In our fast moving 24/7 world we tend to develop the expectation that we can (provided, of course that we have the funds to pay for it) buy everything we want pretty much instantaneously. We can shop around over the internet, compare prices and buy the cheapest we can find. And that whatever you buy at the cheaper price will be the same quality as the other products you looked at. For many things you can buy, this is generally true. I’m thinking here of TV’s or phones. Same brand, same product, get the best price that you can. But can you shop for all products in this way?
Well the short answer is no. This is especially the case when it comes to products that require quality materials to begin with and a great level of skill on the part of the manufacturer to produce. Making a great looking engagement ring requires great workmanship. Engagement ring quality is something that is often overlooked by consumers. Perhaps it is because we are so used to thinking all products are the same. When it comes to engagement rings and engagement ring quality this is definitely not the case.
Mass Produced Engagement Rings
We often have clients bring poor quality rings to us that they have bought in retail or chain store shops. As soon as we look at them, we can see that the materials used and the make of the ring is not good at all. Many of these rings are mass produced in factories overseas. Corners are cut in production to reduce costs, and those making the rings are not highly skilled. Often in these production line type factories, materials are scrimped on. This includes not only using poor quality alloys to begin with, but also to hollowing out parts of the ring to save on gold costs. Usually workers only make component parts of the rings, rather than a craftsman making the whole ring, from woe to go, as we do here at Ellissi.
Mass Production Comes at a Cost: Quality Suffers
The rings produced in such factories will only have a very limited life-span. It is heart breaking for those that buy them to have their engagement ring fall apart. It is difficult to find a jeweller who is willing to try to fix a ring such as this (we certainly don’t take on this work). When poorly made rings made with poor quality materials start to fail, it is simply not worth trying to repair the problem. The poor workmanship affects so many aspects of the ring that it becomes a very costly exercise to keep having it repaired. If a jeweller takes on this work, it can be like opening a can of worms.
Really a ring such as this should just be scrapped and re-made properly. Settings are often so badly constructed that diamonds can be lost when they fall apart. The engagement ring quality is so bad that it simply is not worth saving.
There are some crafts that simply cannot be rushed or hurried, or subjected to factory- like cost cutting production methods. That is, if you want a great end result. One of these crafts is the making of fine jewellery. Creating beautiful engagement rings in precious metals requires good quality materials to work with, and a great level of skill. When working on such a small scale, these skills can only be gained by experience over many, many years.
Bad Diamonds and Poor Ring Production to Meet a Price Point
Have a look at this ring here. It has a number of problems, aside from the poor quality diamonds it is set with. The finish on the metalwork is terrible. You can also see that the claw is fractured. It is only a matter of time, with every day wear and tear, before this claw breaks off. This issue has arisen because of the poor quality alloy that the ring is made with.
In the second photo, you can see that the join that attaches the band to the main diamond has fractured. The join is broken.
Without the structural strength of the join, the ring will potentially buckle if it is kept on the finger. This is a problem in the manufacturing of the ring. Poorly skilled workers simply don’t produce good results.
Your engagement ring is such an important symbol of your love and commitment to each other. This is the last thing that you want to have happen to it.
If You Want A Great Looking Engagement Ring, Look Very Carefully at What You Are Offered
We are sometimes asked by potential clients if we “price match”. And yes, our prices are really, really good. As we have a studio workshop, we don’t have the expensive overheads of a retail shop. When you come to us, you are dealing directly with the jeweller who will make your engagement ring, so we do not have to employ sales staff. We import diamonds directly from our cutters, so are able to keep costs to a minimum. This means that we deliver great quality engagement rings at fantastic prices.
Often when people ask us about price matching, they are looking at supposedly cheap retail chain stores that cut the costs in ring production and diamond selection to the bare minimum. What they are offering is over-priced for what it actually is. We would not want to put our name to this level of quality, so will not make rings to this low standard. You do need to shop around and compare prices for what you are asking for. You will find that they vary widely. If something seems so cheap that it is too good to be true, you do need to ask yourself why is this the case? Is it that you are getting a bargain? Or are you just buying rubbish that won’t look good and won’t last the distance?
Engagement Ring Quality Really Counts
Good quality materials, workmanship and diamonds do come at a certain cost. A cost that you simply can’t go below unless the quality of the ring and/or the diamond suffers. If you don’t have the budget for what you are asking, it is always our advice to not compromise on quality, but to bring back your expectations a little in order to maintain that quality. After all, a fantastic 0.80ct. diamond with high lustre, is always going to look better than a dull, milky, low lustre 1.00ct. diamond.
To people who take great pride in their work and the rings we produce, what we see in rings such as those pictured above, is pretty appalling stuff. To say nothing of how upset the person who bought this ring was once they discovered all its problems. Unfortunately, we see rings such as this all too often. Quality really counts, especially engagement ring quality. After all, this ring will be worn day in, day out, for your lifetime. If it is properly made, with good quality materials and great diamonds, it can be passed down for generations to come.