What a great question! The answer is that there are many place to buy an engagement ring and many opinions as to which is the best. There are pros and cons to each channel of distribution that one chooses so here is a brief description of the different ways to purchase an engagement ring in Chicago.
- Buying Jewelry on the internet
Many people now buy jewelry online. The internet is a convenient and often cost effective way to purchase goods. Not all goods are the same however and therein lays the rub! Standardized commodities are easily accessible on the internet, as are highly variable types of things like fine jewelry and gemstones. There are in fact, qualities of a gemstone that are more variable and finer in nature than can be reproduced by electronic media – you cannot see the important things that quality is based on when viewing them on a computer screen. The subtleties of color and gemstone quality are so fine that they even defy any system of description, so you need to actually see the stone in person to make an educated decision. And remember mischief flourishes where anonymity thrives (online.)
- Discount Department Store
If cheap is your style, go for it. Discount usually refers to less expensive but not better value. Sometimes quality and service are part of the buying decision and then discount means something else, it means simply less of everything.
- Specialty Stores
Here at least, the stores main focus is on jewelry and you will presumably find higher quality jewelry here. National, regional, and even most local jewelry stores do not make jewelry however they curate or choose jewelry that they merchandise and sell through their retail stores. Here you can most often find a brand or brands of jewelry made by designers or manufacturers who are off-site. Most retail jewelry stores do not make jewelry but there are a few individual custom jewelers who primarily make jewelry – they are almost always “custom jewelers.”
- Custom Jeweler
Custom jewelry stores make jewelry as their primary operation. Retail manufacturers and a few independent jewelers can create anything imaginable today. CAD/CAM technology changed the dynamic. There are fewer and fewer limits to the creative process because of this new, additive technology (rapid-prototyping, 3D printing) and designs can be easily imagined and communicated before they’re even made through the computer rendering process. The revolution in the approach to building these small objects has begun, and the results can be incredibly impressive.
- Uncle Bob
Everyone knows someone in the industry, and this can at times be a great way to find a stone, just be careful to make sure you’re working with someone who is experienced, knowledgeable, and professional.