Let me just say right out of the gate, no one should be trying to sell you a diamond. I mean it. This is not a click-bait headline. We are so serious about this that we will say it again: No one should be trying to sell you a diamond.
The diamond you buy for your engagement ring will likely be the longest-lasting purchase of your life. It will be an item that you and the person you love will see every day for the rest of your lives.
So when you go to buy that engagement ring, nothing but that ring, and your relationship with that ring, should matter. In other words, you shouldn’t be in the hands of a salesperson when you make this purchase. You shouldn’t have someone pushing trends at you. You shouldn’t have someone trying to tell you what you do and don’t want. You shouldn’t have someone telling you what he or she wants for you.
You should have your own tastes, your own eyes, and an expert who is there to help you find the piece you want. It shouldn’t be any other way.
So when you walk into a jewelry store, how do you know if you are in the hands of a salesperson, or if you are to be the recipient of thoughtful, caring expert-grade service? How do you know if you can trust the person who’s talking to you?
There are four questions you can ask yourself as you shop for an engagement ring. If you ask yourself these questions and don’t like the answers, that can be a ‘tell’ of bigger problems down the way. Any jeweler that ignores one of these four factors is in some way ignoring you. In that instance, we recommend you walk. Leave the store and spend your time and money in the company of someone who cares.
So how can you tell if they care about you, or just their own sales figures?
1. Do they start where you are?
When you are in the company of an expert, they will ask questions.
Think of your doctor… a doctor shouldn’t just push diagnoses on a patient, even if the diagnoses (or the drugs that treat them) are really trendy. A doctor should ask questions, and so should the person who is helping you select an engagement ring.
They should get a clear picture of your vision before they show you anything. They should figure out what your utmost expectations are for this ring.
When your loved one first sees it, what do you want of that moment?
Do you want assertive, dazzling, mind-blowing fireworks of sparkle, or do you want the quiet, contemplative stoicism that a timeless solitaire evokes?
They should learn from your answers.
They should learn what you have in mind, but they should also learn where you’re at in the process.
Being at the beginning is no bad thing, and if this is the first time you’ve ever stepped foot in a jewelry store, they should be able to meet you in that moment, and make even that, most daunting of steps, feel comfortable.
That is the sign of a specialist: someone who is there to help.
You should feel that it is no sweat off their back whether you are ready to buy, or simply ready to begin to look. An expert will be happy to meet you wherever you’re at.
2. Do they care about your budget?
Engagement rings are expensive, and your budget should not feel like the elephant in the room.
No one should be pushing diamonds at you that will push you beyond your financial comfort zone. Your budget. Your rules.
And trust us, budget is not about income. It’s about values.
One couple may want to spend three months salary on an engagement ring. Another couple may find three weeks salary to be excessive. Both answers are correct, as long as you are the one calling the shots.
There are incredibly gorgeous diamond rings of all styles to fit all budgets. Truly, there is no good reason to feel pressed beyond your price point. This is a purchase you will have for the rest of your life. You will see it every day. Picking it out should be a purely positive, affirming experience.
Pushing beyond your budget could tie residual feelings of stress and guilt to a purchase that doesn’t deserve those connotations.
A true specialist will know how to help you get what you want, while staying within your budget.
Our advice: don’t be shy. Don’t be worried that what you have isn’t enough… it is enough.
Be upfront about your budget, and use this moment to discern whether the person helping you is a person you can trust. If they are, the relief you feel will be priceless.
3. Do they spend time with you?
Shopping for an engagement ring is not like grocery shopping… unless, of course, you are that person who picks up every single apple, and turns it over, comparing it to the ones next to it, smelling it, and interrogating its blemishes and attributes. And if you are this way, no judgment… so am I. The good news is you are already in the mindset of how to shop for a diamond. If you aren’t usually this way, don’t worry.
A specialist will help you know what to be looking for.
A specialist will take time to show you a lot of diamonds, mined and lab-grown, in all sorts of colors, shapes, and clarity scores, if that is what you’re after.
Buying a diamond will rarely ever take less than an hour. Often, it will take longer, or occur over an evolution trips as you leave the store, have time to think, and come back.
A salesperson will try to get you to stay, to make up your mind now. An expert will be happy to see you go, to see you think things over, to know that when you do make up your mind, you are ready and ecstatic.
Choosing a diamond is a bit like choosing a puppy. They’re all different. They symbolize a big commitment. You will start to take on what feels like a relationship with this ring, with this choice you’re making. You want to feel excited from the moment you bring it home. And the more time you’ve had to think about your choices, to understand the differences between pups, err, diamonds, the more confidant you will feel when you finally pick the one that’s right for you.
4. Do they really listen to your answers?
Anyone can feign interest. Anyone can pretend they care just long enough to ensnare you.
Sometimes conversations with salespeople feel possessive or territorial, like they are claiming you as their customer for all their coworkers to see. If you get this vibe, then that salesperson is clearly thinking only of him or herself, and your engagement ring is too big a purchase to be about anyone but you.
An expert, on the other hand, already knows all about their inventory: they already know about diamonds and gold and platinum. They already know what their custom shop is capable of. They know their field inside and out and so the most interesting thing, to the expert, will be you.
You are what they don’t know. You are the undiscovered element in pairing the right ring with the right person. An expert will be interested in you. They will want to go on your journey, to experience with you the exhilarating and discerning process of finding the right ring.
When you feel that someone is prioritizing what he or she can show you, rather than spending time getting to know you, you would be wise to look elsewhere.
Remember, this purchase will be with you much longer than it will be with the jeweler.
You will have this for the rest of your life. Your family may have this as an heirloom beyond that. So you cannot be too discerning. Not about the diamond, and not about the experience of buying your diamond. Find an expert you can trust.
An engagement ring is a relationship onto itself, and should something happen to that ring down the road, should a prong get loose, or a diamond chip, you don’t want to find yourself right back in the hands of someone who never really had your interests at heart in the first place.