8 Step Guide
- Step 1: Set Your Budget
- Step 2: Get the Ring Size
- Step 3: Choose a Jeweler
- Step 4: Design the Ring
- Step 5: Select a Diamond
- Step 6: Make the Purchase
- Step 7: Get Insurance
- Step 8: Care & Maintenance
Choose a Jeweler
Choosing a jeweler has many similarities to choosing your life partner, although we admit that the latter is slightly more important. Fortunately for you, you've already accomplished the hard part. As when choosing a partner, it is important to look for the qualities that will result in an exceptional and lasting relationship. Qualities like great communication, trust and passion are paramount to the relationship’s success. Your jeweler should be able to communicate with you clearly in an honest and straightforward manner, understanding your preferences and guiding you to a purchase that exceeds your expectations. You should look for a strong, positive reputation and credentials that backup their expertise and passion for their craft. Ultimately, you will likely get to know them on a personal level, so make sure that they are not only qualified, but kind and trustworthy people with whom you want to build a long-term relationship with. Let’s dive deeper into the specifics of what makes a jeweler a great choice:
Online vs. Retail
When thinking of engagement rings, the average consumer conjures images of fancy brand names, romantic television commercials and red carpet celebrity features. Big name retailers have certainly made a lasting impression on most of us with their big marketing budgets. But their big marketing budgets are the result of their big markups. Sure, the experience of walking into a famous store with exceptional quality and service seems like an exciting and glamorous white-gloved experience. But expect to pay at least 20-30% more for a product that is easily matched by the exceptional craftsmanship you can receive with reputable online jewelers. To put that into perspective, the same diamond engagement ring that costs $8,000 at luxury and big retailers will likely cost you between $5,600 and $6,400 when purchased online. With the extra $1,600 - $2,400 you’ll save, you can buy a bigger diamond or fly to Paris for the proposal.
At Mint Diamonds you can expect the same white-gloved treatment without the inflated costs associated with the huge overhead and large sales commissions of big retail stores. You will also enjoy the opportunity to work with our designers in creating something truly one-of-a-kind - an experience not available in most retail stores.
Whether shopping our collection or designing a custom ring through our website, or visiting our sleek, appointment-only showroom near Houston, you will always find the highest quality product at an exceptional value. Our goal is to create the perfect engagement ring of your dreams with savings that, in many cases, could pay for your honeymoon and allow enough leftover to leave a generous tip on your beachside pina coladas.
Service and Quality
Possibly one of the most significant and certainly one of, if not THE most important purchase of your life, an engagement ring should be treated with the respect it deserves. You owe it to yourself to choose a jeweler offering the best in customer service and quality. From beginning to end, our jewelry specialists are happy to answer your questions, explain options and guide you in making educated decisions. We firmly stand by our leading quality, policies, warranties and the reputation we’ve earned serving our customers for years.
Diamond and Gemstone Certification
Similar to how cars have titles and registration, diamonds and gemstones have grading reports. It is imperative that the diamond you choose for your engagement ring is complete with a grading certificate and you should carefully inspect it before you purchase. This will verify that the diamond has been professionally examined by a gemologist and supports the valuation and appraisal of your stone. At Mint Diamonds, we offer and select only diamonds that have been graded by the most reputable, industry-leading authority, The Gemological Institute of America (GIA). GIA provides credited reports containing a full scientific and unbiased assessment of your diamond’s 4Cs. They test every diamond submitted to establish its authenticity as a diamond and whether it’s been subjected to treatments. GIA reports provide a full description of the diamond, including color, weight, measurements, and cutting style, and disclose any known treatments. All reputable jewelers understand the value of this report and should willingly provide you with this information.
Experts and Gemologists
Let’s face it, you don’t have the time to enroll in a Graduate Gemologist course and spend months becoming a diamond expert. That’s why it’s important for the jeweler you choose to have knowledgeable diamond and gemstone experts available to answer your questions and guide you in choosing the best stone for your ring. You will need to rely on them for advice, as you would rely on a doctor in medical situations.
Here at Mint Diamonds, we have the expertise to give you the best advice and guidance for your purchase. We also believe it is important for you to be educated on the subject of diamonds and engagement rings, enough to feel confident in the decision, which is ultimately yours.
One common misconception is that consumers will be able to accurately choose a diamond from among the 100’s of thousands or millions available online, showcased by some online retailers and selected using the “sliders” most of us are familiar with. Unless these selections have been pre-sorted by the retailer to only include diamonds that they have personally reviewed, it is basically a shot in the dark at what you will be getting. This is because there are many factors beyond the well-known 4 C’s that contribute to a diamond’s quality and beauty. Additionally, two diamonds may look identical “on paper” but will have very different attributes in person. This is why the experts here at Mint Diamonds hand-select every diamond and gemstone we sell and present a thorough review and recommendation to our customers. This way we are certain that the center stone you are receiving has maximum quality and brilliance.
Warranties and Guarantees
In today’s competitive market, there’s no reason for you to settle for second rate service or quality. It is entirely possible to find a jeweler who aims to make you 100% happy for the life of your relationship, and offers the guarantees and warranties to backup their claims and make you confident that you are covered for the long-term. Although it may take a bit of research, these jewelers are fairly easy to spot. Here are some important questions to ask about the jeweler you are choosing:
- Do they offer 100% refunds and returns with an adequate, 30-day policy?
- Do they have a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty that covers any defects?
- Do they offer only high quality diamonds and gemstones complete with reputable grading certificates?
- Is their customer service prompt and helpful?
- Do they have positive reviews from actual customers?
- Do they offer free diamond upgrades?
- Do they provide a professional appraisal with the ring?
- Do they assist in getting insurance for your purchase?
At Mint Diamonds, we stand behind our craftsmanship by offering a lifetime return and exchange guarantee because we believe in providing the best service to our clients. We live by our work and our word. You can view our full warranty and guarantee policy here
Jewelers that are involved with major trade associations are dedicated to protecting you as the consumer. They must abide by strict, regulated guidelines and operate within the most ethical best practices and standards. In some cases, they are also required to maintain a minimum level of continued education, which is important in today’s exponential society. Associations like Jewelers of America (JOA) and the American Gemstone Society (AGS) were founded with the desire to advance the professionalism and ethics of the jewelry industry.
As part of our ongoing commitment to excellence here at Mint Diamonds, we take pride in being members in all three of the aforementioned associations.
Safety and Security
There are 3 primary safety considerations when choosing a jeweler; safety of location, safety of personal information and product delivery safety. You'll need to pay attention to the details of how they operate their business to ensure all three are covered.
First you should ask if they are located in a safe and clean environment with adequate security? Our well-maintained Mint Diamonds office and showroom is located in a professional gated community that is restricted by remote access and a secure perimeter. The community itself and our office are protected by 24/7 high definition video surveillance and every guest must be personally escorted into the premises.
Finally, you'll want to confirm that the shipping service that your jeweler uses to deliver your jewelry to you is both reliable and fully covers your purchase in the unlikely event it is lost, damaged or stolen. Over the years we have found that the reliable and secure shipping services offered by FedEx far outweigh the additional cost associated with using them. At Mint Diamonds all of our products are shipped using FedEx with full insurance coverage and requiring a direct signature, 100% free to our customers.
Before choosing a jeweler, you should investigate what services they will provide for the life of the ring. Again, this is a long-term relationship, not a one-night stand, so make sure that your jeweler can easily provide the following services:
- Routine cleanings and general maintenance.
- Diamond upgrade services.
- Discounted redesigns and repurposing.
- Annual polishing and rhodium plating.
- Annual inspection to verify the integrity of the stone, identify damage and avoid serious issues from occurring.
- Appraisal services.
- One free resize within a specified amount of time.
- Discounted repairs for your purchase.
Furthermore, the jeweler should be open and honest when discussing your purchase. They should be able to provide documentation about the ring's quality, and be willing to provide you a loupe to inspect the minute details of the ring. At Mint Diamonds, we provide all of these services and more and make a solemn commitment to our customers to always put education and service first.