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Need Help Deciding Between Retailers. Insurance Vs. Warranty Question?


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Hello all,


I am a newbie, and looking at purchasing an engagement ring within a couple of months.

The ring my girlfriend loves comes from Solomon Brothers fine jewelry, but comes with little warranty (one year). However, I am skeptical about buying, and love the fact that retailers like Shane Co. have outstanding warranties. 


I guess my question is, is it a major cost and pain to keep a ring insured and appraised? I'm a rather simple guy, and don't want a high maintenance ring on her finger. Though, I am spending a lot (for me) on this ring with no plans to upgrade later. That being said, i need the guarantee that whatever I decide on will last forever.


Is my best route insurance? Or maybe contacting another company to customize this ring?

(picture is item number 141506-1 from Solomon Brothers)


Thanks Everyone!




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Read carefully the warranty provided by Shane & Co. (or any other jeweller), and you'll see the following:


1. You have to bring in the ring every 6 months for inspection, which is at the very least inconvenient (and not necessary if the ring is well built in the first place). Normally, any intervention done by someone else voids the warranty.


2. They cover partial loss and some damage to the ring, but not the far more common total loss, disappearance or theft, while a good insurance company will cover you for all of those.


3. Pretty much any local jeweller will offer free cleaning - and some times even re-plating, if you are going for plated white gold. In any case, cleaning can be done for even less expense (no gas or parking) at home, and replating is not expensive even where they charge you for it.


4. Compare prices like-for-like, and you'll notice that the warranty is not for free at all...


I don't understand your comment on "contacting another company to customise the ring". Why would you want to do that?

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ShaneCo does have a pretty good warranty but, as Davide points out, the devil is always in the details. They don’t cover all perils and if you’re going to buy insurance anyway then you’re getting double coverage on most of what you're worrying about. You probably aren’t going to need to size it very often, a couple of times in her life, and routine types of repairs like tippings and tightening are in the dozens of dollars every few years.

I charge $85 to most of my appraisal clients and updates get a discount. Depending on the value conclusion, the insurance companies want that updated every 3-5 years so we’re talking $15-30/year tops in appraisal costs. Personally I think I do a WAY better job than any jewelry store appraisal I’ve ever seen and there's a giant conflict of interest inherent in having the appraisal done by the same people who sold it to you but even ignoring that, the savings associated with ‘free’ appraisals is pretty nominal.

Edited by denverappraiser
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Thank you very much for your detailed response. The only reason I mentioned having another company customize the ring is so that I would have a better warranty. Sounds like I just need to get insurance on the ring and not worry so much about the company warranty anyway.

You are welcome. FWIW, it's very unlikely that anyone who customises a ring would provide you with a better warranty than the original manufacturer.
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Insuring your ring either through your homeowner's policy or as a separate policy with a company like Jeweler's Mutual is definitely the way to go as it offers broader coverage than most stare warranties.  When insuring, it is always wiser to get your jewelry covered for "replacement value" as opposed to "cost" as items tend to get more expensive over time.  We recommend that our customers update their appraisals every two or three years just to keep current.

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