Let’s face it; in this day and age there isn’t much we can’t purchase online. The days of being limited to just malls and boutiques have been replaced with afternoons on the couch searching the web. Brick and mortar have been set aside for click-and-ship alternatives and fine jewelry is no exception to the vast array of internet finds. Still, some purchases leave open the debate as to customer satisfaction and quality and have left even the most savvy consumer with questions.

Is the thought that online is cheaper actually true? Not always. And when it comes to diamonds, that thought may be even more of an internet falsehood. Medawar specialist Ken Green sheds some light on the truth. “You're buying sight unseen, not seeing it for your own eyes, looking at what you're actually purchasing. So that 'cheaper' diamond you might be buying, might actually be just a nice picture on the internet.” He comments that claims of certification and grades are only as good as the knowledge you have regarding them. Not everyone is going to know what an SI2 clarity diamond that is G in color is supposed to look like or even the actual clarity of that terminology. Working with jewelers in person allows that personal attention to detail and the chance to really learn about the diamond you are purchasing, something that online buying just can’t offer. Also, keep in mind that pictures can be misleading or even lack in doing a diamond justice.

As with any online purchase, you aren’t only at the mercy of the vendor, but of the shipper as well. Many times the promise date isn’t met due to shipping methods, and that leaves room for those infamous online purchase nightmares. “A customer contacted us and told me that the company online assured him that the ring would be in at a certain time frame and sure enough, the company wasn't able to fulfill the order by the time that they had promised so he had to buy a replacement ring for the weekend that he was planning on proposing,” Medawar’s general sales manager Jon Hollabaugh, recalls. He adds that if the ring is one of the most important purchases you may ever make and that she will wear the rest of her life “why take the chance?”

Aside from the obvious shopping initiatives, there are the basic consumer details to consider that established jewelers can offer that are unique to their store.: personalized services such as engraving or designing services for a customized and unique appeal, financing options, special events or clearances throughout the year and the offering of gift-wrapping. Also, return policies can be tricky when shopping online. With both online and in-person purchases, make sure to do your homework on the return policies. Go with a store or website that has hassle-free returns or gift exchanges within a reasonable amount of time and the offer of cash back or store credit.

In the busy day-to-day world we live in it would be easy to lean towards the quick shop option of online buying for jewelry. Quick and simple…. that’s our world. Still, the desire for satisfaction in your purchase should lean any educated consumer to the personal professionals. When you shop for your jewelry at a jewelry store, you have the opportunity to build a relationship with the jeweler. They are then there to assist you with future purchases, service your existing and even advise you on current trends. “When you choose Medawar, you choose integrity - a reputation we have earned by our community,” John Sakelaris of Medawar states with confidence adding, “The privilege to represent top luxury brands has to be earned in this industry and top brands go through great lengths to continually prove and ensure our integrity.”

Taylor Wagner, inventory manager, explains that the educated consumer will always seek out the best value for their purchase. Yet even in our changing chaotic lives the option of true personalized service is highly desired and cherished when found. You can find the best value and this personalized service at Medawar Jewelers.

I believe being able to work with a jeweler one-on-one is important. That way if you have any questions on a repair or a custom piece it can be answered right away. -TAYLOR WAGNER-