"Lucky Me", and shared the details of losing the diamond from my engagement ring. A few weeks after this occurred, Luis and I went to a couple of jewelry stores to look into re-setting my diamond or possibly purchasing a new setting and after gathering some quotes; we decided that we were going to hold off for a while. I still have my wedding band, and truly that is the more important ring; but as time's passed, I've found that I miss my ring, more than I had anticipated. WELL... maybe not my ring; but my diamond. The fact that I miss seeing the brilliant stone on my finger is actually a little surprising to me; because there had been a number of times prior to the ring breaking, when I had considered selling the ring so that we could use the money for various expenses; however, when it comes right down to it, diamonds really are, (well, NOT a girl's best friend;) beautiful to behold.
When we went to Puerto Vallarta in May, I brought my ring and diamond with me, in the hopes that my sister-in-law might know a reputable jeweler who could re-set my ring. We went to see a friend of hers, but he didn't set real diamonds and didn't feel confident in doing so; and again we decided to hold off for a while.
So, last week I was in the mall and I noticed a jewelry repair shop. I made a mental note of this and when Rachel and I were in the mall on Friday, we went in to see how much they would charge to re-mount my ring. The jeweler quoted me $259 but offered me a $30 discount if I would bring it in before September 28. I thanked him and we decided to inquire at some other stores. We stopped in Capri Jewelers and met a stupendous, salesman named Steve. We started by asking a question about Rachel's wedding ring and then moved on to my situation. I explained that I wanted to know how much they would charge to re-mount my ring with my setting ($158) and also; how much it would be for me to purchase a new setting. I informed Steve that I was ONLY interested in a plain yellow gold band; and I was pleasantly surprised that he still maintained the same level of professionalism, courtesy and care. Steve had a simple setting that I fell in love with, ($450) and he said that he would give me $100 for my old setting; which I thought was very fair. Understanding that I would need to speak to my husband, we agreed that I would come back the following Saturday.
When we got home, Rachel and I told Luis all about the ring and neither of us seemed to be able to get it off of our minds. I told Luis that on Sunday I wanted to go to a few more jewelers, because even though I loved Steve's ring; I'm The Queen of COVERING ALL OF MY BASES and I wanted to make sure that the ring at Capri was definitely the one that I wanted, and that $100 was a reasonable exchange for my setting. Fortunately Luis had a rare, Sunday off; since he had worked on Labor day, so he was going to be able to join me on my fact finding mission.
While I was in the shower last night, I was thinking about the ring; (I know, I know;) and I remembered that we had a number of gold pieces that we could sell, so that we could use the cash towards the price of it. I had a name plate that was carved out of a chunk of gold, (SERIOUSLY;) a ring with my name on it; (what can I tell you; it WAS the 80's,) and a number of pieces of jewelry that Luis had found with his metal detector. When I wrote "Ralph Lauren" and described several items that Luis had found; I believe that I failed to mention that Luis owns a metal detector, and that he likes to use when we go to Puerto Vallarta and other beach destinations. Well, a few years ago, Luis (using the metal detector,) found a couple of rings on the beach in Vallarta. One of the rings appeared to be a vintage, engagement ring; but we had no idea if the diamond was real or not. The ring is quite lovely and I myself would have worn it happily, except for the fact that the ring was ridiculously small. So today I located the ring and put it with the other jewelry that I was prepared to sell.
Off we drove in pursuit of cash for our gold; but we found that most of the stores were closed. There was one store that was open (I won't say that name) and even though we got a quote on a ring, we could tell that the sales"lady" was not interested in assisting us because she wanted to spend her time on a bigger sale. The "lady" quoted us $500 for a ring that she didn't even have in stock and explained that the ring was $350 and it would cost $150 to set it. After we exited the store, I suggested that we go back to see Steve at Capri, to confirm that the $450 price included the setting and luckily Steve was in. I introduced him to Luis and asked to see the ring again. Luis agreed that the ring was perfect for me; simple and elegant. Luis asked Steve if he could give us a ball park figure on how much money we might get for the gold that we had to sell. Steve was happy to help us and so Luis went on to ask about the engagement ring that he'd found. We showed Steve the ring and he was blown away. He said that he thought the diamond was genuine and then he tested it for us, and concluded that it absolutely was a diamond. Luis and I were tickled pink. Steve offered to trade the vintage ring for the new ring and include the appraisal that I was interested in for the new ring as well. We were flabbergasted. We discussed the ring at great length and Steve advised us that he could size the ring to fit me, for just $45. so we had even more to consider. Now I have to tell you that as impressed as I was with Steve on our first visit; I was even more impressed today. After discussing the matter at great length, we concluded (with Steve's help,) that we should hold onto the vintage ring (possibly pass it down to Nicky,) and then try to get as much money as possible for the other gold. We agreed and tried to go to some stores to obtain a price for our collection.
The two stores that we stopped in, each offered us $280 for the gold and then one of them actually had a ring that was similar to the one at Capri. The salesman quoted me $275 and when I informed him that Capri would give me $100 for my old setting, he got approval to do so as well. Luis and I thought we were on a roll, because if the ring was only going to cost $175 after my old setting; and he gave us $280 for the gold, I'd get my ring and cash back; which I could use for an appraisal. I noticed a slight difference in the two rings but I wasn't sure if it was enough of a difference to halt this transaction. I asked Luis if we could go back to Steve one more time to see the Capri ring again, and he complied. I apologized to Steve for returning so soon, and asked to see the ring again. As soon as I put it on my finger, I KNEW that although the rings appeared to be the same; there was a significant difference as I smile profusely as I look at the Capri ring on my finger, and the less expensive ring didn't emote the same reaction. Steve attempted to call his boss to see if he could lower his price but his boss wouldn't let him as he felt confident tht he had a superior product. Again we talked about it extensively and ultimately concluded that just because we 'd be getting the other ring for free, this WASN'T the reason to choose THAT ring. This ring is a symbol of our love and commitment and it was originally purchased with money that I had earned from the sale of my mom's solitaire diamond and it deserved to reside in a setting worthy of its splendor; and even if that meant that we had to spend $70 and pay for the appraisal; it was the right thing to do.
Steve suggested that we try to sell our stash for more than $280 and he said that he thought we could do so at a shop that wasn't located in the mall. Luis and I took leave of Steve and planned to meet with him again next Saturday; so that I'd have a week to look around and raise some cash.
Whew! I know this is quite the story; so let's head back down hill. Luis and I felt that today had been a very productive one. We were ecstatic to find out that the vintage ring was a 1/2 carat diamond of good quality and to learn that the jewelry that had been sitting in a drawer for years just gathering dust, would now be able to be used toward a ring that was going to give me great pleasure. We were very pleased with our decision NOT to get the free ring, just because we could; as we felt that this was NOT an appropriate way to make such decisions. So this week I have my work cut out for me, I want to go see a jeweler that Lesa G had told me about, and check the price of my gold in a few more stores.
I am VERY HAPPY about all that transpired today. I think it's time to change my ring and I enjoy the fact that I'd be getting back to basics with the ring that I chose. I am gratified to have worked with Steve as his sales approach was very refreshing and I believe, fair; and I LOVE how Luis and I worked together on this endeavor. With all of this being said; I want you to know that there is something in this for you; and that is my recommendation to work with Steve at Capri jewelers in the Arrowhead Mall. Let me just say that if during my quest this week, I decide to do business at a shop other than Capri (and that could only occur if I found a ring that I liked more AND for less money;) I would still HIGHLY suggest that you go see Steve for all of your jewelry needs. If you do, please tell him that you heard about him in Paige's blog; because I did tell him that HE was blogworthy and that I was going to write about him.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING