When shopping for an engagement ring, there are many elements to consider: the diamond (or other center stone), the style, the metal, the quality of jewelry, the warranty, and then fitting it all into your preferred budget. We want to help you know exactly what you should be asking the jeweler when you’re shopping and what the right answers to these questions are. This will help you find the most beautiful, heirloom-quality ring possible within your budget that your partner will love forever. Ask these questions before purchasing:
Choosing a Jeweler
In the jewelry industry, experience equals skill and usually translates to higher quality. Other components to consider are their wide selection of pieces and varied array of services, showing their skill and willingness to work for the customer.
You need to be able to trust your jeweler, just like you trust your doctor or a mechanic. If they were not recommended to you, make sure there is an abundance of consistent years of reviews for the jeweler so that you know others have been happy (or upset) with their experiences.
This question is important because if you want to add a custom element, you want to make sure it is entirely custom. If you were promised a custom ring, it should be made only for you, and not just different pieces of different designs matched together.
Every metal has good characteristics as well as drawbacks, and the final choice is just about what suits you, your lifestyle, and your budget. Although platinum is the best for securely setting gemstones, there is no bad metal. Here’s a handy info-graphic to help with precious metal choice.
You should be happy with the design before production so that you know you’ll love the final product! Many jewelers will create a 3D model and grow a wax version for you. For the diamond, ask the jeweler to explain what you’re seeing under magnification so you know exactly the diamond you’re purchasing.
If you think you may upgrade at some point in the future, make sure you know the jeweler’s policy. Many jewelers will give the first diamond’s value in credit towards the upgraded diamond.
This is very important! If you think you may need to resize the ring, ask to make sure there is space to do that on the band. Some eternity styles don’t always allow for this. Usually you can add engraving to a ring easily at a later date, but it is a good choice to check with your jeweler.
Most rings take around 6 weeks for the entire custom process. Make sure to mention when you need the ring by, and set the due date a few days before you actually need it in case any last minute changes need to be made.
Make it clear if the jeweler should not contact you on the phone (or email, etc) because you’re trying to keep it a surprise. Most jewelers are great at keeping the ring a secret, but make sure you and the jeweler know how you’ll be communicating through the process.
This is extremely important. If the diamond does not have a certificate from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the American Gemological Society Laboratories (AGS), or the International Gemological Institute (IGI) do not purchase it until a certificate is obtained from one of those institutions. No other lab is acceptable. A certificate guarantees a diamond’s characteristics because it is graded by an unbiased lab, so the appraisal price can be set by these grades.
An appraisal is important for insuring the ring. Usually, a jeweler will appraise the piece for you, but check before you purchase to make sure they will.
This is where the appraisal comes in. Contact your home owners/renters insurance provider and find out their exact policy for you. You can also find specific jewelry insurance companies. Make sure you have the jeweler’s warranty in writing, and that it makes sense for you.