Post # 1
I am the type of girl who could yelp all day long. If something has a few bad reviews I get anxious about going there. So, when it comes to engagement ring shopping, you could imagine my anxiety over such a big purchase. I feel if my wonderful BF is going to be spending thousands of dollars on this item, it needs to be well researched. We have casually talked about looking at rings in order to see what I like in person and what looks good on me. However, now that we might be, window shopping or browsing if you will, I am freaking out! How do I know what store to purchase from? I have decided that I don’t want to do the whole big chain jewelry stores so that leaves us with smaller local stores, independent jewelers, online, custom…and oh my god too many options!
Has anyone else experienced this or am I just a freak of nature : )
How did you choose what was best for you? Did you use pricescope and read reviews? In your opinion which is better…online diamond and setting in store or both online or neither?
Post # 3
my husband did alot of the research as far as the 4C’s but i did the research on the jewlery store intself – it wasn’t hard for me actually- i knew i didnt want a huge chain either and anything in a mall was out – there is a jewelry store here in charlotte called Diamonds Direct that is very reputable – i think they have 2 other locations, one in birmingham AL and another in raleigh? not sure about the raleigh one. anyway, i knew my father had bought a lot of jewelry for my mother there and i always hear great things about it from other people, they advertise on the radio alot and i liked that it was privately owned and had been in business many many years so i mentioned this to my fiance at the time and when he went to go inquire about my ring he couldnt have been more impressed with the professionalism and he got to work directly with the owner when choosing my diamond – i think he liked the fact that he could actually hold the diamond he was buying and look at it under a microscope before putting the cash down. i dont think there is anything wrong with buying online either but for him he wanted to know exactly what he was getting before spending that kind of cash.
one thing i would suggest is to go window shopping -see how they treat you when you are in there, some of these people really care about their jobs and what they are offering and some are just sleezy sales guys looking for commission… and what they have to offer as far as sizing or cleaning or other things they might include if you purchase from them? price was also a big factor in the decision too. to me this particular store and the most bang for you buck and thats ultimately what we wanted and thats how we decided on a store.
Post # 4
@totheislnds: I def. agree with the window shopping to see how they treat you! Thanks for the advice! Too bad we don’t have a Diamonds Direct in Chicago!
As far as diamonds vs other stones, there is a lot of talk on these boards about mossinate. I guess my questions would be can you buy a loose mossinate stone and then have it put into any ring of your choice? Would most jewlery stores be willing to do such a thing?
Post # 5
I think I was in the same boat as you, silently freaking out afraid that when FI finally went shopping he would be taken! I like really nice things, but 99% of the time I will wait out my purchases until I have some sort of coupon or sale. My latest steal, a $5k dress for peanuts from outnet.com. I’m just giving this as an example so you know that I normally want the best for the best deal I can find. My now fiance is more of an impulse buyer and I was freaked out b/c I didn’t want him to get scr*wed when buying my ring, but I also wanted him to be able to get me the biggest, most well cut, highest GIA graded diamond for the money he wanted to spend. That being said I think that if you are comfortable with online shopping then you should look online. Many of these online companies do not have the overhead expenses that local stores do, which typically means a better price for you. The compnay my FI went thru actually takes that one step further and does NOT own the diamonds they sell until they know what you want. So, shop around, browse styles and settings online, save pics and decide. My 1.03 carat GIA graded diamond with .33 carat side stones came from Diamond Source of VA. They were awesome. Basically, FI told DS of VA what he wanted (they also had to educate him on a lot, there’s a lot more than just the 4 C’s, most people don’t go that far into it). Once they knew what he was looking for and budget, they contact the diamond cutters they deal with, the cutters send the stats for each diamond they think fits the criteria, along with pics and GIA reports. Then DS of VA, shows you the pros and cons of each diamond and helps you pick one from the list. At this point you are not buying it. The diamond cutter then overnights the diamond to DS of VA and they examine it, take more pics and compare it to the GIA certificate. Since DS of VA does not own the diamond, they are very objective when evaluating it. If they think it will suit your needs they overnight it to you so you can see it. They tell you to take it to an appraiser, specifically one that has certain qualifications, and not to some chain store where the manager will tell you its crap and try to get you to buy one of their diamonds. Theres some special certs that are recognized worldwide and they give you the website to help you find an appraiser. So, you get the diamond and a loupe, you take it to the appriaser, if you like it, you send it back and get the ring made. I know it may sound like a lot of work, but they really just cater to you the whole time. FI said service was EXCEPTIONAL. And it took less than a month for the whole process. And I know sport a ring that we could have never afforded if bought from a jewelry store. =)
Post # 6
@totheislnds: Yes there is a Diamonds Direct here in Raleigh. It was by far the WORST service I’ve ever encountered, in any industry. Seriously, I was ignored for a good 45 minutes which was fine because I was browsing, but then it took another 45 minutes to get anyone to come talk to me and show me what I wanted to see. Then when they finally decided to come talk to me they would go to pull the ring or a diamond or whatever I wanted to see and help another customer before coming back to me. Apparently because I was there without FI they figured I wouldn’t be buying that day and I wasn’t worth their time. It’s funny because I was so set on buying from there I didn’t even want to look anywhere else and they completely lost my business.
Post # 7
@nickels: That is exactly how I feel! i don’t want him to get one pulled over on him! Your FI’s experience sounds awesome! I too like nice things and want him to get the best bang for his buck! Thank you for the awesome advice! I feel a little bit better now.