Ninety percent of all jewelry sold in the United States is prefabricated. Let’s see what Webster has to say. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word Prefabricate as follows:
Function: transition verb
1: to fabricate the parts of at a factory so that construction consists mainly of assembling and uniting standardized parts.
2: to produce artificially
Think about it! Ninety percent of all the settings that hold our diamonds and gemstones are manufactured PRIOR to knowing what diamonds or gemstones are going to go in it! That’s life in the 21st century—picking out a frame for a newly discovered DaVinci without bothering to ask the exact dimensions. That’s Crazy! But, I’ll keep going! All this Prefab jewelry is mass produced in such great quantities, (#1 goal being profit) that any decent quality control to insure against under-carating of the quality of the gold or precious metal is thrown out with the baby and the bath water! Prongs that should be hand rolled for durability and strength are plucked out of an assembly line machine losing an incredible amount of tensile strength (that’s what keeps your rocks in place)! Of course even under the most optimal conditions, using a Master Craftsman & Master Stone Setter, damage is possible but why would we want to increase the odds of an accident by over twenty times?! We might as well text and drive with an open container in the car! All right, don’t get me started! Here are the facts:
1) Prefab jewelry is a lot less expensive upfront but will cost you more on the back side with costly repairs.
2) Prefab jewelry is ordered out of a catalog so you may get it quick and fast but you aren’t buying something meant to last.
3) Prefab jewelry serves a place in our society the same way a place holder does. It’s a good band-aid until you know exactly what you want your dream piece of jewelry to look like.
4) Custom made jewelry is more expensive (but not unaffordable like some jewelers want you to believe) but will more than pay for itself when it lasts generations not
Here’s how you protect yourself:
1) Ask the jeweler if the ring was Prefabricated by him or anyone else.
2) If the ring was Prefabricated and you are willing to roll the dice with prongs that have been FORCED out of place to fit stones that were jammed into them, what guarantees does the jeweler provide when the little sparkly beauties start jumping ship?
3) If they say the ring is custom made will they put it in writing and guarantee any stone loss (Large main stones must be covered under a personal floater policy) as long as you bring it in for scheduled maintenance?
4) Did the jeweler attempt to show and sell you a setting first and then ask you to pick out the main stone? * Never put the cart before the horse!
5) And finally, how long did the process take from start to finish? If it took days and not weeks with several visits, I’m sorry my friend, you just bought a Prefabricated piece of jewelry and as the story goes “Prefab aint Fab!”
by Fred Cuellar, author of the best-selling book “How to Buy a Diamond.” More questions? Ask the Diamond Guy®