Meaningful and Heartfelt Gift Purchasing on a Budget

Close up of bangles stacked on a bamboo branch
The bamboo collection of bangles from John Hardy starts at $250. photo credit: John Hardy

Everyone knows that when it comes to sincere gift giving, there is no substitution for a gift of fine jewelry. She loves it, it is meaningful, personal, and it shows that you took the time to ‘shop.’ A gift of fine jewelry is the most thoughtful gift for anyone you love for any special occasion. That part is easy. The hard part for many is the “budget.” But, a gift of fine jewelry does not have to break the bank. Here are some suggestions on purchasing affordable gifts that still come in those cute little boxes that are sure to delight:

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Advice on Buying that Engagement Ring

Engagement Ring from Scott Kay Bridal, available at Roman Jewelers
Engagement Ring from Scott Kay Bridal, available at Roman Jewelers

By Guest Blogger:  Sandy Heimberg

What a joy it is to choose an engagement ring! What a happy event—one of life’s defining moments! Oh, really, you say, well it is also scary, stressful and very expensive. Well, my answer is that it doesn’t have to be. Not if you do it the way that is best for you and your intended. Advice on buying an engagment ring…

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First-Time Engagement Ring Buyer

“Reserved for a Nervous First-Time Engagement Ring Buyer,” reads a sign in one of our parking spots in front of our jewelry store, Roman Jewelers in Flemington, NJ. I am not kidding; we actually do have such a sign. We installed it because we wanted to eliminate one more stressful moment in the engagement-ring -purchaser’s life – looking for a parking spot.

There is a lot of anxiety associated with an engagement ring purchase. Well, let’s face it, diamonds are expensive. And what about the setting for the diamond? Shape, style, price; these are just a few of the decisions to be made.  

Where does an engagement ring purchaser usually start? Years ago, the answer would have been “New York, 47th Street (if you live on the East Coast). Today, it is the Internet (regardless of where you live). When it comes to diamonds, education is the key. How you acquire the knowledge about diamonds, is up to you. Libraries, bookstores, numerous web sites, retail jewelry stores, or friends who already went through a diamond-search process. From all of these sources you can find enough information about diamonds to become a gemologist!

So, now you are ready, you are prepared, you acquired enough knowledge, right? The jeweler places the diamond for you under the microscope and… everything you learned about diamonds and thought you understood simply evaporates. Where is that inclusion? Why can’t you see it? And the girdle, where is the girdle? Facets; there should be fifty-eight of them. Are they all there?

Of course, the lab grading report is a tremendous help.  Highly trained professionals did the homework for you and listed the color grade, clarity, polish and symmetry, diamond proportions, culet and girdle description, and diamond fluorescence for you.

However, diamond grading reports don’t tell you the whole story; they simply cannot. Two diamonds with very similar grading grades will look different. Just like two people with similar physical characteristics; hair color, eye color, height, weight, and age might be the similar, but do they indicate that we are talking here about twins?

Your biggest help will come from the knowledgeable, talented, and passionate about diamonds staff of a retail store.  Ask questions, listen carefully to explanations, look at the diamond under the microscope, compare diamonds with similar grading characteristics, and pick the one that “speaks to you”.

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One girl’s favorite things–in jewelry, of course!

Diamond Tacori engagement ring and wedding band

Here are a few of my favorite things:

I love jewelry. And here are a few of my favorite things. Of course, we, women, are known for changing our minds and preferences often, but for now…

Favorite watch:  Rolex Datejust

Favorite gem stone: Diamond

Favorite colored stone: Imperial Topaz

Favorite piece of jewelry: Custom designed pink gold earrings

Favorite jewelry designer: Tacori

Favorite metal: Platinum

Favorite charm bracelet: Chamilia

Every time I open my jewelry box and look at my jewelry and watches collection, my favorites stand out to me and I wear them more often than other. What are your favorite pieces of jewelry?

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Happy Valentine’s Day


Close up of a plain white gold heart pendant on a chain
Say “I love you” with jewelry from Roman Jewelers

Let’s celebrate love and romance, let’s celebrate the most romantic of all the holidays, and let’s make it special!

Let’s start with the matters of the heart. Oh, the heart… The heart symbol is eternally connected with Valentine’s Day.  Chocolate hearts, red silk hearts, heart-shaped balloons and, of course, jewelry in the heart shape; all of these hearts are here to whisper, “I love you.”

For us, Valentine’s Day is the time to design and make one-of-a-kind hearts. In gold and platinum, with diamonds or without, with birthstones, with engraving, with emeralds or rubies; and every single one is different. What do all of these hearts have in common? They are designed and made with love, they are unique just as your love is, and they are forever.

Don’t miss this opportunity to share your feelings with someone you treasure. Open your heart. It’s Valentine’s Day!

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Going Green, Getting Stylish

Two strands of white pearlsIn these times every fashion (and environmentally) conscious girl is looking for savvy solutions to keep her jewelry current! So, why not recycle?  Or, as we say in the jewelry business, “restyle”.

Just check your jewelry box and look at all those “old” jewelry pieces. The brooch given to you by your mother contains some beautiful cabochon corals but it has a broken clasp; The cocktail ring with a big emerald that you inherited from your grandmother is so outdated; but that stone sure is to valuable to sell. What about those cluster pearl earrings you used to love “back in the day?”

Some of these pieces are so sentimental to you; they are part of your life and your memories. The others contain valuable metals and stones.

What do you do with all these jewelry pieces?

The answer is quite simple; restyle. Bring all of these jewelry pieces that have been in your jewelry box unused and unworn, back to life.

Most often people restyle their unworn pieces for two reasons: sentimental and financial. Truth is, both are the best reasons!

A jewelry designer will advise you on what is the right thing to do. Sometimes, just a simple fix and a good polish, will make the piece sparkle with new life. Sometimes, the old piece would need to be taken apart and a brand-new piece made using your metals and stones.

You’d be surprised what a little fashion redesigning would do for your outdated jewelry. Best of all, it was a relatively inexpensive fix that will spruce up your wardrobe and make those “old” fashions become “new again.

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He Needs Some Help to Buy the Right Gift

Black and white photo of a male modelHow do you increase your chances of receiving exactly the right piece of jewelry from your significant other? It’s not as hard as you think.

Yes, he may not know much about jewelry, and he might not have your taste. You can, however, give him help along the way that will aid him tremendously. One great idea is to purchase most of your jewelry at the same store so that the sales associates can look up what you’ve bought there in the past. That information will enable them to make suggestions as to how to fill in the gaps in your jewelry wardrobe or to show new pieces from the same lines that you liked in the past.

Another good idea is to “casually” roam around the store with him on occasion to point out pieces that you like. Or, create a “wish list” at the jewelers, and you will have no problem receiving your dream piece!

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What is Luxury?

Stack of diamond wedding bandsTo me, luxury is the best of everything. When it comes to jewelry, it is the level of pride and craftsmanship that the jeweler puts into every piece of jewelry he or she makes. It feels absolutely wonderful even to hold that piece of jewelry where every little detail is carefully attended to. You are special and so should your jewelry be.

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Buyer Beware!

diamond studded white gold braceletI’ve been thinking; what is it that makes people believe that spending $399 on a 3-carat diamond tennis bracelet is a good deal? Why will people study the Consumer Report to understand the quality of a vacuum cleaner they are about to purchase, but will not take some time to learn more about diamonds when considering making an important diamond purchase?

Last Christmas, a young man stopped at my store and asked me to clean the new bracelet he bought for his wife from a department store. He said the price was so attractive that he could not resist purchasing it. Of course, I cleaned the bracelet. It still did not sparkle. He asked me to leave it in the ultrasonic for a few more minutes. I did, and the bracelet did not look any better. I explained that the diamond quality is what makes the difference in brilliance of the diamonds.

So, is spending $399 on a 3 carat tennis bracelet a good deal? Buyer beware!

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Custom Designed Jewelry

Pearl and diamond-studded bow pendantWhy do people opt for custom designed jewelry? Because it is special, because it is uniquely theirs, and because it is one-of-a-kind.

You are one-of-a-kind too. You have a unique personality, and so can your jewelry.  When I design jewelry, I always do it with the person’s unique personality and life style in mind.

When I ask you questions about you and your life style, I want to make sure that the piece of jewelry I design for you deserves not only a compliment of “Wow! This is beautiful!” I am looking for “Wow! This is beautiful, and it is so ME!”  This is the best compliment for a jewelry designer.

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