Blue Nile Engagement Rings?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by puma1552, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #1
    Has anyone bought a ring from Blue Nile online jewelers?

    Buying jewelry here in Japan can be hundreds of dollars more expensive compared to back home for the exact same thing.

    I was recommended this place (which I'd previously never heard of) by two expats here who had nothing but good things to say (even ship to Japan and deal in yen). Looking at their site they are extremely informative and the prices look good to me.

    Can't really see any drawbacks aside from the potential stigma of ordering an engagement ring off the internet. The ring will/would be a suprise for her, so I'm not concerned about shopping with her to find one.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    Haven't bought from there personally, but several close friends have. If you were in the US you could definitely find a better deal at a jeweller, but BN saves you the inconvenience. Their stones come with all the proper CoAs and they are a reputable retailer.
     
  3. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

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    Nov 20, 2008
    #3
    That's pretty much exactly what I was thinking, seeing as they send proper documentation for all the diamonds and I haven't seen many bad things spoken about them online.

    Shopping for a diamond here would be a massive pain in the ass, language aside.

    EDIT: Also looking now at James Allen, they have better selection for settings (though not sure if they ship to Japan yet).

    Damn that setting is gorgeous: http://www.jamesallen.com/engagemen...s/ring/item_57-1933_design.asp?module=setting
     
  4. ixoye25 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #4
    I bought an engagement ring 4 years ago. In my research I remember looking at Blue Nile, but ended up purchasing from this location Not sure if they are as accomodating for online orders as Blue Nile is, but I do know at the time they saved me a lot of money.

    Edit: They custom designed my setting based on a setting I found at another retailer.
     
  5. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

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    Nov 20, 2008
    #5
    Forgive me if this is a dumb question--

    I know some engagement rings are sold as sets where you give her the engagement ring, then at the wedding the complementary wedding ring and they are worn as a set for life.

    What about in the cases where rings aren't sold as sets like with the solitaire I chose above? When I go get another ring for the wedding, does she wear both rings together for life or does she only wear the wedding ring and toss the engagement ring in a box, never to be worn again?

    That would sure suck to spend $2k-$4k on an engagement ring that went in a box forever after 6-12 months.
     
  6. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #6
    Depends on what she wants to do. A lot of women wear both the engagement ring and wedding band, some don't.
     
  7. SlovakApple macrumors 6502

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    Jul 4, 2010
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    In the heart of Europe
    #7
    I think that is her choice. My parents do not wear their wedding rings and they are married for 25 years now.

    EDIT: miles beat me to it.
     
  8. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

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    Nov 20, 2008
    #8
    Is it common not to buy a wedding band for her, and just get an additional engraving or something on the engagement ring or do you generally always get her a wedding band/ring as well?

    I can't imagine anything would actually look complementary to a solitaire on the hand.:confused:

    My knowledge in ring etiquette is generally piss poor, as are the google explanations I'm finding.
     
  9. Mr Kram macrumors 68000

    Mr Kram

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    #9
    blue nile is reputable and competitive. costco is also pretty good surpringsly. however, if you can deal with a good broker, you can get better, cheaper and more customized. if you're in LA, i can give you someone i've dealt with for 20 years.

    as for the rings, there's no real rule. some women like the engagement ring and wedding band (sometimes 2). others just like the solitaire itself. in the case of my wife, she wanted something very custom that doesn't resemble a typical wedding ring.
     
  10. MacVixen macrumors 6502

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    Jan 26, 2009
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    #10
    My 2 cents:
    You want to buy a separate wedding band. Other wise at the wedding ceremony she would be removing her engagement ring, just for you to put it back on her finger? I'm sure it's been done before... but not that I have seen.

    Another option is to forgo the engagement ring all together if you are not getting a matched set. Or you can go small with the engagement ring and bigger with the wedding band if that is what she will be wearing. this is what my husband and I did. Just a little chippy for the engagement ring, and then we went with the 3-stone look for the wedding band.

    Congrats, by the way!
     
  11. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

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    Nov 20, 2008
    #11
    Thanks everyone, looks like I've got some more saving to do.
     
  12. Surely Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #12
    If you can find a wholesaler, you can save a crapload of cash. Wholesale price is usually around 2.4 times less than retail.

    I was fortunate that my uncle knows one and referred me. It was an interesting experience..... the shop was in an unassuming building on the third floor. I had to be buzzed in twice, and there were cameras everywhere. Once inside, it looked like a regular jewelry store.

    I was able to choose the loose stone from a giant binder (each page had pockets) filled with diamonds. The binder was worth millions. Unreal.

    I had her engagement ring and eternity band, as well as my platinum band, custom designed. It was a great experience. I've been back since to buy other stuff.

    So yeah, ask your family/friends if they know a wholesaler they can refer you to.
     
  13. HE15MAN macrumors 6502a

    HE15MAN

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Location:
    Florida's Treasure Coast
    #13
    I am just starting this process. I was thinking of going with blue nile because they have a ring I really like, and it would save a lot of time and hassle with going 100 places and trying to find one.
     
  14. Deefuzz macrumors 6502a

    Deefuzz

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #14
    I ordered from Blue Nile and have had no complaints. I got a great price and some great diamonds. Actually couldn't find anything that could compare from anywhere else.

    They are also really good with information to help you through the process, and they include the proper certificates and other paperwork when the ring is shipped.

    They helped take a bit of stress out of the experience for me. Highly recommended, and I would definitely do business with them again.
     
  15. HE15MAN macrumors 6502a

    HE15MAN

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Location:
    Florida's Treasure Coast
    #15
    Bluenile.com

    Looking to buy some jewelry from there. Who has used them? If you have, post some pics of what you bought!
     
  16. wvuwhat macrumors 65816

    wvuwhat

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    #16
    I've used Blue Nile for jewelry before, with my ex. I never got the ring, even though I was close, but had a few 500-700 dollar items ordered from there. They had good shipping times and extremely good customer service (the live chat is key). I never had problems with my orders, so I don't know how they'd be if something went wrong with the order.

    With that said, an engagement ring is not something to be taken lightly and that is possibly the only thing I'd want to see and touch before I buy it, even in this age of internet shopping.
     
  17. HE15MAN macrumors 6502a

    HE15MAN

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    #17
  18. wvuwhat macrumors 65816

    wvuwhat

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    Sep 26, 2007
    #18
    Honestly, I'd focus more on the diamond itself than the setting. The 5/8 and 1/4 both have a similar platinum "outline," with what looks like a triangle at the end, towards the diamond. I didn't see the same on the 1 ct. and 1/2 ct. settings, the were more blunted at the end of the band on both sides of the setting. If it were me (my girlfriends fingers were extremely petite, so it may be different for you), I'd get the smaller width band with a nicer diamond.

    YMMV
     
  19. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #19
    I agree the ring should not be taken lightly.

    The amount of time I spent lookng was surely not wasted. I had the good fortune of an excellent jeweler that afforded me the opportunity to look at roughly 20 diamonds under a scope, not just the 10x loop.
    Finally she said, forget these come back in 3 days.
    She had flown in 3 diamonds for my inspection, I was wowed at the quality of these gems, night and day compared to what was on the floor.
    Yes it set me back a substantial amount but whenever we go to any jeweler or when people look at it they are amazed.


    Use caution though and never let it out of your sight.
    If a jeweler wants to look at it they are more than welcomed to but the ring doesn't leave our sight.

    The ring is only 3/4 carat but it is stunning. I put two 1/2 carats of the same quality on either side of it for our first anniversary and it was out of this world. unfortunately she didn't like the setting so I pulled the two smaller diamonds off and made earings.

    The ring was really special to me and honestly and I looked at it as a reflection of my love. I would have never purchased a larger diamond of lesser cut color or clarity.

    Take some time and visit a number of quality jewelers, malls are a decent place to start but also look at the higher quality jewelers. The difference will be very obvious.

    Of course the budget will ultimately dictate the direction of the purchase.

    Blue nile has some great tutorials.

    When I shopped the women were far more helpful and patient than men were.

    Most places set out three rings of various grades.
    Once they figured out what grade I was looking for, they moved into cut, from there size. The ceiling was $20k, but I was looking more at $10k. going higher than your set budget will afford you the chance to look at a wider range of stones.

    Shopping for the diamonds was a blast as well as educational.
    Of course they were all trying to get my money but I still had the power of saying no thanks.
     
  20. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #20
    Good luck, it's a long process that I thankfully just finished...it took me a good three months to figure out what she would like and agonize over hundreds of diamonds.

    Problem with that is it's a really, really thick band for an engagement ring; it's gonna take a BIG diamond in the center to make that ring look good. Engagement rings are usually smaller in the band so the center diamond looks bigger. She also will need to wear a wedding ring too which should be the same width or as close as possible...that's 8 mm of metal she would have to wear.

    Damn, that is one fat budget for a rock coming out of the ground but congrats; my only advice is that while the above is true, it's a dangerous thing to do because it very quickly becomes easy to start pushing the envelope of what you can afford "Well for just $300 more..." etc. etc. so if you do this, be cautious.

    FTR, I went with James Allen in this thread, and there are pics on the second page: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1038662

    Is my diamond big? No, but it's absolutely stunning quality. To me, I/she'd rather have a smaller diamond that's better quality than a bigger one of lower quality. I will say that the size is quite fine/normal/average, but having gone with a super ideal cut the sparkle is unfreakingbelievable. It truly is the sparkliest diamond I've ever seen in my life, it doesn't stop reflecting light in even the lowest of lighting conditions. It's a quality diamond, and it shows--bigtime, even though the diamond itself isn't huge. The grand total put me right around $2800 out the door with shipping/duty, with a platinum setting (the ring itself was around $2600 but I had a discount too--if I was Stateside it would've been $2500 out the door). I'm pretty happy with the purchase, and when she gets it on Christmas I think she will be too. The setting ran me $1180, but unfortunately had I bought it a few weeks earlier it would've been only $900--platinum prices went up during that time, doh. I did manage to get 10% off the setting by using "RING10" as a coupon code though.

    I'm happy with my choice, and it was plenty affordable for me. I went with a .46 ct. super ideal (note that is a different cut than ideal)/E/VVS2 which was $1400. The other one I was going to get was a .5 ct. super ideal/D/VS1 at $2060. At the end of the day though, I swapped one color grade for one clarity grade, neither of which up nor down can be distinguished by the human eye, or even a gemologist once set and compared against master stones, and saved $700 so it was a no brainer. The reason the D color was so expensive is because of the D color; D color commands a premium, but D/E/F are all colorless, and most people can go down to about an H before any color can be seen at all. As for size, size doesn't scale linearly with ct. weight, so the difference in diameter was 4.99 mm vs. 5.09 mm--one TENTH of one millimeter. That's another reason I saved money--because anything right at the 1/2 or 1 carat mark is much more expensive than something .48 or .97 carats.
     
  21. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

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    Nov 20, 2008
    #21
    FTR I went with James Allen, but I have heard nothing bad about Blue Nile. I just happened to be more impressed with the selection and the settings over at JA, but it's personal preference and both are good places with comparable prices. JA just happened to have the setting I liked best. Blue Nile does the best job explaining diamonds though, definitely read that. Most experts will corroborate what they say, even those at JA.

    Advice/rules of thumb I can give you having been through this, having talked multiple times with James Allen people, and even having gemologists inspect and compare certain diamonds for me on my behalf--

    --Cut is generally considered the most important factor; what makes a diamond sparkle is related to the amount of light it reflects; a no brainer, the better the cut, the better job it's going to be reflecting light. Choose a cut based on your budget, and then move on to the other Cs.

    --Clarity has the least amount of impact on a diamond's appearance. A lot of weight is given to clarity by the public, but we are talking microscopic inclusions you can't see at any grade VS2 or better, so as long as the diamond is "eye clean" (VS2+) then it's not going to affect the diamond's brilliance.

    That means you should choose cut first, then the best color you can, then clarity. If you sacrifice one C, clarity is the one that will have the least effect. As for color, D-F are colorless, G/H are damn near it--most gemologists couldn't tell a G from an E unless the stones were loose and they were in a lab compared to master stones; put it in a setting and game over, it's almost impossible to tell it's a G and not an E. So basically, anything D-G/H is going to look pretty much colorless, and D-F will all look identical.

    Once you determine the best Cut/Color/Clarity (in that order), then I would max out the carat to your budget. Of course this is personal preference--some may be set on 1 carat, and then go from there. It's all in what you want. For me I wanted quality over size.

    What I would do, is set a floor for each C--for me it was a floor of super ideal (originally was going to go with ideal but then decided to get the absolute best cut, also called "hearts and arrows" which I initially dismissed as some random gimmick but it's actually a natural result of the best possible cut after I did a lot of research--don't be disenchanted by the trademarking and branding of these diamonds--that is the gimmick that each jeweler has for these, but it doesn't change the fact these are generically known as super ideals and are the best you can get). So for me, my personal floor was:

    --Super ideal
    --F color (could've went lower and still had an awesome diamond, but I just wanted an extra buffer zone)
    --VS1 clarity (VS2 would've been fine too, again I just went one grade up for extra buffer)

    You could go:

    --Super ideal/Ideal
    --G color
    --VS2

    as your floors and still have a fantastic diamond that wouldn't look much different than the one I bought. It would still be eye clean, it would still be a pretty white diamond, and it would still reflect a lot of light.

    So basically set floors for what you want in terms of quality, and then go from there and max out your carat to your budget.

    The setting I got also requires a minimum .5 carat weight, which is why I was going to get that other diamond at first--but then I just thought to ask if there was leeway in that, and if a .46 would work and they said no problem so you can always ask if their minimums are the true minimums or not. I'm glad I asked, the 700 bucks saved was worth it IMO. So when people ask what size it is, I have to say "about a half carat" instead of "a half carat", well that small difference was worth saving some money to me.

    One thing though--it gets very very easy to get caught up in specs, just like speccing out a new MBP. At one point I was so sold on D color I wouldn't even look at anything else, even though I knew damn well there was no discernable difference between D, E, and F, and even G and maybe H. It's not that I thought the D was truly better, it's that I was just getting wrapped up in specs which is easy to do. Truly anything G+, VS2+, and ideal or super ideal will be a fantastic diamond.

    Enjoy the process, it's fun for a few weeks then it just gets stressful as you realize you are torn between 12 different diamonds. I did end up going further, getting deep into table/depth percentages and pavilion/crown angles etc., but luckily these things come naturally with a good cut usually--I know the one I picked hit all the target sweet spots for these measurements.

    One final note--anything graded with certificates from GIA/AGS are good. GIA is more prominent, but the AGS plots/certificates are considered more thorough and better quality because they tell more information about the diamond than the GIA charts. In the case of a hearts and arrows diamond that's been recently graded, AGS also includes the light performance plot and an inclusions plot showing you each little imperfection (you can see those plots in my AGS cert. I pictures in the other thread). To my knowledge that version of the certificate is the most thorough there is. Not to say GIA is a deal breaker, not at all and I'd buy one with a GIA cert. in a heartbeat, just general FYI because you'll likely see more GIA diamonds than AGS. Both are reputable.
     
  22. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

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    #22
    A note on settings--if possible, just get platinum. White gold usually has rhodium plating on it to make it nice and white, but it wears off and the ring will yellow over time, and you'll have to send it back in for periodic re-plating if you want it to keep looking silver/white. Platinum is just buy it and forget it, which is nice.

    The other thing is that platinum doesn't suffer from metal memory as bad as white gold, so the prongs will be less likely to loosen over time.
     
  23. HE15MAN macrumors 6502a

    HE15MAN

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    #23

    What do you consider big? I am going with around .90 carats.
     
  24. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

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    Nov 20, 2008
    #24
    Depends on the shape of the diamond, as size is also a function of shape for a given carat weight. Rounds will have most of the weight up top, princess cuts, not so much. A .90 carat round probably puts you in the 6.5-7mm across range, no?

    That's still not that much bigger in diameter than the 4mm band. It's decent and it would be fine, but I'd really look for a narrower band just to make it stand out even more. A .90 in my setting would look very large, cuz my setting is 1.8-2.1 mm.
     
  25. HE15MAN macrumors 6502a

    HE15MAN

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    Florida's Treasure Coast
    #25
    Yea it will be a round cut. But she has bigger fingers also.

    So you think I should go for the 1/2 carat band since it will be thinner?
     

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