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copyright Rachel Sanfordlyn Shreckengast of

When you buy a diamond, there should be warranty information for your ring when the purchase is completed. Usually, it works something like this: the jewelry store will replace the diamond if it cracks, breaks or is lost from the setting, they'll even make sure the setting is strong...all you have to do is take the ring in to be checked and cleaned once a year.

With a diamond, they will check to A: Make sure it is the same stone (there is a slim chance that someone will replace the good quality diamond with an inferior one then "lose" it on purpose in order to take advantage of the replacement policy), B: To check the setting (to make sure that the prongs aren't bent or broken) C: To check for damage to the setting and/or stone (to make sure there are no cracks in the stone or problems with the setting being bent or otherwise damaged) D: To clean it (so that they can check the stone for all of the above, it's easier when it's clean) E: To make sure that the stone hasn't been replaced (a jeweler's loupe will allow them to do this, they can also check the setting to find if it was purposely damaged). This protects the store and protects you by keeping your warranty in effect.

While this is not the focus of this section, I'd like to remind those of you that do buy diamonds to *please* take your ring in once a year to get checked and cleaned. If you forget to do this even ONCE, the protection of the warranty will no longer be there since the contract will be null and void. Since your engagement ring will be with you for life, there is more chance that you will need this protection especially if you like to wear it often.

My wedding ring is what is generally referred to as a "wrap". It consists of two diamonds and emeralds as well as a space where my engagement ring fits. Since the ring does contain diamonds as well as emeralds, I received a warranty for it. Good emeralds are just as expensive as diamonds, so when the ring was purchased, I asked if the emeralds were covered under the warranty as well. I was told they were.

Unfortunately, I neglected to have someone write this on the actual warranty. Needless to say, I lost one of the emeralds from my ring in the summer of 1997. I went back to the jewelry store and asked for a replacement. "We no longer replace stones other than diamonds" was the reply. I mentioned that I was told that the emeralds would be covered under the warranty. I spent over a month contacting different people (supervisors, area managers and so on) until I FINALLY got ahold of someone who remembered that emeralds, rubies and sapphires were covered under warranty at the time that I bought the ring. She contacted the manager of the store and I was able to get a replacement stone.

It was an awful lot of hassle for both me and the store. If I hadn't been persistent, I would have never gotten the stone replaced. I asked for a new warranty which included a notation that the emeralds were covered as well as the diamonds. That turned into somewhat of a hassle as well, but I did eventually get it.

In the midst of all of this, I did a little research. Many of the jewelry stores (and especially the chain stores-my wrap was from Gordons which is now a part of Zales and who knows what other companies) are now only warranting diamonds. I suggest that you ask what is warranted and then take it a step further...make sure that you *get it in writing*! I also suggest that if at all possible, you search for a store which will warranty the stone even if it isn't a diamond. The stores that warranty other stones are out there and your ring (and pocketbook) will be protected should you ever need it to be.



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