Not Engaged Yet

Best places to shop for engagement rings?

Hi all!

I'm new here :) I introduced myself on the "getting to know you" thread.

My boyfriend and I have been together over 7 years, living together for 5, and talking about marriage for about 3. I know he's saving up for an engagement ring now, and he's hinted he wants to get one and propose sometime soon. YAY!

We're pretty open with each other; he's told me that his planned budget is approximately $3-4K, which is just fine with me. I would like a white gold setting with diamond (a regular one, not a colored one, and doesn't need to be particularly big! I prefer an elegant but understated look), either three-stone or solitaire. He knows all this and is even happy to have me help pick it out if I want to. Given his budget and my preferences, where would you all recommend we look for a ring that will be nice quality and where we can trust the customer service will be good (in case we want to come back later on for cleanings, wedding bands, resizing, upgrading, etc.)?

Please don't think I'm asking for you to shop for specific rings for us online! I'm just wondering if there are any retailers you'd recommend with good customer service and nice rings in that approximate price range (which I understand is lower than average? Or maybe the jewelers just want me to think that...).

Thanks, everyone! I'm excited to see your suggestions!

Re: Best places to shop for engagement rings?

  • We really like Helzberg Diamonds. We went to them to get my ring resized. The ring was passed down in his family and we wanted to go somewhere we could trust. They did a great job with it and took very good care of it. We will continue to go there for other things. 
    "You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you." -Ray Bradbury 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_best-places-to-shop-for-engagement-rings?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:136Discussion:93e46bf5-60ff-4653-9148-950f43c4940bPost:940d5d3d-e64e-42cb-8e4c-480c3a656ea3">Re: Best places to shop for engagement rings?</a>:
    [QUOTE]We really like Helzberg Diamonds. We went to them to get my ring resized. The ring was passed down in his family and we wanted to go somewhere we could trust. They did a great job with it and took very good care of it. We will continue to go there for other things. 
    Posted by MidniteRae[/QUOTE]

    Thank you, Rae! We will look them up!
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_best-places-to-shop-for-engagement-rings?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:93e46bf5-60ff-4653-9148-950f43c4940bPost:7a0a38ba-5903-4e21-858f-45dc9536bd91">Re: Best places to shop for engagement rings?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Best places to shop for engagement rings? : Thank you, Rae! We will look them up!
    Posted by kmbirkel[/QUOTE]

    <div>Hi!  Welcome to the board.  We used Shane Company but IDK if that is a State wide company, however, we were very happy with them.  I get free re-dipping every year to 6 months.  </div>
    "Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained"-C.S. Lewis

    Married! May 27th, 2012

  • SwazzleSwazzle New Jersey member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited February 2013
    My FI and I looked at Zales and Kay and I didn't see anything I liked. I also thought they were really over-priced for the quality and the size of the stone. 

    Then we went to our local diamond exchange which was a little overwhelming because there were SO many choices. We visited a few counters/shops and I tried a TON of different styles (I highly recommend trying various styles, even if you think you don't like them before you commit to one) and I narrowed it down to a few. FI went back at some point without me, found one that was good quality, had the size stone I wanted, and that was in his budget. 

    The shop he bought from has been great in the year and a half we've been engaged. We went there for our wedding bands and they gave us a deal since we also got my e-ring there and he cleaned my e-ring for me while FI was picking out his wedding band. 

    ETA: Welcome to the board! I saw in your GTKY post that you have a KITTEN and I would love pics, please and thank you :)



  • Welcome to the board!

    I had nothing to do with my engagement ring buying, haha.  BUT I knew as soon as I met his friends that we'd get the engagement ring from a local dealer in FL, because..oh yeah, it's owned by his friend, the gemologist's, dad.  They apparently had a lot of fun picking out my ring, and I love it, so they did a good job.

    So I'd recommend local over a chain, but that's just because I have connections.  I just think they also have a bit more variety and sometimes better prices (not always)
    I guess, to tell you the truth, I've never had much of a desire to grow facial hair. I think I've managed to play quarterback just fine without a mustache. - Peyton
  • I have no comment on the ring, I'm NEY and told my BF not to spend over $3000. We have not gone shopping together I told him to do what he wanted and spend what he was comfortable with. So we'll see what happens when it happens!

    Welcome and pictures of the kitten are a must!! :-)

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  • I have to agree with Blue on looking into the local shops rather than the chains. I only looked twice with the FI in a couple of the commonly known stores to see what was out there and I thought they were way over priced for the quality. We ended up having a family friend who is a gemologist that does jewelry on the side that made ours. FI said that when he was looking around before that though that the local stores had a lot more variety and better quality.
  • I'm NEY but I told BF to shop local.  My grandparents owned a jewelry store for years and made it such a special experience to buy an engagement ring that people still talk about the service.  If you BF has someone in the business see if they can work together to have BF learn about diamonds.

    BF told me his friend's dad is a manager at one of our bigger jewelry stores in my area (not a chain, but he has 3 stores).  He sat down with BF and showed him different diamonds and the differences between the 4 C's with actual examples (which I think is cool, and kind of wished I was there too lol).  Then showed BF diamonds in his budget as well as settings.  Now it's up to me to choose.  Ugh.

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  • peekaboo2011peekaboo2011 Washington, DC member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 250 Love Its Name Dropper
    I'm also NEY, but I know several women have used Blue Nile, and while they're online, they're supposed to be really good.

    I definitely recommend local as well.  I used to know a really nice local jeweler in SW VA, and they were really good, and their prices were way better than chain stores.
    I french with my man
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  • Welcome to the board! I don't have much else to add but, I would also support local jewelry stores too. I am sure that's where BF will shop, unless he changes his mind and wants me to go with him when that time comes.

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  • LifeisSweeterLifeisSweeter member
    10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited February 2013
    For those that are proponents of the local shops, my concern was that if they close up shop? And your warranty goes out the window. My mom actually got hers from a large chain store that subsequently has gone out of business so now she doesn't have protection from lost diamonds nor free cleanings.

    And if 3-4,000 is on the low end, I'm really slumming it. I was hoping he spends less than 2. And found "the one" on sale for 1,000.  Now sure if that's what he is going to end up going with or not, but I don't want him spending a ton. Because we've got a wedding and babies to fund shortly thereafter.
    Laughing

     Our first stop was Kay's and we thought everything was overpriced and we didn't feel comfortable with the sales people. Zales was much more relaxed and we were much happier with their choices. I was skeptical when BF said he wanted to go to the mall to shop. I thought we'd stick to local stores for better value, but I did love the ring from Zales and you couldn't beat the price.
  • My FI went to a local jeweler. My BIL and several of his friends purchased rings from this jeweler and they have all be perfect!  I can't give you any suggestions because of our different locations but don't forget to check out the local shops.
  • SwazzleSwazzle New Jersey member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_best-places-to-shop-for-engagement-rings?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:93e46bf5-60ff-4653-9148-950f43c4940bPost:01003cea-1c58-4d35-8cc9-6d7a9fdf740d">Re: Best places to shop for engagement rings?</a>:
    [QUOTE]<strong>For those that are proponents of the local shops, my concern was that if they close up shop? And your warranty goes out the window. My mom actually got hers from a large chain store that subsequently has gone out of business so now she doesn't have protection from lost diamonds nor free cleanings</strong>. And if 3-4,000 is on the low end, I'm really slumming it. I was hoping he spends less than 2. And found "the one" on sale for 1,000.  Now sure if that's what he is going to end up going with or not, but I don't want him spending a ton. Because we've got a wedding and babies to fund shortly thereafter.  Our first stop was Kay's and we thought everything was overpriced and we didn't feel comfortable with the sales people. Zales was much more relaxed and we were much happier with their choices. I was skeptical when BF said he wanted to go to the mall to shop. I thought we'd stick to local stores for better value, but I did love the ring from Zales and you couldn't beat the price.
    Posted by LifeisSweeter[/QUOTE]

    <div>I have insurance for my ring so if it's lost, stolen, or damaged, it's covered. I don't have to go to the shop for anything. </div>



  • Welcome to NEY! 

    My FI went local, and we already had a diamond from one of my mom's rings. I really suggest going with a local / family owned place, for a lot of reasons. (Suppots local economy, better service, etc.) 

    Good Luck! 



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  • Agreed, my engagement ring is covered under my renter's policy.  So I don't really have a problem if I lose a stone.

    I've had the worst customer service ever at Kay's, though, so if you're going to go chain, I'd recommend against them for sure.  They completely ignored me because I wasn't looking for a wedding ring (I needed a ring sized in high school) and were really rude when they found out I wasn't going to drop a grand in there.
    I guess, to tell you the truth, I've never had much of a desire to grow facial hair. I think I've managed to play quarterback just fine without a mustache. - Peyton
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_best-places-to-shop-for-engagement-rings?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:136Discussion:93e46bf5-60ff-4653-9148-950f43c4940bPost:c80b2ff3-c7c7-4358-84a7-2d34f3538d88">Re: Best places to shop for engagement rings?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Best places to shop for engagement rings? : I have insurance for my ring so if it's lost, stolen, or damaged, it's covered. I don't have to go to the shop for anything. 
    Posted by rdr716[/QUOTE]

    Same here...I highly rec getting the ring insured.  We also shopped local...it was a lot easier to have a custom wedding band made that way too.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_best-places-to-shop-for-engagement-rings?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:93e46bf5-60ff-4653-9148-950f43c4940bPost:c80b2ff3-c7c7-4358-84a7-2d34f3538d88">Re: Best places to shop for engagement rings?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Best places to shop for engagement rings? : I have insurance for my ring so if it's lost, stolen, or damaged, it's covered. I don't have to go to the shop for anything. 
    Posted by rdr716[/QUOTE]

    <div>This. Insurance was super affordable, and it 100% covered. Renters insurance might not be the best way to go, b/c it doesn't always cover things like accidental loss, or stones if they fall out. Ours only covered theft (from the apartment) or loss in a fire or flood. Just be sure to check your policy be for assuming its covered. </div><div>
    </div><div>Also, if you're worried about a local store closing, pick one thats been around for forever, and preferably family owned. The store FI went to has been around for 30+ years, and the store my Dad has gotten all my mom's jewelry at have been around 75+. </div>



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  • I agree with everyone about using someone local. I just went ring shopping with my cousin to help him out. We went to Jared's and then went to a jewelry store that has about 5 stores total. The second place gave him more bang for his buck. They were able to get him a bigger, great quality stone and a better setting than Jared's and it was a better deal within his budget. They carried well known company brands as well as others, with a great selection.
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  • Thank you for the super warm welcome, everyone!

    I love the idea of supporting a local jeweler, like many of you suggested. However, we don't really know anyone in the business. (I am acquainted with the owner of E.E. Robbins, but not well enough for that to mean anything in terms of reduced pricing or extra help!) Without any special connections, how do we know which ones are reputable - that will take care of us/offer a good price, that have been around for a while, and that won't try to swindle us? Do you just look at Yelp? We don't really have any local family/friends that could offer personal recommendations, because all of ours either bought their rings and got engaged in other areas or clearly spent WAY above what our budget is - which is another reason I thought our apparently-perfectly-normal budget was "on the low end"! (Thanks for reassuring me on that, friends!)

    To those of you requesting kitty photos of Spock! I am at work right now and don't have access to any of my photos on my work computer, nor am I able to post photos from my phone... I tried. BUT, I can tell you how to find them if you want to see! Intermingled with beauty-related content, I have posted several pictures of him on my blog... if you go to http://sasquatchswatch.blogspot.com, scroll down a bit, and click the "Spock the kitten" label tag on the right-hand side, it'll show you all the posts that have pictures of him in them. Enjoy! He's my little baby :)
  • Yelp is a good start. However, the best way would to just go in and browes places, talk to the people who work there, see what sort of vibe you get. A good place will never scoff at your budget, they'll work with you to understand how to maximize it and get the best value. If you feel presured or looked down on, move on. 



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  • annmarie714annmarie714 member
    100 Comments Second Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited March 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_best-places-to-shop-for-engagement-rings?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:93e46bf5-60ff-4653-9148-950f43c4940bPost:075f2a0d-0bad-4489-935f-36e257bb4b40">Re: Best places to shop for engagement rings?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thank you for the super warm welcome, everyone! I love the idea of supporting a local jeweler, like many of you suggested. However, we don't really know anyone in the business. (I am acquainted with the owner of E.E. Robbins, but not well enough for that to mean anything in terms of reduced pricing or <strong>extra help!</strong>) Without any special connections, how do we know which ones are reputable - that will take care of us/offer a good price, that have been around for a while, and that won't try to swindle us? Do you just look at Yelp? We don't really have any local family/friends that could offer personal recommendations, because all of ours either bought their rings and got engaged in other areas or clearly spent WAY above what our budget is - which is another reason I thought our apparently-perfectly-normal budget was "on the low end"! (Thanks for reassuring me on that, friends!) To those of you requesting kitty photos of Spock! I am at work right now and don't have access to any of my photos on my work computer, nor am I able to post photos from my phone... I tried. BUT, I can tell you how to find them if you want to see! Intermingled with beauty-related content, I have posted several pictures of him on my blog... if you go to <a href="http://sasquatchswatch.blogspot.com" rel="nofollow">http://sasquatchswatch.blogspot.com</a> , scroll down a bit, and click the "Spock the kitten" label tag on the right-hand side, it'll show you all the posts that have pictures of him in them. Enjoy! He's my little baby :)
    Posted by kmbirkel[/QUOTE]

    A good jewelry store will do several things despite your connection with them or any of their employees:

    1) Take the time to educate you on your choices.  What the C's mean, what will fit your budget, what is a good fit for your lifestyle (setting height, metal, etc)

    2) Allow you to compare prices.  WIth the budget you have and the type of ring you want, price comparisons among shops will be fairly easy. When you're doing this, keep in mind the quality of the diamond!

    3) Doesn't pressure you into purchasing *thatday*.  No pressure sales are amazing, and don't fall for any ploys like "the sale ends tonight!" or "it's the last day the setting will be in store".
    Where there is love, there is life.-Ghandi
  • cuteslothscutesloths member
    Third Anniversary First Comment
    edited March 2013
    Sorry, kinda late to the party

    I did a lot of research on pricescope dot com before my BF and I went to look in person .. I know it's another forum, and I'm not trying to advertise, but I've learned how much we should be paying.  Jamesallen dot com is a good place to start.  Yes it's online, but you see the picture / video of the actual diamond and the GIA certification, so you know you're not getting ripped off.  I went to a few brick and mortar places and one wanted 6k total for a .72c F color I2 clarity, who knows what cut grading, and with a non-designer band that was nothing special.  
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