Diamond Shopping On a Frugal Budget

04.08.08 | Consumerism | 0 Comments | by Tom Valenti

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I've finally done it. I am now engaged.

All of the trepidation I had about taking this step did not stem from a fear of commitment, but rather from a severe inability to find and purchase a ring. I had a good idea of what she wanted, but the nuances involved in the selection are incredible.

Anyone who has shopped for an engagement ring knows the "four Cs," the major characteristics of a diamond which determine its price. Because these diamonds are not mass-produced, no two are completely alike, and thus comparison is extremely difficult.

So for someone who hates shopping and has no previous knowledge of jewelry, buying an engagement ring is beyond daunting, especially when you don't want to be ripped off. Being frugal, I have a difficult time spending money on something that I consider to be conspicuous consumption.

I guess I don't have the power to change societal customs, though.

In the end, I ended up using a diamond my mother had given to me, and got it set into a new band. Not only did it save me money, but it also has sentimental value.

And I think it saved me from losing my mind completely.

Tom Valenti is a marketer and project manager who currently works for a financial institution in New Jersey. For more info, visit him at http://tomvalenti.com.

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