Before you go shopping you should have some idea of what you like. Browse bridal magazines, websites and browse through a few local jewelers. Don’t just go to any jeweler, do your research. Ask family and friends for recommendations or find out which jewelers in your area are accredited by an authority in the field such as the Jewelers of America or Gemological Institute of America (GIA), among others.
You may be lucky enough to find the perfect ring for you right in your jeweler’s case. However, be prepared not to do so and know that you have other options. You can have your rings custom made using pre-designed elements or even design it yourself. Keep in mind that these options, as well as engraving, take more time, so the sooner you start shopping for your rings the better!
These options also carry a larger price tag. So it’s a good idea to set a budget after you have browsed. This allows you to make it realistic but not break the bank. You can always upgrade your rings on an anniversary or special occasion.
Keeping It in the Family
Using a family heirloom is a great way to save money and honor past generations. If the heirloom in your family isn’t to your tastes consider placing the stones in a more contemporary setting.
ALWAYS get your ring insured. Most homeowners and renters insurance require the jewelry to be added to your policy. You can also use a separate company to insure your jewelry. Your jeweler can probably give you some good recommendations. Shop around and make sure you ask questions! Having something happen and not be covered can be heartbreaking. Some things you want to ask may include:
Do I need to have an appraisal for full coverage? Will the insurance company take care of it or do I have to arrange it?
What does the policy cover? Theft? Loss? Damage? Mysterious Disappearance?
Is there a deductible?
Does the policy cover any heirloom stones or special designs?
Does the policy replace the jewelry or reimburse the cost?
Are my own negligence and carelessness covered? Are there any special exclusions?
If the jewelry is damaged does the policy replace or repair? Can I use my own jeweler for repairs or will I be limited?
What do I need to document a claim? What kind of proof is required to prove one?
This is only a sample of questions to ask and you want to read your policy well and make sure you understand what is covered and what is required of you should you need to make a claim. You may never use the insurance but it is better to be safe than sorry.
How to Save Money
Buying a ring with smaller diamonds in the same carat total weight will be less expensive. You can also shop at a reputable small jeweler rather than designer and chain stores. Big names tend to carry big price tags. Switching your setting for a cheaper metal is also an easy cost saving option. Lab made diamonds are also a cost cutter.
Last but not least, avoid scams. If you did your homework on your jeweler this shouldn’t be a problem but you should be aware of some common tactics used. Some jewelers will use bright lights with blue tones or fluorescent lights to make the stones color look whiter. Ask to see the piece in another part of the store with different lighting before purchasing. Huge sales are also very tempting but chances are the jewelry was marked up way above value before the discounts were taken. Make sure the jeweler can give you the carat weight of the main stone and not just the total for the ring. You cannot accurately compare prices based on total carat weight. Also, if a jeweler advertises a great piece at a great price and they are sold out when you get there, don’t be baited into buying a more expensive piece. The jeweler should be able to locate the original piece for you. It is a common bait and switch scheme used by jeweler’s to get customers into the store.
In the end you have to be happy with your ring. Any ring that makes you happy will look beautiful on your hand. When it comes down to it, that ring means a lot more than color and carat. It is a symbol of something far greater.
Missed our Wednesday blog, The 5 C’s to Consider When Buying Wedding Rings? Check it out if you are wanting to get the most out of your wedding ring purchase.