Do You Hear Wedding Bells?
By Tanya Blok, Sat Dec 10th
So you've been in that perfect relationship for some time now.You've been dropping hints about the future and he is receivingyou loud and clear. It's time to do a little "window shopping."After all, you don't want to leave one of the most importantdecisions in your life entirely up to him, do you? He WILL losesleep over finding that perfect engagement ring, even though hewill not admit it. So why not help him out a little, give himsome guidance and direction.
There are so many choices when it comes to shopping forengagement rings and you and he will hear a lot of advice from alot of "helpful" people. His "Uncle Charlie" will know a guy whoknows a guy. Your sister will tell you that you have to get yourring where she got hers. Your co-worker will tell you about thisreally cool website. And on and on, there will be advice aroundevery corner.
Let's go through some of the available options and identify thepros and cons of each. This should help you both figure out whatthe best option is for you.
Your Local Jewelry Store: Definintely a great place to start. Ajewelry store will have a small selection of pre-set engagementrings for you to see in person, and try on. If you run into ahelpful sales associate that is willing to spend some time withyou and explain all of the nuances of buying diamonds, it willbe well worth your time.
PROS Seeing the diamond in person. Nothing beats the feeling ofseeing diamonds sparkle on your finger!
Talking to a knowlegable human being and getting answers toquestions face to face.
CONS Limited selection. Most local jewelry stores do not havethe financial resources to carry a large inventory of diamonds.However, many stores do work with suppliers who are able to sendthem goods on memorandum (like consignment) if they have acustomer who is looking for a particular diamond.
Price. You will pay more at a jeweler, period. Sure you can tryand negotiate and feel like you got a better price, but ajeweler will not sell you that diamond for less than asubstantial profit. Most jewelers need to make a "keystone"markup on every item, which is double what they paid for thatdiamond. This markup covers the high overhead costs of running astore including insurance, rent and sales commissions.
Antique Shops: If you are looking for a ring that is trulyunique, this is the place for you. You'll need to do some legwork and visit many different stores to see what's available,but it could be worth it in the long run.
PROS Most likely to find a one of a kind ring. If you have theneed to be an original, stick to your search and you will findthat proverbial "diamond in the rough."
CONS Unless you get lucky, expect a long search. You may onlyfind a handful, if any rings in the shops you visit.
Most rings will not have any type of certification or appraisal.Unless you know a great deal about diamond grading, it ispossible to get taken advatage of very easily.
The Internet The Holy Grail and the Bottomless Pit ofinformation, all wrapped in one. By far, you will find thelargest selection of diamonds and engagement rings here, butthat can be