4 min readOne of the many choices people have to make during the jewelry buying process is whether or not they should go to a chain jewelry store or a private jeweler to make your purchase. Buying jewelry is a financial and oftentimes emotional investment, and who you buy from will play a significant role in how much you spend and how you feel about your jewelry. When it comes to deciding whether or not to purchase an item from a jewelry store or private jeweler, there are several factors to consider.
This is often the most noticeable difference between pieces offered by private jewelers and those offered by chain jewelry stores. Private jewelers handpick each and every piece from credited sources, down to the individual metals and the gems. Their main goal is to carry pieces in the store that will retain their value for years to come.
On the other hand, chain jewelry stores tend to buy their selection in bulk, with a focus on price rather than quality. This has been known to lead to lower caliber items offered in such chain jewelry stores.
Due to the high-quality and limited quantity of the stock carried by private jewelers, the price is typically higher than their chain-store competitors. However, this is not always true! In fact, some private jewelers may actually charge about the same or even less, it all depends on the individual store. The reason that chain stores typically run a little bit lower in price is, again, due to the fact that they’re buying their supply in bulk, rather than limited numbers.
Another factor that comes into play is the quality of service. Private jewelers are typically by appointment only, which means if you’re just shopping around for ideas you cannot just walk in like you can a chain store. You will have to call ahead and schedule a time.
However, if you can be flexible with your schedule the experience can be well worth it, as you get the full attention and time of a jewelry designer typically with decades of experience.
Chain jewelry stores have the perk of long open hours seven days of the week, which allow you to walk in on your schedule and get a lot of ideas simply by looking at everything in their cases. Of course everyone else has the same option which can make these stores quite busy, especially on weekends. This can lead to longer wait times for patrons to be helped, as well as shorter overall interactions with a saleperson that likely has less experience than a private jeweler.
Originality and uniqueness of each individual piece are one of the reasons many people choose to work with private jewelers. It allows you to own jewelry created just for you, which belongs to no one else in the world. You get the benefit of working directly with an experienced jewelry designer who will create CAD images first to get the design absolutely perfect before moving forward with the creation of your jewelry.
Chain jewelry stores undoubtedly have some of the largest selections found in a single location, which is a significant part of their appeal with some customers. However, the pieces they carry are typically mass produced and sold in every single one of the chain store’s locations. Although, some chain jewelry stores do offer limited customization options on specific items.
With an investment like custom jewelry or engagement rings, it is important to take your time to do the research. Visit both a chain store and a couple highly-rated private jewelers and experience the differences for yourself before making your choice to ensure it’s the right one for you. You’ll learn a lot and it will result in ensuring you get the perfect piece for you.