Engagement Ring Repairs-Consumer Do's and Don'ts
May 5, 2017
So you looked down at your engagement ring and noticed the diamond isn't sitting quite right. Or, perhaps you've packed on a few pounds, or lost a few since you're engagement and the ring no longer fits. Maybe a prong looks askew. You know you have to go to a jeweler and get it repaired, but this is your baby. You dont even want to take it off your finger, much less leave it with some jeweler. What's a person to do? Well, let's start with what a person should NOT do!
Do not go to a jeweler you don't know, or one that hasn't been highly recommended by someone who's opinions you trust.
We've all heard horror stories about women who took their ring to a local jeweler to get a stone tightened, only to realize some time later that the stone is not the one they started with. Suddenly, the $10,000 engagement ring now features a $10 cubic zirconia. Go prove that the jeweler swithced stones. It's your word against theirs and you can prove nothing other than to the best of your knowledge, you originaly had an expensive diamond in the mounting. The jeweler will claim that it probably happened when you left the ring with some other jeweler. You will not win.
Do NOT LEAVE your ring.
Any reputable jeweler will have a repairman on the premises. Explain what is wrong with your ring and tell the jeweler you will NOT leave the ring, it must be done while you wait. If they claim to be too busy, ask to set up an appointment. If they refuse, this is not the jeweler for you.
Do not try to get this done in a mall store. Mall jewelers are strictly there to take your money,not build a relationship. They will tell you it takes 3 weeks, or to leave it and pick it up late in the day. Don't even consider it. If you Google stories about switched diamonds, you will be shocked to learn that the majority of these switches occur at Mall stores you've heard of, ones whose commercials you've seen and heard many times. In addition, they will charge you exhorbitant sums. Most have huge rents and payrolls to cover.
Go to a neighborhood store- they live to develop customers. They do care because word of mouth is everything to a neighborhood store. If your friend recommended them to you and you recommend them to others, they have succeeded! They will treat you properly and in most case, charge you a reasonable fee.
Ask to watch the jeweler work on your ring. Unless the jeweler has something to hide, there is no reason to decline. Certain stores just aren't set up to allow anyone in the area where the jeweler works. At this point, it's up to you to decide if the recommendations were strong enough to trust such jewelers.
Get the details. If your ring is platinum make sure they are using platinum to repair it. If you lost a side stone, make sure they plan to match the color and quality of the other diamonds. Also, request that when all work is done, the jeweler should check to make sure every stone is tight. Stones can loosen when rings are sized or cleaned. Most jewelers do this automatically, but don't be ashamed to ask. This is your diamond engagement ring, your pride and joy. Ask a million questions if need be.
Get a detailed receipt of exactly what was done. This is your main defense if anything shady should occur.
Many diamonds come with certifications that map out imperfections. Some have ID numbers lasered right into the girdle of the diamond. After repairs, if you have one of these, take your ring to an appraisser and let them look to make sure the numbers are correct or the imperfections are where they are supposed to be.
Check online reviews. Google and Yelp can be a ton of help here. Stores with higher ratings are the ones to try. Obviosly, if so many people take the time to write about their positive experiences, there must be something to it. If there are only a couple of reviews, it may be best to keep looking.
These ideas won't be 100% foolproof, but they should at least point you in the right diresction.