- 2 years ago
- Wedding: October 2014
We just bought our wedding rings — they’ve arrived and we’re so excited. But the process was, to say the least, a little more involved than I would have preferred (how is buying two simple bands so complicated?). So I figured I’d recount our journey if it helps anyone else decide where to buy —
FI’s uncle offered to buy our wedding rings as a present, and we were given something of an unofficial budget of $1500. My engagement ring is a classic Tiffany’s in platinum, so our first stop was at Tiffany’s. FI is from Spain and most men wear gold bands, so he wanted a very simple gold band. The man at Tiffany’s was the one who helped FI pick out the engagement ring and he couldn’t have been nicer or offered better service. However, the pricing for my ring (it would have to be platinum because of the e-ring; any other metal we were told would rub up against it over time and create issues) would be $1100 and his gold ring would be $850. Even though we weren’t paying for these ourselves, it seemed excessive, especially since we just wanted simple 2mm bands. His parents advised him he check out some other shops, so FI learned from a friend at work that he should try Kay’s and a place in the Prudential (we live in Boston) called Sidney Thomas. So off we went.
First stop was Kay’s — service was dismal, prices were amazing (for the prices we could find out). We walked in and the woman barely looked at us. I let her know we were interested in wedding bands, and she said in a disappointed voice, “oh, okay.” I guess they prefer customers who are seeking more expensive jewelry? Whatever. Anyways, she didn’t know the pricing for platinum and said she would call us to let us know. We didn’t hear back for 3 weeks and at that point we’d already decided to purchase from Blue Nile. The 14k gold band for FI would be $155, which was a great price (especially compared to the $850 we’d been quoted at Tiffany’s).
Next stop — Sidney Thomas. The man who helped us was a little more professional. He also didn’t have the prices for my platinum ring so he would have to call us. The 14k gold ring for FI would be about the same as Kay’s, $155 or so. In the meantime, FI decided he wanted an 18k, not 14k, so we had to call them and requested pricing on this. It took them 2 weeks to get back to us with the separate prices for 18k and platinum. The platinum ring for me would be $650 and the $18k around $330. Still not bad pricing compared to Tiffany’s and was within budget.
However, then I discovered Blue Nile after some googling. Amazing! 18k gold ring and 95% platinum were $455 together — then I found a 10% off promo code. Also, I could be certain by ordering through the website that our styles would match (because the colors would be different, it was important to us that we have the same style). I was suspicious at first — why is their platinum so much less? The Blue Nile website had an FAQ about their 95% platinum and which metals comprise the 5% (ruthenium, nickel and other alloys). I called Tiffany’s to ask about their platinum and was told the 5% is all ruthenium. When I asked Sidney Thomas about their platinum, I was told it was “somewhere between 92% and 95%” and they said the remainder was probably nickel. This was not impressive considering their platinum ring was $400 more than Blue Nile’s and they couldn’t tell me the amount of platinum content. I didn’t have an issue paying more, but I wanted to know at least what we were paying for.
I should also add we looked at Brilliant Earth (http://www.brilliantearth.com) for rings as recommended by a colleague of mine — they sell responsibly sourced jewelry online. They were wonderful rings and the pricing seemed comparable; however we couldn’t find any 2mm option (we wanted very slender and subtle rings); everything seemed to be a bit thicker than we wanted. But I think that is also a great resource for people who are comfortable buying online.
One thing I especially liked about Blue Nile was the customer service. They were extremely helpful and educated both on the phone and via webchat. With Sidney Thomas, I had to keep calling and waiting for someone to call me back.
Blue Nile also has a 30 day return policy which alleviated our anxiety a bit (you just have to pay for return shipping w/ insurance, which in our case since we’re across the country from their Seattle office would be around $10). Sidney Thomas told us our rings would have to be ordered specially and then said “we’ll have to call you back” when I asked if they had a return policy in case the rings didn’t look right.
Anyways, since we came in so underbudget on our rings by buying through Blue Nile (and I believe there was no drop in quality), FI’s uncle offered to pay us the rest of the money to help us with wedding expenses. He is a wonderfully generous person and we were so grateful for the assistance.