Buying an engagement ring is an exciting life event. Not only is this ring a symbol of your love and commitment to one another, but it’s also something you (or your fiance) will likely wear for the rest of your lives. Of course, such an important purchase is bound to be an investment. But you might be surprised to learn that many couples end up paying premium prices for mid-tier or mediocre diamonds.
That’s because many people go straight to the big-box stores without considering or even being aware of the smaller-scale alternatives. These national chains spend millions of dollars on advertising and, as a result, have widespread name recognition.
While boutique jewelry stores may not have the advertising resources or notoriety of big-box retailers, there are a number of advantages to shopping at a local, independent jeweler.
Local jewelry boutique vs. national chain: what’s the difference?
When it comes to shopping for an engagement ring, it’s important to do your research and choose a retailer that not only has the exquisite inventory and expert advice you’re looking for but one that genuinely values you as a customer. After all, you’re a unique couple with unique needs and preferences.
Big-box jewelry stores tend to operate using a one-size-fits-all approach. That’s not to say they don’t want you to be happy with your purchase, but they’ll be showing you mass-produced rings that hundreds if not thousands of other people have already purchased.
Chain jewelry stores also typically don’t offer many options for customization. With an independent jeweler like Malka Diamonds, the sky’s the limit when it comes to finding or creating the ring of your dreams.
What about online jewelry retailers?
Thanks to their perceived convenience, big-name online jewelry retailers can look appealing to engagement ring shoppers. But shopping online can never replace the in-shop experience, which is why many of these companies are popping up as brick-and-mortar stores throughout the US.
Even though you can now physically visit these “online retailers”, tread cautiously. These stores are still primarily online retailers and never actually have much inventory on hand. That means you’ll still have to purchase the ring before you can even see it in person.
Don’t forget — stones look very similar on paper or online, but it’s only in real life that they’ll show their beauty...and their flaws.
Benefits of shopping local for an engagement ring
While big chain stores and online-only retailers are a great way to browse and get a sense of what styles, cuts, and settings you like, a local boutique jeweler is your best bet when it comes time to actually purchase your forever ring. Here are a few reasons why:
SEE AND TOUCH THE JEWELRY BEFORE YOU BUY IT
You wouldn’t buy a car before test driving it, would you? Well, the same should apply when it comes to buying a high-quality piece of jewelry.
While online shopping is great for browsing, it will never be the same as actually holding and visually inspecting a diamond in person. Shopping at a local jewelry store gives you a chance to really experience the ring before you make a financial commitment.
PAY FOR QUALITY, NOT BRAND NAME
Let’s be honest: diamonds are an investment. But you want your hard-earned money to go towards an exquisite piece of jewelry, not TV ads and mall banners.
Chain jewelers tend to have higher prices than independent boutiques because they’re focused on corporate profits. It’s not that their diamonds are necessarily low quality, but you’ll generally spend a lot more for the same diamond than you would at a local independent jeweler.
Whether you opt for a vintage diamond from the 1940s, a gorgeous non-traditional designer piece, or a custom ring that perfectly captures your shared taste as a couple, the ring you choose should be as unique as your love for one another.
National chains tend to focus on selling mass-produced, branded rings, while independent jewelery stores often carry one-of-a-kind rings and pieces that are highly customizable.
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL ECONOMY
With small businesses struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting your local economy is more important than ever. Choosing to buy from a local jewelry store means that the money you spend will remain in your local community.
At Malka Diamonds, we truly are a local company. Our connection to Oregon runs deep and we take pride in being part of the Portland community.
Shop for the perfect ring at Portland’s finest boutique jeweler
At Malka Diamonds, we’re invested in your happiness. Whether you know exactly what you’re looking for or are just starting your search, our expert staff is committed to helping you find or create the perfect ring. We’re passionate about diamonds, and we love sharing that passion and enthusiasm with everyone who walks through our doors.
Let our GIA-certified gemologists help you find or design your forever ring. Give us a call at (503) 850-0133 or contact us online with any questions or to schedule an appointment. We can’t wait to hear from you!