a “blood” diamond which means it comes from an area where the proceeds are used to finance wars.
Now on the flip side, there are lab created diamonds. As you know, diamonds are made up of graphite, just like your pencil for example. It’s just a different structure that flaunts under high pressure. Today, those can be created in the lab and the lab made diamonds are actually more pure meaning, they don’t have inclusions which separate them from naturally mined diamonds.
A diamond is certainly a symbol of materialism and if you get a stone that is too small, you can be considered to be too cheap. If it’s too big, it can be considered to be ostentatious and a show-off so getting it right is not that easy. My tip for you is, don’t worry so much about what other people say, worry about what your significant other would say and what you think is right. Get something you really like in terms of looks.
So how should you buy an engagement ring?
1. Set your budget.
2. Determine what you want to buy.
3. Learn the basics about precious stones.
Where to buy the ring?
Personally, I like to shop online and so do a lot of men and you can buy diamonds online. Now, it’s advisable to buy from trusted sources where you can return the stone and you should always bring your stone to an independent appraiser once you’ve received it. That just makes sure that you did not get a fake stone and it protects you and your investment.
The pros of buying online is that you’re in a no pressure sale situation. You can really see what you want to buy, you can compare and there is no pressure. The cons are, you can’t see the stone, you can’t see the sparkle, you have to trust the seller and while it may be less expensive to buy online, there’s a lot that can be done with Photoshop and what you see in the picture may not be what you end up getting in the mail.
If you buy a ring at the store, of course, you have the assistance of a sales person but at the end of the day, they will make some form of commission. Of course, you can see everything in person but they may have a smaller stone selection but you may be able to haggle a little bit so it comes down to your personal preference. I suggest to build a relationship with a jeweler that you can trust, read some reviews, and always, even when you buy from a local store, bring it to an independent appraiser and that’s not someone that was recommended to you by that store. Do your own independent research.
Do’s & Don’ts
Don’t buy on the first stop.
Don’t buy a ring with a preset stone.
Do act with a certain confidence.
Don’t settle on a price too early.
Do play hardball when it comes to bargaining.
Do learn common ways of how stones can be treated.
Don’t fall for the “Oh, see how it sparkles in the sunlight!” trick.
Don’t just rely on the certificate that comes with it.
Don’t think you have to buy something new.
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