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Do You Know Your Jeweler?
Do You Know Your Jeweler?
To introduce myself, I am Gerard Faini and have been in the jewelry industry for over 30 years. My family has been working in the jewelry industry since my father started it here in Sioux Falls back in 1950. I remember working on the jewelers' bench in the sixth grade and quickly being able to make some beautiful creations with my own hands. I became overwhelmed with excitement about how good it felt to create a piece of jewelry a person will love and cherish for many years. My goal for this article is to help you to make confident, informed and comfortable decisions when it comes to your jewelry purchases.
When shopping for a diamond one of the first things you may hear about is the 4 Cs: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight. You may also hear statements like:
"Our diamonds out-shine all the others because of the way it is cut."
"Our diamonds are so much better than any others on the market."
"I buy direct so I can save you money."
You need to ask yourself who is telling the truth? Who is telling a story? Who has the interest of you? Unfortunately, stores do not always make it easy.
Truth be told, I suggest you do some research on your own. I would recommend http://www.gia.edu/ for your diamond and gemstone information. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) sets the standards for diamond and gemstone grading. Do not limit your research to just the 4 Cs. Take the time to know your jeweler, research the store and discover what kind of store they are. Is it a chain store or a large box store? What's the history of the store? You would not want to purchase something and feel as if you're stuck. After all, this is a gift that comes from the heart and will be passed down from generation to generation, creating a family heirloom.
Your number one priority is to find a jeweler you know and can trust. A jeweler that is in business because it's what they love to do. Some people are not in it for the enjoyment but rather for the dollar. I'd like to share an example with you. Because of my background in the jewelry industry, I have encountered more unusual circumstances than you can imagine.
One day a new jewelry store owner called me and wanted us to handle their repair work. To make a long story short, I asked him about his background. He proceeded to tell me that he went to school for finance and after 15 years in the financing business; he said he thought he can make more money in the jewelry business. Think about it... Is this the kind of person you want to make an important purchase from? Could it be he is just moving "merchandise" to make "more money"?
You need to know that your jeweler is for real. Have confidence in them. There are a lot of stores out there with a lot to choose from. Buying any type of jewelry should be a fun and exciting process! It should not add any stress to your life.
When looking for wedding bands or engagement rings for example, there are a lot of variables to consider. If you are a doctor, farmer, construction worker, or anyone doing physical labor you probably would not want a ring that is very light weight or not durable. Wearing a light weight ring in an environment that takes a lot of wear can be a little scary. If your jeweler does not tell you the difference, you're not getting the service you deserve.
Spend time looking at different stores. Do not feel that you have to buy right there on the spot because you might miss the sale or someone else is looking at that ring. There are many rings out there.
You may have an idea of what color gold you are looking for. Whether it is white, yellow, or a combination of both which is called two-tone. Another thing to consider is the way the accent diamonds are set. One thing people fail to realize is there are many different ways to set the smaller side diamonds. Jewelry styles are constantly changing. I used to see that the channel set diamonds were the big thing. Now we are seeing more pave' and fishtail set diamonds. A lot of these styles go back hundreds of years, but the look is a timeless wonder.
As far as the shape of the center diamond goes, http://www.gia.edu/ will give you all the basic shapes for diamonds. Look on the left side of the page where it says "How to Buy a Diamond". The princess (square shaped) diamond is a popular diamond. However, the round brilliant has been, and may always be, the most popular shape. When it comes to diamonds and their shapes, you will see a lot of different combinations that look beautiful together. Keep your options open. When you see the ring that really speaks to you, you will feel it and know it.
When looking for a diamond, for a ring, or any piece of jewelry do not be confused with what you like versus what you are being sold. Like what you like for what it is and not because it has a "branded" marketed name. Brands come and go. You will cherish your jewelry forever. Like I always say, "If you don't know jewelry know your jeweler."
By Gerard Faini
Faini Designs Jewelry Studio
6203 S Old Village Pl
Sioux Falls, SD 57104