Let’s face it, the average person (that’s most of us) has only a small amount of really big ticket purchases to make in a lifetime. A home of course, a car, and a college education for example all fall under this umbrella. For a person ready to propose, an engagement ring is another item which will take out a relatively decent chunk of your hard earned paycheck. To get the most for your money, it is best to be as educated as possible before buying an engagement ring. This is just smart shopping no matter what you’re buying but especially when buying the finer things in life. Nothing can replace a face to face consultation, or two, or more, when purchasing items that cost in the thousands.
At this point you’re saying to yourself, common now, it’s the twenty first century, anything can be bought online! Can and should are two different things so let’s explore the reasons buying an engagement ring at an actual store is the smartest way to go.
Firstly, let’s give credit where it’s due and state without a doubt that the Internet is definitely your friend here and what I will refer to as the “pre-game” of engagement rings shopping. The fact is, there is an unlimited amount of non-biased information out there pertaining to engagement rings settings and center stones. While a person could only depend on a retailer 20 years ago for all of their information, usually coming into the store pretty clueless, these days, most consumers have educated themselves a decent amount before even walking into the store. Most shoppers already know plenty about the 4 C’s and have a pretty good idea of what they should and want to buy. They are familiar with terms like halo, channel set and cushion cut. Also, due to apps like Pinterest and Instagram, most of the women already have some idea of what they like and are a lot more involved in the purchase. In fact, couples shopping together for the engagement ring is now quite a common occurrence. Most retailers will agree that they see more and more couples coming in together and this itself has many advantages.
At a brick and mortar store you have the advantage of seeing exactly what you’re getting. Nothing can compare to sitting down with a highly trained professional who can walk you through numerous options and help to answer any of your questions in real time. You can also try on any ring to see if the style, size and shape looks good on your finger and is comfortable to wear; this is impossible to replicate online. After all this is a piece of jewelry she will wear every day for decades to come; you want to be 100% sure in your decision.
The center stone is often the most expensive part of the ring and also the most complicated; this is where knowledge of a professional is an absolute must. In fact, two stones may have the exact same “grade” given to them and look totally different to the naked eye with a thousand dollars of difference between them to boot.
Diamond grading reports are surprisingly subjective, despite the regimented, standardized system of grading that’s been in place for many years. Case in point: two diamonds, which seem identical in the virtual world, have two very different prices (see below).
Know the Difference
These diamond certifications come from a reputable online dealer. On paper, they certainly appear to be the same in size, cut, color & clarity. Yet, the price difference is $1,300 – a 15% difference. Why? That’s an excellent question, one that no one can really answer without seeing the stones.
This is not something you can see online. Most people will not see the difference and can end up making a costly mistake with an online purchase. Most online retailers have never actually seen the stones they are selling, they are just listing the stones their wholesalers have in stock. This means they never actually performed any decent quality control on them. Retailers who own their own diamonds have selected the best of the best in that diamond grade as an investment in their inventory. Online retailers do not own their own diamond inventory, some are even listed on competitors’ sites as multiple online retailers can deal with the same diamond supplier. Usually suppliers sell the best of a particular grade to the independent offline retailers who are committed to investing in their own inventory.
Each diamond tells a completely different story, each one is unique. This is why they are the number one choice for bridal jewelry and what makes them special. The truth is, in regard to diamonds, most people have no idea what they’re looking at or whether the stone is considered to have good value or not. A diamond’s internal characteristics, those that are not visible to the naked eye, play the largest role in determining the stone’s intrinsic value. It’s important to note that with diamonds, most look great on their own but it is when comparing several stones at the same time that you can truly form your opinion, therefore there is no comparable substitute for selecting a diamond in-person.
It is also quite common for brides to decide on one stone shape from “online research” and then see that stone shape in person and compare it to other stones only to completely change their mind. Online stores simply cannot convey the differences like an in person consultation can.
When choosing a retailer it is important to choose one with an excellent reputation, whose focus is to educate, guide and help you, not just push a sale. A great store should show you many different options available in your price range and educate you on their Four C’s differences. With proper direction and guidance you will find a diamond that is ideal in both price and look and one that will exude its maximized brilliance in your chosen setting. A good salesperson will never push you into anything but will be honest and transparent and help you make the right educated decision unique to your needs and circumstances.
The only way to truly know and understand what you are buying is to shop with a knowledgeable Gabriel & Co. retail partner. Every retail partner we work with goes through a thorough vetting process to determine if they are the right partner. We look for retailers who share the same strict quality standards and values that we do. Most of our partners have been in the business for decades and most of them are multi generation establishments serving their communities with integrity and reliability to provide unparalleled expertise, working with you one-on-one to help you make the best choice possible. They are passionate about what they do, whether it’s helping you choose a ring on the spot, or working with you to design & create your own unique creation. Because getting engaged is more than finding a ring, it’s about finding the one.
Buying an engagement ring at a retailer begins a relationship that will last for years to come. Remember that an engagement ring is an item that requires future maintenance and upkeep. Things like tightening loose prongs, re-sizing, cleaning and even upgrading are in your future. Many retailers will perform things like cleaning and general maintenance for free if you bought your engagement ring from them.
Like an ideal partner, the perfect diamond engagement ring will stand the test of time. That’s why we believe you should get to know your ring before you buy it, by shopping with one of our experienced, family-owned and operated retail partners. We’re confident you’ll agree that when it comes to love and engagement rings, there’s nothing like the real thing!
You can browse hundreds of Gabriel settings on our website and then use our free preview option to try it on at a store nearest to you. Click here to find a location. We wish you the best of luck on this exciting milestone in your life!