You show the average person two rings, one of
which was worth £100,000 and one that was worth £100 and the
majority of them would be unable to tell which was which. Despite
this, millions of men buy engagement rings for their beloveds,
spending sums which for most of them are very substantial, and with
very little knowledge indeed of what it is that they are buying! It
is not only to be expected that a few people get ripped off
completely, and the wonder is that so many do in fact get a
reasonably good deal when it would be so easy for an unscrupulous
salesperson to con them!
As an example; let us take a look at the most
popular form of engagement ring, the diamond ring. A diamond can
vary wildly in price, depending upon the four Cs; colour, cut, carat
and clarity. Where colour is concerned the most valuable diamond is
one which is completely clear with no sign of colouring whatsoever.
It is possible however for an unscrupulous salesperson to display a
yellowish stone with a white background behind it, thus obscuring
the colour of it. The cut is the final shape of the stone, after the
craftsmen has cut into it all the faces and facets that allow it to
sparkle so much and this is a real skill which some diamond cutters
have in abundance, and others have very little of! The carat is the
weight of the stone, and the clarity is a measure of how many
imperfections there are within the stone and their sizes;
imperfections can be tiny cracks, specks of grit or air bubbles.
Imperfections can be minimised, even if not completely removed, by
treating the stone with a powerful laser beam and in the right hands
gems with obvious imperfections to the naked eye could be made to
appear almost flawless; it would however be obvious to an expert
that the diamond had been treated and so the value of it would be
far less than that of a perfect stone.
Then we come to cubic zirconias and artificial
diamonds! The vast majority of people in Britain could not tell the
difference between a real stone and one of these. A cubic zirconia
for instance of a certain size and cut could be worth perhaps £100,
possibly much less, whereas a perfect diamond of the same size could
be worth many tens of thousands of pounds!
So where does that leave the buyer? There are two
ways in which you can be fairly certain that you will get a good
bargain. Firstly, either learn everything that you can about
diamonds or take along with you someone who has a good working
knowledge of them; or buy only from sources that you know of and can
trust, and who have a reputation to maintain.
If you wish to save some money, why not consider
a second hand stone; many jewellers will sell these and after
polishing they can be pretty well indistinguishable from a new item
and you could have it set into a new ring. Alternatively, have a
word with your true love and with her knowledge and agreement, and
only with this, buy a ring with a cubic zirconia stone with a view
to changing it in the future when your finances allow it. This way
she will have a beautiful sparkling ring to flash around to all your
friends, and no one need ever know that it was not a genuine
diamond! Do make certain however that she is aware of the situation;
if she thought that you had bought her a genuine diamond ring and
she subsequently discovered that it was a fake your romance could
come to a sudden and abrupt ending!