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What The Media Got Wrong About 'Bachelorette' Emily Maynard's Engagement Ring

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In typical week-after-the-finale fashion, "Bachelorette" followers everywhere are having the same conversations: are Emily and Jef still engaged? Will they last? Just how cheesy was that proposal? And of course, there's the typical oohing and ahhing over her new Neil Lane engagement ring. But as a veteran in the diamond business, I feel there's something askew in the media's analysis of her ring.

While the exact details of the diamond have not yet been released, there is some information that has become clear from the Wetpaint.com and People scoops:
  • The diamond is an Emerald Cut
  • It weighs either 2.5cts (Examiner) or 3.5cts (People)
  • It's set in a classic platinum halo ring with 87 round pave stones

Despite what the reports say, there's nothing particularly remarkable about this ring. It's somewhat puzzling then, that WetPaint.com's reported this:

"It's huge," a source confirms. "It's 100 percent the biggest any woman has received on either "The Bachelor" or "Bachelorette."" We're told the main stone, like Emily, is quite unique. It's a very rare, geometric shape. And the band is made up of pave diamonds. Its retail value? Over $150,000.

While I have no doubt that Emily is thoroughly unique, I just can't see how this description applies to the main stone which is one of the most common diamond shapes purchased in the United States. Furthermore, the ring itself was designed by Neil Lane who sells his designs through Kay Jewelers, the largest mall-based jewelry store chain in the country -- hardly the place for "unique" and "rare" designs. And if you think that he might reserve his best, most unique designs for his favorite TV dating show, you'd be wrong. Looking back at the engagement rings of "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" yore, it's painfully obvious that they're all very similar to one another. And finally, considering that any shape is by definition "geometric," they're not exactly going out on a limb referring to a simple rectangle with this obscure description.

But all of this misdirection about the ring is nothing compared to the exaggeration about the ring's value.

Lets start with the setting. A comparable setting like this one on Blue Nile would only set you back $2,125.

The diamond itself is harder to gauge since we don't have the specific color and clarity grades. Likewise, we have two conflicting reports about the diamond's size. But even if we take People's word that the main diamond is 3.5cts, and assuming the diamond would be of a certain minimum quality, the wholesale value of the diamond is somewhere between $60,000 and $90,000. This is still a ton of money, of course, but what it means is that a ring similar to the one presented to Maynard Sunday night could be purchased for less than half of the reported value.

If you're thinking, "Well, that's the wholesale value. Regular people can't buy diamonds so cheap," you'd be mistaken as well. Take a look at this diamond and this diamond from JamesAllen.com.

The moral of the story is: when it comes to diamonds never believe the hype. Always try to get objective third party advice from experts before you make a purchase.