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Many jewelery stores around here offer a warranty on ring purchases. For example a $2000 ring might cost $250. The deals offer free repair, cleaning, maintenance and sometimes replacement and vary a little in cost and coverage, but they are mostly the same.

Is it a good deal, or is it like a warranty on anything else?

  • This heavily depends on whether the ring is to be worn after the wedding or whether it is then to be replaced with a less-flashy wedding ring. Cultural differences matter in this case. – Weckar E. May 17 '17 at 12:04
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It depends on the specific terms of the warranty, and the price. It also depends on what your homeowner's or renter's insurance covers.

My mother-in-law is a jeweler. (Works for a local higher-end store, not a chain.) Prior to dating my wife-to-be, I knew very little about jewelery. Some major things I have learned in the ~8 years we have been together:

  1. It is amazing how much nicer jewelery looks when it is cleaned. Especially if you can take it to the store and have them use steam and the sonic bath.

  2. Jewelry is surprisingly fragile, and rings get a lot of abuse. You bump your hands into things a lot more than you realize. If your diamond is in a setting where it is high up from the band, with thin delicate prongs, it can get whacked loose pretty easily.

  3. Look at the ring under a loupe. There can be a lot of cracks in the metal that are invisible to the naked eye, but are problems waiting to happen (diamond falls out and is lost). I was shocked at the details you see under a loupe that you would miss normally.

  4. Cleaning is necessary to easily see those cracks.

  5. Take it to the store and get it cleaned and checked by a jeweler at least once a year. My MIL's store would do this for free for most customers. Other places may charge a nominal fee.

  6. If you notice a stone that is loose/shifted, or you notice one of the prongs looks funny, stop wearing it immediately! Take it back to the store for a repair. A good jewelery store will have an in-house goldsmith that can handle minor repairs. Major ones might have to be sent out to a specialist. Unless a stone is missing and has to be replaced, most repairs will be < $100.

  7. Unless your ring has a fragile design, or you are really abusive, the above should keep it intact for many years to come. My wife's has had here ring for ~5 years now, and she has had it repaired 2-3 times. She has a job that involves a lot of physical violence though.

  8. Homeowner's or renter's insurance will usually cover the jewelry, but items above a certain value will need to be documented and on file with the insurance company. You will probably need a recent appraisal of the item (get one when you buy it).

  9. Ask your insurance agent what kinds of events are covered (ring stolen, ring lost in a fire, ring mysteriously disappears, etc). Make sure you fully understand the limitations, and if there are any options for specialized extended coverage.

  10. Find out what the optional warranty from the store covers. Overlapping coverage with homeowners insurance is pointless. However, if the store normally charges for cleanings, but the extended warranty gets you them for free, it might be worth it.

  11. Seriously, make sure someone looks it over with a loupe at least once a year.

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    So having regular maintenance is critical, but a warranty itself is only one way to that end. I think selecting a better store is a smarter idea that getting a warranty from a chain. – MrChrister Jul 19 '10 at 13:53
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If you buy from a decent jeweller, they will probably clean and maintain the ring in perpetuity for free or nominal cost. It's worth it to them so you'll come back for eternity rings, earrings and anniversary presents and recommend them to your friends. If you are spending enough to consider getting a warranty, then I'd recommend going to a place with locked doors and very polite men in expensive suits and ask them what would happen if the ring needed cleaning or minor repairs. Whenever we are near the place I bought my wife's ring we drop it in for a clean and polish and it looks like new in an hour or two.

Also bear in mind that if it is a solitaire worth thousands then the band is a small part of the cost of the ring even if it is platinum. You could probably replace the entire band and reset the stone for around the price of your warranty.

As far as replacement due to loss or major damage is concerned, it can probably be covered by your house insurance. For example under my insurance I can cover items less than £2,000 as long as I have the receipt, and named items over that amount cost a very small additional sum (I can't remember the exact amount but it was something like £20 for up to £5,000 of coverage).

  • +1 for pointing out that the value of the ring is in the stones, not the band. Protect the stones! – myron-semack Jul 19 '10 at 14:46
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The better warranty would be if the ring gets returned by the recipient. :) If the jeweler offers to take the ring back if things fall through, snag it.

That's why getting one at a pawn shop -- which was sold to the pawn shop after it was returned, likely -- is a far better deal. At least it can be resold for closer to what it was paid for.

Sorry, but "two months' salary" is BS. My wife's cost one day's pay and she loves it. It was exactly what she wanted.

  • so true on the last sentence. YMMV, but in most cases the woman a guy interested in solid personal finance will want cares more about a solid financial foundation than blowing it all on a big rock. – justkt Dec 20 '10 at 15:32
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In my experience, most of the "Extended Service Plans" sold by Big Chain Stores have too much fine-print. Everything they give you in 'the plan'... they take away in fine-print. Most require you to have the ring inspected every 6 months and if you miss an inspection they don't have to cover it. Also, in the case of lost or missing stones, many will cover the labor to replace the stone but NOT the cost of the stone itself.

I recommend finding a well established private jewelry store who considers an "extended service plan" the same as customer service and it's FREE with any engagement ring purchase. Things like Cleaning, Maintenance, Stone Tightening, and Accent Stone Replacement should be covered for 5 years free of charge. That's not to say you can crush it in a car door and expect them to fix it free, but if an accent stone falls out during normal wear - that should be covered.

As far as protecting a larger center diamond, that's where insurance kicks in - and that will protect against loss or theft as well. If the ring is well-made, you aren't going to lose the center diamond with normal wear... generally that's from something traumatic happening to the ring. A good jewelry store should help you with insurance and the cost is minimal - usually around $13 per $1,000 per year. So if the appraised value is $5,000, then the cost of insurance would be around $65 per year (less with a deductible). In summary, if a store is trying to SELL you their customer service, read the FINE PRINT!

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