Five questions to ask a jeweller

In Sydney, where Lizunova Fine Jewels is based, there are hundreds of jewellers to choose from, which can be overwhelming. How do you know which jeweller to pick?

Buying or commissioning an engagement or wedding ring that symbolises your love and commitment is a big decision. For many people, it’s the biggest sum they will spend on a single piece of jewellery in their lifetime. Ultimately, you want to trust the jeweller who is making your ring. It’s a good idea to not only see but also touch and hold the rings they have previously made – jewellery can look amazing in carefully photographed and retouched images. If you are buying online, I would recommend requesting videos of a ring or a gemstone shot in natural daylight. If you are able to visit the jeweller in person, it's a good idea to look closely at the quality of the rings: the neatness and symmetry of settings and quality of metal and craftsmanship.

Some of the things to look out for, and questions to ask, are:

  1. Is enough metal used in the ring shank and gem setting to last 30 or more years? Thin bands might be on trend right now but will not wear well over time – metal thins out with wear, especially at the base of the ring shank. Dainty bands that don't have enough metal will bend and warp with wear, and any diamonds or gemstones set into them will likely fall out as settings become compromised when a ring gets bent out of shape.
  2. Are the stone settings appropriate for the gems that have been set into them, considering the wear they will get as an engagement or wedding ring? Softer stones need to be set in protective settings, otherwise if worn daily, they will chip and scratch after a few years.
  3. Where is the jewellery made and by whom? Is it ethically crafted by a local jeweller who is paid well for his or her work?
  4. Are the diamonds certified and conflict free?
  5. Are the gemstones natural or man-made (synthetic/lab grown)? Is this reflected in the price?

    It’s always a good idea to look at 2-3 jewellers, ask questions, and hold and closely look at a variety of rings to start getting a better understanding of what quality looks and feels like.

     

    What about going direct to a manufacturing jeweller?

    If you go direct to a manufacturing jeweller, you’re relying on their taste, the way they’ve always done things and their ability to understand and translate your ideas to a finished piece. They have a different approach and motivation to those of a jewellery designer, and while it may save you some money going direct to a manufacturing jeweller, I would recommend finding a great jewellery designer, whose style and work you love. A good jewellery designer would have an in-depth understanding of many factors involved in creating the perfect ring, not the least of which is how to take the design brief from you in such a way that you end up with the ring you love forever.

     

    What are the latest engagement and wedding ring trends and is it a good idea to buy on trend?

      Trends come and go. You’re going to have this ring for the rest of your life, so I think it’s a good idea to steer away from fashion and choose a design that’s stylish, well thought-out and timeless.

       

      If I go with a bespoke ring, how do I ensure I like the end result?

        The advantages of having a bespoke ring designed and made especially for you is that, if you pick the right designer, you will have a beautiful ring that’s unique to you and expresses your personality and your love story. To ensure you’re getting exactly what you envisage, you need to be given very clear and precise, to-scale design sketches that show the ring from three angles – top view, and two side views. You also need to see and hold the stone that is going to be set into your ring and see what it looks like on your skin.

        Modern technology allows us to create 3D colour drawings as well as a to-scale 3D printed wax model of your ring you can try on – so there are no surprises when you receive your finished ring.

         

        Is buying online a good way to save money? Are diamond wholesalers and jewellers without a retail shop cheaper?

        Jewellery is an intensely personal purchase. I believe it’s about connecting with the piece or falling in love with a stone. While it's fine to buy online from a reputable jeweller, if you have a chance to try on a ring in person, it would be a good investment of time to do so. A good jeweller will accept returns of ready made items bought online, if you are not 100% happy with your purchase. You could also request to see videos of loose gemstones if commissioning a bespoke ring, or a ready made ring worn on a hand and shot in natural daylight. It's important to see a ring worn on a hand, or a stone placed in hand, to give you a better understanding of scale. 

        A real diamond wholesaler doesn't sell to the general public, and sells only to trade - jewellers and jewellery designers. The so-called diamond wholesalers who sell direct to public are actually retailers. You may pay less but end up with a ring that looks like everyone else's, made without attention to quality or detail.

        There are many talented independent jewellers, I believe there’s a right one out there for everyone. Someone you are comfortable with creating your most important piece of jewellery – connection and trust are vital ingredients in a successful relationship between a couple and a jeweller. 

        We would be happy to talk to you about pros and cons of different gemstones, diamond selection or engagement ring design in person. Drop us a line or call 02 9221 1900 to book a bespoke engagement ring design appointment.