I went browsing for an engagement ring this afternoon and came away quite confused. I asked a female co-worker for advice and was
told that I should get at least two carats and aim for something better than F grading. I was a bit shocked after pricing some rings that fit this criteria. My girlfriend is relatively petite... the 1 carat diamond seemed of reasonable size, so I compared rings in this range.
First I went to Tiffany. The service was quite mediocre and prices were steep. I looked at three rings with specs as follow: 1.07 CT, Color: G, VVS2: $130K; 1.01 CT, Color: F, VVS1: $161K; 1.14 CT, Color: F, VVS1: $180K.
Next I went to Continental Diamond in Harbour City, where a similar ring was less than half the price: 1.02 CT, Color: F, VS2: 65K.
Last, I went to Prince Watch & Jewelry. The salesman here seemed more professional and spent more time explaining things. On the other hand their ring selection wasn't as big. Priced the following rings: 1.01 CT, Color: D, VS2: 79K (hearts and arrows cut, whatever that means); 1.08 CT, Color: I, VVS: 58K; 1.52 CT, Color: F, VS2: 162K (hearts and arrows).
Is there anything about the rings that Tiffany sells to justify the 100+% premium? Better cut? Better Polish? Unique styles? The band was platinum, while the other two places used 18K white gold. Should I just look at the certificate specs or is there any other difference in the diamonds sold at different places? Do these prices seem reasonable? I hadn't tried to bargain them down. I know you can get some good deals online, but would really like to see the physical ring before buying. Which other jewelers are worth visiting?