STRATEGIES FOR BUYING AN ENGAGEMENT RING
If you’ve found the person you want to marry and are in the market for an engagement ring, you don’t need to be nervous. Just sit back and try to enjoy this memorable milestone in your life. Now, if you’re lucky enough to have a partner who’ll take charge of the whole thing on their own, congratulations you are in for a wonderful surprise. If you’re shopping together the more prepared you are the easier it can be.
Here are a few pointers for making a better, smarter purchase.
Find a Trusted, Knowledgeable Advisor
Now, if you had a serious medical problem, would you look for a doctor or just go on the Internet to diagnose and treat yourself? Probably not. Like your doctor, your jeweler should be armed with expert training, be open to all questions and be able to provide answers in clear, simple language.
As a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Graduate Gemologist and Certified Jeweler for over 40 years, I have the knowledge and experience to help you select the perfect stone and setting. Yes, you can certainly shop around, but when you do, it’s important to find someone you like, you trust and feel comfortable working with.
Put Together a “Comfortable” Budget
There are very few things you may ever buy that you’ll own as long as this diamond engagement ring and wedding band. We recommend spending as much as reasonable. Some guidelines suggest spending two month’s salary. Currently the industry average ranges from $4000-$7500.
Do Some Research
Everyone knows you should consider the four Cs—Color, Clarity Grade, Carat Weight and Cut--when shopping for a diamond. Give yourself enough time. With the expense of carrying a large inventory, most stores won’t have diamonds of all shapes, sizes and quality in stock; but we are happy to special order your gem without any obligation.
Narrow Your Selection
Small differences in color and clarity can represent as much as 15% to 20% difference price. Go for what you like. Diamonds do not need to be near perfect or totally colorless to be beautiful.
Clarity grades run from flawless to imperfect. An imperfect stone will contain significant flaws that may or may not be visible to the naked eye. There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying stones in the middle or lower end of the grading scale. However, we generally do not recommend you consider buying imperfect clarity grades.
The amount of brilliance, sparkle and fire in a diamond is determined by cut. Many of these differences are not visible to the naked eye, but directly impact the overall quality and price of the stone. That’s why we recommend you compare several different stones in person to truly appreciate the difference. That’s where I come in with help to guide you through your selection process.
Consider Your Sense of Style
Today, with an almost endless variety of diamonds available, we’d like to suggest you also consider style. Do your tastes run to traditional or contemporary? Do you want to stay with current trends or forge your own path? Look around your home or office for clues of what you like. Are you looking for the biggest diamond you can afford, or do you prefer a high-quality gem that could become a family heirloom one day?
Check bridal magazines and browse the Internet. Ask your friends how pleased they are with their choices or if they would do things differently.
When selecting a ring, knowing your style will quickly narrow the choices. We also caution our customers to consider their lifestyle. A diamond that is flush with the mounting may protect it from damage. Whereas a high mounted stone might lead to snagging on clothing, furniture or other everyday obstacles.
Consider whether you are looking for a diamond solitaire or looking to surround your center stone with smaller diamonds or colored stones for added dazzle. Adding to your considerations is selecting a coordinating wedding band and if you will be wearing both together. Some ring settings offer a coordinating band. But, mixing a different band with your setting is also fine. Wearing just the band on an everyday basis is also a choice we see people make.
Styles change, people change and circumstances change. Unlike advertising that a “diamond is forever” as the DeBeers Company often does, a setting does not have to remain the same. So, don’t feel the pressure of making this a once-in-a-lifetime choice. There is always the option to change your setting or even trade for a larger diamond in the future. Which is another good reason to establish a relationship with a trusted jeweler. We also hope and expect our customers to come back to us at least once a year for a professional cleaning and to check for wear or damage to the setting.
Get a Written GIA Appraisal with Your Purchase
Glen Moscoe Jewelers highly recommends GIA diamond grading reports. This international organization has led the industry since 1931 in setting the most respected standard for grading and valuating diamonds and other gems. Believe it or not, this can be a highly subjective process. We encourage you to insist on a GIA report with your purchase. Among diamond dealers and jewelry store owners, some labs are known to be particularly lenient and don’t comply with the standards set by GIA. As an additional measure, consider having your diamond laser-inscribed with its GIA report number to provide verification if it’s ever lost or stolen. You can also ask us about special insurance for your engagement and wedding rings.
So, face this milestone with enthusiasm and with a feeling of excitement. Visit us at Glen Moscoe Jewelers across the street from McQuaid High School in Brighton. We are here to help you make a great choice!!