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Let's talk about one my favorite subjects -- jewelry!
I was not planning to write this post at all, but when I was walking by those mall jewelry stores and saw young couples in love, looking at engagement rings, I so badly wanted to tell them, "Nooo, don't buy your engagement ring here!"
I wanted to step inside and tell them how I could help them find much better deals for diamonds online, like on Bluenile.com, but I didn't want to look like a crazy woman, or risk being escorted out of the mall by the security team. :-P
Why don't I think that people should purchase their diamond jewelry, especially engagement rings, at mall stores? For several reasons:
- The diamonds are overpriced for what you get. For example, the clarity is usually as low as I1 or even I2, but are priced as if they are VS1/VS2. More information on the clarity is below.
- The diamonds cost as though they are twice as large. For example, a 0.6 carat diamond from a mall jewelry store can cost as much as a 1.0 carat diamond from a direct dealer. Come on, you've got to be kidding me!
- The diamonds are not very well cut, and only look good under jewelry store lighting. Try placing it next to a good quality diamond, under normal lighting condition, and see the stark contrast.
Sean and I celebrated our 2-year wedding anniversary recently, and I remember spending a lot of my time researching diamonds and learning about the four Cs (Cut; Color; Clarity; Carats). I'm sure you've heard of the "four Cs," and it's boring to read about them all over again, so here are some visual graphics. Credit for the graphs below goes to Bluenile.com.
Colors: Diamond colors range from D (completely colorless -- very rare) to Z (deep, dark, noticeable color -- whether this is attractive or not is up to the individual to decide).
Cut: the cut grade of a diamond is to measure its light performance, also known as sparkle. ;-) Ideally, you want a diamond that is cut to proper proportion, so that the light that enters, can come back out. If a diamond is cut too shallow, the light leaks out at the bottom; if it is too deep, the light leaks out at the side.
Carat: this is the weight of the diamond, not the physical size. Keep in mind that on a smaller finger, a lower carat weight diamond can still look quite large. To learn more about it, click HERE.
This is my ring! The stone looks uneven in the setting, but that's only because of the awkward camera angle; it's perfect in person. :o)
After checking Bluenile.com daily, I finally found the diamond that I knew I was going to love! We decided to go with Blue Nile for our engagement diamond simply because this company really does offer the best deals, since they do not have much overhead to cover (Blue Nile doesn't have a storefront, thus, no money on rent or additional employees needs to be spent), and is a direct diamond dealer, which means there is no extra fee for the middleman, so the savings are passed on to you! Lastly, Blue Nile diamonds are conflict-free, and the company also offers a lifetime upgrading program.
Here's what we ended up getting:
Shape: Marquise -- this is my favorite shape because it is so feminine, yet with an nontraditional, unexpected edge. The marquise shape also elongates your hand, instead of making it look short and stout. One quick advice: if you do go with a Marquise shaped diamond, make sure that it isn't too long and skinny, or too short and wide; it should be proportionately cut.
Cut: Very good
Carat: 1 carat
For the setting, we purchased it from a jeweler I knew. The cost of the diamond itself was so low, very reasonably priced, that even when added in with the cost of the ring, the total was still less than a single diamond of a lower grade/carat from a mall store.
Here's the obligatory "fire shot"! (A "fire shot" is a picture that captures the "fire" in your diamond, lol).
If you've made it this far, you might be wondering, "If this woman isn't getting paid by Blue Nile, why is she praising them so much?"
The simple answer for that is because this was the seller that Sean bought my engagement diamond from, and we had nothing but excellent experiences, from the customers service team, to the safe and timely arrival of our purchase.
Does a person have to get a diamond engagement ring? Of course not! I don't think a person even has to get any ring at all. As for me, personally, I like jewelry. Honestly, I would have been just as happy with a good quality sapphire ring, but I could not resist the sparkly allure of a diamond.
Oh, hey, here's a picture of our wedding! I remember wearing very high heeled shoes, just so I'd look good next to Sean, since he is quite tall, haha. Sorry that the picture is not the best quality, because it's actually a scan of the physical picture. I did my own hair and makeup, which saved me $500. Unless you don't know how to put on makeup, I'd suggest that you do it yourself and save some money (look for tutorials on YouTube! My favorite bridal makeup tutorials are from Emilynoel83 because she's a very good instructor and speaks clearly).
What is your dream engagement ring? If you have a blog, please feel free to share the link to it with your comment; I would love to visit it! :o)