Choosing engagement and wedding rings is a highly personal process. They are not only pieces of jewelry, but symbols that you will carry with you for (hopefully) the rest of your life. My husband believed this very strongly, and set out to find just the right jeweler for us. Low and behold, after much research, the perfect jeweler was under his nose the whole time, in his hometown of Elliot Lake Ontario.
We got our wedding bands and my engagement ring at Elliot Lake Jewelers. The owner, Nick, was absolutely incredible! He took all the time we wanted, walking us through the whole process, and also did his best to get us the very best price. He showed us ring after ring in various widths and settings, and recorded all the things we liked to make our custom bands. Then, as a completely unnecessary gesture, he encouraged us to wait a couple months before we ordered! (We had gone shopping for the wedding bands almost 8 months in advance). "Gold's going down in price, " he said. Sure enough, he was right. Another surprise came in regards to my diamond. Nick has a deal with his diamond supplier, that if they do not have the exact size of diamond available when he orders, they need to send him the next size up for the same price. This is what happened in our case, and so we received an upgraded diamond, that was worth much more than we could afford, at no additional cost! In the end, our rings were made exactly how we wanted them, and ended up being cheeper than we expected.
Another feature of my engagement ring that we truly appreciate, is the diamond itself. Danial, my husband, had been researching diamonds, and felt that ethically, he wanted to avoid conflict diamonds in our jewelry. If you have seen the movie, Blood Diamond, then you have an idea of what goes on in the mining industry in Africa. So instead, we opted to go for a conflict-free diamond, mined right here in Canada. These diamonds are mined in such a way as to be environmentally concious as possible, and of course, there is no maltreatment of workers. The diamonds all receive a tracking number right in the mine, and are tracked directly from the mine to the customer, so that you can be assured that they are legitimately conflict-free. Each stone comes with a certificate and a copy of the tracking number for the owner. A bonus to buying diamonds this way, is that the unique tracking number is laser-etched inside the diamond itself. This can only be seen under a microscope, of course, but it provides a fool-proof way of identifying the diamond, and many insurance companies offer discounts to insure the jewelry because of this security feature. You can read more about conflict-free diamonds here.
All in all, we are thrilled with our rings, and would recommend that anyone in the market for the perfect wedding ring should go see Nick in Elliot Lake!