Engagement Ring Buying Traps

Engagement ring buying traps was the final topic we were asked about in our interview with the Chicago Tribune.

The reporter specifically wanted to know what they were and how to avoid things like spending too much money on a ring or buying a fake diamond. Lastly, she wanted to know our thoughts on jewelry or ring insurance.

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We also offer tips for buying an engagement ring. A quick run down of DOs and DONTs.

Engagement Rings: Fakes, Spending Too Much

What are some common engagement ring buying traps and how do you avoid them? (buying a fake, spending too much, etc.)

No Diamond Certification

At the top of our list would have to be fake diamond rings or diamonds without an accompanying and recent grading certificate.

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If the organization you are buying from can’t or won’t provide you with some accredited independent diamond grading certification from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), American Gem Society (AGS), International Gemological Institute (IGI) or similar organization then move on.

If your heart is set on a particular ring that has no accompanying documentation, ask if you may have it independently appraised prior to purchasing it. Any reputable company will let you do so. If they won’t for any reason, again, move on.

Be A Smart & Educated Consumer

Beware of conflict diamonds (also known as Blood Diamonds—which are stones that are illegally traded and not regulated and more importantly, fund conflicts in war torn areas of the world). They're often available at a better price since they are shunned by many, but are something that any socially conscious human being should avoid.

Engaging Fact:  Conflict or Blood Diamonds are defined by the United Nations as “Diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments…"

Most reputable jewelers will provide proof of the origin of their diamonds and many will state proudly that their diamonds are conflict-free.

Be an educated consumer and know what you're buying (especially when it comes to diamonds). Learn about the benefits and drawbacks of various diamond shapes and settings. Know the basics of the 4Cs so that you can communicate effectively with the jeweler and understand the diamond grading certification.

Don’t let your emotions get the best of you or be coerced into buying something you hadn’t intended on buying. This is probably one of the biggest self-induced engagement ring buying traps.

Don't Spend Too Much On An Engagement Ring

Know and plan your budget before you walk into the store and be firm with the salespeople.

As soon as you approach them tell them that you do not want to see anything that is out of your budget or you will immediately take your business elsewhere.

How are you going to feel when they start showing you a two carat diamond when your budget only allows for a half carat? You may not end up with the two carat rock but chances are you will walk out of there over budget.

Don't spend beyond your means and be influenced by outside pressure, the desire to impress, or anyone who tries to make you feel cheap or question your commitment. This is another common self-imposed engagement ring buying problem. The worst thing you could do is get yourself into debt as you start your lives out together so stick to your plan.

Don’t forget to negotiate! Buying a diamond is no different than buying a car. In most cases, there is plenty of room for negotiations.

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Engagement Ring Insurance

Should you get the ring insured?  So many people ask us about this and our first thought is why wouldn't you?

Absolutely! There are many good reasons to separately insure an engagement ring. The ring can be lost, stolen, mysteriously disappear or get damaged.

With the average cost of an engagement ring running at over $5,000 they are, for many, not easily replaceable emotionally or financially.

Many people believe that their homeowners insurance will automatically cover an engagement ring, but that is often not the case depending on the value of the ring or policy.

Although they might be covered for fire or theft within the home and other very specific incidents, there is likely a set limit on the dollar value with no coverage for damage or lost stones.

Our best advice is to speak with your insurer to determine what coverage you have and what you need to do to make sure that your ring is fully insured. Be sure to check out our info on engagement ring insurance.

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