BUSINESS NEWS - Not sure how to shop for an engagement ring?
Start by finding a jeweller you trust.
Buying fine jewellery isn’t like a car or major appliance. Precious stones — gems and diamonds — and fine jewellery come with their own language. It involves style, quality, even the way they’re marketed and sold.
It’s almost impossible for an untrained eye to fully grasp the quality of a particular stone.
On top of that, most of us only dip into fine jewellery purchases a few times in our lives, yet they’re the moments most filled with emotional significance. This means a critical step in finding the perfect engagement ring is to find a jeweller you trust.
Don’t leave the purchase of a lifetime to chance. Ask yourself these questions when choosing a jeweller.
This relationship matters too.
When searching for the perfect engagement ring, start with building a relationship with the jeweller.
1) Does the jeweller listen to you?
Respected jewellers should:
- Focus on the bride. It’s all about her: her style, her needs, her desires.
- Listen to you.
- Show you an array of different rings but help guide you in narrowing your choices. You shouldn’t walk away feeling overwhelmed.
2) Is the jeweller established and credentialed?
Choose someone with whom you can develop a lasting relationship. Look at how long the jeweller’s been in business and research the store’s reputation. An established business is more likely to have great references, and to be around for regular ring maintenance — not to mention in 10 years when you’re looking for that special anniversary gift.
3) Does the jeweller offer a wide array of services?
A respected jeweller will offer an array of services to help you choose your ring and with needs that are likely to pop up down the road. Here are a few things to look for:
- An in-house gemmologist who’s trained in the properties of precious and semi-precious stones and can guide you in finding the right stone for your style and budget.
- An in-house bench jeweller, who can help repair or resize your jewellery.
- An in-house designer that can do custom designs.
4) Does the store offer a wide selection?
You’ll want to be sure you have a variety of ring styles to choose from — along with a little guidance. No jeweller should have you walk away feeling under or overwhelmed.
5) Is the jeweller knowledgeable?
When working with a reputable jeweller, all or most of the staff should be able to answer your questions with confidence and ease, or point you to someone else in-house who can. Choosing a jeweller that specializes in loose diamonds and fine jewellery, and ensuring there’s a trained gemmologist in-house, makes this more likely to happen. Don’t hesitate to walk away if a salesperson refuses to answer a question — everything you ask matters.
The matter at hand: your ring
When choosing a jeweller for your engagement ring you would like to ask plenty of questions about the jewellery itself. These questions mostly center around the diamond or gemstone.
What you need to know about jewellery valuations.
6) How does the jeweller handle appraisals and diamond certification?
Don’t just take your jeweller’s word for it: Ask for a third-party diamond certificate from a respected independent gem lab, such as the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA), European Gemmological Institute (EGL) or the Diamond Institute of Africa (DIA). The certification proves the stone is of natural origin and describes any treatments done to it. It also documents the colour, carat and purity of the diamond.
7) Does the jeweller teach you how to look at diamonds — and show you the 4Cs first-hand?
You may not be trained to see a diamond’s 4Cs, but a good jeweller should guide you through the process, and provide the tools to help you see the true beauty of what you’re about to purchase. When viewing stones, make sure to ask the following:
- Can you see the cut of the diamond under a jeweller’s loupe?
- Can the jeweller explain the full-spectrum diamond colour grading?
- Is there a set of diamonds or colour graded stones to compare the colour of the diamond?
8) How does the jeweller mark the integrity of the precious metal in the engagement ring?
You’ll find most jewellers focus — and rightly so — on the quality of an engagement ring’s diamond. But the metal matters too. Ask to see a stamp verifying the precious metal content, such as 9ct, 14ct or 18ct for gold or Plat or Pt for platinum. A reputable jeweller won’t hesitate to show you.
9) What are the jeweller’s policies around warranties and returns?
The fundamental logistics of any other large purchase also apply to fine jewellery. Can the jeweller provide the ring you want in the timeframe you need? And just to cover all possible bases, make sure you understand the jewellers warranty.
The final question
10) All in all, can you trust the jeweller?
It’s worth saying again. Before plunging into a purchase, you need to ask yourself: do I trust this jeweller? The feeling of trust can come from many places: the referral of a family member of friend, reputation in the community, or you having done your research and asking all the right questions.
Armed with these questions to ask both the jeweller and yourself, you’re ready to shop for an engagement ring with a little more ease. Better yet, you’re positioning yourself to establish a lifelong relationship with a jeweller you trust.
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