Shopping for an engagement ring...t&co, cartier, vera????!

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  1. Hello everyone. I'm new to Jewelry Box (I'm usually in the Balenciaga forum) hello! I've been shopping around for an engagement ring and bf have been talking about it lately so I've been looking...perhaps a little too early but I'm so excited about it. I hope I'm not counting my chickens before they hatch. so PLEASE DON'T CONGRATULATE ME YET!!! :P

    My budget is $20,000.

    Should I:
    1. Get a Tiffany classic solitaire? Around 1.10 carats, E-F color, VVS2-VS1?
    That will cost about $15,000 so I'll have 5000 leftover to get the matching wedding band.
    2. Tiffany Legacy. Don't know how much they cost, but i can probably afford something a little less than a carat.
    3. Cartier solitaire. I like the honeymoon with pave and declaration d'amour. I don't know how much this costs either, need to go look. probably around 1 carat.
    4. Buy a 1.5 carat cushion cut and have it set in the Vera Wang Micro Pave setting. :: Fine Jewelry (bridal collection #7). i read that i can send any diamond to vera and they can set it for me. don't know the cost though.
    5. Buy a even bigger diamond and have it set in a non-name-brand setting.

    I want my ring to be SPECIAL since I'll be wearing it for the rest of my life!
    BTW, I have TINY TINY fingers..I wear about a size 4.25 on my ring finger so anything bigger than a 1.5 would look really strange on me. THANKS!!!!!
  2. with that budget you can get something really amazing custom made. there are also so many many many options other than what comes in a little blue box. so i vote for number five. even if you want a "smaller" stone, you can take the left over money and put it towards the wedding/a house/the honeymoon etc.

    i highly reccommend Diamond prices: comparison, statistics, education. the people over there have put together an amazing one stop shop for researching diamonds/settings.

    i don't know how you feel about buying a ring online, but since you're just looking, here's some eye candy. :smile: good luck and remember: no matter how daunting and stressful it seems....they're diamonds! it's supposed to be fun!

    Pearlman's Jewelers: Engagement Ring and other Fine Designer Jewelry at Pearlmans since 1930
    Diamonds, Engagement Rings and Fine-Make Jewelry - (i've had some contact with them. their customer service is TOP NOTCH.)
    The Ultimate Diamond Information Site -
  3. Personally I love the Vera Wang Micro Pave set. I think it's very delicate and elegant. And of course the cartier ring are amazing. I think I would choose the Tiffanys Legacy.
    So it's really hard choice, so good luck :smile:
  4. First, let me sneak a congratulations in.:yahoo: Congrats.

    I wear a -4.5 on my left hand so I understand where you're coming from. My E-ring rock is 1.26 carets, and for me that's just about right.

    Okay, advice: there are some amazing wedding designers out there whose work is more perfect (gasp!) and more unique than Tiffany's and Cartier. Plus they have the added benefit of being available at numerous high-end brick and mortar jewelers and/or online jewelers--this translates into flexibility in pricing. My rings are Michael Bondanza and I adore them and am really amazed everytime I look at them. Other beauties are Michael B (different than Bondanza), Jeff Cooper, Simon G, Judith Conway... You get the idea. Do some virtual window shopping, I like looking at Solomon's, Toppers, Calvin's, and Pearlman's sites. Pricescope has a huge list designers and their websites, you won't be disappointed. You've got a fantastic budget, this will be fun.

  5. If I had a budget like that man I would do custom. oooooooh the possibilities
  6. thanks everyone! I am so happy with my budget...actually SHOCKED when my bf told me how much he is willing to spend. thank you everyone for all the suggestions! I definitely don't know much brands other than the ones I mentioned. I want superior workmanship and I'm sure I can get that at places other than Tiffany and Cartier.

    THough I do like the idea of a custom made thing (and I will probably consider that as a top choice) I do like the idea of having a name-brand ring though. It's a girly dream I've always had....

    Out of all the brands I mentioned, which one would be the best investment?
  7. ilzabet! I LOVE those sites you listed. Thanks!
  8. Just my opinion ... don't go retail (Tiffany, Cartier, etc.), the prices are incredibly inflated. I got my ring at a wholesaler (Jewelry Mart here in San Francisco) and the same ring at those stores would have been 3-4 times more expensive. Why pay more? As long as the diamond is certified and the stats are the same, you're really just paying for a fancy box. Again, no offense to those with rings from Tiffany etc.
  9. I'm with everyone else in saying go look at T&Co, Cartier or wherever, get an idea of what you want, but don't necessarily be stuck on the idea of getting it from there. Hang out on Pricescope a bit and you'll realize there are lots of fabulous designers and jewelers that you can get something from... I mean, no one is going to know that it is a T&Co ring unless you are obnoxiously telling everyone! That being said... I just went to T&Co this weekend to look at rings with my bf, enjoy the shopping, it is a lot of fun!

    Some of my favorite custom pieces I've seen done by Leon Mege, Welcome to Leon Meg&#233 The Art of Platinum&#8482 and a lot of his pieces girls get on Diamond prices: comparison, statistics, education which has also already been mentioned. See what you like, see what feels comfortable for you bf to buy from and have lots of fun!
  10. hi lorihmatthews. your persian is so cute! i have a blue persian with amber eyes.

    Yea, I'm conflicted about going retail or wholesale. The "princess" part of me wants a name brand ring, but the practical part of me knows that I can get a similar ring for a fraction of the price. I read on another thread that tiffany diamonds are in fact superior (in the way they are cut) than a wholesale diamond with the same color and clarity. Is this a myth?
  11. thanks blue! really beautiful website.

  12. Totally a myth, read up on diamonds, the places that grade them, like the GIA and AGS. The thing with the huge famous jewelers is that it is easy, you can go in and buy something and they've done the work for you, they're not going to give you a diamond that has visible inclusions or a poor cut, however, if you're willing to educate yourself a little bit on diamonds, you can pick out something just as, or even more, beautiful.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with paying the hiked up prices at the big jewelers, I told my bf I'd certainly not turn it down, but I really saw no need to spend that much money when it really wasn't that much extra effort to save him a few thousand. If you fall in love with something there and it is in your budget, why not, but you shoudl definitely look around and be familiar with your options. Even at T&Co go in educated, you'll be happier with your decision in the long run.
  13. [
    Out of all the brands I mentioned, which one would be the best investment?[/QUOTE]

    None of these brand names are an "investment". The best that you could hope for would be to be able to do a tradeup at that same store in the future. You have bought into ther marketing ploy, hook, line & sinker.
    I too recommend you do alot of research on diamonds before buying.
  14. I read on another thread that tiffany diamonds are in fact superior (in the way they are cut) than a wholesale diamond with the same color and clarity. Is this a myth?[/QUOTE]

    More marketing crap.
    The best cut (for a round) you can buy is "ideal" Then excellent. You can get this from a diamond broker. Its will be expensive but not like buying it from Tiffany. Tiffany buys GIA diamonds & then reclassifies them as Tiffany. Go to Tiffany & see if they still give out the booklet that states what the minimal standards (4 c's) are for a Tiffany diamond. I would not buy any diamond unless its GIA graded.
  15. Thanks! I love Persians. They are so cuddly!

    You can definitely get Tiffany's booklet as a start for doing research. I think you can buy it on their website. I got one when I started looking. The rest of the posts are right, you can get the same quality (4 Cs) with other diamonds that are graded. But generally anything over 1/2 carat will come withe some sort of certification.