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Wednesday, September 28th
Selecting the perfect engagement ring is a major task that can create a tremendous amount of stress for all involved. After all, while you understandably have a budget that you need to work with, you want to find an amazing ring that is perfectly styled for the bride-to-be's preferences. While all jewelry accessorizes a woman's wardrobe, an engagement ring is worn every day and will become a staple item. More than that, an engagement ring is a symbol of the love that the two of you share.
You may be eager to start your search for an engagement ring, but where should you look? Everything from cost and quality to style variations and more will be affected by where you shop for an engagement ring. What are some of the leading places to shop for your ring?
Before You Start Shopping
Before you get serious about your search for an engagement ring, it is important to have a solid idea of what you are looking for. Style is one of the first factors to consider. Many women will drop hints about the style of ring they are interested in. However, if this has not been your experience, you can get some feedback from a close friend or family member.
The rings cost will be directly impacted by its diamond. In fact, a diamonds cost is dependent on the 4Cs of diamonds. These are the clarity, the color, the carat, and the cut. It can be difficult to spot minor differences in diamond quality with the naked eye, but these differences can play a major role in cost. Because of how important the 4Cs are to your ring selection and your budget, it is important to increase your knowledge of these factors before you start shopping around. Doing so will help you to identify better value for your money, and it can help you to narrow down the options to the rings that are aligned with what you are looking for. After you have a solid understanding of what you are shopping for, you have several shopping experiences to choose from.
A Local Jewelry Store
Perhaps the most traditional place to start your search for a new engagement ring is at a local jewelry store. There are both pros and cons to this type of shopping experience. Many local jewelry stores are part of a national brand. These larger retailers may offer a reasonable selection for you to choose from. Many of them also offer in-store financing, which can make it easier for some shoppers to finalize their purchase plans. Keep in mind, however, that smaller, local shops generally have a far more limited selection and usually do not offer in-store financing.
Many people enjoy shopping at a local jewelry store because of the ability to actually see and even try on a ring before making a final selection. However, you should be aware that the in-store lighting and the fact that the rings are spotlessly clean could impact your selection. Rather than base your selection on a rings superficial appearance, it is important to inspect the diamond certification paperwork carefully before your purchase is finalized. A jeweler should also allow you to inspect a diamond under a magnifying lens. By doing so, you can confirm that the stone matches the paperwork associated with it.
One of the major drawbacks associated with shopping at a local jewelry store is overhead. Both chain jewelry stores and local shops have expenses related to having a physical location and to staffing the store. This overhead is inevitably passed on to the consumer in the form of inflated prices.
A Private Jeweler
Many people who choose to shop in a local store do not have their heart set on a specific ring style, and they may be willing to keep their options open. If you know exactly what you are looking for and are not willing to make concessions, working with a private jeweler may be a better option for you. Buying from a private jeweler may seem like it would be a pricier option, but this is not necessarily the case. Many private jewelers offer predesigned settings, and you only need to select the diamond that you want to be placed in the setting. This option is generally more affordable than having a ring setting customized from scratch. Either way, however, you have considerable control over pricing based on your selection of a diamond. Your jeweler may use a loose diamond that you purchased from another source, or he or she may help you to find the right diamond. In addition to this aspect of pricing, private jewelers may have much less overhead than local stores. However, the pricing will reflect the personalized service that you receive.
Those who are new to the jewelry-buying process and who are experienced shoppers may equally enjoy the personalized attention they receive from a private jeweler. The jeweler may help you to focus on critical factors that you may otherwise overlook, such as the long-term comfort of a specific style of band, the pros and cons of different metals and more. The jeweler may also work closely with you to show you the differences in color, cut, clarity and carats. These differences may not be immediately discernible to you, but the jeweler may provide an education to you as you prepare to finalize your order.
A downside associated with placing a custom order for an engagement ring is time. It may take several days or weeks for a private jeweler to place a stone in a predesigned setting. If you are ordering a completely custom ring made to your exact specifications, you may wait several months for its completion.
An Online Jeweler
If you want convenient access to a wide range of rings, shopping online is a smart option. Because online jewelers are not limited by showroom floor space, they may offer a far greater variety of styles for you to choose from. Likewise, it is easier for you to shop around online from the comfort of your living room than to drive around from store to store in your local area. Many people want to get feedback from a friend or family member before making a purchase. It is often easier to simply send a link to a ring than to bring that person into a local store with you.
There are other factors to consider when you shop for an engagement ring online. For example, online jewelers may allow you to select the diamond that you want in a specific setting. Often, online jewelers have detailed reports online for each loose diamond or diamond ring that outlines the stone's 4Cs. This makes it easy to confirm the quality before you make a purchase. When you shop from a reputable source, concerns about receiving the actual diamond that you purchased may be alleviated. However, you should always get an independent appraisal on a diamond that you purchased online as soon as you receive it.
Overhead for online jewelers is generally lower. Given the wide range of diamonds and diamond rings available to you, you can easily find options at all price points when you shop online. It may also be easier for you to comparison shop online than in person, so this enables you to identify true value when making a selection.
Explore the Possibilities
Whether you shop in person, with a private jeweler or online, you have many excellent sources to turn to for your new engagement ring. The first step, however, is to define what you are looking for. If you have not yet decided on a style, you can compare some of the beautiful options by window-shopping in person or online today to get started.
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