The Engagement Ring Buying Guide

So, you’ve found “the one.”  There’s no doubt in your mind that this is the woman you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, and you wouldn’t have it any other way. You already asked her father permission for her hand in marriage, and you’ve planned the perfect romantic proposal.


But before you can book the limo service, photographer, dj, and all the other details, you’ve got to find the perfect ring. The engagement ring is a representation of your love and appreciation, and something that will be with her for the rest of her life. For many men, this is their first time buying jewelry, and it can be a daunting experience. I’ve put together this guide to make it a little easier. Continue reading

Secrets Your Jewelry Store Doesn’t Want You To Know

1. If you’re looking at a diamond and a salesman tells you it’s been “clarity enhanced”, they’re actually telling you that it had cracks in it that were filled with glass. This might not deter you from buying, but it’s also not a “feature” to buy for.

2 Genuine doesn’t necessarily imply valuable, for any type of stone. If it’s cloudy or dull, a diamond, emerald, sapphire, or ruby probably isn’t worth much at all. That doesn’t mean jewelry stores won’t mark up the price big-time, though. which brings me to the next point.

3. When you’re buying an expensive piece of jewelry, make sure the store has a generous return policy. Ask the jeweler you’re buying from to write the details of the piece on the sales receipt. Then immediately find a credentialed gem appraiser to confirm what your jeweler told you. Better safe than sorry.

4.  Real, quality diamond jewelry is never actually on sale. The diamond industry is heavily regulated to prevent market over-saturation.  If a diamond is “on sale” it’s because it’s flawed in some way, probably fractured or cloudy.

5. High-priced engagement rings are correlated with higher divorce rates. Emory University recently came out with a study that showed marriages were 30% more likely to end in divorce when the engagement ring costs over $2000

6. You can save a ton of money buy buying a diamond just shy of a critical weight. Most diamonds are cut in half and whole increments, and are priced in steps. Buying a 1.00 carat diamond is disproportionately more expensive than a 0.95 carat diamond.

7. It’s ok to buy online if you’re extra careful, and doing so can save you a lot of money. You can see price differences of up to 20% between in-store and online, as online stores usually don’t have a very high mark-up. Buying out of state can save you even more, cutting out the 8+% sales tax charge. Just do your due diligence when shopping online.

Should You Invest In Jewelry Insurance?

Last Sunday I was sitting in my home office getting some work done on the site. My wife was doing some Sunday chores as she always does (before you say anything, she actually LOVES Sunday cleaning and prefers to do it on her own). She’s jewelryamazing, I know.

As I was typing, I heard my wife utter a word that I’ve only heard come from her mouth one other time in the 14 years that I’ve known her. I immediately jumped up and ran into the kitchen (see, I’m a good husband.) She was leaning over the kitchen sink with her arm almost elbow deep in the drain. I already knew what this meant before she even said anything.

It was the classic ‘engagement ring down the kitchen sink’ that happens to every couple at least once in their lifetime. She had been washing dishes  and the soapy water slipped the ring right off her finger and down the drain.

Thankfully, our good friend Jake, a good friend of mine and the best plumber in Encinitas, made an emergency service run to our place and saved the day. This situation would have been much more nerve wracking, however, if we didn’t have the ring properly insured.

So this brings up the question: Should you purchase insurance for jewelry?  Continue reading

A Man’s Guide To Picking Out Jewelry For A Woman

Nothing constantly reminds the special woman in your life just how important she is to you than jewelry. Jewelry is a gift that lasts forever and never goes out of style. Choosing unique jewelry that matches your woman’s style shows her how well you know her and pay attention to her,  which is a gift that’s priceless by itself and never fails to impress.  Many men agree, however, that picking out jewelry can be stressful to say the least. To help all the men out in their search for the perfect jewelry for a special lady, I’ve put together a list of tips that can help you select something that your woman will absolutely love.

This guide is for everything EXCEPT engagement rings. For that, refer to The Engagement Ring Buying Guide

Continue reading

Taking Care of Your Jewelry

Jewelry is meant to be worn and shown off, not kept in a box. It’s also meant to last a lifetime, and should when properly taken care of. Taking the right steps to clean and maintain your jewelry early on is the best way to make sure it lasts for generations. Each type of jewelry has it’s own set of do’s and don’ts when it comes to maintenance and cleaning, so be sure not to take a one-size-fits all approach. Below i’ll go over some tips and suggestions for taking care of each type of jewelry.


Just because diamond is one of the toughest materials known to man doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be taken care of. Diamonds can still be damaged by a sudden impact so make sure not to wear it when doing any manual labor or strenuous activity. One of the most important rules of diamond jewelry is to never wear it in the pool, hot tub, or when you’re using household cleaning products like bleach. Chlorine can discolor the mount on your diamond jewelry. You should also use a diamond cleaner or a homemade mix of water and ammonia to clean your diamonds regularly.


Gold jewelry should always be removed when doing dishes, washing hands, showering, or any other situation that soap is involved. The reason for this is because a film can form on gold when it is exposed to soap. As with diamonds and most other jewelry, keep gold out of the hot tub and any other source of chlorine, as it can cause serious and permanent damage especially when combine with high temps. Clean your gold with a toothbrush or a soft chamois cloth and a diluted ammonia solution.


Pearls are one of the most delicate types of jewelry. You should never use any chemicals on pearls, cleaning should just be done with plain water.  Also be sure to put on any perfume or hairspray on before putting on your pearls as these chemicals can damage them as well. Ladies: think twice before tossing your string of pearls into your purse. Pearls are easily scratched by sharp objects such as pens and bobby pins.


The Bottom Line

Exercise some common sense when it comes to caring for your fine jewelry. Your jewels are an investment, and you should treat them accordingly. A little work can go a long way in making your jewels shine bright years down the road.