How to Shop with a Jewelry Broker for Your Diamond Engagement Ring
An engagement ring is one of the most personal things in life. So, how you shop for it should be, too. If you have looked in traditional stores and not found exactly the right thing, or not had the expertise that comes from a lifetime of devotion to the jewelry business, or want better value, contact me. And if buying online lacks the touch of personal commitment to your satisfaction, again, give me a call.
How does a jewelry broker come up with the ring that's right for me?
A broker is someone who puts a buyer with a seller, often bringing together two parties who otherwise never would have found each other, and charges a fee for this service. Sometimes the broker becomes the seller by assuming responsibility for the deal. That's what I do. Drawing on my nearly 40 years of experience in the jewelry business, I can call on most of the leading wholesale manufacturers in the world to send me virtually anything you can think of. We start by talking about what you like and what you don't. You may show me what you already have and what you've seen online. That gives me enough information to bring in possible choices. (I like to show you at least two or three.) Then you decide if one of them is right for you. There is no obligation.
Sometimes, finding exactly the right ring means custom design and manufacture. I have worked with fine jewelers both locally and in other parts of the country, mostly in New York City and California. I will either work with one of these jewelers to produce a rendering by computer or make my own sketch (sometimes both!). The manufacturing process is usually based on the lost wax casting method, in which a wax model of your ring is made by hand or computer. You get to see this model, and can even try it on with the diamonds in place. We will make any changes you desire. It is a creative process, and you are in control of it..
Finding your diamond
As with the ring itself, I have many wholesale sources for finding the diamond that's right for you. I follow the same process: learning what you like and bringing in at least two or three good candidates by overnight mail for you to consider. In so many ways, diamonds are the most fascinating material on earth, each one of nearly pure carbon, but each one unique as a fingerprint. I have the great joy of sharing my love of them with you. We review color, clarity, and cutting quality, which are the factors that lead to their beauty, and the Gemological Institute of America grading reports that accompany them. You will quickly come to see their differences and choose your very own diamond with your very own eyes.
The question of price
Most of the time I will save you money compared to a bricks-and-mortar store - sometimes, a lot. I can do this because I have much less overhead, including payroll, rent and advertising. While well-made one-of-a kind jewelry is of course more expensive than generic pieces that are mass produced, sometimes even custom pieces cost less than name-brand wedding jewelry. As for diamonds, their pricing in stores has become more and more competitive over the years. Still, based on industry surveys of U.S. profit margins, I know I charge less.
The matter of value
The other side of price - what you pay - is value, that is, what you get. Today it is possible to buy a diamond online and pay very little over wholesale. Sometimes, it will even look good on paper, but you will not know that you are buying a diamond with less brilliance and beauty than a diamond should have, due to subtle characteristics such how it achieved its cut grade or a brownish body color. Maybe you may want something unconventional, such as a colored gemstone as your center stone. Almost always, an expert will add value. In the impersonal age we live in, a real live professional will give you insights you just can't get from a computer monitor or even a voice over the phone. Please contact me to explore a better way.