A Life Milestone…
I’m 25 this year and just proposed to my partner in June 2017. In the lead up to the proposal, I found that there were not enough articles of the engagement ring buying experience. Hence, it led to the birth of this article to share the same journey many will go through.
I was frantic as hell and of course, turning to Google for advice! I was crawling through 50 odd pages of HWZ trying to find the best advice and digging up relevant content. At the end of the day with different factions arguing on this topic, I was still quite lost. Here’s my take on it, enjoy!
Is A Diamond Ring The Right Choice?
To those of you who find significance in buying a diamond ring, and not another type of gem or gold etc., this would be a relevant article for you. You can be more ‘financial savvy’ and buy an ETF or Blue-chip stock for an engagement present recommended by our good friend, BudgetBabe. That’s ultimately up to you and your potential lifelong partner’s choice! 🙂
3 Key Takeaways & Truths
- Know that the value is not monetary (I strongly believe this. It’s so much more, as some people say, a proposal and a wedding may be one day, but a marriage is a lifetime!)
- There are NO BENCHMARKS (Especially in corporate, there are rumors floating on the 2-3x monthly salary rule. Don’t be pressured)
- Look out for the marketing and upselling (You will feel the pressure. Because most sale agents will tell you this: “Diamond Quality = Price = How much you value your other half”)
The Ring Buying Process
Stage 1: Online Learning (HWZ, Youtube etc.)
- You should definitely read up on the 4Cs (Carat, Clarity, Cut, Colour)
- You will end up seeing a ton of annoying Facebook/Instagram ads on your news feed
- Get her ring size (Quite easy and can ask a sibling. Usually, they will know, or they can find an accessory she has. Not so crucial because you can resize it later)
- At this stage, you should probably start getting a benchmark using online ring sites such as Blue Nile, and Fonder Diamond to get what Carat you intend to get, but don’t buy yet
Stage 2: Ring shopping day (Usually at Orchard Road) – Deposit $500+
- You can set up an appointment or not. Usually, they will serve you either way.
- I decided to go alone, as I didn’t want to get pressured by any peers. Remember, stick to your budget.
- The agents will get your budget, e.g. $3k, and they will start to play with you mentally. He will start to bring out the various scopes, and give you a ring that costs $3k, $4k, $5k And you decide. (so you have to stay firm)
- The funny thing is, that he/she will ask you if you can tell the difference between the stones, and after a long diamond education on good and bad ones, you feel pressured to know which is the best! But I still got it wrong LOL
- Deposit ($300-500, depending on how expensive) for them to set the diamond in the band most likely abroad
Stage 3: Collection day – Full $3k+
- Hopefully, by this stage, usually 20-30 days away, you have a cash back, miles, rebates card ready (I used the CITI miles card for miles)
- And today is the day you pay in full and feel a big hole in your pocket, ensure they give you a variety of boxes (I got 3)
- Get ready to tear up a little and wonder: “How the hell something so small cost so much”
Stage 4: Proposal day
- Depends on how you plan it, hopefully, it goes well for you!
- Personally, when I saw the diamond glitter in the sunlight and putting it on for her, it was a warm feeling!
- It was really worth it in my opinion (but again differs from individual to individual)
Conclusion: Buying a Diamond is 90% Marketing
When you go through the process above, you will soon start to realize that it is truly an art of marketing. It is a commonly known fact that your ring depreciates in 50% of the value the moment you leave the shop, but people still buy them. So, if you are already thinking of getting it, hopefully, you can learn some quick tips on how to accelerate and always look for the different options available to you. Ciao!
Further Reading: Some Interesting Findings
- Jaan Paul hands down have stepped up on their content marketing (videos, blogs) for the next generation of ring-buyers (You and I)
- Also, they seem to have a monopoly on the consumer mindset in HWZ and clearly claiming that they are THE BEST in the market and consumers seem to agree (I feel it’s 90% marketing)
- I personally went to three: Jaan Paul, followed by Fairy’s Inc and lastly Canary Diamond, all within a vicinity of 2 bus stops at Orchard.
- Why I went with Canary Diamond was because I was firm with the budget and under the scopes, I saw the hearts and arrows, together with the 4Cs (Carat, Clarity, Cut, Colour) and I was convinced. The dude was also no nonsense and did not avidly up-sell.
- To the naked eye, at a certain point, you can’t really see the differences. Some look dull but largely are rather good stones.