Affordable Engagement Ring

I'm looking for an affordable engagement ring.

I've read the popular threads, https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/273513 and https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/317827.

My girlfriend doesn't see the value in expensive rings and would rather us spend the money on a nice holiday or house deposit. As such, a lab grown diamond (or other diamond substitute would be fine).

Requirements are fairly simple:
Setting:

  • Solitaire Design (6 Claws)
  • 18k White Gold or Platinum

Stone:

  • Lab Grown or Other Diamond Substitute
  • Cut: Excellent <-> Very-Good
  • Color: D <-> G
  • Clarity: FL <-> SI1
  • Carat: 0.48 <-> 0.72

I've had a look at Brilliant Earth and most options come out at around 4k and my local independent jeweler (Not a chain store) offers similar rings for a similar price.

I've heard mixed reviews about Brilliant Earth, so I'm not sure if I should stick with a local jeweler for peace of mind/easy resizing.

Does anyone have any alternate suggestions for stores with rings around the 2k-3k mark?

Thanks.

Comments

  • +69 votes

    My girlfriend doesn't see the value in expensive rings and would rather us spend the money on a nice holiday or house deposit.

    Marry her quick, she's a keeper.

    • +36 votes

      Does your GF have a sister, or even a Mother?

      • +12 votes

        I'll even take a brother. No questions asked

        • +1 vote

          Man and I’ve been together 40 years. Only got engaged so his mother could call me fiancée rather than friend. It was a nice ring but nothing over the top. We skipped the wedding bit and used the money to part pay for our first house. My suggestion is go second hand, and pretty, but don’t get sucked into a rock. I haven’t put mine on in years.

        •  

          Will he be taking your ring or you taking his?

    •  

      Knows about "Lab-Growns" => an open & clever mind

      +1 to Keeper ;~)

      Prouds & another jeweler in Whyalla
      (last time we passed thru) makes buying
      diamonds unduly Co$tly: No "Lab-Growns"

      (Reminded of this, by Prouds' BIG Google ad
      on this Deal's page…)

      "Lab-Grown" Diamonds - the Only Way You
      can really be Sure, that she won't be
      wear'g a "Blood" (or "Conflict") diamond

      PS:

      Not offering "Lab Growns" would be like an
      OfficeWorks refusing to stock/sell Android
      phones, IMO

  • +19 votes

    I've seen some very nice reasonably priced engagement rings in places like Cash Converters.

    • +4 votes

      OZB credentials right here. TBF jewelry at retail is highway robbery and this is better for environment among many other things. I took a hand me down ring and gave that, in a way this is similar.

      • +8 votes

        I bought my wife's engagement ring at Cash Converters. Absolutely exquisite ring for a tenth of the price at a normal retail jeweller. Came with a certificate of valuation. We both saw no sense in spending thousands on a ring.

        • +3 votes

          Most those certificate of valuation is bs, they overinflate the value by 10x, probably why you think you paid 10% of its worth.
          You paid its actual value, if it was worth 10x what you paid then it wouldnt be sold for that price to begin with.

    • +1 vote

      Gumtree always have some on there as well - most would sell with the valuation that they were provided

    •  

      Good idea…

      To be sure you're getting a "Lab-Grown"
      carry a 10x magnifier (eg, a tiny one,
      that coin-collectors, et al. use), so
      you can look for the marking of "Lab-
      Grown" (at least when diamond is larger
      than a certain minimum size)

      Ask what to look for [before shopping]

  • +11 votes

    Get her a big arse industrial/man made made diamond. It's the same as a real diamond, but about $10 instead of $1,000. Tell her friends it's a real diamond and none of them are expert enough to know the difference.

    • +2 votes

      Would love to know where I can buy a bunch of those $10 ones for my nieces birthday.

      • +1 vote

        80mm

        k9 crystal
        check the comments for sizes.

        •  

          Great idea, those crystals might substitute for real "fake" diamonds, even if they get a little scratched if you have a handful of them who really notices.

          • +3 votes

            @gagiman: I've had a one carat diamond in my toolbox for years, it used to clean up grinding wheels.

            While you're on AliExpress, have a look for cubic zirconia ones as well.

            Any colour, shapes or size you want (up to about 10mm I think). I got a mixed bunch a while back, they're fun to play with.

            Cubic zirconia is a bit soft and will get scratches eventually, moissanite is a better fake diamond (not quite as hard but good enough). Very cheap as well.

            •  

              @D C: "cubic zirconia" - "Cz" on some AliExpress listings… at least 1 vendors offers small
              bags from Au$ 8 - 33

              Are these just smaller diamonds?

              I guess they'd need to be cut, but
              is it by lotsa low-paid cutters OR
              some automated processes, these days?

        •  

          K9' says it's "Glass"
          Not industrial diamond

    • +1 vote

      it is a real diamond, just not naturally formed

  •  

    I didn't buy an engagement ring, my now wife said it was a waste of money.

    • +19 votes

      You wasted money by not buying something … this could be a game changer for OzBargain

      •  

        Apparently you can save $ by buying something, so why can't the inverse be true?

  •  

    Watch this video about diamond engagement rings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5kWu1ifBGU

  •  

    The man made diamonds that I have seen so far don't have D colour, the other half dismissed them immediately due to the F/G colour. I tried to sell it as a Champagnge Diamond but it didn't work.

  • +1 vote

    what is the point of rings? a reminder that you're married? they're completely non-functional metal around your finger, potentially scratching the ^%$^ out of car handles, steering wheels etc as well as causing physical discomfort and noise pollution when it taps against stuff, especially glass tables and such.

  • +3 votes

    Cash Converters online search nationwide - will come with a valuation.

    •  

      Agreed. Or any decent antique or op shop. I found an excellent selection of antique rings (not necessarily diamonds) at a beautiful shop in Sorrento, Vic once. Most of them were sub $500, some significantly less too, and all were more beautiful than anything new.

      • +1 vote

        I do like vintage rings too. The new ones are 3d printed in batches whereas the truly vintage ones were made by hand and are unique.

    •  

      We have jewellery auctions nearby from time to time. Also include valuations. Some beautiful rings amongst the catalogues I’ve seen.

  • +1 vote

    I didn't want to bring my real ring on my honeymoon as I'm quite forgetful + accident prone so I got a ring from Secrets. I love it and wear it more than my real one now. Would fit your price range and its really stunning. Think it's only 14k gold though.

  • +1 vote

    I've bought from this store in Sydney and was happy with the results. They specialise in moissanite and lab-grown stones, I got a lab-grown sapphire. Total cost was <$2K for a "custom design" and done entirely via email / posted.

    MoiMoi

    •  

      I consulted with MoiMoi before I ended up getting my ring on Etsy. They were well priced, particularly for being the only moissanite store in Australia (well at least 2 years ago they were).

  •  

    My wife and agreed we didn't want to spend a lot on rings.

    We got ours from Etsy in the end. Same with wedding rings. Noone has ever been able to tell by looking at them.

    Her engagement had a zirconium instead of a diamond, a nice thin fake gold wedding band. I just wear my wedding band which is a fake gold hammered ring.

    Cheapest was $25 or so… most expensive was $50. No complaints or regrets.

    Just make sure she is cool with it.

  •  

    I can chip in on this, I have purchased a Lab Grown Diamond from Brilliant Earth. I had the same concern as you when it came to resizing and the future service that I would receive so I decided to get just the "stone" from Brilliant Earth and then I went on a hunt with my local jewellers (Perth) to find someone that would provide a hand made platinum band and also offer lifetime service and cleaning.

    The end result is an absolutely stunning ring and has a local touch and service, my fiancé did have to get it resized and the jewellers fixed it with no cost.

    I have told all my buddies about brilliant earth and to have this approach.

    •  

      What jeweller in Perth did you end up with?

      •  

        I went with Rohan Jewellers, they were one of the more expensive ones that I got a quote from but I liked them the most for their service when I came in for the quote.

  • +2 votes

    Wife and i stopped wearing our rings within 6 months. Taking the rings on and off all the time is how they get lost. And wearing rings keeps your hands/fingers dirty, which is not good for handling food and cooking. Work also suggest wearing them is a hygiene risk.

    Does anyone have any alternate suggestions for stores with rings around the 2k-3k mark?

    Mine was $60, hers was $200 of alterations to a family heirloom. Wedding ring, engagement rings aren't necessary. Spend that money on a memorable holiday.

    We suspected this would happen, and spent the money on a wonderful holiday. For us, a ring was not a prerequisite for marriage. In the future, if finances allow, we will be happy to upgrade our rings. But for now, knowing our choice in the past, we are glad we took this route.

    I'm very happy for you both and wish you all the best. Make many memories during this time.

  • +4 votes

    I'm looking for an affordable engagement ring.

    I have two and a half words for you - Gulp 'n' Blow.

  • +3 votes

    I proposed with a burger ring, I took the courage and proposed whilst at the Ponts Des Arts in Paris.

    After that, finally got a nice engagement ring and got married in Las Vegas surrounded by close friends.

    We rarely wear our rings moving forward so spent a fair bit of money on rings that we didn't really need but only got because everyone around us was getting expensive rings.

    I've learnt to never buy things that we don't need, to impress the people you don't really like. You will hear alot of this sentence if you are into personal development and mindset.

    • +2 votes

      Engaged with a burger ring, married in Vegas. You got style dude.

      • +3 votes

        Thanks!

        A friend of ours gave us a Tiffany ring box, so I had the burger ring in that - to make it look a bit more legitimate. Besides at the time my wife was telling me to just propose with a burger ring, so I just listened and did it.

        What is crazy is, I propsed in 2014 right - and we still have that actual burger ring still inside the Tiffany box, and the burger ring still looks as it is fresh - absolutely no colour change or size changes, there is no mould or anything. Those chips have some weird chemical that makes them last forever, they are definitely bad for your health if consumed too much!

  •  

    onion ring! make sure its not fresh from the fryer though

  •  

    Take a look at these.

    These guys are a particular shop in Sydney (which may be useful for you). There would be other providers, but moissanite regularly comes up a very good diamond substitute.

  •  

    This sounds like a job for JJB!!!

      •  

        Stop laughing and get to work.

        • +5 votes

          Yes sir!

          My recommendation would be to stay away from Brilliant Earth. They are over-rated and exxy.

          Check out James Allen instead. They often have a 20% off sale and recently had 25% off on VDay, which you've missed :( They also offer lab-created diamonds and have top-notch customer service.

          Otherwise, Etsy if you're looking for something more unique. I would recommend Minimal VS and Capucinne but they might be out of your budget.

          SillyShiny is a more affordable option.

          Also, look at moissanites. Most people can't tell the difference between a round moissanite and a round diamond. Checkout Moissaniteco : they offer good quality moissanites at a reasonable price and they ship to Australia.

  •  

    I recycled my family rings. I was very close to my grandmother who passed away before i got married. I got her engagement/wedding/eternity ring from the Aunty and gave the set to my wife. For my own ring I used my great grandfathers. Total cost of 4 rings was bout $85 to have them all resized.

    Had i not done this i'm sure these rings would be sitting in a shoebox in a closet somewhere

  • +1 vote

    p.s: This is the only 6-prong ring style I've ever found unique and like. It reminds me of a flower :) Every other 6-prong rings I've seen look exactly the same.

    •  

      That definitely looks like it has 8 prongs or claws holding the diamond. A 6 claw version would also look really nice and will let more light in to the diamond.

      •  

        Yes, the one pictured is an 8-prongs version. They had to add more prongs because the diamond is over 3 carat and they wanted it to be extra secure.

        For anything under 1.5 carat, 6 instead of 8 would be the way to go.

  •  

    Take the Red Pill, and go Mgtow.

  • +1 vote

    Mossanite (or whatever its called) from Charles and Colvard (good rings and cheap) but they also have an outlet which is on catch. Fiance wanted this type of stone specifically as she wanted to know where it came from (eh). I got a 2 ct one from Catch for $650, put it on zip and paid it off … got it resized and the jewellers were convinced it was diamonds (lol), and my entire family/friends are fooled. The money that wouldve been put towards a diamond ring has been well spent/saved otherwise. 10/10 would reccomend

  • +3 votes

    I purchased an engagement ring from Blue Nile and couldn’t be happier. Lab grown, $1,100. Just factor import duty which was a few hundred dollars.

    My wife is the same, refused to let me spend much (she’d probably be upset with “how much” I spent anyway!). We spent $12,000 on our wedding ceremony and reception (that includes our dress and suit) which was a Friday lunch in Rosebery. It was perfect, and we didn’t ruin ourselves financially over it.

    The entire industry feeds on emotion (obviously). Do your best to win. Your partner should love you regardless.

  •  

    I have a custom made moissanite 18K white gold ring, with a custom made 18K moissanite wedding band (picture of engagement ring - https://imgur.com/a/0tDAj5R).
    I bought them off Esdomera on Etsy - https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/Esdomera.
    Total cost including shipping was $1500 for the two.
    Moissanite is man-made, however based on a rare-mineral. It sparkles more than a diamond and is rated between 9.25 & 9.5 on the mohs scale of hardness. If you want a cheap alternative, I couldn't recommend more. Unless you go at it with a diamond, it won't scratch.

  • +4 votes

    https://www.cashconverters.com.au/shop/jewellery-fashion/jew...
    0.53 carat, 18k white gold, solitaire, F Colour, SI Clarity, $2,464. Almost meets all your requirements, except it's a real diamond. Left over cash from budget can go towards adjusting the size, and a lot of drinks on that holiday. Done. ;-)

    •  

      By the way, they say it's white gold, but the stamp "H.BROS PLAT" indicates it was made by Hardy Brothers, and is platinum.

      • +2 votes

        Platinum much better than white gold too, you don't need to get it re-plated every few years.

    • +1 vote

      Great find!

    • +1 vote

      This shit cracks me up when it comes to jewellery.

      Priced at $2,464 - but also "Valued at $6,160 by an independent certified jewellery valuer" lol

      But this is the best answer. You don't need a fake diamond to save money, can get a real ring second hand for a fraction of the price of new one.

      • +1 vote

        I know - a valuation from a jeweller who can't tell the difference between white gold and platinum. Anyhow, Hardy Bros do sell this sort of ring for the $6k mark and above, so the valuation is probably about right for insurance purposes.

  •  

    Also consider moissanite as a diamond substitute. Arguably the best diamond substitute as it is much harder than all the other options and it's scientifically sparklier!
    I bought my wifes ring from https://www.moissaniteco.com/. This was admittedly when the dollar was much better

  •  

    I used James Allen back in the day however we were trading at 1.10usd. Given local retail is under siege your local jeweller likely the go!

  •  

    Consider https://www.swarovski.com/en_GB-AU/c-0106/Categories/Jewelle....
    They hold up quite nicely compared to cheaper diamonds. Sub $1k. (assuming she likes the design).
    Only thing that doesn't meet the requirement is that it's not white gold. They're rhodium plated silver.
    Alternatively you can go to an independent jeweler to custom make it with crystals. Other trade off is definitely the hardness / easier to scratch.

  •  

    If you got 2$ those gumball machines some times have rings you might needa few turns to get one so i'd say if you put an outlay of >$20 u should be alright

  •  

    Go check out an estate jewellers or a gold/diamond exchange.

  •  

    2nd hand on eBay.

    20% of new price… some of them (sadly) are still 'as new'

    You will have to be a little flexible on style.

  •  

    +1 for cubic zicronia or moissanite. They cost a fraction of what a diamond does and is indistinguishable from diamond with the naked human eye. And as your girlfriend suggested, use the extra cash elsewhere!

    She definitely sounds like an OzBargain-er at heart so good on you!

  •  

    My girlfriend doesn't see the value in expensive rings

    You have an affordable girlfriend. Do the opposite of affordable.

  • +1 vote

    I am literally going to propose with this ring
    https://www.meowingtons.com/collections/cat-rings/products/p...

    We both like animals, we both have cats and what I like about that ring is that it is shaped like a hug with those paws on the inside. So I'd like to signify to her that the ring on her finger is like a permanent hug from me, which I think carries more meaning than just a sparkling diamond.

    My would be fiancé hates spending on diamonds and jewellery anyway. For now I'll propose with this cat ring, but before we get married I will get her a real stone 😺

  • +2 votes

    Give her a $20,000 VDHG certificate.