Angie's List: How to get the best bling for your buck
Do you think you can't afford fine jewelry? Well, think about it long-term and you may be surprised.
"There is a lot of really well-made jewelry that starts way under $100. There are earrings and pendants that we can make in the $40, $50 and $80 price range. When you consider that you buy flowers or candy… a week later, the person is still going to have the jewelry. So come in and don't be afraid to look at jewelry. You might be surprised at how many things are so affordable for whatever the occasion is," said Greg Bires, a jewelry store owner.
Even the finest jewelry isn't a sure bet. You could trip yourself up in a big way if you're not careful - especially if it's the ring you'll propose with.
"Jewelry is one of the most popular gifts for valentine's day, but remember when you are shopping for jewelry it's a very personal decision. You want to talk to the recipient and find out what they are interested in. Do they like gold? do they like silver? do they like platinum? the last thing you want to do is give them a gift that they won't wear," said Angie's List founder, Angie Hicks.
Angie's List experts say it's easy to get dazzled by the array of selections and to forget the practical side of a romantic purchase.
"When buying jewelry, it's a big purchase and an expensive purchase at that. It's important that you think about insurance. Sometimes, jewelry stores might offer insurance that you can buy at the point of purchase, but remember your homeowners insurance or your renters insurance typically has the ability to add as a rider, so check there first. That is probably your best approach," said Hicks.
Angie List experts say fine jewelry should be cleaned and examined yearly to keep it in top shape. And if that seems like too much work, experts suggest you consider it romantic maintenance.
"We make it look new again. That way, if we see any wear and tear issues or some accidental damage, we can point that out before it gets to the point where stones start coming off or it gets damaged further," said Bires.
Angie Hicks says think about it this way - getting the ring cleaned every year is an opportunity to have a date at the jewelry store.