Engagement Rings Los Angeles - A Quick Buying Guide
The “diamond district” of Los Angeles is a one-of-a-kind place. A huge number of jewelry stores are located within a three by one city block area, creating heavily discounted prices and a staggering variety of stones and settings to choose from. If you are in the market to find the perfect engagement ring, this is the place to go.
In addition to the jewelry stores, you will find that the Los Angeles Jewelry District also offers fine dining, shops of all kinds in case you need a break from looking at sparkling loose diamonds, and a pleasant park in which to rest. Numerous historic landmarks and buildings are located within the district, as well as many quirky and eccentric stores to capture the attention of all kinds of people. On the whole, you are sure to find the diamond district shopping experience an exciting one, and hopefully leave with your ideal ring in your pocket, purchased at a price lower than you could expect to find elsewhere both online and offline.
A word of caution is in order, however. One factor created by the close proximity of so many discount jewelry dealers is the risk of fraud. All diamonds are not the same, and all stones that look like diamonds are not necessarily so. Technology has resulted in the existence of laboratory-created minerals that look, feel, and sparkle just like a real diamond, deceiving all but the most experienced and keen-eyed jewelers. Dealing with only well-known, reputable merchants in the Los Angeles jewelry district and having a general knowledge of diamond quality can help you make a great decision.
Before actually visiting the district, you have some homework to do. As with any major purchase, it pays to have a more or less developed idea of the kind of ring and diamond you want. Being prepared helps you not only save time in the shops; it also prevents you from being overwhelmed and confused by the sheer number of different styles and cuts that are available. Spend some time taking advantage of the informational resources provided on the Gemological Institute of America’s website (www.gia.edu) to educate yourself about the many different features to consider when picking out a diamond engagement ring. Knowing, for example, that you like the look of a princess cut diamond but want something slightly more creative-looking, and that you prefer white gold over yellow, can provide a good starting point as you talk to jewelers about the rings they have to offer.
Of course, cost is an additional important factor. Come up with a price range that you feel comfortable with, and do some research online to find out if it is practical. A price range can tell a jeweler what carat weight and setting styles to focus on. In one sense, you will have an advantage by shopping in a buyer-friendly area, but in another sense you will probably get what you pay for. If a price looks too good to be true, be careful—it probably is.
Where To Go (And Where Not To Go)
The downtown Los Angeles jewelry district is one of your best tools when looking for the perfect engagement ring. The large number of jewelers in close proximity to one another not only lowers your final cost, but also holds jewelers to a high standard of excellence. Being able to comparison shop between such a dense number of stores that are in the LA jewelry district means you can quickly get an idea of the actual market price for the diamond you’re looking for. On the other hand, there are many opportunities for less than conscientious merchants to misrepresent low quality diamonds and to pass off cubic zirconium and glass fakes as real diamonds. If you adhere to a few simple principles, you can avoid the swindlers and find the right ring for the right price.
Find Reputable Jewelers
Don’t feel embarrassed about asking a jeweler about their business’s history and reputation. An established jeweler is proud of his or her reputation and values the opportunity to tell you how long the business has been in operation, what professional associations he or she is a member of, and other reasons you can trust the diamonds the business sells. If you enter a shop in the Los Angeles diamond district and the employees are less than forthcoming about their company’s past, you should seriously reconsider spending your money there—however enticing the prices are! Checking on individual merchants’ websites before visiting the district can give you a head start in pinpointing which shops you are most interested in.
Get Clear Records and Certified Diamonds
Never leave a store with a new diamond ring unless you have obtained a clear, detailed, and signed receipt of purchase. This documentation protects you if it is found that the stone is fraudulent and was sold to you under the pretense of being authentic. Ask the merchant about whether the diamonds in the store are certified—just like a dog’s pedigree, high quality engagement ring settings have a record of their history, down to the location where the original stone was mined. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the European Gemological Laboratory (EGL) (www.eglusa.com) are the leading independent organizations that inspect stones and grade them at centers throughout the country. A diamond accompanied by a report or dossier from either the GIA or the EGL is highly trustworthy. On the other hand, if a store appears to be selling diamonds with no records readily available, you should be VERY suspicious of its honesty.
Get an Independent Appraisal
Perhaps the surest way to determine whether a diamond really matches the description of its seller is to have it inspected by an independent appraiser soon after its purchase. Don’t view this step as an “extra precaution;” every diamond ring should be accompanied by an independent appraisal to prove its actual value. This appraisal will also be needed for insurance purposes.
If you are shopping engagement rings, Los Angeles is a great place to be. It has one of the highest concentrations of jewelry stores and diamonds anywhere in the world. With a general knowledge of diamond quality, engagement ring styles, and caution and savvy when it comes to the stores you visit, you can leave the downtown Los Angeles jewelry district with a stunning, authentic setting that will symbolize the enduring brilliance of your love.
Modern Design is a manufacturer and wholesaler of custom diamond jewelry such as men's wedding bands, wedding rings and more, in business since 1978, and is a proud member of The Jewelers Board of Trade. They have wholesaled their fine line of jewelry to retail stores out of state and now offer their line directly to the public at the SAME wholesale prices. They are located in Downtown Los Angeles in the heart of the Jewelry District at 510 West 6th Street #716, Los Angeles, CA, 90014. If you’re looking to stop by, they take walk-ins Monday to Saturday or you can call to setup and appointment at 213-627-9967.