The engagement ring is really a symbol, a milestone that marks a higher level of commitment, and an official change of status, from friendship to engagement.
Two person can be friends for a very long time, and be boyfriends and girlfriends for a really long time, but they are still not really engaged, not until the guy is down on his knee and presents the girl with the ring that starts it all.
Well, some of you may disagree with me. After all, a symbol is just a symbol, and you may argue that it’s not worth the effort, time and money spent. However, come to think of it, it’s really worthy, and it may be the best investment you have made, since with the action and the ring, you have pushed the status of your relationship higher.
And, well, girls love DIAMONDS. The bigger the better, perhaps.
Moreover, when we speak about investment, we know that every investment has its own risk, but I will come back to that later. For now, let’s talk about ring, and ring only 🙂
When thinking about engagement rings, the first thought you have may be sourcing a ring locally. That has some advantages, for example, you can see the ring with your own eyes, touch the ring with your own hand, and inspect it personally. However, the market in Singapore is not big enough. There are not many designs to choose from, and most of them looked either dull or nothing special. Of course, if you have enough budget to go straight to the kind of Cartier or Tiffany & Co, then definitely you will find something you want, as those are in fact not local, and their stocks are imported here as well. Unfortunately, if you are not that rich, so you have to be creative and find another way to achieve what you want.
The situation is even worse if you want to find something in Platinum and Platinum only, as White Gold will be fading into Yellow Gold with time. The local salesmen will preach to you all those non-sense that platinum is not hard enough, and that white gold is much more suitable for crafting rings. I tell you, they are all wrong. In fact, it’s the exact opposite, that platinum is much harder than white gold, so hard that the heads of the diamond rings are usually made of platinum to ensure the diamonds would not fall off, even if the bands were crafted in white gold or even yellow gold. That is just a lame excuse they use for scaring you away from platinum, which they do not have for you So, please ignore all those non sense and go for platinum if you want something firm, lasting and not changing color when scratched (unlike white gold, which turns yellowish after getting scratched).
Another commonly faced situation at local stores is that the first question they will ask you when you walk in is “How much is your budget?” Then they try to find a diamond ring that is around there. When you start looking for the band, they will try to divert you back to the diamond, saying that the band is not important, and that you should focus on the stone itself. Moreover, they always recommend stones with very high specifications (grade, color, clarity) while in fact, with your naked eyes you cannot see the subtle difference in the clarity or color, especially after the diamond is set into the band, and that means you pay a lot more for something you cannot see or appreciate on a daily basis, whereas the band, which can be seen clearly and marveled at daily is often neglected. Such an irony. I’d rather take it down a few grades and spend that money on a beautiful band.
(A good cut makes a big difference, as it allows the diamond to reflect more lights, which adds brilliance, beauty, fire and vibrancy. Therefore, opt for the highest cut possible within your budget, and you can take clarity and color down a little bit in compensation, as a brilliant diamond will shine so brightly you can hardly notice either the defect or the faint color.)
Another option is to go online. Most of those online stores are located in the US, and unlike the local stores where they set the diamonds with the bands and sell as a whole, for online stores it was really flexible. You get to choose the band design, and the diamond separately, then add them together to form the ring. That gives you more choices, and fit your budget more easily. However, that also requires much more work and efforts from your side to ensure the perfect combination.
One online store to start with is Blue Nile (www.bluenile.com). They are big, established, and quite well known in the world of online jewelry stores. However, they don’t have many designs of engagement rings to choose from, especially for Platinum, and for each design, there are not enough photos to study the bands in details, just a few and they look more like CAD photos. As for the diamond choices, they carry quite a lot, but only a small part was located in house. The rest are just listings from their partners, which they have little information, and almost no guarantee of availability. Besides, the price is quite high, especially for the in house items.