Two of the largest jewelry retailers in North America are tying the knot.

Signet Jewelers Limited of Bermuda announced Wednesday that it will acquire Dallas-based Zale Corp. for $690 million.

Signet primarily operates in the United States as Kay Jewelers and the Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, which have a combined 1,400 stores in all 50 states. Signet's United Kingdom division operates approximately 500 stores primarily under the name brands of H.Samuel and Ernest Jones.

Zales, which has three jewelry stores in Charleston and 1,680 stores nationwide, is estimated to bring Signet's value to about $1.4 billion.

If the FEC approves the acquisition, Signet will operate five stores in the Charleston market.

"The addition of Zale to the Signet family is consistent with our long-term growth strategy and leverages our combined operating expertise to create better choices for our customers, new opportunities for our employees, and makes us a more attractive partner to our vendors," said Mike Barnes, CEO of Signet. "In addition, it allows us to better optimize our balance sheet, creating long-term value for our shareholders."

Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail