Have You Seen The Ring Blog

  • Q and A with Ian Holmes - Paris Wedding Photographer

    Q) What are the most challenging aspects of taking photos of wedding jewelry?
    A) I remember whilst studying in photography school I had several studio classes on how to photograph jewelry. One thing I had in class which I certainly don't have at a wedding is time. At school we would spend an entire afternoon manipulating lighting and composition to create a couple of photos. When it comes to photographing the rings on a wedding day I allow myself around 5 minutes to find nice light and an interesting way of presenting them. I always enjoy the challenge and now actually look forward to my 5 minutes of jewelry photography. I try and do something a little different for each and every wedding.

    Q) Working in the 'city of love' you are obviously spoilt for choice when it comes to romantic locations. Do you have any personal favorites?
    A) It's true I am spoilt being a photographer in Paris. One of favorite, my most romantic images was taken just recently during an elopement. The location was an old railway bridge with the Eiffel Tower in background. Very cliched. I did set the scene a little, had our driver park the Rolls just where I wanted it and moved the couple into position on the bridge. However the couple were so caught up in one another they just began dancing then the groom began lifting up his new bride. At that moment at old gentleman was crossing the bridge in the background. The scene was so romantic and so Paris.
    Q) Being a professional photographer is pretty cool, what are the things you love about the most?
    A) I have a couple of favorite things about being a photographer. Firstly I really love meeting the many people I get to work with each year. I'm invited into one of the most important days of their life. To document it. To meet their families. To really get to connect with the people within that short amount of time I spend with them. Its quite an honour. Also I love being able to see Paris through new eyes. My clients are constantly pointing out the beauty of the city. It stops me ever taking it for granted.

    Q) How important is it to understand the personality of a bride and groom when taking photos of the big day?
    A) I think understanding your clients is a big part of any business, particularly important when you're a photographer documenting the day of a bride and groom. Without sounding too sure of myself I believe one of my strengths is understanding people and helping put them at ease. I have a very laid back way of working. I've been in front of the camera on several occasions and understand entirely that it's not easy for everyone. Part of my job is to help make my clients feel comfortable enough so that together we can create the best images possible.

    If you are considering a romantic breakaway in Paris, why not also get a professional to capture some of the most memorable moments? Ian Holmes can be contacted at the following:
    Contact: Ian Holmes
    Email: irholmes@mac.com

  • Have You Seen the Ring has posted on Facebook at May 01, 2013 at 11:16AM

    Coming Soon: A New Homepage Design http://www.facebook.com/pages/p/118241868269231
  • How To Sell Engagement Rings and Used Diamonds

    In order to safely get the best price for your jewelry, Jerry Ehrenwald, President and CEO of the International Gemological Institute (IGI), one of the world’s leading diamond certifying laboratories, advises the following:

    1)     Try to sell directly to the consumer
    2)     Use good judgment
    3)     Understand the realistic resale value

    Try to sell directly to the consumer
    When you are looking to sell engagement rings or used diamonds, Ehrenwald says, “to get the best price for your jewelry, you need to sell as close to the consumer as possible. Jewelry stores and pawnshops have high overhead expenses to cover, and their expenses will reduce how much of the piece’s sale price ends up in your pocket”.

    You can try to advertise your jewelry online on a website such as Craigslist, however if you have responsibly attempted to use Craigslist in the past, you will know that some members are untrustworthy or time wasters.

    Ehrenwald suggests, “one of the quickest ways to sell engagement rings may be through a jewelry store or a pawn shop. Just realize that the further you get from the consumer, the less you should expect to profit.” If you choose to sell your used engagement ring or diamond this way, you will at best receive between 20% and 25% of the original purchase price.

    ‘Cash for Gold’ or ‘Cash for Diamond’ companies are at the far end of the spectrum, furthest away from the consumer. From a seller’s point of view, this should be your last resort. If you have found yourself using this option, then you are also probably pretty close to selling one of your kidneys for cash!

    Sites like Have You Seen the Ring bring consumers directly to you. Our customers are willing to pay the best prices for pre-owned items, as we offer quality guarantees through our Gemologist Verification process

    Use Good Judgment
          I.        If you try to sell the jewelry yourself, never share your home address or personal information. Never meet a potential buyer at your home. Arrange meetings in a public place (like a police station), and it would be wise to bring a friend or family member.
         II.        If you want to sell online seek out an established company with a great reputation. A quick and easy way to do this is to look for a company that is Better Business Bureau accredited.

    Understand the realistic resale value
    If you choose to get your jewelry appraised, it’s important to make the appraiser aware that you’re looking for the liquidation price of the item, rather than the replacement value. “There are different levels of valuating,” Ehrenwald explains. “Tell the appraiser you’re looking to liquidate your piece and need to get the highest price that you can.” If the appraiser thinks you’re asking what it would cost to replace the ring for insurance purposes, the value will be much higher than what you can sell the piece for yourself. And brace yourself; Ehrenwald says it’s unrealistic to expect to sell your piece for near the retail value, which means you’ll get less than you paid for it. You may even have to settle for less than the liquidation value, but at least you’ll have a better idea of your asking price.
  • If Your Vendors Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy

    By Victoria Bauer, Owner of A Bride’s Ally

    Your vendors are the glue that will hold your wedding day together. They are the experts who take the vision in your head and make it a reality. And, while they may be working for you, it’s in your best interest to keep them happy. Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think.

    Here are some tips for working with you vendors:

    Do your research and sign contracts. Before hiring any vendor, it’s important to do your homework. I'm a big fan of going with vendors recommended by friends/family or other vendors you’ve already hired and trust. If you’re looking at someone who hasn’t come by personal recommendation, take the time to look up reviews on their work. The best places to find reviews are The Knot and WeddingWire. However, remember to take reviews with a grain of salt. If a vendor has 2-3 bad reviews, but 15-20 positive reviews, odds are other factors were in play. Once you pick a vendor, it’s crucial to have some form of written contract or order form from them, especially if they require a deposit up front.

    Keep up your end of the contract. You expect your vendors to provide services as promised without exception, and you should do the same. Create your own binder, calendar, or spreadsheet that shows how much money you owe each vendor and when your payments are due. Also, be sure to list any information they ask for and when they need it by. If your DJ says your song list is due 30 days before your wedding, don’t email it to him 3 days before and then get annoyed because he couldn’t get all of your songs. Contracts aren’t just about what your vendors are supposed to do for you, they’re also about what you’re supposed to do for them so they can provide you with the best possible service.

    If you’re not happy, say so! Vendors are not mind readers. They are also human. If you are unhappy with any aspect of service a vendor is providing, it’s important to speak up and say so. As a vendor, there’s nothing more frustrating than having a bride tell me everything is great, just to go online later and read that they were unsatisfied with some aspect of my service. Don’t get an attitude, don’t be rude, but do be tactfully honest when the service provided is not what you expected. Give them the opportunity to make it right. Getting a partial refund or some other kind of compensation after the fact is not nearly as satisfying as having the vendor fix the issue before it becomes an unhappy memory forever linked with your special day.

    Feed them and review them! One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is, “What are the little things brides always forget about?” Number one on that list is feeding their vendors. Any vendor who is present during the reception should be fed (DJ/band, photographer, videographer, photo booth attendant, wedding planner, etc). Many vendors request in their contract that you provide a meal for them, but many brides still forget. Most caterers offer a vendor meal option or a discounted regular meal option that doesn’t include the bar fee (if you see one of your vendors knocking 'em back at the bar, you have bigger problem). Also make sure you have a place for them to sit when they eat their meal!

    After it’s all said and done, it’s also important to review your vendors online, especially if you had a really good experience. Most are quick to review if they had bad experience, but it seems getting someone to write about a good experience is like pulling teeth! Ask your vendors if they have any online profiles where you can write reviews. Not only will you be helping them, but you’ll also be helping future brides looking for good vendors, just like you were at the beginning of this article!
    Victoria Bauer
    A Bride's Ally
    The Knot Best of Weddings 2012 & 2013 Pick!

  • Brand New Certified Loose Diamonds Available For The Lowest Prices In The US

    Have You Seen the Ring is proud to announce the launch an expansion to our fabulous website!

    Over the years, we have received many inquiries from buyers searching for brand new 'discount diamonds'.

    Our specialty has been been centered on the pre-owned market; but after negotiating a great deal with one of the biggest diamond importers in the US, we are happy to launch one of the biggest loose diamonds inventories anywhere.

    The best part of this for the consumer is that our inventory is only high quality at the lowest prices.

    Click here http://www.haveyouseenthering.com/Discount-Diamonds.aspx to view the best deals on loose diamonds in the US.

  • Have You Seen the Ring: BIG NEWS!!

    After three years in business we are launching a new aspect to Have You Seen the Ring.

    Brand New Wholesale Discount Diamonds. More details to follow.

  • Have You Seen the Ring has posted on Facebook at April 08, 2013 at 06:41PM

    Have You Seen the Ring: BIG NEWS!! After three years in business we are launching a new aspect to our business. Brand New Wholesale Discount Diamonds. More to follow. http://www.facebook.com/pages/p/118241868269231
  • Key Learnings We Have Made From Our Item Verification Step

    As mentioned in a previous blog article, since our inception in 2010, Have You Seen the Ring includes a verification step in our sales process which has benefited both buyer and seller.

    Along the way, we have made a number of observations about the information contained in sellers’ listings. We’d like to share some of these learning’s with you.

    Evidence of a GIA, AGS or IGI Certificate is GREAT
    Items that contain information taken directly from a GIA, AGS, or IGI certificate in the listing and include further evidence of this certificate in the listing, such as a photo of the certificate or the certificate number, are accurate.

    When we sell an item that contains this information we are very happy as we know that the information contained in this listing will be accurate 100% of the time.

    What to Expect With Evidence of an EGL Certificate

    Items that contain information taken directly from a EGL certificate in the listing and include further evidence of this certificate in the listing, such as a photo of the certificate or the certificate number, will be marginally over stated.

    EGL is a popular and respected diamond authority, however the EGL grading of diamonds is not as accurate as an GIA grading.

    If a diamond was graded an ‘F’ color by the GIA, most likely it will be graded an ‘E’ color by the EGL.
    If a diamond was graded an ‘SI2’ clarity by the GIA, most likely it will be graded an ‘SI1’ color by the EGL

    We normally expect at least one of these categories to have been overstated by the EGL, in the past it was a sneaky method taken by the EGL to sell more diamonds.

    Evidence of an Appraisal by an Independent GIA Graduate Gemologist
    We expect a similar high quality listing to that of a diamond that includes a GIA certification.

    Evidence of an Appraisal by a non independent gemologist
    Any appraisal provided by gemologist who has a vested interest in the sale is deemed to be non independent.

    What we often find is that the carat size is marginally overstated, for example a 1.35 carat diamond graded by an experienced independent GIA graduate gemologist will be appraised up to 1.37 carats by a non independent appraiser.

    Likewise would expect an item that is listed as E color to be actually be F, we anticipate a VS1 clarity listing to be VS2.

    No Certificate or Appraisal Provided
    Surprisingly the information contained in these listings tend to be as accurate, if not more so than a listing which includes an appraisal from a non independent gemologist

    Sellers Provide Information as Accurately as they Possibly Can
    Items that are listed on HYSTR have been reviewed and manually approved.
    An item that looks suspicious is not approved.
    As a result, we find that the information contained in a live listing is accurate to the best of the seller’s knowledge.

    If there is inaccurate information, this has come from an unscrupulous, non independent appraiser, who has marginally overstated the size and quality of the diamond for their financial benefit.


    1. You must be nuts if you are buying expensive jewelry online that hasn’t been verified
    2. Look for jewelry that comes with a GIA, AGS or IGI certificate
    3. EGL certified jewelry isn’t not graded as strictly as other diamond labs (GIA, AGS or IGI)
    4. Appraisals from non independent gemologists are marginally overstated
    5. Approved sellers provide information that is accurate to their knowledge

  • Why Have You Seen the Ring Has a Verification Step

    Since our inception in 2010, Have You Seen the Ring has employed a verification step in our sales process, which has benefited both buyer and seller.

    The benefit to the buyer is pretty simple; it is a guarantee.

    By verifying each item sold through the site, we ensure that the buyer gets exactly the same item that they fell in love with and paid for.

    Buying online things online, whether it is bubble gum, clothes or jewelry has a number of risks.

    Have You Seen the Ring uses this verification step to remove many of the risks and to provide a pleasant buying experience.

    The verification step also benefits the seller. By creating a trusted environment, and with a guarantee of authenticity, we have developed a new market. Without the perceived risks, a buyer is willing to pay more for a pre-owned item that they would have otherwise. In addition, people who would have previously avoided purchasing jewelry online are now more open-minded.

    In short, the verification step creates more buyers who are willing to pay more for your jewelry.

    How & What We Verify

    Each item sold on Have You Seen the Ring is verified by an independent GIA graduate gemologist, Lisa Kranz.

    With over 30 years in the industry, Lisa has been a trusted appraiser for all possible sectors of the industry including retailers, banks, police departments, insurance companies and the U.S. customs services.

    GIA Graduate Gemologists are recognized globally as the leading authority on gemology, diamond grading, jewelry education and research. Graduate Gemologists are considered to be the most educated and ethical professionals within the jewelry industry. Lisa is no exception. Actually she is just exceptional, in her spare time she also trains support dogs for http://www.supportdogs.org/ which is a fantastic, not for profit organization.

    To ensure that there is no bias involved, Lisa inspects the item without any prior information. It’s kind of like a blind tasting challenge, except the taster can see. Afterall, We don’t want to lose any diamonds do we!

  • Super Talented Singer Songwriter Stephanie Lynn

    Do you have an appreciation for super talented singer songwriters?

    I do, in fact shortly after I said “I do”, I was fortunate enough to experience the talents of Stephanie Lynn first hand.  You will too in the future, but it’s gonna cost you a small fortune to get a hold of the hottest ticket in town.  Why wait? Get the ticket now while you can still afford it. Check out the link below and support this young lady on her way to global domination. She will run to you, but that’s a different story: