Just in time for the holidays, we chatted with Paul Messerlian, local jewelry connoisseur and owner of Baxter’s Fine Jewelry, to figure out where you proposal hopefuls should begin when it comes to picking out (or even crafting) the ideal engagement ring.
Edited by John Kiernan
How do you determine the metal of an engagement ring? What’s trendy? What is most practical/durable?
Different metal choices depend on the individual’s preferences or needs. In our experience, a majority of engagement ring and ladies’ wedding bands are made of platinum or gold. There can also be combinations of different alternative metals used to create unique looks. Since silver is a softer metal it is not used much in diamond engagement rings.
White gold is becoming a popular metal option, but it presents some challenges. Since gold is naturally yellow, making it white requires additional alloys. Some of the original color still remains, which is why white gold has a tinge of yellow to it. Many white gold rings are plated in rhodium, giving them a color akin to platinum. Oftentimes, the plating can start to wear away, revealing the white gold’s natural yellow tinge. Depending on the wearer, rhodium can wear quickly or last a long time; however, it can always be polished and re-plated making it look like new again.
What are the “Four C’s” of diamonds?
The “Four C’s” is a term used in the diamond market to describe and grade the gem’s quality. It stands for the Cut, Color, Clarity and weight (Carat). It’s a blend of these “Four C’s” that help in choosing the diamond that’s right for you.
What are some gemstone alternatives to diamonds?
There are many options to choose in place of diamonds like sapphires, rubies or emeralds, but over time these stones have a tendency to scratch and look worn. Although it may sound cliché, diamonds are forever; they are the hardest substance on earth. Diamonds are handed down generation to generation, and if taken care of, they will maintain their original condition. Since no two diamonds are the same, each diamond has a personality of its own, making it the perfect choice for an engagement ring or gift of affection.
What kind of ring style would be best for someone with simple tastes?
Simple or traditional ring styles have clean lines and smaller or mid-size diamonds on a polished foundation. The center diamond would be prominent in the ring with little distraction from the setting or matching band.
What ring styles would best suit someone with more ornate/sophisticated tastes?
Ornate tastes allow for a lot more creative style. For example, you could have a mix of a vintage beading design with open filigree. Designer lines like Tacori have sophisticated styles and can appeal to a wider range of tastes.
Can I get a custom ring from you?
Custom rings are our specialty. Whether it’s an idea in your head, a scrawled description on the back of a receipt, or a rough sketch on a napkin, we’ll work with you to bring it to life. Animals, plants, artwork – anything can be your inspiration. Rings, bracelets, earrings, pendants or even brooches, we can make them all from scratch. We have the most experienced team in the area; we use the most sophisticated software and equipment, and we’re the only ones around who do the entire design and setting process in-house. We don’t have the work done overseas, like some folks do. As a result, we can be completely sure of the craftsmanship and speed of our work, and you can know exactly what level of quality to expect: the best the area has to offer.
Can I engrave or further personalize an engagement ring?
Yes, with our laser engraving capabilities we can add personalized engraving into an existing ring. Old conventional engraving ways have limits, but laser technology allows us to offer more choices and styles and engrave on small or large surfaces.
What financing options are available?
We offer twelve months no interest through Synchrony Financial with a minimum payment per month.
Is there any way to repair a damaged engagement ring?
With our in-house repair center we can fix damaged rings, bands and many other jewelry related items. We have the newest laser welding technology which allows us to repair rings by welding metal together, creating a stronger bond. We use microscopes on each one of our jeweler’s benches, so even the smallest repairs can be done accurately.
Are there any further details you’d like to mention about Baxter’s?
For over 55 years, we’ve cultivated relationships with our customers through honesty, integrity and value. When you enter our store you’ll understand: It has a warm and friendly atmosphere with no pretense. Our knowledgeable and personable staff are ready to help you make the perfect selection from our exquisite selection of designer jewelry and diamonds, whatever your budget.
So we invite you to stop by if you’re in our neighborhood and have a look around. Browse the showroom. Have something to drink. Take a load off. But we’ll warn you — it can become a habit that’s hard to break. And chances are you won’t come back alone, because the Baxter’s experience is something you’ll want to share.
Contact Baxter’s Fine Jewelry:
Address: 200 Jefferson Blvd., Warwick, RI 02882