Sneaky Warranty Disqualifiers
So you’ve found the ring of your dreams. You’ve chosen your center stone. You are feeling confidant in your decisions and you are ready to pull out your wallet, right?
Have you asked to see the warranty?
Warranties are one of the most important considerations when choosing an engagement ring. They can be the difference between a lifetime of hassle and heartbreak, or one of easy-breezy, enjoyable wear.
Unfortunately, so many jewelry warranties (in fact, the majority of jewelers’ warranties) are really bad. For our purposes, let’s define bad as a warranty that won’t actually cover your beloved ring should something happen to it.
Here are the top three phrases used in jewelry warranties to basically nullify your ring’s coverage. If you see any of these in the small print for your ring, keep your wallet in your pocket. This might be as good a reason as any to walk away.
1. The “normal wear and tear” warranty
These warranties will have a line claiming any kind of damage to your ring will be covered, so long as the damage is the result of “normal wear and tear.”
This sounds reasonable, right? I mean, maybe you aren’t a bricklayer, or a welder, or a trainer at Jurassic Park so surely your ring won’t come into contact with any wildly abnormal circumstances…
Hands slamming in car doors happen. Rings falling down garbage disposals happen. Moving house and smashing your hand between the sofa and the wall happens.
Plenty of everyday, normal activities will be considered abnormal for the purposes of these warranties. Rings snag. Prongs loosen. Smashed bands can bend, and with those pesky four words “normal wear and tear” all the power rests with the jeweler when determining whether or not to repair or replace your ring.
“Normal wear and tear” often equals a warranty you may as well tear up.
2. The center stone is covered as long as "the prongs are intact” warranty.
Diamonds are the hardest material known to man, right? They don’t evaporate, or dissolve, and no temperature you’ll ever come into contact with will melt them. So how exactly do you think something happens to the center stone, if not through a damaged or faulty prong?
The prongs, though very sturdy, are far weaker than the actual diamond.
Therefore, your biggest concern with this warranty is that a prong may one day bend or break, resulting in you losing your center stone.
The diamond is the most expensive part of your ring, and very often, the most sentimental. It’s a priceless component and yet a warranty with a prong disqualifier very often won’t cover your stone at all, which puts the full cost of replacing said stone on you.
We think jewelers who try this tactic are really in the prong, er, wrong.
3. The “damaged and abused” warranty
These warranties claim they will cover any piece of jewelry that hasn’t been damaged or abused.
Hmm. When those two words are put together, damage sounds intentional, doesn’t it? You’re probably thinking, why would I ever damage or abuse my ring? I wouldn’t, so I’m covered.
Let me ask this another way: why would you ever need a repair on an undamaged ring?
In other words, this warranty guarantees full coverage so long as it’s on a pristine, impeccable piece of jewelry…. You know, the kind that doesn’t actually need any work done to it.
Yeah, we’re baffled, too.
What about jewelry insurance, you might be thinking, Can I get away with a bad warranty if I have my ring insured?
Here’s the thing about insurance: just like with a car, first there will be a deductible. Then, if you’ve had to use your policy, your rates may go up.
As if that isn’t bummer enough, most insurance policies will only cover a loss, meaning many of them won’t cover repairs (which can be very costly).
The final issue with relying on insurance is that even in the case of a total loss, remember that insurance adjusters work for the insurance company. Their job is to replace your ring with as little loss to the company as possible.
Time and time again, our experts have seen insurance companies try to replace lost center stones, for example, with stones that have an inferior cut.
Cut is the single greatest determiner of your diamond’s sparkle and value. Cut determines how light plays and refracts within that stone, and even if the other three C’s are all up to snuff, a replacement stone with an inferior cut will not have the sparkly wow factor that made you fall in love with your ring in the first place, so relying on insurance in place of a solid warranty is still a potential recipe for heartbreak.
Flimsy warranties are all too prevalent in the jewelry industry. An engagement ring is an expensive item. What business wouldn’t look for some way out of having to replace it?
When you push back on the warranty clauses, you might be told “no one offers the kind of coverage you are looking for.”
Don’t believe any jeweler who tells you this.
There are definitely great companies out there who will cover every aspect of your ring, no questions asked. So if you think the only way to get that ring you love is through the jeweler with the bad warranty, think again. Even if you can't find that same piece elsewhere, nowadays, custom design services will allow you to create a one-of-a-kind ring with all those features you love, and a warranty that will love you back.
If you can’t find a jeweler in your area who stands behind every piece with a complete, worry-free warranty, don’t think you have to settle.
Reach out to us instead. You can email us through our Contact page, and who knows, years from now, no matter what could happen, you’ll be glad you did.