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Engagement rings in Canada (more specifically, Edmonton)
So I've been with this girl for a year and a half. And, frankly, about two months in I knew this was it. The big one. The relationship where you end up with someone who is, in pretty much every way, the person that it is a Good Idea (TM) to be with for the long term. Now, I waited - I wanted to make sure that this wasn't just my 'finally in a healthy relationship' blinders, and to see if we were, in fact, that compatible. Fourteen months later, I have to say that I'm convinced. Someone who'll take me out of my comfort zone and make sure I have a blast, and then the next night sit at home, eating popcorn and watching Supernatural? Heck yes.
I've decided to pop the question, and am starting to look for a suitable engagement ring. Now, I know what she likes - there are particular shapes of diamonds she's a fan of, and as for settings she likes simple and slim (she's a slender girl and would look odd with a large band on her finger). She wants to travel and has told me not to follow the 'two months salary' rule for the ring, as she'd rather we spend the money going on a nice trip or buying something we both need.
Now, I know she'd be happy with something in the .5 carat range, but I'm thinking I'm going to aim a little higher. Regardless, I'm not looking to spend 6,000+ on a ring as some people have suggested. With all that in mind, I've started looking online and in-store. A suggestion was made that the best course of action would be to buy a diamond through Bluenile or similar, and then buy a setting at a local jeweler.
With all that in mind, I need help. I've never even considered shopping for engagement rings before, so this is virgin territory for me. I'm wondering if any of you wonderful folks have any experience with online shopping, or, just as (or even more) helpful, in-store in Edmonton. Places to avoid, places to look at, etc. I've already read up extensively on the four Cs of diamonds, but I'm still a little clueless as to where to go and how to go about this whole procedure. Any thoughts, wonderful H&A forum people?