Before purchasing that perfect diamond engagement ring, you must first choose the right jeweler. Every couple must consider that various jewelers offer various styles, price ranges and services. Much the same as the ring will last a lifetime, the jeweler supplying the ring should be one to last for years as well.
The Right Ring from the Right Jewelers
The first thing you must consider when deciding what type of ring to buy is the jeweler you will purchase from. Smaller jewelry stores will offer fine selections of traditional and classic rings, but for those looking for more exotic designs, such as engagement rings with pave settings or an Asscher cut, you may need to locate a jeweler that is more individualized with a bigger selection of carefully-chosen rings. Moreover, the majority of smaller jewelry stores will not be able to help those looking for loose stones that can be set in customized bands.
The best course of action is to visit several kinds of jewelers; from national chains to individually-owned shops to see what each store has to offer. Once the basic design is chosen, you can narrow the choice of jewelers down by other considerations.
Independent Stores vs. Mall Jewelers
Though many people don’t suggest purchasing engagement rings from mall jewelers, the truth is that both independent jewelers and mall jewelry stores will offer their own conveniences to customers. You will find that most mall stores have national chain affiliations, which means they can purchase stones at lower prices; thus offering lower selling prices to customers. On the other hand individual jewelers tend to offer more exotic choices. In addition, independent jewelers might be able to explain the stone’s origin, which is a great way to avoid conflict diamonds; alternatively, mall stores offer more efficient routine maintenance. You may also find that independent jewelers are usually more experienced and can give very informed information on the types of gems they offer.
Another thing that should be considered when choosing a jeweler is your future plans. If you are someone who is sentimental about the jewelry store and want to buy future anniversary or other special occasion items, then a mall store and national chain would probably be better. In this case, if you relocate you can simply find a chain location nearby. Much the same, independent jewelers are a much higher risk of closing their doors one day, where mall jewelers are less likely to disappear forever. This consideration should be a major concern for those who want to purchase insurance on the engagement ring. The warranty will be contingent upon regular inspections, and if the store closes, then your warranty is lost; whereas with a chain, you simply move to another location.
Consider a Jewelers Services
Before settling on a jeweler, it is wise to investigate the services they offer for the life of the ring. Do they provide general maintenance and routine cleanings? What about more difficult repairs? How about if you decide years down the road to have the diamonds reset into a different ring – do they offer this? While most jewelers can accommodate requests such as these, they may actually send your jewelry to an outside location rather than completing the services at the store. Speak with the jeweler about the types of services they provide for the life of your ring, and whether the services are performed in-house or not.
The following is a list of common services offered by jewelers:
- Annual Inspections
- Annual plating and polishing
- Appraisal services offered for a small fee
- Repairs at a discounted price
- One free resize offered within a certain amount of time
Most importantly, a jeweler should be honest and open when conversing about your purchase. They should be able to provide you with documentation detailing the quality of the ring, and be more than willing to give you a loupe to look at the stone’s most minute details if you wish.
Warranty: An Important Part of Deciding on Jewelers
The jeweler’s warranty will outline all services offered for the life of the ring. Though this seems unimportant when the ring is new, it should be a very important concern because this is such a large investment. Many jewelers will offer a basic plan with the price of the ring. For instance, many will allow you to bring the ring in for inspections every six months to a year, and you may qualify for other free basic services such as repair discounts, as well. Just be sure before accepting any type of policy that you look into all plans, including those that cover loss or damage to the stone itself.
Finally, before choosing your jeweler, you are advised to look into their credibility as a business, through sources such as the Better Business Bureau or other local organizations. Make sure you ask to see any certifications from gemological organizations, and if they are able to provide you with client references. Following simple steps like these will ensure you are buying from a jeweler who is reliable, reputable and able to help keep the quality of your ring great for years to come.
In the end, deciding which jeweler to use is the first step toward buying a quality engagement ring. From credentials, to locations, services and selections, the jeweler you will use should be investigated as methodically as the four C’s of the stone you wish to buy. This will not only guarantee you get a quality ring, but it also ensures you get lasting service to help maintain your ring for many anniversaries to come.