Engagement Ring

1. Retail vs. Wholesale

Many believe that you can only go to a jewelry store at the mall to purchase your engagement or wedding rings. That’s not true.

You may have the do a little research, but you can find wholesale jewelers in Maine that will help you enjoy the benefits of wholesale shopping for such an important purchase. If you are able to go this route, there is access to high-quality diamonds without the huge retail mark-up.

2. Budget

Many jewelers will tell you the tradition is to spend around 2 to 3 months’ salary on an engagement ring. We suggest to spend within your means wile trying to find that perfect ring.  Consider your monthly obligations and future expenses that you will incur together; wedding costs, new home, etc, when deciding on your budget.

3. Educate yourself on the 4 Cs – Links to the GIA website

In the 1940s, GIA established the “4Cs” and the International Diamond Grading System™ – to this day, the worldwide standard for evaluating diamond quality.

Carat – Diamonds and other gemstones are weighed in metric carats: one carat is equal to 0.2 grams, about the same weight as a paperclip. (Don’t confuse carat with karat, as in “18K gold,” which refers to gold purity.)

Color – Diamond color is all about what you can’t see. Diamonds are valued by how closely they approach colorlessness – the less color, the higher their value.

Clarity – Because diamonds formed deep within the earth, under extreme heat and pressure, they often contain unique birthmarks, either internal (inclusions) or external (blemishes). Diamond clarity refers to the absence of these inclusions and blemishes. Diamonds without these birthmarks are rare, and rarity affects a diamond’s value.

Cut– Cut is the factor that fuels a diamond’s fire, sparkle and brilliance.

The traditional 58 facets in a round brilliant diamond, each precisely cut and defined, are as small as two millimeters in diameter. But without this precision, a diamond wouldn’t be nearly as beautiful. The allure of a particular diamond depends more on cut than anything else.

4. Remember Personal Style

When shopping for the ring, ask your significant other what their style is? Classic or modern? Delicate, chunky, simple or ornate pieces? Silver or gold?

5. Choosing the right jeweler

Ask who your friends and family used. Mom-and-pop shops and local jewelers that focus on service and quality are qa good place to start. Big retail chains will sacrifice quality for profit margins. They should have expert jewelers and gemologists that understand the 4 Cs on hand?

6. Insurance

With an expensive rock on your finger, why wouldn’t you purchase insurance? Get an appraisal and hold on to the receipt for the purchase.  Homeowner’s Insurance may not cover loss of a ring, and insure for true replacement value.

7. Think About the Future

Many will keep their rings for life because of the sentimental value, but if you do like the thought of upgrading, some jewelers offer upgrade programs. That 2 carat ring may be outside of your budget now, but in a few years as you have established yourself in a profession, you can bring back the ring and trade up.

Find a jeweler that will offer lifetime service on your engagement ring. You should be able to get free cleaning and polishing, as well as low-cost size changes and more.

Copyright 2003-2018 by Jim Casey Entertainment of South Portland, Maine.

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