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Buy Diamond Engagement Ring in San Diego

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Buy Diamond Jewelry in San Diego

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The articles below will help educate you in how to buy jewelry in San Diego and the difference between different types of gems and treatments used to create or enhance them.


Article From American Gem Society

People  have  been wearing jewelry for over 100,000 years, and even back then, chances are it wasn’t the easiest thing to shop for. There are just so many options when buying jewelry – so many materials, metals, styles and gems to choose from. You can shop better by taking the time to learn how to buy jewelry. It can seem like a lot, but with a little help from this jewelry buying guide, you’ll be shopping like a professional in no time. And if you are still stumped buying jewelry, feel free to ask an AGS-certified gemologist for help. They may know a lot about metals and gems, but they also know tons about styles and trends.
Here are a few basics to get your shopping jump-started:

What are natural gemstones?

Natural gemstones come from the earth and are mined worldwide. Some natural gemstones can be enhanced, which means sometimes they are treated in some way (such as heat) to improve their color.

What are laboratory-created gemstones?

These stones, which can also be referred to as laboratory-grown, manufacturer-created, or synthetic, have essentially the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as natural gemstones. Laboratory-created gemstones do not have the rarity or value of natural colored gemstones. Although they are similar in many ways to natural gemstones, a professional gemologist will be able to recognize their difference with proper testing.

What are imitation gemstones?

Imitation stones look like natural gemstones in appearance only. This includes tinted glass, cubic zirconia or other material that resembles natural stones when treated. Laboratory-created and imitation stones should be clearly identified as such.

What to look for in a gemstone?

Gemstones may be measured by weight, size, or both. The basic unit for weighing gemstones is the carat, which is equal to one-fifth (1/5th) of a gram. Carats are divided into 100 units, called points. For example, a half-carat gemstone would weigh .50 ct. or 50 points.

What is an enhanced or treated gemstone?

Gemstone treatments or enhancements refer to the way some gemstones are treated to improve their appearance or durability, or even change their color. Many gemstones are treated in some way. The effects of some treatments may lessen or change over time and some treated gemstones may require special care. Some enhancements also affect the value of a gemstone, when measured against a comparable untreated gemstone. Treatments and/or enhancements should always be disclosed by the seller, along with any special care that might be required.


A Man’s Guide to Buying Jewelry

Article By Real Men Real Style

I’ve written before on how a man should wear cuff-links, watches, rings & accessories –  but what about buying it in the first place?

The reality is that most of us aren’t that comfortable in jewelry stores.

Between the high price tags and the technical trade language it’s easy to feel out of your depth, whether you’re buying for yourself or a loved one.

Take our quick tips and make your next trip to the jewelry store a painless one:

  1. Know What You Want Before Going

Don’t ever walk into a jewelry store and say you’re “looking for something nice for myself/my wife/a friend.”

That’s a great way to get ushered immediately to the most expensive items, and even if the salesperson tries to be genuinely helpful you’re still relying on someone else’s taste, which may or may not match the taste and wardrobe of the person you’re buying from.

Instead, walk in with a clear idea of the basic characteristics you want, even if you don’t have a set of technical terms in mind.

Here are a list of jewelry descriptors you should determine before shopping:

Jewelry Color – Do you want plain gold- or silver-colored jewelry, or are you looking for something with a colored stone? If so, what color? This is your most effective triage, since it automatically eliminates a huge chunk of wrong-colored options.

Specific Metal – Not all silver-tone jewelry is silver, nor is all gold-tone jewelry gold. If you’re set on a specific metal rather than a general color, say so. It helps eliminate a lot of options.

Jewelry Proportions – Don’t be afraid to use unscientific terms here. If you want a slender chain, say so. If you want a big, chunky ring, say that. Give good, descriptive words rather than worrying about technicalities. It’s your job to tell the jeweler “I want a nice set of cufflinks that aren’t too ostentatious”; it’s his job to know what pairs would match that description.

Price – You may not want to mention this up front, but have a limit in your head and stick to it. If you’re offered something above it just say “sorry, that’s more than I was looking to spend” and offer a lower figure. Some jewelers will be willing to haggle over a specific piece’s price, while others will direct you to similar but less-expensive options.

Believe me on this one — you will notice a big difference in going to the jewelers and saying “I’m looking for a moderately-priced gold-colored watch with a narrow band and a plain, modern facing” versus going in and saying “I need a nice watch for work.”

  1. Talk to a Jeweler You Trust

Most jewelry purchases aren’t made on the spot. You can do it that way, but it’s better to talk a specific piece over with a friend. If that friend is someone who knows the ins and outs of the jewelry industry, so much the better.

If you aren’t lucky enough to have a good friend who’s also a professional jeweler, ask around the family. You may be surprised who your relatives know — some older men have been dealing with the same family jeweler for decades, and could easily pass on a question or two for you.

When you’re asking for a professional’s second opinion, focus on the things they have expertise in: technical questions, details of quality and weight, origins of stones, etc. You’re trying to fill in the gaps in your own knowledge, not just get an opinion on your taste.

Of course, you may end up wanting to simply purchase from a jeweler you or a family member knows and trusts, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just be aware that the best second opinions will always come from people with no vested interest in the sale.

  1. Know Enough to Ask the Right Questions

Whether you’re dealing with a friendly third party or with the man/woman who’s going to make the final sale, you need to know what questions to ask.

This is where most men get frustrated or intimidated.

Our advice: don’t try to grasp it all at once, and don’t try to pretend you know more than the jeweler — you don’t. Just go in with a solid grasp on the most basic qualities of precious metals and precious gems:

Gold & Precious Metals

Hallmark – This is the manufacturer’s stamp on a precious metal like gold. It should represent either the karat weight (see below) or the purity as a percentage. Percentages are given as three-digit decimals, such that a stamp of “.750” would indicate 75% pure gold.

Karat weight – A traditional measurement of gold’s purity dating back to before very specific measurements were available. Basically it is a 1-24 scale, with 24 karats theoretically implying pure gold. In practice, anything higher than .999 pure is rated as 24K

Diamonds & Precious Gems

Men buying diamonds in particular are urged to consider “The Four Cs” — carat, cut, color, and clarity. Not all of these apply in quite the same way to other precious stones, but they’re useful terms to know:

Carat – When it’s spelled with a C instead of a K, you’re no longer talking about precious metal. Instead, a carat is a measurement of mass for precious stones, equal to 0.2 grams. People mostly equate this with size, but that’s not necessarily accurate – a good jeweler can cut a diamond (or other stone) to look bigger than a poorly-cut stone of heavier carat weight might.It’s important to know that heavier stones are increasingly rarer, and the price jumps exponentially rather than directly. A 3-carat stone will cost far more than double what a 1.5-carat stone might. Similarly, you can get a good price on stones that came in just under a carat weight: a .9-carat diamond will cost substantially less than a 1-carat.

Cut – This is the measure of quality, not the shape of the stone. In the U.S. precious stone cuts are rated as Ideal, Very Good, Good, Fair, or Poor. This scale was only introduced in 2006, and not all diamonds or other precious stones will have a stated rating. Since it’s difficult for an untrained eye to judge, look for a stone with an established rating or have a professional take a look for you.

Color – Diamonds specifically are rated on a scale from Z to D, with D being a perfectly clear and colorless diamond. Anything J and up is considered high-quality, and accordingly expensive. Color matters more if you’re buying a big stone — it’s not worth spending lots of money for a perfectly colorless diamond if it’s too small for coloring to be noticeable. Some cuts will help make a colored or “clouded” diamond look clearer — this is a good question for the jeweler (or an experienced friend).

Clarity – Diamonds and other stones usually contain imperfections. There are ratings based on how they look to the naked eye and under magnification, but you run into a problem here — depending on where in the stone the imperfections (called “inclusions”) are, they might make the gem look more or less flawed. It’s possible to have two stones of the same cut and the same clarity rating that look quite different to the naked eye. This is one reason to only purchase jewels in person, never online based on the written grading.

  1. Find the Right Place to Buy

Not all jewelers are created equal. Some have larger selections, some have better prices; some have more helpful and knowledgeable staff. If you’re very lucky you’ll find one that’s good at all those things, but it can be tough. Know your options:

Big Chains – The “shopping mall” jewelers. You may know some of the names from radio ads: Jared’s, Goodman’s, etc. These focus on the most common types of jewelry: wedding and engagement rings, earrings for women; watches and chains.

They tend to have good return policies and other customer service features. The staff may not be as knowledgeable as an independent jeweler, and in some cases be aware that you’ll be dealing with a sales clerk rather than a professional jeweler at first.

These are fine places to look for basic jewelry needs, just be sure you’re getting an experienced opinion on the quality, and don’t expect to find anything too out of the ordinary.

Family or Independent Jewelers – Something of a dying breed, most major cities still have a jewelers’ neighborhood. Expect to find a smaller selection with a more eclectic selection of styles than you would at a big chain store. These can be great places to find unusual, eye-catching pieces, and the jeweler will usually have ample knowledge and expertise. On the other hand, returns and exchanges may be more difficult, and there won’t be a fixed catalog to choose from — you’re at the mercy of the jeweler’s selection.

Antique and Pawn Shops – Any second-hand jewelry offers two big opportunities: the chance to score a really unusual piece, and the chance to get majorly ripped off. Exercise caution! If you’re not a jeweler, you’re not really qualified to judge a piece based on its appearance and whatever documentation it might or might not come with. Don’t shell out serious money without a jeweler’s opinion or a really good return policy.

Conclusion: Jewelry Buying for Men

The above four points emphasize knowledge.

That’s because you’ll be more comfortable buying jewelry if you have a little knowledge going in. You don’t need to be an expert (though it helps to know one), but you do need to know — roughly — what you want. It’s the only sure way to avoid buying what a salesperson wants you to have instead.

Buying Jewelry for Yourself: The Ultimate Guide

By Jewelry Wise

Why wait for a gift? Get your dream piece of jewelry now! A guide for everything you need to know to treat yourself.

As a woman of the world, you’re independent — you know what you want, and you go after it. Whether it’s a great job, a fantastic vacation or an amazing apartment, you don’t wait for things to come to you. The same should go for jewelry — you don’t need a lover or a relative to decide to give you jewelry as a gift. If there’s a special piece you want to have, you can — and should — go out and buy jewelry for yourself.

It can be exciting, empowering, a needed boost after a bad day or a reward for a great one. It may even be all of the above!

There’s sure to be a piece that fits your wardrobe, your lifestyle and your budget perfectly.

However, if you’ve never done it, buying jewelry for yourself can be a little disorienting at first. After all, you’re making a large investment in something you want to wear always; but with a little research and a little more shopping, you can treat yourself to something gorgeous (come on, you deserve it!). You’ll definitely be thrilled with your purchase for years to come. Whether it’s a diamond right-hand ring you’ve had your eye on, a gemstone pendant, a tennis bracelet or big, sparkly stud earrings, there’s sure to be a piece that fits your wardrobe, your lifestyle and your budget perfectly.

You can build your fine jewelry wardrobe piece by piece, beginning with the basics, or go right for a showstopper your first time out — as with all things, it’s totally up to you. More women than ever before are taking the initiative and shopping for themselves.

Discover your style

When choosing a piece of fine jewelry for yourself, determine what kind of personal style you have; then choose something that fits in with that style. Some questions to ask yourself:

What’s your work wardrobe like? Is it conservative suits and heels, or more like casual Friday every day of the week?

Do you go for cocktails after work and attend the opera and theater on the weekends? Or is your idea of a great Sunday afternoon a game of touch football in the park?

Do you tend to wear frilly, feminine things, or does your wardrobe skew more minimalist and sporty?

It’s important to get a handle on these things, because when you choose your jewelry, you’ll want it to look great with what you wear — whether you plan to wear it seven days a week or just on special occasions. You’ll be happier with your jewelry longer if it’s chosen with your style and lifestyle in mind.

Basic or bombshell?

Are you looking for a jewelry-box staple that’s clean, minimal, and will go with every outfit, Monday through Sunday? Does your jewelry box already have the basics? If not, that may be where you want to start. Or are you looking for a “wow-’em” piece — something you’ll wear for special occasions or to really dress up?

In terms of basics, diamond studs are the perfect way to buy jewelry for yourself — they’re elegant, minimal, and have sparkle to spare. You can also find diamond studs in a carat weight to fit any budget, which makes them a great way to begin building your fine-jewelry collection.

Another great addition to your capsule jewelry wardrobe would be a simple gold chain necklace with a bezel-set diamond. As with the studs, you can get the necklace with a stone to fit almost any budget — and the clear shine of a white diamond is sure to go with any outfit, from a silk dress-for-success blouse to your coolest leather jacket. Round out your jewelry basics with a gorgeous diamond tennis bracelet. While generally not a budget purchase, this ultra-twinkly flexible diamond bracelet will be a staple, seven days a week. Show the world your sophisticated taste by adorning yourself with this enviable piece.

A fine watch is also a great way to invest in yourself and your look. Timepieces can be formal or casual, and some styles bridge both worlds. They can also add some bling to your wrist — many women’s watches are available with diamonds on the bezel and/or the face.

If you feel like you already have jewelry basics, consider branching out with some not-so-basic-but-still-spectacular pieces. Now is the time to consider black and color diamonds and other color gemstones. Want to bring out your baby blues? Consider some sapphire studs. Are your favorite going-out shoes fire-engine-red sandals? A pendant necklace featuring a crimson ruby or garnet will add a spark and miles of sophistication to any occasion.

If you like to attend special events such as theater opening nights or black-tie charity events, a ring with a larger gemstone will instantly up the glamour factor of any ensemble. When buying a less-basic piece, think outside the (jewelry) box — go for something bigger, more colorful and bolder than your usual choices. You’ll want every night to be Saturday night.

Budget, baby

When investing in a piece of fine jewelry, you — as a savvy, modern woman — want to stay within your budget. If you have a piece in mind, consider putting a small amount of money into a savings account each month until you have the money for that special piece. If you receive a bonus or a raise at work, it’s a great time to reward yourself and put that money toward an item that will make you feel proud of yourself every time you glance at it.

Even if you’re working with a somewhat limited budget, you can still buy jewelry for yourself. Once you set a budget, consider options such as a gold piece with no gemstones (perfect for building your basics wardrobe), like a chain necklace or a simple signet ring. If you really want something special, some of the lesser-known gemstones provide plenty of “wow” for not a lot of money. Freshwater pearls are also a great choice for an elegant, lower-priced treat.

Protect what you’ve got

Now that you’ve got your sights set on a gorgeous piece of fine jewelry, and you’re ready to take the plunge, what else do you need to know? Well, for starters, make sure to ask your jeweler if a warranty is provided for your piece or if a service plan is available for purchase. A warranty should cover a yearly cleaning and a regular once-over by your jeweler with a loupe or gemscope to be sure no repairs are needed. A service plan should cover the cost of repairs such as ring sizing, prong retipping, and rhodium plating. Insurance is also something to think about. No one wants to think about all the bad things that could happen to a precious possession, but depending on the dollar amount of your investment, insurance may be worth the extra cost to protect it. Often renters and homeowners insurance only cover jewelry up to a certain amount after a deductible, so check with your agent or insurance provider.

12 More Things Your Jeweler Won’t Tell You

Jewelers reveal the secrets of their trade.

By Michelle Crouch of Reader’s Digest

  1. Want your ring to look better than rings that are far more valuable? There’s a simple formula: Keep it clean. A clean imperfect diamond is much more attractive than a dirty flawless one.
  2. People tend to think that stores that do a lot of volume can give you the best price, but the reality is that the markups at national chains are often a lot higher than the markups at independent jewelry stores. Always check and compare.
  3. If you’re paying big bucks for a diamond, always get a certification report from a major lab such as the GIA or AGS.
  4. To cope in this economy, a lot of jewelers have transformed themselves into buyers of scrap gold because it’s a way to make quick money. But many have let their merchandise selection slip as a result.
  5. Sure, there may be some jewelers who don’t tell their customers the diamond they’re buying is fracture filled. But there are also a lot of husbands and boyfriends out there who don’t tell their loved one that the diamond they’re getting is fracture filled. The woman brings it to me to clean or alter it, all the filling comes out—and I’m the one left in the lurch.
  6. If you’re buying something expensive, ask your jeweler to put the details of your piece in writing on the sales receipt. Then take it to a gemologist appraiser who holds a respected credential (MGA, CGA, or CMA). Never deal with a jeweler who doesn’t have a generous return policy.
  7. If I tell you your diamond has been “clarity enhanced,” it basically means it had fractures that we filled with glass.
  8. Don’t buy a piece of jewelry, then return it with the smell of perfume all over it and say, “My wife didn’t like it.” At least clean it first.
  9. If you have a ring that was passed on, but it’s not to your taste, bring it in and have me take the stones out, rearrange it, put it in a new setting. Don’t let it just sit in your jewelry box.
  10. Before you complain about your birthstone, find out whether it comes in other colors. Most do. November’s topaz, for example, can be blue, yellow, green, purple, or pink.
  11. Just because a stone is a genuine diamond, ruby, sapphire, or emerald doesn’t mean it’s valuable. I can show you some that aren’t worth 50 cents a carat because they’re cloudy or dull, but I can still sell them to you for a big profit.
  12. The biggest trend in jewelry right now? Sterling silver jewelry mixed with gold accents. Because gold and platinum prices are so high, we’re selling a lot more silver. Get a polishing cloth to keep it from tarnishing.

Sources: John Henne, president of Henne Jewelers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Clayton Bromberg, president and CEO of Underwood Jewelers in Jacksonville, Florida; Antoinette Matlins, author of Jewelry & Gems: The Buying Guide; and gemologist Renée Newman, author of Gem & Jewelry Pocket Guide.