The first time buying a piece of jewelry can be terrifying. Will you get the right look, will it fit right, how do you get it cleaned, are you spending enough, are you spending way too much? Well, I've learned there is never too much, but being able to buy something special for someone you care about can be intimidating. Especially if you've been saving money for a long time. You want to make sure you get it right. These jewelry stores can help take all of the anxiety away and lead you down the right path.

Siebke Hoyt Jewelers

We start with Siebke Hoyt Jewelers. They've been around since 1889 and are located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. They are a family-owned and operated store with a long history of success. Jay, Tom, and Joseph Hoyt are the men that help this place run, along with an amazing sales staff. Knowing there is an experienced staff to work with was key for me. I had no clue what I was doing when buying an engagement ring and being able to trust the team that helped me went a long way. After a simple google search, they average a 4.9-star out of 5 and have been rated by 983 people.

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"This was hands down the best experience I’ve ever had buying a ring or jewelry of any kind" according to one reviewer.

Facets

Facets, located in Cedar Falls, Iowa is another great option to choose from. From engagement rings, wedding bands, or simple diamond rings, they can help you. I had mentioned earlier about being nervous about getting the right fit, Facets has you covered. They have a master jeweler who's been working at it for 20+ years. Ring sizing, diamond setting, and tightening, all the way down to re-stringing and chain repair might be things you forget about. Knowing you'll be able to adjust something later helps tremendously. I got the wrong size when I shopped around for the first time, thankfully there was someone who could fix my error.  One thing I really like is their easy to navigate website. You can look inside the store, without having to leave your home.

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Hands Jewelers 

Located in Iowa City Hands Jewelers has been delivering the unexpected since 1853. If anyone has been diligently practicing something for 169 years, you can bet they've gotten pretty good at it. This is the place to go if you're looking for a watch, in my opinion. All of their watches can be engraved and they have a lot of unique styles to choose from. Whether you're looking for a leather strap, metal strap, a smaller dial, or a bigger dial, you have plenty of options. one There's a stunning all-black timepiece I might have to snag for myself... This is another business that averages 4.9 stars out of 5, on their google reviews.

"My experiences here have been wonderful. They have helped me with custom engraving for my sons’ medals as well as personal gifts." 

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Philip's Diamond Shop 

Philips Diamond Shop, Located in Marion Iowa, comes out swinging if you visit their website. Right on the front page, you can review custom designs they've built or look into their newer products. It takes a lot of the guesswork out and can help you just get started. For some people that can be the hardest part. The simplicity of their website is a huge plus, in my opinion. This is turning into a bit of a theme but here is another jewelry store with fantastic reviews. A 5-star rating with 100 reviews to brag about.

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Van Denover Jewelry 

Van Denover Jewelry is Located in Oelwein, Iowa, just a short drive east of Cedar Falls. The necklaces are what really stand out and can be seen here. There are all kinds of gemstone choices; ruby, sapphire, or (my personal favorite) emerald, to name a few. You can't miss if you go with one of these necklace pieces.  Van Denover Jewelry is a great starting point if you're in the necklace department.

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After recently having to pick out an engagement ring and having zero clue where to start or who to ask for help, I understand the intimidation of walking into a jewelry store and feeling clueless. I would recommend shopping around to multiple places for whatever it is you're looking for and don't be afraid to ask any questions. If you're on the fence about a purchase, you can always ask the store if they'll hold an item for a day to think about it. Good luck!

LEGO City Home

This home is over 100 years old and has some real fun on the inside. What goofy thing would you put in your home?

Small Town Iowa: Road Trip to Pella - Photos

When you mention Pella, most people say "they have all the tulips right?" Where that would be correct, there is so much more to this town. Pella is also home to two manufacturing companies, a college, the largest working windmill in the U.S. and it's the boyhood home of the legendary Wyatt Earp. Now, let's go on a virtual tour of this excellent example of picturesque small-town Iowa.