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A big concern for women who own an expensive engagement ring is what to do if the diamond is lost. Fortunately, there are some solutions for lost diamonds.

First, check to see if the ring is insured for loss or theft outside the home. Many homeowners insurance policies will compensate for lost jewels for a percentage of its worth. Also, there may be a separate policy for the jewelry that covers lost stones. Get the facts from your insurance and make a claim.

Next, you should find a jeweler who makes custom rings and take him your empty ring. If you have a description of the stone with its cut, size and weight, he should be able to find or make you another diamond to replace your lost one exactly. Of coarse, if you want a totaly new shaped diamond for your ring, he may be able to accommodate that as well.

 

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There is a scene in an episode of "Sex in the City" where Sarah Jessica Parker’s character tells her friends about a marriage proposal she received. She admits to her friends that she turned down the man because the ring he bought her wasn’t fashionable – "pear-shaped with a gold band."

Buying or receiving a ring that is intended to be worn for the rest of her life, can be a stressful event. Many couples today buy the ring together and have a ringless proposal. This insures that she gets a ring she’ll enjoy and also helps in deciding what to spend on the ring. Some brides would rather save money for a house or vacation rather than a huge diamond.

If you are old-fashioned and want to surprise her with a ring but worry about whether she will like it or not, be sure that the jeweler you buy it from has a return policy or exchange policy.

And ladies, if you don’t like the ring he bought you, be understanding that men aren’t jewelry experts. And unless you really don’t want to marry him, don’t let a bad ring be the deal breaker like the character in "Sex in the City." Simply let him know (preferably a little after the proposal) that you like a certain kind of ring and wonder if there might be a way of exchanging it. He won’t mind, especially after the stress of proposing is relieved by your acceptance.

 

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Before you finalize the purchase of your engagement ring, you should take it to a certified appraiser to make sure of its authenticity. Appraisers can be found in the yellow pages or online and can be found in any major city.

Appraisals for diamonds bought on the internet are especially important, since you won’t see the actual diamond until it is in your hands. Fortunately, online diamond retailers will usually ship the diamond to an appraiser’s office near where you live and once the appraiser has determined that the diamond is indeed of the quality you ordered, the sale is then finalized and you can pick up your ring.

Be wary of any online retailer who will not ship the diamond directly to an appraisers office. Also, you should always check the appraisers office to be sure it is certified and in good standing with organizations like the Better Business Bureau. When choosing an appraiser, use one who is not affiliated with the retailer you purchased the diamond from. If you have homeowners insurance, ask your agent to recommend a good appraiser.

 

 

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Conflict diamonds

The diamond has long been considered a symbol of beauty and stability. Its very nature as the words hardest mineral lends the diamond an air of durability and strength. In recent history, however, the wealth from mining diamonds has created a new image for the precious gem – as a source for conflict and instability.

 

 

In war torn countries like Angola, Sierra Leone and the Republic of Congo where diamond mines are a major source of revenue, rebel armies use diamonds to buy weapons and fund battles. Diamonds bought and sold from these regions are known as "conflict diamonds" or "blood diamonds."

Stopping the flow of blood diamonds

During the 1990s, violence in the African countries of Sierra Leone and Angola prompted the United Nations to take action to try and restore peace in those regions. It was determined that rough diamonds mined by the rebel armies were the major source of finance for arms and supplies for these wars. The UN took action immediately by sanctioning arms, petroleum supplies and diamond trading to the regions controlled by rebel armies. The UN also began working on a plan that would permanently end the international trade of conflict diamonds.

In 2000, the diamond industry, governments and conflict watchdog groups introduced what is known as the Kimberley Process Certification System. This system limits the number of rough diamonds from conflict areas entering the market by a creating a pedigree for every stone that is mined all the way through its final cut. The Kimberley System was fully enacted in 2003 and today over 70 countries have signed it into law.

Clearing your conscience about your own diamond

Today, diamond retailers can check the pedigree of every diamond they sell to insure customers that their diamond was not mined in a conflict area. When purchasing a diamond, be sure to ask the retailer to double check that it is not from a conflict area. Although the Kimberley system has been effective in cutting the number of conflict diamonds on the market, if consumers keep pressure on retailers and express their desire to own conflict-free diamonds, there will be even less incentive for the market to consume blood diamonds.

 

 

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Protecting jewelry from loss or theft is often a concern for first-time buyers of expensive engagement rings or other expensive jewelry pieces. For more expensive pieces, like engagement rings, an amended homeowners insurance policy or even a separate policy may be the best solution. Amended or separate policies will give added coverage in and away from the home, should the ring be lost, stolen or damaged. These extra policies are relatively cheap, about 10 dollars a year for most rings, and are highly recommended for pieces that are worth more than 1000 dollars.

If you don’t want to insure your ring separately or pay to amend your policy, you can still be covered by your existing policy if the ring is stolen or damaged in your home. But you may not get the full value of the ring and it may not be covered at all if it is lost or stolen away from the home. Also, homeowners insurance will only pay about 1000 dollars for stolen jewelry and often nothing at all for jewelry lost by other means like fire or flood. Renters insurance only covers about 500 dollars.

Whether you wish to only cover your ring with a regular insurance policy, or if you wish to add extra insurance to your jewelry pieces, it is important to keep up to date information on their value. Have your ring appraised and store all records of its appraisal in a safe location away from your home.

 

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