Buying the engagement ring is one of the major investments you’ll make. More importantly, the financial aspect is not the only thing to consider. You want this piece of jewelry to reflect an enduring sentiment for years to come.
There’s a whole succession of decisions you have to make – the size of the shank, the choice of the center gemstone (a diamond or a colored gemstone), the choice of size and color of diamond, the shape of the stone, etc. You can’t propose twice, so you want to avoid the typical mistakes.
But, what you should decide first is: where will you buy the ring? Talking about jewelry chain stores and independent jewelers – where’s the best place to buy engagement ring in San Diego? We’re comparing the two for you.
The major selling point of jewelry chain stores are low prices. Price is a factor when buying an engagement ring, but so is value. What can you expect to get for those apparently low prices? Non GIA-graded, shady quality diamonds and precious stones in uniform settings, which are generally of dubious quality as well. Their inventory offering seems like three designs multiplied themselves ten times. Even their stores look like doppelgangers of each other. Long story short, low price with jewelry chain stores very often equals low quality. That’s not much of a cost-effective option.
With independent jewelry stores, you’re dealing with a business that cares about its reputation and customers, because they survive on repeat and referral business in the community. Independent jewelry stores also offer discounts and special offers. At Leo Hamel Fine Jewelry & Engagement Ring Store, we have special offers for you every month. And there’s more! There are trunk shows and special financing options. But what’s important is that shopping at an independent jeweler you get quality – GIA-certified diamonds, warranties, and custom work done by an in-house team of jewelers and graduate gemologists.
A chain store has a vast inventory of mass-produced items that need to be sold quickly to make room for a new batch. That means that the salespeople are given “creative freedom” in spinning fairytales about engagement ring center stones. They have been known to misrepresent diamond flaws and characteristics, for one thing. Part of their precious stone game is to brand stone cuts and use proprietary grades, which makes the stones difficult to compare to other brands. However, the GIA diamond-grading system is the industry standard and the fact that chain stores by and large steer clear of GIA certificates speaks volumes of their sales tactics.
At the risk of repeating ourselves, we’ll emphasize the fact that independent jewelers serve the community and their service strongly underpins their reputation. The quality jewelry they offer comes with certificates that are industry-standard. And the terminology they use in describing their jewelry adheres to the terms and definitions in the trade. Additionally, the service tends to be more high-touch and personable.
You would expect a chain store to have a huge selection because of their buying power. You would, but that’s not commonly the case. Chain stores focus on and promote their proprietary brands and lines (which are strikingly mass-produced) and don’t carry many designer collections besides their own. They do have collections signed by celebrities, but celebrities are neither jewelry designers nor artisans. If you want to buy something that’s slightly above the average or slightly unusual, you’ll most probably have to pay in advance for them to order it for you.
Independent jewelers have a varied selection of numerous designer lines which you can see and feel before you make the purchase. At Leo Hamel’s, not only do we have the largest selection of jewelry as far as independent jewelers are concerned, but our selection is also wonderfully varied. We carry new and vintage engagement rings from designer names like Hearts On Fire, Venetti, Tiffany, Tacori, Vera Wang, Beverley K, and Simon G. We are the largest San Diego buyer of estate jewelry, which means that you can find heirloom-quality jewelry at amazing rates.
Many San Diegans say that Leo Hamel’s is the best place to buy engagement ring in San Diego
Reading our reviews, you’ll see that our difference resonates with our fellow community members. A considerable portion of our customer base consists of loyal, returning customers who trust our prices, service and expertise. Do yourself a favor and visit our showroom on San Diego Avenue, where our friendly and knowledgeable staff will show you how easy it can be to find a ring that perfectly matches your taste and budget. We welcome you!