Image by Drobot Dean / Design by Sh Jewellery
It’s easy to get swept up in the romance of buying an engagement ring – the bright lights, velvet displays and shiny diamonds dancing to a loop of Debussy wedding classics. The immaculately manicured and sweetly perfumed sales assistant obviously knows what she’s talking about, right?
Assuming she does, it still pays to have a personal checklist of what’s important to you when making one of life’s most precious investments… So you don’t end up making impulse decisions with your Bling Goggles on.
Before frisbeeing your Mastercard across the counter at the first sight of a 5-carat diamond, refer to this pre-purchase checklist of must-have inclusions every reputable jeweller should offer with the sale of an engagement ring.
PROOF OF QUALITY & AUTHENTICITY
If the diamond isn’t GIA-certified, laser-inscribed with a unique serial number and sold with matching certification papers, back away from the counter – do not pass the bowl of free Minties – do not collect a catalogue on the way out.
As the world’s leading authority on diamonds since 1931, the GIA ‘s unbiased gem grading processes offer protection to diamond buyers through establishing global quality standards and authenticity.
Buying a diamond that’s not GIA-certified is like hiring a wedding celebrant without sighting their registration certificate. You could risk it, but it’s not the kinda thing you want to do twice.
Image sourced via GIA
When shopping for wedding cakes, you don’t just flick through 2D images in a photo album that’s been thumbed by hundreds of other couples; you want to taste, touch, smell and experience freshly-baked cakes until you find ‘The One’.
The same is true of diamonds. Choose a jeweller that specialises in diamonds and showcases an impressive range of physical stock to experience first-hand; not a retailer who claims to have access to “wholesale diamond prices”, but stocks a smattering of sample diamonds from which you place an order, having never even seen ‘The One’ that will ultimately feature in your ring.
When buying a diamond engagement ring, make sure What You See Is What You Get, and you can actually meet the diamond you’ll be spending the rest of your life with – not just a carbon copy.
Photography by SH Jewellery
FREE LIFETIME AFTERCARE
Buying an engagement ring is more than a lifetime commitment to your partner, it’s the beginning of a relationship with a trusted jeweller who promises to maintain your engagement ring for the life of the diamond.
A jeweller who is serious about post-purchase service will offer complimentary lifetime aftercare to ensure your ring continues to look as dazzling in fifty years’ time as it did the day it left their showroom.
At a minimum, this should include a complimentary cleaning service every six months to keep your engagement ring in peak condition aesthetically.
Photo by serhiibobyk
FREE CLEANING KIT
While a trip to the workshop every six months provides a deep cleanse to revive your diamond’s fire and remove built-up dirt and bacteria, an in-home cleaning kit is a great in-between tool for removing superficial blemishes, hand creams, oils, beauty products and household substances quickly and conveniently with a specially formulated solution and purpose-built cleaning brush.
Before committing to a jeweller, check if they provide a free cleaning kit with detailed aftercare instructions on how to use the kit so you can confidently care for your new ring from home between services.
Photography by SH Jewellery
FREE LIFETIME INSPECTION
Reputable jewellers will also offer a complimentary lifetime inspection service to identify any maintenance required, such as claw tightening or stone resetting, an inevitability of wearing your engagement ring daily.
Ask the jeweller if they provide free inspection and if the ring needs to be sent away for repairs. Check if there are any postage or insurance costs involved and inquire about the typical turnaround time in the event your ring needs to be sent away. Ideally, repairs are performed onsite and complete within a week.
Experienced jewellers who know their product and are confident in the quality of their metals and workmanship will offer extended warranties at no additional cost.
They don’t need to upsell you aftercare service, because they know – from years of designing and making premium quality diamond engagement rings – the chances of your ring developing faults are slim to none.
Shop around and compare warranties to make sure your chosen jeweller offers strong guarantees with reasonable terms and conditions.
For warranties to remain valid, it’s common for jewellers to request your engagement ring be inspected at their workshop once a year so maintenance issues are identified early. If this is the case, ask if the jeweller sends reminders to ensure you keep on top of your maintenance schedule for the warranty to remain valid.
Photography by SH Jewellery
DON’T SETTLE FOR MUST-HAVES
For more pointers on finding a non-commissioned Jewellery & Diamond Specialist who offers more than just the basics, check out this 9-Step Checklist for choosing a trustworthy jeweller and browse hundreds of reviews from shoppers who’ve recently purchased diamond engagement rings.
Ms Zebra Says: For any couple looking to purchase an engagement ring in the near future, you cannot go past this great and informative post! SO many things to think about, I know I’ll keep this in my back pocket.
About the author SH Jewellery: As an independent jeweller, the SH Jewellery collection is exclusive to our brand, allowing us full creative freedom over the look and feel of our engagement rings and wedding bands. All our rings are designed in-house at our Springvale showroom, combining decades of design history with modern influences from across the globe.
This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.