What could be less romantic than standing next to your fiancee in a jewellery store, negotiating with a salesperson about how much you are willing and able to spend on a diamond engagement ring?
There is a better way: purchase the diamond first, and have it set in a solitaire presentation setting. After you propose, allow the recipient the option of later choosing a ring that suits their personal taste. The diamond you chose can easily and quickly be reset in a ring of the recipient's choice. This approach has the following benefits:
You maintain the surprise of "popping the question" - one of the most memorable events in a couple's life together. Often, the person proposing feels ill equipped to choose a ring for their partner. By purchasing the diamond first (and having it set in a solitaire presentation setting), the element of surprise is retained while the anxiety of choosing the right ring is lost.
You remain in control - Buying a diamond is not a romantic process. It is a significant investment that requires careful research and budgeting. Standing with your fiancee in front of a salesperson is a poor environment for thoughtful decision making. By purchasing the diamond first (the largest component of the total cost of an engagement ring), you can privately decide what best fits your budget and needs.
Greater satisfaction for your partner - Chances are, your significant other does not enjoy the pressure of having to decide how much you should spend on a diamond either. Instead, allow them to focus on choosing a setting that they love, whether contemporary or antique, gold or platinum, set with sapphires or rubies, etc., knowing that from a financial standpoint, you have already taken care of the most important part of the purchase. Often, the recipient will decide to keep the presentation setting permanently, since the classic solitaire showcases a diamond better than any other style and works with every wearer's personal style.
Better selection - Even a very large jewellery store will have no more than a few hundred diamonds to choose from. Many will have fewer than twenty. The diamond you purchase can later be set in virtually any ring, creating a one of a kind style that you won't see on anyone else's finger.
The ability to customize your ring - A custom jeweller would be happy to take a diamond you purchase from a reputable jeweller and design a ring to showcase it. Consider allowing your fiancee to design something original, instead of settling for what the jewellery store has in the case. The design process can be both romantic and creative, especially with the cost of the diamond removed from the process. If you originally proposed using a solitaire setting, the jeweller can even use the gold from that setting in the creation of a custom design.
Purchasing the diamond separately saves you money - By purchasing the diamond from a diamond seller, you will pay 20-40% less than you would at a traditional jewellery store. The savings on the diamond may actually pay for the setting.
We recommend the diamond first approach because it typically leads to happier, more satisfied customers, who pay less for what they want.