Is it possible to save money on diamonds?
By Devorah Isenberg , Thursday, March 15, 2012
These days, it seems like no one buys anything for full price anymore. Between flash sales on sites like Gilt, and group discounts through clubs like Groupon and LivingSocial, you can get everything from a day at the spa to a gourmet dinner to a pair of designer boots at a dramatic discount. So if you are in the process of buying a diamond, you may be wondering if it is possible to get a steep discount on a diamond too.
The short answer is yes, but not necessarily in the way you think. Everyone wants to save money whenever possible, but not at the expense of quality. When you make a major, important purchase like a diamond, you want to know that you are spending your hard-earned money on something that truly lives up to the price, something that will withstand the test of time. Unfortunately, many of the ways people often to try to save money when buying diamonds end up backfiring and causing them to waste money on poor-quality diamonds that are not even worth the money they did spend.
Mistake #1: Buying uncertified diamonds. Compared to diamonds with a certification from a reputable independent diamond appraisal lab, uncertified diamonds can seem like a steal. And they are, in a way—they help unscrupulous diamond merchants help themselves to your diamond budget in exchange for a sparkly rock that can be anything from a low-quality diamond to a synthetic to a cubic zirconia. Although it may seem more expensive up front, buying a certified diamond will help you be able to insure it for its full value—helping you save money down the road should the diamond ever get lost or stolen.
Mistake #2: Looking for sales. We have become so accustomed to looking for our purchases to be marked 50%, 60% or even 70% off, but when it comes to buying diamonds, offers like that should be seen as a flashing red warning sign. The truth is, the diamond industry is so competitive that there is simply no way a dealer could offer you more than 20% off retail price and still be making money on the deal. Diamond retailers who promise steep discounts have probably marked up their prices unfairly beforehand—or may be passing off inferior quality diamonds as being worth more. (Note: this does not apply to gold or other kinds of jewelry—due to fluctuations in the price of gold, discounts are theoretically possible.)
Mistake #3: Focusing on size. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise—you should only spend what you can afford on a diamond. You can still get engaged or married with a beautiful, but modestly-sized diamond on a simple ring. That being said, if your diamond budget is limited, you can save money without getting a shabby product by opting for a small, but high-quality diamond, instead of one that is much bigger but of poorer quality. There are two reasons for this: one, a small, but well-cut, diamond, is going to be much more sparkly and pretty than a large, poorly-cut diamond that looks dull or fake. Second, if and when you can afford a bigger diamond, you can always have the smaller one re-set into the new ring in a way that combines both—and the small one will not be overshadowed.
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