Shopping for an engagement ring can be an overwhelming experience due to the vast amount of choices and jewelers in the market. To help simplify your experience and turn you into a pro engagement ring buyer, we have put together a cheat sheet of what questions to ask when buying an engagement ring.
We have organized the questions people should ask about diamond engagement rings by breaking them into the following categories:
Age & History
Appraisal & Insurance
Price, Policy & Warranties
Questions to ask yourself
What are the different properties of the precious metals used for engagement rings?
A jeweler will be able to explain to you the differences of rings made from yellow, red, & white gold, and platinum. Not only are the costs different, but the strength, durability, and upkeep are as well. This is often an undervalued factor when purchasing an engagement ring, even though it is very important as your lifestyle and budget need to fit the bill.
How are the engagement rings hallmarked to ensure the integrity of the precious metal?
In many cases, jewelers will focus on the engagement ring’s diamond quality, thus, people end up overlooking the precious metal. Be sure to find out exactly what the precious metal content is, such as 10K, 14K or 18K for gold and PLT for platinum. This will make a difference for how much the ring costs. A trustworthy jeweler will never withhold this information. Furthermore, it should be clearly marked on the inner band of the ring.
Additionally, if the ring is made by a specific designer brand, you should be able to clearly see their brand’s hallmark on the ring as well. You often pay a premium for a high-end brand name, so you want to be sure you are actually getting said brand.
Lastly, make sure the karat weight, or “Platinum” for platinum rings, is present on the sales receipt. If the ring is silver, it should be marked as “925” or “sterling silver”. The manufacturer should also be listed on the sales receipt.
What is this stone’s grading report? Will I be given the diamond certificate after purchasing it?
Any diamond worth buying will have a special grading report from a diamond and gemstone grading lab. The two that are most reputable and most often used are the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and American Gem Society (AGS). A good jeweler will not hesitate to show you the grading certificate/report.
The reports will have all the details you need to know about the diamond. One of the most important aspects to look at is the 4Cs (cut, color, clarity, and carat weight) and the origin of the stones. If either of the labs mentioned above didn’t do the grading report, be sure to ask who grades their diamonds and what education and experience that person has. Also, find out what grading guarantees they offer – For best practice, stay away unless the diamond has been graded by GIA or AGS.
After purchasing the ring, you should be given all the necessary paperwork and certificate of grading report.
Can you breakdown the 4Cs of this stone for me?
Although your grading report should clearly state the 4Cs of the diamond in question, a good jeweler will explain each of the characteristics to you in a thorough manner. This will help you understand the scales for each of the 4Cs. Don’t worry about asking elementary questions, your jeweler should have no problem explaining any and all questions that you have. Note: It would be advantageous for you to study up on the 4Cs beforehand.
What is the diamond’s origin?
This should also be present on the grading report. However, if you want any clarification about this, be sure to ask. It’s important to know that your diamond was sourced responsibly. This means from its origin all the way down the chain to the point of purchase.
Is this diamond all natural?
All natural meaning that it hasn’t been treated in any way, such as filling in cracks or enhancing the color. Pay extra attention to vintage rings, as many end up being treated at some point. If it has been treated, it will affect its value and appearance and durability over time.
What diamond engagement rings do you have that meet my budget?
You may need to compromise diamond qualities depending on your budget. Explain your personal preference and see what options you have within your budget. This question will play into the explanation of the 4Cs.
A well-cut diamond will sparkle more, meaning it will be more brilliant and produce more fire. Ultimately a smaller diamond can appear large because of this.
With that being said, it can be a similar price as a larger carat weight diamond due to the nature of the cut. If you want to go larger on carat size, you may need to lower the color and cut grade if you can’t meet the cost.
There are many factors within the 4Cs that change the value of the diamond, so be sure that you are ready to make compromises if you are on a particular budget.
With gemstones becoming more common in engagement ring designs, we thought we should cover a few things to consider when buying an engagement ring with gemstones.
Does this gem have a certificate of replacement cost or an appraisal listing the special qualities?
Similar to a diamond grading report, you can learn all you need to know by asking this question and having the jeweler explain everything to you. Important things to note are: is it natural, has it been treated, and what is the country of origin.
Is the gemstone natural, synthetic or imitation?
Natural gemstones are mined from the earth and are of course the most valuable of the three by a long shot.
Next are synthetic gemstones, which are also impressive. They have fewer inclusions and are usually more vivid that natural gemstones. However, they cost a fraction of the price of a natural gemstone.
Imitation or stimulant gemstones are made from glass and plastic cut, and then they are dyed to resemble natural gemstones. These are very cheap and should not even be considered when it comes to fine jewelry.
Has this gemstone been treated?
There are many treatments that jewelers use to enhance a gems quality, such as heat treatment, irradiation, fracture filling, and diffusion. Be sure to ask the jeweler to explain each of these treatments, or lack thereof, and how they affect the durability and value of the gem.
To give you an example, a Burma ruby that has not been treated by heat is worth 15 times more than a ruby of the same color quality from Africa that has undergone heat treatment. Note: Heat treatment can vastly improve the gemstones’ color.
Another example would be for emeralds, which often have little fissures because they can be brittle. Jewelers use oil to make the cracks less visible and more durable. Therefore, an emerald with no oil will be more valuable than an altered emerald.
How should I clean and care for the gemstone?
It is important that you understand how to care for your gemstone so that you can retain its value over time.
Age & History
If you are looking at a vintage piece, estate ring, or custom ring, there are a couple of questions you should ask.
What is the history and age of this ring?
It’s highly beneficial to know the history of the jewelry you are buying. Age adds value and provenance does too. Certain historical jewelry eras are worth more than others. Get the details straight. Furthermore, if it was owned by someone noteworthy, the ring will carry more cachet.
Was this ring handmade or part of a larger collection?
It’s always important to know if the vintage ring in question is handcrafted or part of a production run. This may or may not affect the value but it’s a great opportunity to learn what inspired that particular ring.
Custom Design, Personalization & Modifications
Is it possible to get this ring engraved?
If engraving is something you have your heart set on, it’s best to know this before you get excited about purchasing the ring. Find out where they can engrave on the ring and what fonts/styles they can create.
Do you do custom ring designs?
You may not see the perfect ring for you or you have a vision of your dream ring in mind. See if the jeweler can custom design a ring and learn what the process is from A-Z. You may find that it’s quick and affordable. A custom ring will be super special for you or a loved one, and usually, the design possibilities are far and wide.
Can this ring be resized?
People by the wrong ring size quite often, and in many cases, men go in to buy an engagement ring without certainty of the ring size. So, it’s important to ask if the ring can be resized. Some rings can’t be resized depending on the design and materials. For example, rose gold rings are harder to resize due to the difficulty of working with rose gold and the potential for them to crack, and rings with diamonds covering the band could potentially cause issues if resizing is needed. Find out beforehand what the ring resizing potential is. Be sure to ask if ring resizing is free as well. It usually is for up to a year after purchasing at most jewelry stores.
Can I modify the ring?
You or your loved one might be happy with the ring at first, but in the future, you may decide you want an upgrade. Whether it’s to add more stones, make the centerpiece stone bigger, or both, it’s important to be prepared and understand what modifications can be made from the very start. Find out the costs for modification as well.
Do you have an in-house jeweler and ring maker?
You should ask this because in the future you may need maintenance on your ring. It will make your life much easier if you can go back to the jewelry store you bought the ring from if you do end up needing any maintenance work.
How often will I need to clean the ring and do maintenance on it? What’s the cost?
You want to find out how often cleaning and maintenance are typically done on rings like the one you are interested in buying. For example, yellow gold rings of higher karats dent and scratch easier due to the metal being softer.
You should also ask about how long ring cleaning and ring maintenance take and what are the associated costs. If they need to be held overnight, how will they protect your ring when no one is at the store. Many jewelers will offer free cleaning and repairs for a certain time period after purchasing the ring – you should ask for this as it is usually standard practice.
How can I do a simple cleaning to the ring?
It will be good to know how you can safely clean a ring from the comfort of your home so you can keep it looking as fresh as possible at all times. You don’t want to attempt to clean it the wrong way and risk damaging the ring.
Appraisal & Insurance
Will you do an appraisal for insurance?
A ring is an investment that costs a significant amount of money. Furthermore, it holds emotional value. With that being said, it’s smart to get your engagement ring insured right away. To get it insured, you’ll need an appraisal from a certified jeweler to state how much the ring is worth. It’s best to choose a jeweler who can do this for you. It makes life much easier, plus any reputable jeweler should offer this service.
What insurance do you suggest?
A good jeweler will have all the knowledge on this topic. If anyone knows what the best insurance for your new ring is, it’s the jeweler who you purchased it from. Most jewelers have partnerships with insurance providers, so they can lead you in the right direction, saving you time and energy.
Most jewelers understand that an engagement ring is a large purchase. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask about payment options and the rules and stipulations that come with them.
Do you offer any warranty?
It’s not uncommon for a ring to lose smaller diamonds or need repairing. You should know exactly what the warranty is. Moreover, you should know exactly what each diamond or gem is worth in case you do happen to lose one.
What is the exchange policy?
You probably won’t be thinking about returning or exchanging your ring, however, it is an important question to ask, especially if you are buying the ring for your soon-to-be fiancé. It’s always better to know if you can return it and exchange for another ring at whatever difference than to try later on and find out you can’t exchange it.
Some of the most important questions when buying an engagement ring should be directed at yourself.
Do you trust the jeweler?
You need to be confident that the jeweler is trustworthy so you know their answers hold weight. You can usually get a good idea by how you feel when you are speaking with them and beforehand by checking their reviews and BBB rating.
Does the jeweler offer a wide range of services?
Respectable jewelers have a wide array of service. If they don’t, you should be wary.
Do you like the ring?
If you have any doubts about the ring, take some time to think it over. There should be no rush. If the jeweler presses you to buy when you aren’t sure about if you want it, run!
Where can you buy engagement rings in South Florida? What is the best jeweler in Boca Raton?
Diamonds by Raymond Lee
Diamonds by Raymond Lee has been serving Boca Raton and South Florida’s insatiable need for diamonds for over 30 years. Our team of diamond advisers is dedicated to assisting you in selecting the perfect engagement ring. We aim to provide unparalleled customer support and satisfaction. Our A+ BBB rating can vouch for this.
Our vision has always been to forge a unique, professional, and intimate vibe. We provide a shopping experience that works for all generations. We especially know what the modern jewelry buyer wants; and we keep traditions that never fade intact, such as sensibility, artistry, and craftsmanship.
We have been Sunny Florida’s premier engagement ring retailer since 2016.
If you want to learn more about our engagement rings and services, please contact us today with any and all questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you and providing you with engagement rings advice.