“Ask a Jeweler”
Article written by Rachel Mucklow of Mucklow’s Fine Jewelry featured in Atlanta Weddings Magazine, Spring 2012 edition
Making that once-in-a-lifetime purchase can be daunting. Here, Rachel Mucklow of Mucklow’s Fine Jewelry demystifies the buying process and helps grooms select a ring with confidence.
What are the top three things any man just starting the engagement-ring search should know? First: You are looking for the perfect symbol of your love, not a one-way ticket to the poor house. Second: This is one of your last solo acts, so you want to put your heart and soul into it, not just your wallet. Third: You are planning to spend your lifetime together, so be realistic. Anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, birthdays, are all occasions that can be marked by jewelry. My best advice to the groom is to take some dollars away from the engagement-ring budget and buy a jewelry chest—after all, your job is going to be to fill it during your life together. The above is not meant to scare you about the reality of purchasing jewelry during your lifetime, but to stress the need to be realistic, practical and, above all, in love during the process.
What are the most important questions they should be asking a jeweler—or most importantly, themselves? Have a game plan. What style ring does she like? What shape stone? What color metal/type of metal (gold, white gold, platinum, etc.)? Once you have some ideas, then you are ready to look—and get to know the jeweler. This is a significant, life-changing purchase, and the role of the jeweler is to educate and help you with your decision, not just sell you a piece of jewelry. This is a lifelong commitment, so do business with a jeweler that you can trust for years to come.
Do you make recommendations or offer any advice on insurance policies? Yes! The best advice I can give is to call the insurance representative they currently deal with and also research the subject via The Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company. This company is the primary insurer of the American Jewelry Industry. Other sources of information can be found from The Gemological Institute of America and The American Gem Society.
What kind of necklaces or earrings do you recommend for brides? How much “bling” is too much? Basic cultured pearl stud earrings with a matching cultured pearl necklace is the most classic wedding dress accoutrement. The great thing is that these are literally available in all price ranges and budgets. I think that you can’t have too much bling if you honor the environment. If your wedding is simple, keep it simple. If it is over the top, bring out the diamond tiaras.
What’s the most unique ring you’ve ever designed for a couple? One of my favorite stories involved a young couple from Newnan who came to me after the fact for an engagement ring. How’s that? Well, the original engagement ring was literally a gumball machine plastic ring (a symbol of his love at the moment). Now, I thought that was so cool! We did find a very nice diamond to be her permanent engagement symbol. But the best part was that we were able to replicate the gumball ring into gold and ensure that it would be that enduring symbol of their love and that moment when he asked the question and she said yes.
What’s the best way to maximize your budget? Blow it? The best thing to do is not get caught in a quest for a “perfect” diamond. Remember that whatever diamond you put on her finger will be perfect to her. It’s human nature to research the four C’s and to be drawn to the colorless D color, the flawless clarity and, of course, the biggest stone your budget could possibly afford. If you look at diamonds for what they are—natural precious stones (imperfections included in most)—you’ll realize that the stone doesn’t have to be “perfect” for it to be perfect for you and your budget.
Mucklow’s Fine Jewelry, 770-486-3400, mucklowsfinejewelry.com