Best Place to Buy an Engagement Ring

Engagement Ring TipsFor many people, proposing to a loved one is one of the most important decisions they will ever make. Amazingly, over a third of all proposals occur between Thanksgiving Day and Valentine’s Day. Apparently, something especially propels people to pop the question during the extended holiday season. If you plan to propose in the near future, you may be nervous about the engagement ring purchase. After all, this acquisition might be one of the most expensive purchases you make during your lifetime. Before deciding on the perfect stone, you need to consider the following variables. After contemplating these items, you will be ready to shop at the best place to buy an engagement ring.

BudgetIf you need to purchase an engagement ring in the near future, you might equate considering your budget with not loving your future bride enough. However, this way of thinking isn’t accurate. Actually, the reality is quite the opposite. If you care about your future spouse, you will think about your budget when shopping for a ring.

By planning for your future financially, you are in no way being cheap or tacky. However, you should approach this issue delicately. You should broach the subject gently, positively, and confidently to your intended. Reassure your future spouse that you aren’t trying to put a price tag on your love, but you don’t want to compromise your financial future together. The two of you can create a price range for the ring that you’re both comfortable with.


For many engagement ring shoppers, the selection of the stone is the simplest part of the process. After all, aren’t diamonds the only style of engagement ring to choose from? Actually, you do have other options. Nowadays, more and more brides are opting for gemstones besides diamonds. Some popular choices include:

• Morganite
• Tanzanite
• Emerald
• Sapphire
• Ruby

Usually, these colorful substitutes are much less expensive than diamonds. Besides being more affordable, colorful gemstones allow brides to showcase their individuality and unique style preferences.

The Critical Four C’s

After determining your budget and preferred stone, you should pay attention to the critical four C’s. When purchasing an engagement ring, the four C’s refer to:

• Carat
• Clarity
• Cut
• Color

Carat refers to the size of the stone. Engagement rings, especially diamonds, can be extremely expensive. As the size of the stone increases, the price tends to skyrocket. Many couples decide to purchase a smaller carat weight initially. They then plan to purchase a larger ring for an upcoming milestone anniversary. Couples assume they will have more money to spend on jewelry years from now.

While carat weight is important, you shouldn’t concentrate on it solely. The clarity of a stone refers to the number of imperfections in it. Diamonds are classified from flawless, also known as FL, to included, referred to as I. Most couples will select a ring that falls somewhere in between these two classifications. If the clarity of a diamond is slightly included, the cut of it can make up the difference. A well cut diamond will showcase immense amounts of fire and sparkle. Some popular cuts for engagement rings include:

• Round
• Marquise
• Princess
• Emerald
• Heart

Most brides prefer a colorless diamond engagement ring. This type of diamond is given a D grade. While D graded diamonds are considered the best, Z graded diamonds appear yellow. Like the classifications for clarity, most people will purchase a ring that falls somewhere in between these two grades. Because D graded diamonds are so expensive, many people shop for stones that reside between the G to J range. Before purchasing your ring, you may want to rate the critical 4 C’s in importance. In doing so, you can choose the best ring at a budget friendly price.


Once you know what type of ring to shop for, you need to choose your retailer. Nowadays, many people are turning to online vendors for engagement rings. Besides the internet, you can find your significant other’s dream ring at a local jeweler, a large jewelry chain store, or even a pawn shop. If you plan to reside in the same location after marriage, a local jeweler might be your best option. Often, this type of establishment will periodically clean your ring and check your ring’s prongs free of charge for the rest of your life. Many people have success purchasing an affordable ring at a local pawn shop.

An engagement ring is one of the most important purchases you will make in your lifetime. Therefore, you should map out a definitive plan before shopping for one. After creating a budget, determining a style, and prioritizing the critical four C’s, you can select a retailer. Don’t rush this special process. Instead, enjoy it. More than likely, you will remember it forever.

7 Things Customers Hate About Costco

Things Customers Hate About CostcoAn unusual negative article about Costco on MSN’s Money. It’s a 7 page slide show, so I made TLDR version for our readers:

1. Only one credit card option – and it’s American Express, which they just announced is going away.
2. The wait to make a purchase – Long lines are common and painful. Costco could use more express lanes.
3. Here today/gone tomorrow items – I haven’t experienced this one myself.
4. No shopping bags – Meh, it’s good for the environment
5. And no delivery (from warehouses), either
6. Limited shopping advice – Thanks, but I’ll take the lower prices.
7. The great hot dog controversy – Apparently they’ve changed the supplier for their hotdogs. Do yourself a favor and pass on all the nitrates.

Here’s the whole thing if you like pictures!