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My engagement ring story (aka how Rare Carat was born)

From Diamond Dummy to Rare Carat CEO

Today I am happily married to a pretty cool woman, but it wasn’t always this way.

To get here I had to buy a diamond. She’ll argue that she would have married me anyways, but I’m sure it didn’t hurt.

If I can generalize my experience, partners walk into this purchase completely blind. Cut? Color? Clarity? Carat? I was about to spend a car amount of money on a rock with almost zero idea of what I was doing.

Buying the Ring

I was told that 47th Street in New York was the place to start.

If you don't know diamonds, 47th is intimidating and ripe for scams. After growing tired of being pulled into shops by pushy salesmen, I turned to Yelp. Jangmi Jewelers had 300+ reviews and 5-star rating, and there I found Mr. Kim, the owner.

Mr. Kim was attentive, and one by one laid out the diamonds in my budget range. They all looked the same to me. On a scrap piece of paper, I carefully noted the specs, which I still didn’t fully understand.

I went home that night and searched these specs online. The diamonds were shockingly cheaper - by roughly 30%!

But buying online scared me. That was a huge amount of money to send out into the internet. The overnight shipping and the 30 day no-questions-asked refund most vendors offered only quelled some of my fear.

What ultimately made buying online feel okay was the idea of independent appraisal.

Buying a Diamond Online

I talked to David Wolf on 48th street (I highly recommend, 47 review and a 5-star rating on Yelp), who suggested he appraise the diamond I end up buying online; if it didn’t check out, I could send it back to the vendor for a refund.

As he explained, offline vendors are great for service and in-person education - but there is no way they can hold in-store the hundreds of millions of dollars of inventory that the online vendors do (even if the online vendors don’t necessarily “hold” the diamonds).

I still had my reservations, but 30% of a lot of money is a lot of money.

So late nights after work I began my online quest for a diamond.

My Buying Process

To put myself back in my own shoes then, I downloaded my Google search history (you can see how to do this here).

Side note: it is freaky to step back into your mind at another time and see the weird things you search - and freakier to know how much google knows about your most intimate thoughts.

Anyways, after deleting many non-related/embarrassing results, here are the real searches I typed into Google:

  • do you get a nice wedding ring or engagement ring (seriously?)
  • spend more money on engagement ring or wedding ring (you can see I started with zero clue of what to do)
  • what do diamond colors look like
  • diamonds education
  • best place to buy diamond
  • best places to get a deal on diamond
  • costco diamond
  • engagement ring cost etiquette
  • engagement 3 month salary
  • wall street oasis engagement ring
  • buying diamonds in diamond district in nyc
  • diamond wholesale
  • online diamond store
  • online diamond store reviews
  • blue nile vs james allen
  • Adiamor
  • james allen tiffany
  • brian gavin
  • b2c jewels reviews
  • Good Old Gold
  • largest diamond inventory
  • kayak for diamonds
  • "kayak for diamonds"
  • diamond cost algorithm
  • diamond price regression analysis
  • diamond cost calculator
  • diamond clarity enhanced
  • bluenile promo code
  • diamond size visualizer
  • appraisal diamond engagement ring
  • rapaport diamond price list
  • need a nj address to ship to save taxes (I’m sorry, IRS)
  • diamond fluorescence scale gia
  • color vs clarity
  • blue nile price match
  • how to estimate ring finger size
  • most common ring size for a woman
  • how to secretly measure ring finger size
  • how much does it cost to have a ring mounted
  • blue nile conflict free
  • diamond compare
  • diamond appraisal nyc

As you can see, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out:

  • How diamond grading criteria worked
  • What my (now) wife’s ring size was (I got it wrong in the end)
  • What sites were safe to buy a diamond from
  • How to know if a diamond is a good deal

After all that searching, I didn’t have good answers to the critical last two questions.

Moreover, for months, I had to key in my search criteria on fifteen different sites every day. Talk about annoying. When I finally found diamonds I thought were a good fit, comparing across sites was a pain.

Scoring a Deal

Finally, I built a regression model in excel and was somewhat sure that I found a good deal.

In the end, I bought the winning diamond online from Adiamor (57 reviews and a 4.5-star rating on Yelp ) and their sales rep Jennifer ensured I had a wonderful experience.

Since then, I’ve been meaning to build a kick-ass product to do a few things:

  • Help users “Kayak” search across a number of reputable sites at one go
  • Use advanced data science to help intelligently select a deal
  • Use robots to search frequently and only send across good deals

We put a team together of experts to do just that - and Rare Carat was born. From that point on, we experienced rapid growth; last year, we had our largest one-item sale to date in 2022: a $2.5 million diamond.

Hope we can make your journey less painful than mine.

See how our engagement rings are made in USA from the below video:

Rare Carat
Rare Carat
America’s #1 source of unbiased advice for diamond engagement rings. Rare Carat compares over a million diamonds at trusted retailers to save you money. Free gemologist checks on GIA certified diamonds & 4 Cs Diamond Buying Guide.