Wall Street Journal Recommended

As recommended by The Wall Street Journal

mygemologist_platinum_fortunoff_ringDiamond Rings
Platinum Fortunoff Ring – with a round brilliant cut diamond
September 23, 2004; Page D4

A diamond is forever, or at least until it gets traded in for a bigger one.

Ring sales tend to rise in the fourth quarter ahead of holiday-season proposals, making this a prime diamond-browsing period. Here are some options for couples who are starting small.

Shoppers who think they may someday return the ring or “upgrade” — trade in the stone for a bigger diamond — may want to consider a bonded diamond. The buyer pays an annual fee to the jeweler in return for a guarantee the jeweler will buy back the diamond at the original price. About 10% of U.S. jewelers offer bonded diamonds. But look around: Fees tend to run between $1 and $2 for every $100 of the diamond’s value, a difference of $50 a year for a $5,000 diamond. Look for bonded diamonds at /wp/diamond-education/my-gemologist/.

Harry Winston vs. Sam’s Club: Many jewelers offer upgrades on rings bought at their stores, but the policies vary widely. Tiffany & Co. will accept a solitaire diamond ring only if the buyer exchanges it for a ring that costs at least twice as much; Fortunoff will upgrade diamond earrings or rings for pieces 1.5 times the amount. Kay Jewelers and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry let buyers exchange any of the stores’ diamond jewelry for pieces costing twice as much. But read the fine print: If you don’t visit Kay Jewelers every six months for an appraisal, the policy is off. Harry Winston and Cartier offer upgrades on a case-by-case basis, and Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart don’t do it at all.

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