Post # 1
So BF and I went ring shopping yesterday. We didn’t get to serious but I showed him things I liked and disliked, and we talked price and his thoughts. Mainly we scimmed through the mall jewlery stores but plan to visit other jewlery stores in the future. As we looked I noticed that what I am drawn to does not come premade in typical stores so we would probably have to have it custom made or at least it would take some more effort then just picking it up in store. I really would like a cushion cut center stone with a halo in a pave setting. As we go down this road of picking out my ring and deciding where to purchase it from there are clearly many things to think through.
We heard a lot of “1.5 to 2 carat stones of perfect color and clarity are very rare and are obviously going to be very expensive.” I cannot help but feel that that is a joke. We studied blood diamonds and diamond trading in school and I know that they are not NEARLY as rare as the industry would have you believe. As any woman would I want to get the most bang for my buck. As we discussed we talked about the option of having a personal jeweler design and make our ring which would cost us half as much as a chain store.
I’m taking my sweet time getting to my point apparently… My question is, where did you get yours from (chain, personal, antique store, etc.)? If you did not purchase from a jewelry store did you see a significant drop in price compared to what they quoted you in a chain? Also, what does your warrenty include? If you did not purchase a warrenty what happens if your stone is lose, if you lose a diamond, if god forbid it needs to be cut of or if it breaks?
I want to be as knowledgable as possible and I could really use some Bee advice. :o) Thanks
Post # 3
Mine is a Scott Kay ring:
We purchased from a local jeweler after going to all the stores in town, both locally owned and chain. We purchased a warrenty on the ring and as long as I bring it in every 6 months to be checked out it is covered. The warrenty covers my ring if the stones falls out, they will tighten the stones if they become loose, they will solder the e-ring and wedding band together for free, and once a year I can take my ring in for a super deep jeweler cleaning (more then waht they just do in the store). I would look into different places if you are going to have a custom ring made. I would also check out pawn shops and such if you are going to have a ring made. You may find some diamonds you like that you can have reset in a custom ring. That may help out with price! Aside from the warrenty from the jeweler we also put it on our renter’s insurance in case it was stolen or lost.
Post # 4
My FI got mine from bluenile. I also wanted a cushion cut diamond and the only store around here that carries cushion cut stones is tiffany. With the tiffany mark-up. Pass! 🙂 We got it insured immediately and I believe it also has a bluenile warranty.
Post # 5
Thanks. @Daisylynn:I assume you were mostly happy with the jewlery store you went with? Sometimes I feel like the chains can be very pushy especially well before your ready to really make the commitment. I don’t want to be forced into anything and they are quick to suggest a custom ring. So maybe I don’t need one and should keep looking. How long did you look for before you found what you really loved or did your FI just pick it out?
Post # 6
@MsBrooklynA: A great website to check out is http://www.pricescope.com/forum. They have tons of great great info/advice for people looking for e-rings. Tons of drool-worthy pics too.
My FI got my ring custom made by Leon Mege (who is located in the diamond district in NYC). He was soooo great for FI to work with even though it was mostly over the phone, and I love my ring! He does some really gorgeous and delicate halos, too, so I’d definitely recommend checking him out. (His website is http://www.artofplatinum.com. Here is a gorgeous 2 ct ring he recently sold: http://www.artofplatinum.com/portfolio/details.php?image_id=496) I’m not sure if we saved a ton of money compared to what it would have cost from a store, but the quality and cut of the diamond is better than what was available at any of the chain stores and was definitely less expensive than the same diamond would have been from Harry Winston or Tiffany.
We didn’t have a warranty, but Leon assured us that if we lost a stone (I have a pave setting) he would be happy to replace it for free. Everything else you mentioned is covered under our insurance, so we didn’t get any other warranty.
Hope that helps!!
Post # 7
@MsBrooklynA: Our chain wasn’t a national chain, but a regional chain I guess you could say. The people who worked there are paid salery and don’t receive any commision for what they sell. We never oncce felt pushed into making our purchase. Actually when we went back to get the wedding band they didn’t have the one that matched my ring so our guy called (on his day off!!!) to all the other stores in the area to see if they carried it and then told us were we could buy it. We decided to stay with them because of their customer service and he gave us the employee discount on a ring that is so similar you can’t tell it doesn’t match:) I think it just depends on the mentality of the chain you walk it to when buying a ring. We spent a weekend looking and I feel for that one right away. FI had proposed with a different ring because he knew I would want to pick it out, but wanted to surprise me (I know I’m spoiled:). I have never purchased online, but if you can find a reputable website I would think you would have more of a selection. Good luck!!!!
Post # 8
Remember that “perfect color and clarity” isn’t necessary, and is actually a rip-off unless you’re a serious collector. Near-colorless and eye-clean (and CUT! cut is a HUGE factor!) are what to shoot for.
Brick & mortar stores are going to have a higher mark-up because they have more over-head expenses. We got my loose center stone from GoodOldGold, it appraised at $1K more than we paid (we paid ~$1600 and it apraised at ~$2600). My setting came from EternityDiamonds. I was extremely pleased with both vendors!
I highly recommend checking the Pricescope‘s recommended dealers.
For coverage of losing the ring/stone, etc., we got insurance through Jeweler’s Mutual.
Post # 9
My ring was made from three rings that my fiance’s family already owned. Two small side diamonds 1/6 C or so came from his great grandmother’s rings, but they’re not identical. The center stone is a 2 C or so oval aquamarine from his late aunt. It’s great knowing we didn’t buy into the pricing scams, but I do get jealous of other girls’ diamonds. You have to be honest about what you really will be happy with and pay the price if it’s worth it.
When you get that stone make sure you know what kind of band to put with it. I’m having a really hard time finding something to match or fit comfortably.
Post # 10
@anon12345: Thank you for all the great information. I will defiantely check it out. So your insurance covers any accidents or anything? I just don’t want to be left with ome huge price tag if something major happens. My sister went through a personal jewler and in a freak incident had to have her ring cut off because her fingers swelled up. I don’t think she’s paying more than $100 to fix it but I want to cover my bases you know?
Post # 11
My ring was a freakin epic ordeal. We found a loose stone and had a custom band designed from FI’s sketchings.
The center stone is a hair over 3 carats. I completely agree that larger stones are not nearly as rare as people make them out to be. And for the people who are about to hop on their soapbox about how bigger diamonds may not have the quality of smaller ones I think that just depends on your diamond. Mine is a color quality of E and VVS2 on clarity and it is an ideal cut. Not all large stones are full of imperfections as many will have you believe.
Now I like a big diamond and I would have to a certain degree sacrificed some things like I would have taken a color F and VS1 clarity for a bigger stone.
We basically told three different jewelers what our minimum standards were for the diamond. Jareds Galleria which is the largest chain in our area was by far the highest in price and had the least amount of selection – they only had 1 that even sort of fit what we wanted (it was square and we wanted round). Then we went to two private jewelers and one had 4 different diamonds to choose from and the other had 2 diamonds to choose from. We picked the diamond we loved and had it set in the band.
Having the band designed from FI’s sketches took almost 6 months to get perfect.
We use Jewelers Mutual for our insurance company. We do not have a warranty as we have full coverage on the diamond adn the setting in the event it is ever lost, stolen or broken or anything basically. Insurance is a good thing.
Some of the things I learned in this process
-Know how much you are willing to invest in this – not only money wise but time wise.
-Go to the jewelry store and look at the diamonds – look at them under the microscope and under the loop and under just plain lighting. It will look different in each.
-GET CERTIFIED DIAMONDS. One of the diamonds we liked a lot was not certified and while it was gorgeous having that certification means everything for insurance purposes.
-If your jeweler is unwilling to work with you. WALK OUT OF THE DOOR. There was no way in hell we were about to drop that kind of money and have to deal with rude people.
Post # 12
I recommend finding a wholesaler. There was a HUGE price difference between the wholesaler and the chain stores.
Post # 13
My ring is from a local family jeweler. The setting is Hearts on Fire, but the center stone is not.
You can add your ring to your home owners or renters insurance or take out separate jewelery insurance. I have mine insured by Jewelers Mutual.
Post # 14
@kelmac: Any particular wholesaler you would recommend. What is the technical difference between a wholesaler and a chain store? Does the wholesaler just take away the extra middleman in the process or do they only sell the diamond alone? Sorry i’m still learning.
@abbyful: Thank you for telling me about goodoldgold.com I have been reading his information and it is really useful and informative.
Post # 16
@MsBrooklynA: Yup, our insurance covers everything, including accidents/other damage, loss, theft… so I think it would cover something like having to have it cut off. There were different plans available, and we chose one with a $500 deductible that pays us the full amount that my ring was appraised at in cash for us to buy a new ring, rather than “replacement cost” for the insurance company to find somewhere to get what they thought would be a equal-value.
In Canada, it is difficult to get insurance on jewelry worth more than a couple thousand, so we added it onto our condo insurance. Otherwise, we definitely would have gone with Jeweler’s Mutual (like laural and abbyful suggested)!
Good luck with the search! Let me know if you have any other questions!