white gold or yellow? should i get zales warranty? really LONG questions about wedding jewelry. please help?

bridal jewelry
Sylvia H asked:

Okay, this question has a couple different parts and I want to go ahead and say thanks for any and all help!
Short version is: Should i get a ring at Zales/Gordon’s, do they back up what they sell pretty good? Do they go out of business often?
Should i get yellow gold or white? White has to be dipped every year and yellow doesnt. If i get white it’s going to be an extra $75 warranty to have free rhodium dips. Is it worth it since my closest zales and gordons is more than an hour away?

Below is a lot more details so you can better understand my questions and why i have them.
I got engaged May 2009. I have a white gold band with a solitaire. We started looking for bands for the ceremony (august 2010) and i decided i like the ones with diamonds in them.
To get a band that looks good with my diamond and on my finger (they are long but chubby) I would need a 1/2 carat total weight band, either pave or channel. It’s basically going to be just as cheap to get a pretty bridal set as it is a 1/2 carat band. I tried some on and have also looked online and am willing to sacrifice the 1/2 carat band to get a prettier bridal set with a little less carat weight. The set i like looks pretty big on the hand but up close it’s several smaller diamonds grouped together. I’ll post a link of the one im considering, below.

My main issue is, I had NO clue that white gold was actually just a faint yellow gold dipped in rhodium. I started doing some research and heard people talking about getting their rings “dipped” and then I started studying my band on my diamond and sure enough there’s a little faint yellow showing through. When I asked several jewelers they said most people get them dipped once a year and it’s about $35 per ring.

So.. If i get a white gold set from Zales/Gordon’s they have the diamond bond which says that if i break or chip or lose a diamond or knock the head off the ring, they will fix or replace it ( i like that a lot). That’s included with the price. I can also add on an extra warranty that allows me free sizing and rhodium dipping for life and it’s $75. My main question is, should I get the ring from Zales/Gordon’s and if so, should I add the $75 warranty? The only reason I’m thinking about not adding that on is because there is only one zales and one gordon’s around me within a 2 hours radius. I have to take the diamond there every 6 months for inspection. What happens if I get the ring at Gordons and then they go out of business? I’ve emailed the company to see if i can take it to any other gordons or a zales since they own each other. So far all i got was “we need more time to answer your Q”

Also, I prefer white gold but should i maybe reconsider and train myself to like yellow gold since i wont have to worry about having it dipped every year? My class ring is yellow and i don’t really mind it, i just seem to prefer white but maybe that’s because it’s the “going thing.” I know most people will say “go with what you like since you’re wearing it” but im wondering if anyone out there thinks it’s worth the hassle to have to get the white one dipped every year…and keep in mind i have to drive more than an hour to get it inspected twice a year and to get it dipped once a year. And also keep in mind they could go out of business since they are in a rinkydink mall in a small town.

If you made it this far, i have one more question: Can you haggle with jewelry chains like zales, gordons, and kays? Could i ask them what’s the lowest they’d take if im paying cash (which we will be)
If I get platinum i would have to go way lower in carat size.
The deal is, I’m in college and he just bought a house. Obviously we cant spend a thousand more dollars on a ring set because the ring i have now is already about that much. Like i said, it’s about as cheap to get a set as it is to get a band in the specifications i want.
The reason i asked about haggling the price is that the rep at gordon’s said they can give a 10% discount if she asks the manager. So i assumed if they could ask and knock off 10% why not 15 or 20% if im paying cash and not financing.
I found the exact same set with the same color and clarity on another site for about half of what gordon’s charges… so now i hav e to decide if i want to chance buying it online and pocket the extra $400 to pay for dipping and small stone replacement.
I’m just trying to save my fiance money, he does so much for me already. I know i sound cheap but im just trying not to take advantage of his money for a ring that is only a symbol. Some people don’t even have rings so I already feel blessed.

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