The Best Chain To Buy



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The Best Chains to Ever Buy

Cheaper Wedding Sets

Changing Trends

It’s interesting to see how the Trends in Jewelry Changes.

Over the Past Ten Years or so, One HUGE Change has taken place that’s made a Significant Impact on the Jewelry Industry (and more importantly the Bridal, Wedding Sets, and Solitaire Rings).

And that is, the Trend for Smaller Diamonds!

It used to be that all Wedding Sets had One Larger Center Stone, Surrounded by a Couple of Side Stones to Enhance the Diamond and give the Ring some Sparkle (Like these Beautiful Bridal Rings HERE!)

That Center Stone (what ever Carat Weight it may be), was the Focus of the Piece, the Attention Getter. It always took Top Priority and the Entire Ring Revolved around it.

But, if you Venture into any Jewelry Store today, you’ll see that many Big Center Diamonds are Scarce. They are being Replaced with Many Smaller Diamonds instead!

Wedding Rings now have Multiple Diamonds put together like a Puzzle (many are Invisible Set) to give the “Illusion” of One Large Stone.

Take for Example these Wedding Rings from Zales…

Cheap Wedding Rings from Zales Jewelers!

You’ll see the Wedding Sets look Massive, but they are actually made up of Tons and Tons of Little Tiny Diamonds.

These types of Rings Remind me of the Big, Gaudy, Cheap Cocktail Rings that Department Stores are known for. Like these Rings…

Cheap Rings from JC Penny!

These Settings are Common and Popular in Department Stores (like JC Penny) because they Host Low Quality Stones, and the Size of the Diamonds Keep the Price Down.

It wasn’t something you’d Expect to Find at High end Jewelers like Kays, Osterman, Helzberg, Zales and Fred Meyer Jewelers.

Times Have Changed!

But now, they are Common Place Everywhere!

Check out this Osterman Ad to see for yourself…

Cheap Wedding Rings from Osterman Jewelers!

Here’s a Jewelry Center’s Ad…

Cheap Wedding Rings from Jewelry Center!

Fred Meyer’s Catalogs have many Small Diamonds for Sale

Cheap Wedding Rings from Fred Meyer Jewelers!

Cheap Rings from Fred Meyer Jewelers!

Cheap Wedding Rings from Fred Meyers!

Kay Jewelers Sells some of these Sets as well… they all do!

Cheap Wedding Rings from Kay Jewelers!

And you know where Most of this Began?

Colored Diamonds

Colored Diamonds (Blue, Black, Brown, Green, Yellow, Pink) have Changed the Types of Engagement Rings that People are Buying Today. They made it okay to Buy Many Small Diamonds. They Made it Look Cool!

Take a look at what I mean with these Ads… Colored Diamonds Started a Craze

Helzberg Catalog

Cheap Wedding Rings from Helzberg Jewelers!

Carribean Blue Diamond Ad

Carribean Blue Diamond Ad!

Now all you see is Tiny Stones Everywhere…

Cheap Rings from Kay Jewelers!

Cheap Rings from Osterman Jewelers!

I sure do Miss the Mountings that had Big Diamonds and Beautiful Solitaires like these…

Great Rings from Rogers and Holland Jewelers!

Great Weding Rings from J Foster Jewelers!

Rings Used to be so Stunning!

What’s even more Interesting is the Fact that these Small Diamonds are usually Not Very High Quality.

They are generally SI or I (Leaning more towards the I Clarity Diamonds), and the Colors of these Stones is usually J-L.

If you look Hard Enough at these Rings, you’ll see that the Stones Don’t Match Very Well. Many Times they are set Quickly (Clumsily), and the Stones have Eye Visible Inclusions in them like Cloudy Areas, Black Spots, Lines and even Chips.

Not to Mention the Color of the Stones will often be Yellowish or Brown.

It all goes hand in hand with Low Quality Goods and Cheaper Prices.

When you see these Pieces in Jeweler’s Catalogs, you’ll also see that many times Clarity and Color are NOT listed! All that is Stated is the total Carat Weight of the Ring, which, when Added together Sounds Impressive. But it Really Isn’t!

What they Fail to say is this:

These Diamond Rings, with Low Quality Stones, Don’t Hold their Value. If you go to Trade them in or sell them, You Won’t Get Very Much!!!

And the Cost of Repairing or Maintaining a Ring like this is Expensive!

You have so many Small Stones to Account for. They can come Loose, Fall out, and the Countless Prongs can get Snagged, Bent Back or Broke off. And when you need to get the Entire Ring Retipped when the Prongs Wear Down (which they will like all Prongs), it could Cost you Quite a Pretty Penny (usually around $12 a Prong!).


So What do I Recommend?

A Bigger Center Stone of Course!

Like this Awesome Ring from Kays…

Great Weding Ring from Kay Jewelers!

That Ring is Beautiful! It will stand the Test of Time (Won’t go out of Style).

Wedding Sets with Small Diamonds are Cheaper for Jewelers to make (they have an Endless Supply of Melee Diamonds), but the Prices for these Rings is on the Rise.

Many times they are charging the Same Price as they would one Big Stone!

And, keep in mind, these Diamonds and Rings are usually Not Certified Either.


The Jewelers do!

So I say, stick with a Bigger Diamond in the Center, and you’ll be much Happier in the long run.

Elegant Wedding Rings!

Now those are Pretty Rings!

It’s important to Note that Pretty much ALL Jewelers carry Both Types of Rings.

The Smaller Diamond Sets do take up about Half the Inventory, but you can still find the Bigger Rings in Jeweler’s Ads and Showcases too!

Keep your Eyes Peeled! :)
Check out some Beautiful Engagement Rings HERE from James Allen!

Cheers! :)

14k Wheat Chains

Top Diamond Vendors:

James Allen

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Blue Nile

Blue Nile

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  1. I think, and this is strictly IMHO, that even more so than the introduction of colored diamonds, the protracted economic disaster we were thrown into in 2008 had as much, if not more to do with the proliferation of small, lesser quality stones in wedding and engagement jewelry. The total loss of investments that many people suffered, completely did away with any discretionary income they might have spent on larger rings for upgrades, and spending on their children’s weddings as well. So the wedding is paid more by the Bride and Groom than ever before, shrinking the ring budget. Plus the incredible impact on the job market threw many people out of work, even after decades in the same job, and made it much more difficult for young people, especially college grads, who would normally may be getting married at the same time, but were now hit two-fold, without work and WITH enormous Student Loan debt to pay off.
    Plus, the real estate market tanking, etc., etc., ad nauseum….
    So, the jewelry industry did the only thing it could ~ find out what people needed, and then try to give it to them. In this case, less expensive wedding jewelry, but still with some visual impact. And, since expectations had been rising exponentially with the economy prior to the collapse, women were still not going to be satisfied with the relatively tiny solitaires we loved, expected and accepted in the 70’s! They still wanted “POW!” in their engagement rings to show off to all the friends, family, and coworkers. So, we have the proliferation of what I call “20 footers”. From twenty feet away, they have a lot of POP to the eye, even though they were made up of much smaller stones than you and I were accustomed to seeing!
    I do agree wholeheartedly that the most beautiful rings are the ones with the largest center stones and smaller accent stones on the sides. But, even though you can still find those rings in most jewelers, they are usually not the ones that get the “prime real estate” in the Jeweler’s cases and windows! That spot goes to the rings you are talking about in this post, because they will appeal, at least from a standpoint of price, to the most people who are really shopping for them.
    I did a bit of checking in the Kay’s Jewelry site, and since it’s owned by Stirling, which also owns several other brands we see in the malls, including Zales, I expect the merchandise is going to be similar. (It also owns Jared, which we don’t see in the malls, but exclusively outside the malls ~ different location, different stock too.) Anyway, I looked at two rings, the top of the line, an $89,999.00, 4 carat Tolkowski monster, and a $7399.00, 3 stone, 2 carat total weight, more sedate model. I was disappointed in both! The $90,000, 4 carat heavyweight, was only I color, and SI2 clarity! It was also set in platinum prongs on a 14kt white gold band! Boooo!
    If I had $90,000+ (gotta remember tax and whatnot) to spend on one ring, would I be going to a mall store? Highly, highly unlikely. I’d probably be going in person to Harry Winston, or Cartier. I would likely end up with a smaller stone, because I wouldn’t wear 4 carats on a bet, but it would be set in ALL platinum, and it would be a minimum E color, and flawless, with several accents. I might even see what James Allen had to offer, but the mall? Nope!
    On to the mid-range ring, for $7,399.00. Three stones, two carat total weight, set in all 14kt white gold, (no platinum prongs) with a .75ct center stone, and if I know my math (because they didn’t break it down FOR me) two side stones at about .62ct for each. So far, so good. BUT, I looked at the specs on the stones and dropped my jaw! Why? Because not only were they MINIMUM I color, they were also MINIMUM I2 clarity! All three! I2 stones for that kind of money, and big enough that whatever it is that is wrong with them will make it sit straight up and wave at you, without even benefit of a loupe. Booooo again!
    And having looked at other websites over time, I am consistently amazed at the poor quality stones of all sizes that I have been seeing!! Saving money is one thing, but for goodness sakes! And then ~ and this is subject matter for a whole different blog post ~ when people (mostly the women) want to sell their rings for whatever reason, on the second hand market, they are mystified and upset when they can’t get nearly the same amount of money back for them that was paid out in the first place! I know all the reasons behind that one, but try and explain that to someone who paid well over $2,000 for their crappy, ugly, “full of pepper” diamonds, that they are not going to get $1,800 for them! They actually get belligerent, blaming the jeweler for “robbing them” or me for “just making all that up” or whatever else they can think of, especially when they ASKED for my opinion! Ah well. (And they didn’t sell, either!)
    And time, as they say, marches on!

    • I agree. I’m always shocked at the Quality of Engagement Rings in Mainstream Jewelers, it’s so low. Even the expensive Tolkowski Diamonds are SI2, I Color… Crazy! People think they’re getting High Quality Goods, think again. High Prices is more like it. And yes, Re-Selling Diamonds back to Jeweler’s is a Whole Different Topic… There really is NO Market for that! :)

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