Glittery bracelets, stylish rings, richly colored gemstones: they’re gifts that will take someone’s breath away. When you give the gift of jewelry, you’re giving more than precious metals and stones; you’re showing someone how much they mean to you.
Americans spent 31.4 billion dollars on jewelry in 2016, a number that’s generally been increasing since 2010. But whether you want earrings for your mom’s birthday or an engagement ring to pop the question, it’s going to be an investment. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
One of the first stops on your jewelry-shopping journey might very well be a popular chain store like Kay Jewelers or Jared Galleria of Jewelry, and for good reason. Both stores have a track record of good prices, deals, and special offers. Plus, they’re everywhere; it’s rare to enter a shopping center or strip mall and not find one. What you might be surprised to learn is that both are owned by the same parent company, Signet Jewelers. Still, they are quite different when it comes to deals and discounts.
So which jewelry giant is going to help you save the most money that special gift? Let’s take a look.
Considering that both companies get their jewelry from the same parent company, it should come as no surprise that most of their everyday prices are fairly comparable. Women’s wedding bands, for example, fall most often between $800-2,000 for both companies. The recently popular charm bracelets (without charms) run from $50-200, and simple chain necklaces go most often for $150-800, with a few coming in at greater costs.
That said, Kay seems to have a larger selection of discounted and clearance items. Not to mention, they have more frequent sales. If you compare the two websites, Kay appeals to the bargain shopper, advertising sales and promotions, while Jared seems to promote product quality and customization.
Coupons and Promotions
While their everyday prices are similar, Kay and Jared begin to differ when it comes to coupons and special offers.
Kay: Kay has a full page of store-sponsored coupons right on their website. They correlate to seasons, holidays, and popular items. Right now, you can get 30% off select styles for St. Patrick’s Day, 20-40% off select aquamarine jewelry, or 50% select “Ever Us” styles. They also offer special deals and coupons through Groupon.
Jared: When you go to Jared’s coupon page, you don’t find a bunch of “X percent off” deals like Kay’s page. Instead, you find links to Jared’s “Vault Value” products. While these Vault Values are good, Kay has a clearance page with similar product deals in addition to their coupon page. Jared does, though, offer discounts and coupons through Groupon as well.
Let’s say jewelry is your go-to gift. First of all, I’m sure your family and significant other love you. But in all seriousness, if you purchase a lot of jewelry, it makes sense to get something in return. Here’s where rewards programs come in.
Kay: Kay doesn’t necessarily have a rewards program, but they do offer different rewards promotions throughout the year. For instance, right now through July 4th, you can receive $100 off every $300 you spend online and in stores. Although keep in mind that the rewards are toward a second purchase and not the current one. Still, this is a great deal if you plan on returning to Kay for other gifts.
Additionally, you can potentially qualify for a Kay credit card that offers benefits like free jewelry cleaning and inspection, special financing, and promotional pricing on certain items.
Jared: Unlike Kay, Jared has a rewards program that you can sign up for, one that gives cash back for purchases of certain amounts. While the Jared website is fairly opaque about the specific rewards available, based on past offers, you can expect $100-200 cash back on purchases of $400-500.
Also, Jared, like Kay, offers a credit card with almost the exact same benefits, so you can get that free cleaning, special financing, and promotional pricing here too.
Advantage: Jared – while Kay might have better rewards from time to time, Jared offers a more consistent reward system that will give you cash back on regular purchases.
Both companies have an extensive stock of products available online, but with jewelry, you’ll most likely want to see it in person before you buy it. And if you’re shopping in-store, there are going to be differences in selection.
Kay: Kay stores are traditionally inside shopping malls. This means that they aren’t going to have much room for their stock. While they may be able to order products from other stores, it still means that you won’t be able to look at it right away.
Jared: Unlike Kay, Jared stores are often freestanding or part of a strip mall. This gives them more space for their supply, so they’re more likely to have what you’re looking for in stock.
Advantage: Jared – while store selections will vary based on what you’re buying, Jared, with their freestanding stores, are more likely to have wider on-site selections.
Warranties and Replacements
When you purchase an expensive piece of jewelry, you don’t like to think about it breaking, but the reality is that it happens. And if it does, it’s nice to know that you’re covered.
Kay: They’ll replace any diamond, emerald, ruby, or sapphire that chips, breaks, or comes loose during normal wear, and at no cost to you! The only stipulation is that you must bring the stone in for inspection every six months to qualify. Your stone’s mounting is guaranteed for replacement for up to 12-months after purchase.
If you’re looking for an extended service plan on another piece, they offer comprehensive services, from sizing to soldering, at $19.99-399.99, depending on the value of your purchase.
Jared: Jared and Kay have identical policies when it comes to guarantees, warranties, and replacements.
It all seems to come down to your buying habits. If you’re a frequent jewelry buyer, Jared seems to have a more consistent rewards program, although Kay has better and more frequent coupons and promotions for that special one-time gift.
If there’s an independent jeweler near you, it’d also be wise to check them out. Often, independent jewelers have their own promotions, rewards, and deals. Many offer warranties and trade-ins that rival (or sometimes beat) those you’d find at large chains. Sometimes they offer better prices too. So be sure to browse your local jewelers as well. As always, you’re definitely going to want to shop around, especially considering jewelry is an expensive purchase.
But if you’re hitting the mall for your next jewelry shopping spree, whether it’s for Mother’s Day, Valentines Day, Christmas, or anything else, stop in at Kay or Jared, but make sure you look at their promotions first!