The reputation and reliability of your wedding jeweler is key

The reputation and reliability of your wedding jeweler is key. Often a private independent jeweler can offer you wonderful quality and unique design at a far more reasonable price. But you must be very thorough in your investigation of this person’s ability, knowledge and honesty. Only a recommendation from someone you know you can trust should lead you to select an independent jeweler. Look for one who is a certified gemologist with a certificate from the Gemological Institute of America, the leading American authority on diamonds.

You can also shop jewelry stores that have been in business for many years and are recommended by family, friends and your other vendors. Either the individual independent or the trained staff of the store can help you make a sound choice. They will explain differences in carat weight, clarity, color and cut, often known as the “four C’s”. You should also obtain an appraisal certifying the quality for insurance purposes.

Shop around and compare prices at several jewelers. Look for markings of trademark and content or quality on the shank of the ring. Reputable jewelers will sell quality rings only. Look for the markings. A mark of “14k” means 14-karat gold. This is 58.3 percent gold content. An “18k” means 18-karat gold. This is 75 percent gold. Trademarks vary in size and shape. A ring manufacturer’s marking tells you that it stands behind its product. Make sure that any ring you buy has both a trademark and a contents marking on it.

Once you have purchased a ring call your insurance company and submit the ring appraisal for a policy to cover it. Get another appraisal from an independent jeweler to support the replacement valuation.

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