How To Buy An Engagement Ring Online, Offline & Custom + DO’s & DON’Ts + Diamond Shopping Mistakes

Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette and
our wedding series. Today, we discuss how to buy an engagement
ring. 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. So let me touch on the brief history of the
engagement ring, the controversies, and most importantly, how you can buy one, and what
to pay attention to. 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. This sparked a craze in the circles of nobility
and people wanted to have a precious stone as their engagement ring. It’s important to know that engagement rings
weren’t just made up of diamonds but also other precious stones. 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 enegagement can only be serious if a diamond was used and later on,
a diamond that cost at least two monthly wages. It was so successful that thereafter, almost
all men made a engagement proposal with a diamond ring. 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. In general, mined diamonds are not environmentally
friendly; there are lots of questions about human rights, the ecology, and the whole impact
it has on the region where the diamond is mined. You may have heard of the kimberley process
which was established around 2000 that is a certificate that says “This diamond is not
a blood diamond.”. The problem is, these things can be faked
and all it says is that this diamond does not come from a region that uses the proceeds
for warfare however, that does not consider the human rights aspect or the ecology at
all. At the end of the day, even if you have a
certificate, it’s still impossible to trace back the true origins of the diamond. So keep that in mind. 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
separates them from naturally mined diamonds. Using a ten times magnifying loop, you can
tell whether something is artificial or not. I think in recent times, they even tried to
intentionally include inclusions in the artificial diamond to make it more look like a real diamond. Diamonds of any kind have a nice sparkle but
they achieve a high price because they are rare. So with a manmade diamond, that aspect is
gone and so oftentimes, jewellers that are a little scrupulous will try to sell you a
manmade diamond for a natural diamond. Retailers claim that a manmade diamond is
about 30-40% less expensive. From what we’ve seen, it’s an average of about
15-16% less expensive although in reality, it’s a lot cheaper to create a lab made diamond
than a mined diamond. Before you buy a lab made diamond or even
a regular diamond, figure out what your significant othwer really likes. Do they care about sustainability and ecology? Do they want the real deal versus the manmade
thing or they just don’t care? It’s really adviseable to figure that out
beforehand in conversations that don’t give away too much. The difficulty is that you might come across
as being cheap if you buy a lab created diamond. A diamond is certainly a symbol of materialism
and ifyou get a stone that is too small, you can be considered to be too cheap. If it’s too big, it canbe 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. It’s only the two of you and this is one of
the pieces of jewelry that she’ll wear for the rest of her life. It’s probably going to be the most worn jewelry
so get something that is nice and beautiful. It’s not an investment, it’s an expense. You buy it once, you’re not going to make
it part of your retirement plan and you’re going to wear it everyday. So keep that in mind. You don’t want to get the extra two diamonds
on the ring if it does not look as pleasing simply because it’s on sale. Get something you really like in terms of
looks. So how should you buy an engagement ring? First of all, set your budget. You may have heard of the 2 months salary
rule but my personal advice is to forget completely about that, it was a marketing scam almost
by De Beers who just came up with it out of thin air and then later, they even increased
it to three months. So, don’t put pressure on it, because it’s
just marketing. Personally, I bought my very first engagement
ring on eBay. It was a vintage piece for $310, at the time,
I had a $450 monthly allowance. The ring had a pear shaped, dark red garnet
with a white gold setting. I knew that my future wife loved dark red
colors and so it was a perfect gift, it fit within my budget, and because I went with
a vintage ring, I got a lot more for my buck. You may ask why is it my first engagement
ring? Unfortunately, the first ring was destroyed
under a door accidentally and it was irrepairable so I had to buy a second engagement ring. This time around an emerald and a platinum
setting and once again, I bought it at eBay. This time at a much higher price but it’s
a very nice piece of jewelry and I could afford more and as I said, it’s something that my
wife wears everyday in her life so I wanted it to be really beautiful. The average ring price in the US today is
$4000, if you don’t have that, don’t finance it. Find a way around it, save up for it, but
it’s not worth going into debt over it especially if you have to pay that debt together later
on. Determine waht you want to buy. Yes, the diamond is the most popular stone
but my wife wanted a colored stone so, figure that out beforehand. You want to go with a new design, maybe a
designer, maybe a no name, a custom piece, or maybe a vintage estate piece. There’s no right or wrong but it all depends
on what your fiance wants. Step number three is to learn the basics about
precious stones. For diamonds, that means the 4c’s which is
cut, clarity, carat, and color. Those four aspects determine the value of
the stone and what you have to pay for it. The bigger you get, the more disproportionally
expensive it gets. To get an in depth understanding about that,
please check out our guide on the website which walks you steb by step and what you
have to pay attention to. So today, the big question is, where you 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 adviseable 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. Now, you may have to do a little more education
upfront, if you buy online but I think it’s good to do that anyways because it’s abig
purchase and you don’t want to be screwed. 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. And even if say “We don’t make a commission.” like certain companies that I’ve heard online,
once you talk to the sales reps, they get a salary that’s adjusted at their performance
from the previous year which at the end of the day, is a sales commission as well. So no matter where you buy a diamond ring
in person, there is some element of commission which means they want to sell you something
that is more expensive and maybe something that’s outside of your budget, so keep that
in mind. 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 jeweller
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. You may be tempted to buy your jewelry at
chains, personally, I think that’s not the best idea becaue more often than not, the
staff is a retail staff and not a jewelry expert and oftentimes, they have an issue
with fraud or things that are subpar in quality but at the end of the day, you have to know
what to do and again, bring it o an independent appraiser afterwards. Also make sure if they sell you any warranties
that the center stone is covered and read the fine print, otherwise, you are sorry afterwards. For such a big purchase, that would be a shame. Of course, if you go with high-end retailers,
you pay an extra price. A ring from Cartier will cost a lot more. Of course, the resell value is also higher
but you’re not in the market to have an investment ring, something that will be worn so you have
to decide if it’s worth it to you to pay extra for those names. Aside from the box it comes in, no one will
ever be able to tell unless they take the ring off and look at the specific item. Now, it can be that they have a very intricate
design, they usually get veryhigh quality stones but you also pay top dollar. Final tips, do’s and don’t of buying an engagement
ring. Don’t buy on the first stop. Go around, shop around, compare prices and
find the right ring for you. Some sales people may want to lure you in
to buying today by giving you a special deal just now, stay clear of that. ideally, don’t buy a ring with a preset stone
because the setting can hide a lot of flaws of the stone so you want to buy the stone
individually so you can inspecct it, see the inclusions, take a look at the 4 c’s and then
have it set to a custom setting that fits your fiance’s hand and finger perfectly. Even if you don’t know much about jewelry
or engagement rings, do act with a certain confidence. It will give you more respect and chances
are, they are not going to try to cheat you or low ball you in terms of quality. Don’t settle on a price too early. DO play hardball when it comes to bargaining. The engagement ring business is basically
the jewelry business today so they want to sell you a ring and there is room for negotiation. Do learn common ways of how stones can be
treated such as coloring and heat treatment in our guide on our website here so you are
protected from that. Don’t fall for the “Oh, see how it sparkles
in the sunlight!” trick because even stones of ifnerior quality sparkle very nicely in
the sunlight. Don’t just rely on the certificate that comes
with it. These things can be faked very easily which
again means, go to an independent appraiser. If you’re not entirely sure what she wants,
I suggest to have a return policy and propse within the timeframe so you can always go
back and get exactly the ring that she wants because it’s something that she will wear
until the rest of her life. Don’t think you have to propose with the final
ring. You can always buy the stone, get a simple
temporary setting that you can propose with and then afterwards you can pick exactly the
setting with her together that she likes, that way, you ensure that the stone and the
whole ring is within your budget but you also get the look that she wants. Last but not the least, don’t think you have
to buy something new. Personally, I’m a big fan of vintage jewelry
because not only do you get a better bang for your buck, also the workmanship is sometimes
much more intricate. My personal tip for you would be look for
a platinum setting because platinum is harder to work with which means most jewelers only
use high quality stones to work with. Again, get the appraisal but if you find a
platinum ring, chances are, they’ll always have quality stones. If you enjoyed this video, please make sure
to check out the other videos in our wedding series where we cover things like dress codes,
or what guests should wear at a wedding, as well as wedding bands, and anything else you
want to know as the groom.

Michael Martin

57 Responses

  1. As far as I know, the three month "rule"'s purpose was to be a financial insurance for the woman should the wedding be called off, or the man eventually died, so the wife (or fiancée) could have a temporary financial standing before putting things back together.

  2. If you're not middle class or are lower middle class or lower class a wedding band is going to be enough. It's better to save money for the honey moon.

  3. Before you squander your money on a diamond engagement ring watch Adam Ruins Everything, diamond video and have your lady friend watch it. If she still insists on a diamond engagement ring go to that park in Arkansas where you can find diamonds on the ground and have one cut polished and put in a setting. It will still be cheaper than the DeBeers monopoly inflated price.

  4. I have paused this to say that if you tell us that it should cost three months' salary then I'm unsubscribing.

  5. Great video sir! I needed this because I am on that level now with my gf. It is SO tough to find the perfect seller.

  6. Actually there are natural diamonds that don't have inclusions. They're also very expensive.

    Also I really wonder how can she tell if the diamond is artificial or not. She won't know the difference.

    There are also artificial emeralds.

  7. Many jewelry sales people such as myself must take certification courses to become diamontologists, which normally takes a year of study. Even though we are not bench jewelers, there does exist a standard of expertise and professionalism among those who earn their living in this particular retail business. You are correct that they are commission sales people, but in this line of service they are also expected to be people with high standards of integrity, and must able to follow careful protocols in how they work with both gemstones and customers. I've been doing this a while and occasionally think of myself more as a butler, serving people at a very special, exciting moment in their lives. I consider myself privileged to add to the dignity and presentation of the ring in some small way. To that end, I believe I do play a helpful role in this process.

  8. Just when I think I couldn't like your videos any more, you begin dropping truth bombs about the inflated cost of diamonds.
    P.S. I've fallen behind on my viewing, and these videos are very timely because I'm going to a wedding in October. 😀

  9. My bf and I are discussing engagement ring shopping so I've been doing a lot of research.

    First do research! There's a lot of great YouTube videos from jewelers that explain the 4Cs but also other factors that can help you choose a quality diamond. You can have a GIA certified 3x excellent stone but it has poor proportions and so it's not as good quality as you think. Jannpaul has a channel, it's a store in Singapore that has knowledgeable videos. Highly recommend!

    Another great tip is to find a jewelry store that sells at wholesale prices (happy jewelers in Fullerton California is a great one) The jewelry stores like kay, Robbins brothers, etc will sell you the lower quality stones at much higher prices, so avoid those stores. The stones I've seen online at the name brand stores have the clarity of I1 or S1 at extremely high prices, which is not worth their asking price.

    Also for brilliant earth, there is a class action lawsuit being started because people are saying they can't possibly know where the origin of their stones are. There was a video done on it and they're suing the man who made the YouTube video. Basically they say they're ethical so they can jack up the prices.

  10. Natürlich…wir Österreicher haben natürlich diesen Trend gestartet. Super.
    (ich mag Silber und Saphire eh lieber)

  11. You mentioned your first ring was vintage and bought online, did you buy it the right size right away or was there need to get it resized and if so how?

  12. Every woman likes to say that their ring came from Tiffanys and Co because of the film, “breakfast at Tiffany’s”

  13. Solid video. Some things I like to add for those who really will save for that diamond ring:

    I think its best buying the stone and setting separate. You should be able to see the stone first and inspect it.Yes it may have all the specs but its best to see it up close and personal. Reputable websites have a time frame return policy, you can use that to see the stone.

    A solitare round ideal (or super ideal) is wonderful. Round is best for maximum brilliance. I think the single diamond is representative and pave diamonds or smaller ct diamonds around the entire ring for me takes away from the special center stone. (except for a 3 stone piece). The tiny diamonds say in an infinity band are not special cut anyway. Stores like tiffany and cartier usually have small lights just above their collection to overemphasize the brilliance also, and are way too overpiced.

    Knowing your partner’s ring size is beneficial. Once you determined that or have a fair idea; I say start looking at 1-1.5cts and see where you stand. Too big of a diamond is disproportional, same with too small of one.

    You dont need a flawless and the whitest of diamonds (D,E,F). You can get away with a G H I. Even j K L there are some yellow hues, but for a high quality ideal round cut that maximizes brilliance, That yellow hue really brings out a firey brilliance. Also it’s very hard to tell the diffrence between say an F and an H just at a glance.

    To save on price, vvs1 or 2 is already high end, but vs1 and vs2 you still cant see with the naked eye. If the miniscule speck inclusion is towards the circumference of the diamond it can be hidden with the crown of the setting you use for the diamond. I wouldnt go to an si1, the inclusions become more apparent and they start affecting the brilliance.

    Lastly I agree with the platinum setting, it’s more robust, wont scratch or tarnish as easily as gold, and it is a harder metal.

  14. Hi I enjoyed & learned from lot of your videos. I have a video request: The Best Birthday gift or Top 10 Birthday gifts to give as a Gentleman.
    Best Wishes for your future videos, ventures & buisnesses.
    Thanks in advance.

  15. Great video! Just a few things:
    Diamonds aren't made of graphite; both diamonds and graphite are distinct forms of carbon.
    There are natural diamonds without inclusions, they're just more expensive.
    The average diamond is not exactly 'rare', their supplies and costs are controlled by corporations and they're marketed as rare.

  16. very smart video, great job and excellent delivery! my bf is actually using a diamond given to him for me by his grandmother which he had a goldsmith fitting into a ring. ☺

  17. thanks for mentioning blood diamonds and the negative effects that buying diamonds can have on the area it was mined in, I really appreciate that since thats something that matters to me and my gf. very helpful video, thank you!

  18. Did you read the pamphlet thoroughly at 1:40????? The term "Blood diamond" has to do with the method in which it is harvested which often involves child labor and abhorrent conditions. It has nothing to do with the Israeli's, the Jewish people or their right to exercise self determination and return to their ancestral homeland you fucking nut job.

  19. Isn't it true that the term blood diamond is used to attack the sale of any diamond that did not go through the hand of the monopoly ..

  20. Instead of buying a diamond put a down payment on a new Tesla! The future is now diamonds are very far in the past!

  21. ebay? could have talked more about trusting second hand purchases online. that seems so risky. how can you get it verified?

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