There are certainly many factors when choosing an engagement ring. Years ago it was just the 4 C’s and a solitaire mounting and you were good to go! Now, things are not so simple. What was just one style, now is about 10; solitaire, 4 or 6 prong, side diamonds, channel or pave, halo around center or not, width of ring, flat side for good “buttability” (flush with wedding ring) white or yellow metal and finally what shape center store will be. Phew! No wonder brides are specific with their desires and many grooms look like deer in the headlights. Isn’t the hardest decision already made?...to marry?
But, guess what? Now it’s not only the ladies that have many choices, the men do too… There are precious white metal (white gold, platinum or palladium), yellow gold, two tone, and now the alternative metals. They are non precious metals, some prevalent in other industries, like titanium, and now other created metal combinations, like tungsten carbide and cobalt chrome. With precious metals so high, the alternative metals present another option in a variety of different prices.
For example, titanium bands start about $100 with tungsten carbine and cobalt chrome beginning at about $300. A gold band would start about $800. Each metal has different features. For example, titanium is very light, but will scratch. Vitalium is a new composition metal that is white in color, scratch resistant, 5 times harder than titanium, 6 times harder than platinum and is hypoallergenic. The weight of these rings is substantial, unlike titanium which is very light. Clients should be aware that composition metals, including Vitalium and Tungsten Carbide cannot be sized, but many manufacturers offer a minimal size exchange fee for the life of the ring. Cobalt chrome has the brighter color or white gold. All come in many styles and widths. Tungsten carbide and cobalt chrome are ceramic metals, which come from a mix of metal powders and are formed under intense heat. So move aside brides, here comes the groom!
By the way, can you tell which rings above are completely new and which were reset customers stones? Of course not! You shouldn’t be able to!
We are often asked what jewelry is “worth” being insured. Good question. We can give you the dollar figures to replace what you have, but ultimately you need to ask yourselves “if something were to happen to my ring, would I want it replaced?”. Remember, even if your piece of jewelry is sentimental and it is replaced with a new piece, you still wouldn’t have anything if you had not insured the original piece.
Many companies will put a rider of your homeowners to accommodate the value of your jewelry. We insure our business with Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, which also has a division devoted strictly to people who want to insure their own jewelry. A policy with them covers loss, theft, mysterious disappearance (Mommy’s ring down the toilet), chipping the diamond, etc. Like all policies, it does not cover normal wear and tear. The replacement process is simple and there is no deductible in most cases.
Independent of where your jewelry is insured, you will need a current replacement appraisal especially as metal prices have skyrocketed. About 3 years ago, I updated the value of a 14K man’s heavy link bracelet by about $400 since originally appraised. The bracelet was lost and with gold being so very high, the limit of his insurance barely covered the cost to reorder the piece. The message: If you are getting insurance or already have it, please have the appraisal updated at least every year. If you haven’t done so since gold jumped, please do it now. Chances are you are under-insured and if you suffered a loss, you would have to come up with a portion of the money at replacement time.
For more information, give us a call or go to www.jewelermutual.com.