Ep.27 - SOML: How I Pulled Off the Perfect Engagement Ring
You would want the perfect ring if you plan on proposing someday. Why? You know all her girlfriends will be talking about it afterwards. However, getting the perfect ring takes more than just money. Lucky for you, I summarized my experience into 5 steps for you to use as a guide. Good luck!
STEP 1: HOW TO SAVE FOR IT?
To the best of my knowledge from cross-shopping at multiple jewelers a few years back, a good quality 1-carat diamond (rock alone) costs at least $4,500. According to Ritani.com, the median price for a one-carat diamond is $4,018. And according to Credit Donkey, you should expect a one-carat diamond to range from $4,500 to $6,000. On top of that, it costs at least another $1K or $2K for the band, setting, and the loose diamonds around it.
The saving part is entirely dependent on how much you can save and how much you want to spend on a ring. Personally, at the time I did it, I had just started my career. I was paying for my student debt and saving for the ring at the same time. The cost of my ring shall remain a mystery for as long as I live. 🙏 To give you a context, it took me 10 months to save for the ring (not 10 months of salary). My advice to you is to save as soon as you know she's the one. It's never too early to save, because getting in debt over this is never a sound way to begin a marriage.
STEP 2: HOW TO GET THE PERFECT RING? - CUSTOM MAKE IT
The best way to know what kind of ring to get her is to ask her. You definitely do not want to splurge thousands of dollars on something she won't like. Worse for her, she probably has to pretend to like it and wear it for the rest of her life.
If you are in a serious relationship, she probably already has a Pinterest page on the style of rings she likes. Personally, I knew my wife wanted a rose gold ring with twisted bands. My challenge was that I could not find one anywhere, online or in store. Should I just give up? Never. Here is what I did.
FIND A GOOD JEWELER: I decided to find a jeweler to custom make the ring to the exact spec my wife would like. I basically searched "Best Wedding Ring Jeweler Boston," and I was so blessed to have found Mouradian Jewelry, which was awarded Best Wedding Rings in Boston for multiple years.
BE PATIENT: It took me 8 weeks of back-and-forth, from the drawing paper to the final product. It takes time to inspect/select the center diamond, and small diamonds. It also takes time for the jeweler to curate/make the band, set all the diamonds, and create the final appraisal.
KEEP YOUR APPRAISAL: Yes, you will need the appraisal report to insure the ring. And trust me, you should get insurance for something this expensive. It is cheap to do so. It will probably cost you no more than $30 to insure it with your renter's or homeowners insurance.
STEP 3: HOW TO STRETCH YOUR DOLLARS?
A diamond ring is expensive. Having a ring custom made is even more expensive.
However, you can save quite a bit by shopping on the online loose diamond exchanges, either Blue Nile or James Allen. You can cut costs by buying your center diamond online and takeit to the jeweler to set to the band of your choice. However, in this case, you won't have the luxury of inspecting the ring with a professional, before you purchase the diamond.
Here is a good resource from the diamond pro, if you want to learn more about Blue Nile or James Allen.
STEP 4: HOW TO GET HER RING SIZE?
I personally know multiple stories on how rings did not fit during the proposal. You don't have to be that guy!
This part is always tricky because you need help from a female friend, who should be a close friend of your girlfriend.
One common way is to have this friend take your girlfriend shopping and try on different rings. Regardless how you actually do it, the lesson here is, you have to seek for help here, because you will inevitably alert your girlfriend if you do it yourself.
STEP 5: HOW TO HIDE THE RING?
I think the best way to hide the ring is to leave it with the jeweler. Period.
There are two major benefits of keeping the ring with the jeweler, safety and avoidance of possible sniffing. I didn't feel secure hiding something that's the size of my fingertip, yet worth thousands of dollars. But if the jeweler keeps it and somehow the ring is lost, it's the jeweler's fault. Additionally, you avoid the possibility of having the ring accidentally detected by your girlfriend, if she decides to sniff around.
STEP 6: ACTUAL PROPOSAL?
That's entirely on you. Can't help you there. Good luck!
I hope you enjoyed the article. Follow me on Instagram: dollars_and_sense_la.