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I''m a Pricescoper, but a schmo...any Jeweler''s (or others) advice?

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by Regular Guy, Mar 4, 2005.

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  1. Regular Guy
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Regular Guy » Mar 4, 2005
    Any advice on how I can most appropriately work with a jeweler who I'll want to have check my wife's engagement ring to see that the prongs are sufficiently tight?

    One problem... I didn't buy the engagement ring from a local jeweler of choice originally. I'll be able to check the inscription before and after I ask for this help...but....what's the best way to do this. Is there any way to know if they have an intake procedure without asking, and immediately appearing distrustful. Once I take out my loupe in the store, they know I'm distrustful, if not a clod. If I don't do that, and the worst should happen (on purpose or by mistake), I check it later, and no longer see the inscription, how to approach the jewler about it at that point?

    Even though I feel a level of guilt for not having bought locally, obviously I could have moved here, and would still needed this service. I will try to get his assistance for switching out earing backs, making them appropriate for non-pierced ears, so I will have some actual, however minor, small business to conduct. But...since I have this fear of working with a jeweler I don't otherwise have a relationship with...is there any way to not be rude, and ask for this assistance.

    When buying the ring from an internet vendor, I had nominally prepared in advance for this. At another mall, I can pay for this service, I think it's Baily Banks & Biddle, but would have to show up at the appointed time, for when their jeweler was in staff. But...it's not convenient to get to that other jeweler, would prefer to go with my wife to the jeweler when it's convenient for us, etc.

    Alternately, the jewler we'd go to tonight is convenient to get to..and I just want to be appropriate when asking for this assistance, and minimize being a schmo.

    (edited to add)...could offering (and expecting) to pay, make it more reasonable to then request the in-store confirmation with the loupe of the inscription?

    Any advice?
     
  2. glitterata
    Ideal_Rock

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    by glitterata » Mar 4, 2005
    The other week my ring--an heirloom, my grandmother''s engagement ring--was rattling slightly when I shook it. I took it to my local jeweler & said, "I think my stone is loose, could you tighten it for me?" He took it away for a minute & brought it back all nice & tight. "Thanks--how much do I owe you?" I asked. He just waved his hands at me and said "No charge."

    I buy little things like pendant chains and watch batteries there, but I''ve never made a major purchase & Grandma''s ring obviously isn''t from there. However, if I ever do have a major purchase to make, I''ll certainly consider them.
     
  3. Regular Guy
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Regular Guy » Mar 4, 2005
    Very much appreciate both your comments, Glitterata & Dave. Dave, btw, though using the store loupe would seem a nice touch, if it''s 10X, I don''t think it would work...at least for my eyes. I bought several of these, first a 10X, then a 30X, and finally a 20X that seems to do the job.
     
  4. noobie
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by noobie » Mar 4, 2005
    Ira,

    If I recall, didn''t Quest do a repair for you? If so, why don''t you take it there? They can adjust the earrings as well.
     
  5. Regular Guy
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Regular Guy » Mar 4, 2005
    Thanks, Noobie, you remember well. I think I''ll see how I feel tonight. A certain advantage of Quest is a measure of trust I had established with them, in connection with having been referred to them.

    They''re not near anywhere we travel to routinely, unfortunately, and the visit there would certainly have to be event specific.

    Thanks for the reminder of a good option, however.
     
  6. noobie
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by noobie » Mar 4, 2005
    I know how you feel, although it''s not that bad for me. They are a great bunch of guys though and they have a new jewelry collection you could look at while you were there.

    Your other option BBB, I don''t mind BaileyBanks as a store at all, but not too crazy about service. They wanted to charge me almost $300 to change batteries in a couple of Tag watches.
     
  7. Regular Guy
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Regular Guy » Mar 7, 2005
    I just wanted to thank those of you who, on line and off, offered counsel to me, which was much appreciated.

    (By the way -- and I think my appraiser did this as a test, too -- what is that "ping" thing thing they do as a means of testing the goodness of tightness of prongs?)

    Turns out, the bit about the loupe in particular as a substantive element of my communication with the jeweler did raise its head. Like the bad salesperson I write about elsewhere on this board, as I was trying to communicate my desire to have us both know my diamond was mine, and as I began to take my loupe out of my pocket, the look of a deer in headlights came upon my jeweler, the sort of awkward moment I feared arose, and as I explained that the diamond was inscribed, he did take out his loupe, read the numbers aloud, which I matched with my cert that I then took out, and our confirming of the diamond by the method of looking at the number was done. Good thing, by the way, he didn''t wait for me to read them, too. Shortly later, upon leaving the shop, I tried and failed to see all the numbers with what I thought was my good loupe, and later at home, did manage to see them all. For this reason alone, I was mightily impressed with this jeweler''s skills, though it may be part & parcel with the trade. Also, as I''ve read from previous posts, I guess it''s possible some of the carbon residue that has made the inscription visible to me has gone away, and this may be a contributing factor to my increased difficulty in reading these.

    Closing questions/comments:

    - seems like the points made to me about focusing on the intention to develop a relationship with the jeweler can be the most helpful, and useful, going forward with my continued need to do this periodically.
    - does this found method of asking the jeweler to review the inscription with me, with him/her reading it to me seem a reasonable checking method, going forward, or -- for example -- is it likely to be the case that with the carbon continuing to erode, reading the inscription with a loupe will no longer become reasonable for anyone.
    - though I actually shop for jewelry with some frequency, it is most often by catalog, and not for expensive stuff. I think the chances are that most any approach to giving your ring over to a jeweler to be checked and cleaned with anything less than complete trust will never be really well received. Though our internet vendors here will never be in the netflix business (I don''t use, by the way, netflix, nor would I do what I''m about to say, I don''t think), offering the option of periodically mailing a ring in for checking might not be a crazy idea. Then again, the possibility of damage even during shipping could eliminate any even conceived benefit to this.

    Again, many thanks
     
  8. Regular Guy
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Regular Guy » Mar 7, 2005
    Dave, Steve,

    Thank you both.

    Any insight into the "ping" test for the prong''s tightness? Are the jeweler''s looking to hear a tone that tells them something about the construction of the ring?

    Regards,
     
  9. denverappraiser
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

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    by denverappraiser » Mar 7, 2005

    Ira,


    An easy first test for tight stones is to hold the ring very close to your ear between your thumb and fourth finger. Tap the edge of the ring with your middle finger. You should hear a distinct thunk and nothing more. Try it without a ring at all if you want to know the sound. It helps to hit it pretty hard. If a stone is loose, it has a double click sound almost like an echo. This doesn’t really answer all that many of the questions about the setting but it’s very fast and can give a clue if the next step should be to hunt for which stone is causing the problem.


    Neil Beaty
    GG(GIA) ISA NAJA
    Independent Appraisals in Denver
     
  10. lostdog
    Shiny_Rock

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    by lostdog » Mar 7, 2005
    I would think the fact that the owner of the ring is inspecting it right there should be good for both parties. If there''s a problem and you take the stone home only to find (let''s take an example) that it''s chipped, then it becomes a stalemate.

    A jeweler that chips a stone and gives it back unmentioned to the owner is not going to admit they did it. A jeweler that didn''t chip a stone shouldn''t have to help replace one that was chipped later on. The owner has no way to tell for sure who did what.

    We have somewhat of a dent on one of our prongs, not that you could see it by eye, but you can feel it with your finger and in the loupe at the right angle you can''t miss it. The ring has only been in the shop once, for sizing, (which they got wrong), so either it was really clocked into something during normal wear or the bench person wasn''t all that careful. Actually, I don''t think they were all that careful, judging from the finishing on the resize, but I don''t know if they caused the dent. So I am out of luck if that''s the case.

    I wouldn''t hesitate one second to pull out your own loupe to look at your own ring. Maybe say something disarming as you are doing it, but it''s your ring. It might be even better to inspect it before you turn it over, with the receiver agreeing to what you see as well. Anybody retailer who is worried by the fact that you know how to look at your ring and recognize the stone and condition should be a red flag. Not as to dishonesty, just as to their ultimate interest in you.
     
  11. Regular Guy
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Regular Guy » Mar 7, 2005
    Neil,

    Many thanks.

    Lost Dog,

    Sorry for your difficulty. My main thought about these things...although I am first among men to want to hold professionals in the industry to rigorous technical standards, readily questioning the practices of appraisers and vendors, ostensibly carrying out the public trust in doing so....if only based on the value per spare inch of these items we''re talking about, I have come to gain a greater understanding of how members of the trade work and survive on a good faith basis, use a handshake where other options may be otherwise common practice...and although I don''t live in that realm, I can see where those that do, do best when those sorts of understanings are in place.
     
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