First & foremost… CONGRATULATIONS !!
Ring shopping can be both fun & stressful… depends a lot on how long it takes you to find THE ONE
I didn’t do any ring shopping in NYC’s Diamond District, but I did spend 6 Weeks searching (started on vacation in Myrtle Beach where Mr TTR proposed, and concluded here in Eastern Ontario). We visited A LOT of places in search of my ERing… Chain Jewellery Stores – Family Jewellery Stores – Estate Jewellers – Craft / Artisan Jewellers etc.
We never needed an appointment, but we did go to some places where we had to be “buzzed” in (not a Shopping Mall)
Once inside we usually began by scanning the various cases. Browsing
If a clerk approached, we said we were looking.
If they pressed, I’d say it was for an ERing (or special ring… as I am an Older Encore Bride, and was looking for something more Cocktail Style than the tranditonal Solitaire)
You can try on rings… just ask.
Actually I encourage Bees to try on many rings… as what you see in a photo might not suit your hands at all in person because everyone’s hands are different
(Just like you have to try on clothes… pictures don’t always work)
I (and Mr TTR) educated ourselves on Diamonds… got to know as much as we could about the traditional 4 Cs… CARAT – CUT (Shape & Quality) – COLOUR – CLARITY
As well as these other Cs… CERTIFICATION – CONFLICT FREE / CANADIAN and COMFORT & COST
The more you know, the more you’ll be prepared to buy without making a significant mistake (when we asked Questions it was about the various Cs)
You can learn a lot here on WBee’s RING Board, as well as I found the EDUCATION Pages on Blue Nile to be very helpful…
The more you know, the better informed you’ll be (both be, cannot hurt to have two brains & two sets of eyes focussed on this task)… and the less likely to sucomb to the Pressure Tactics that Jewellery Stores imploy (it is a very competitive business)
NEVER get yourself into a situation where you are feeling pushed… you are the buyer, you should be the one to decided when the time / ring / cost is right. Period.
Cannot hurt either to have a frank heart to heart with your man to also find out what his parameters are in regards to Cost / Budget… as clearly you’ll have to work within that
(You can ask him upfront, altho a lot of guys don’t really have a grasp for what Jewellery / Diamonds cost… so it may be better to ask him after you’ve done some very casual looking / browsing together… say one or two stores… before clearly nailing yourself down in this regard)
NOTHING WRONG with buying at the first store you go into… BUT it is much better IMO to take your time and not rush the process. Lol think of it this way… there are 1000s of designs out there why limit yourself to the first store ? (Afterall this isn’t how you buy an outfit for a special occasion … limiting yourself to just one store. You like to look around get some ideas. And so it should be with a Diamond ERing… more so because unlike the fancy dress, this item you will be wearing 24/7×365 FOREVER… gotta love it)
Custom Made – If you cannot find something you like, or want something special this is the route to go. Custom need not = Expensive. The biggest benefit to custom besides getting what you want is having the ultimate control… so you can choose the Diamond Stats… which actually means you can control the costs better often than buying poorer quality (that may be overpriced)
Custom can be worked up from Drawings, Photos etc. BUT do get some references / reviews on the Jewellers / Goldsmiths work if you are going to go this route.
I recommend paying with a Credit Card… as most CCs have the ability to follow up with the Retailer if the purchase goes wrong.
Insurance should be in place asap after you buy the ring… you can do this thru your Home Owner’s Policy as a Rider, or you can just buy Jewellery Insurance (ie Jewellers Mutual).
Before you buy Insurance tho you’ll need an Appraisal. Some Jewellery Stores will include this with the purchase (ie My Diamonds are Certified, so the Appraisal came with them)
When you insure you’ll have 2 options…
Regular Insurance whereby if anything happens you’ll be covered up to the cost that was paid for the Ring or the Appraised Amount
FULL Replacement Value… which means you’ll be covered up to the cost that the Ring was Appraised at, or to have a Ring made to the specs of the Ring you had, at the CURRENT Costs (whichever is higher)
Anyhow that should get you started…
Enjoy the sweet ride !!
PS… I strongly suggest that you don’t let anyone pressure you… nothing wrong with ever saying “could you put that aside for us… we’d like to go home and sleep on it for a day or two”
And then don’t feel bad if after thinking about it some more, you’ve decided to keep looking. It is done all the time.
All that matters in the end is finding the RIGHT ONE.
Hope this helps,