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Engagement Ring Choosing Tips

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

1. Consider your price range.

Traditionally, a man is expected to spend the equivalent of one to two month’s salary on an engagement ring. However, as time has progressed and customers are becoming more involved in the ring design and production process, these price ranges can vary. It’s important to consider your budget. Much of the stress that comes with picking an engagement ring involves money. However, don’t worry about buying the biggest and most expensive diamond out there. There are beautiful and affordable engagement rings for all budgets.

2. Look at the jewelry she wears everyday.

A big indicator of her taste in engagement jewelry will be her taste in the jewelry she picks out herself. Is she prone to wearing big, bold conversational pieces or does she tend to wear small, elegant jewelry? If she wears rings on a daily basis, they can also be a great indicator of the style she prefers. If you’re able to, borrow one of her rings to bring to your jeweler to size her ring. If she enjoys ethnic jewelry, something that reflects this makes an excellent choice. A Celtic ring can compliment your Claddagh wedding ring beautifully.

3. Choose the right diamond.

Most of the money in your ring budget should be designated toward the diamond, and often purchasing a loose diamond can be an excellent way to make sure she gets the ring design she desires. Diamonds are categorized by the four C’s – Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight. Research which diamonds are within your budget and speak to a jeweler about which settings will complement your diamond.

4. The jeweler is as important as the ring.

Picking the right jeweler will determine how effortless the decision will be. When choosing a jeweler, ask around. Choose a jeweler that is reputable. Find a jeweler that specializes in the type of ring you want. If you’re interested in Irish engagement rings, pick a jeweler from Ireland. Many of these purchases can be made online or over the phone.

5. Back up your purchase.

When purchasing your ring, make sure it comes with a warrantee and insurance. We’ve all heard of too many rings that end up down the drain! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. After all, this is an important investment.

An engagement ring is an outward sign of love and fidelity, and a promise to be joined in marriage. Whatever your budget or style, there are many beautiful ring designs for every finger.

Buying Antique Jewelry Guide

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Here are the basics on how to protect yourself when purchasing antique jewelry and what to look for in a good piece:

So, is it antique or vintage?

There’s actually a distinction between vintage pieces and antique pieces. Typically, a vintage piece of jewelry may be about 30 to 70 years old, while an antique piece could be hundreds or thousands of years old (in which case it should be in a museum).

What are the most popular antique jewelry pieces?

Most dealers offer a range of antique pieces, but collectors tend to prize pieces from the Victorian era and the Art Deco period of the early twentieth century. Jewelry from the Victorian period (1837-1901) tends to exude grace and history, while still exhibiting modern craftsmanship and quality. Pieces from earlier periods tend to be cruder and the stones of a lower grade, which is why jewelry collectors focus on the Victorian age.

Meanwhile, the antique jewelry from the Art Deco design era (1920-1930) attracts a lot of attention thanks to its unique shapes and overall style. Because of the industrial aesthetic, these pieces are distinct and highly valued amongst collectors.

What about modern “antiques?” What are they?

Because these styles are so popular, many jewelers are carrying pieces that look like antiques, but are actually made today. They’re not original Victorian brooches or Art Deco bracelets, but they’re made to look like it. These can be a great option for someone who wants the wearability and durability of a modern piece, but the look and style of an antique.

If I’m buying an antique, how can I be sure it’s real?

Always get every aspect of the piece in writing from the retailer, including the stone carats and quality. Then, have the piece appraised by an independent appraiser. If it doesn’t match the description given to you by the retailer, return the item for a full refund or ask to renegotiate the purchase price.

To prevent potential fraud or misrepresentation problems, always deal with reputable and respected dealers who offer a clear and easy-to-understand return policy.