Save Money When Buying a Diamond Ring & Avoid Going into Jewelry Debt
June 9, 2008
Saving money on diamonds and shopping around for deals is not something the jewelry industry likes us consumers to think about. Their emphasis is on the “quality” of the diamonds.
I remember when I was shopping for an engagement ring one of the sales ladies said something along the lines of, “if you really love her, why not buy this one.” Of course that didn’t go over well with me, that was the end of my trip to that store. The way I see it, someone’s love for another person has nothing to do with the size of a shiny pebble that was dug out of the ground.
Have you ever heard the commercial that says “Diamonds are forever”? What you don’t know is that they actually cut off part of the slogan. It actually reads
“Diamonds are forever on your credit card”.
I had a reader email me concerned about this. He’s looking to buy an engagement ring but is worried about going into debt to pay for it. He asked for some ways to save money on a diamond ring. It’s been awhile since I’ve shopped around for one but this is what I was able to turn up.
Shop for Diamonds Online
– Do your pricing research online at websites like Diamonds.com or BlueNile.com.
– If you’re comfortable spending that much money online, buy the diamond from discounters on the Internet to save some cash. My cousin bought an engagement ring online and I know both he and his fiance, now wife, were very pleased with it.
– Make sure you buy from a credible source, for example, you can check out buying a diamond ring on Amazon.com.
Buy a Cheaper Band
Although the diamond is the most expensive part of a ring, you can save some money by buying a less expensive band. There are several ways you can do this, for example:
– White gold is cheaper than Platinum
– 14K gold is cheaper than 18K gold
– Buy a plain band without accent diamonds
Buy a Loose Diamond
I had a college friend who was friends with a jeweler. They helped him buy a diamond online and then they put it in a setting for him. The jeweler gave him a deal on the band since they were friends but the main savings came from the lower price he was able to get on the individual diamond. Even after paying for the band he was able to save hundreds of dollars.
Buy a Lower Quality Diamond
As you start to shop for a diamond you’ll learn that the industry values them based on the stone’s clarity, color, carat, and cut. Depending on what combination of these you choose, you could either spend a lot or save a lot of money.
Clarity – In terms of price, the higher the clarity, the higher the cost. Here’s an example of the clarity scale, from best quality to worst:
(most $$$)FL, IF, VVS1 – VVS2, VS1-VS2, SI1-SI2, I1-I3 (cheapest)
Color – The diamond color is measured on a scale ranging from D (no color) to Z (a lot of color). In general, the less color, the more expensive the diamond.
Carat – The carat measures the weight of the diamond and is the measurement people are most familiar with. The larger the carat, the more money you’ll pay for the diamond. Some of the typical carat sizes are
0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1.00, 1.50, 2.00, …. and up
Buying a diamond with lower clarity and color ratings and a smaller carat can significantly reduce the overall price.
Pay Cash for the Ring
Buying a ring with cash has two advantages. Remember the quote we learned earlier, “Diamonds are forever on your credit card”. Retail jewelry stores like Zales or Helzberg offer their own credit cards you can use to buy diamonds on credit. Kind of like a car salesman, a jewelry retailer might talk you into buying a bigger ring than you can afford by talking about the low monthly payments.
Of course as we all know, the downside of monthly payments is that you’re borrowing the full purchase price and have to pay interest on the balance. The monthly interest charges are guaranteed to add more onto the price of the diamond ring than you’d like to pay.
Credit Card Fees
Of course, credit cards cut both ways. If you’re not shopping at a big retail jeweler that offers their own credit cards, you might get a discount for paying with cash. The merchant has to pay a percentage of each sale to the credit card company for processing the payment. When you’re talking expensive diamond rings those fees can add up.
The store might be willing to knock a little off the price if you pay in cash. It won’t be a lot but every little bit helps when you’re buying expensive jewelry. You can put the savings towards paying your sales tax!
Saving on Diamonds Summary
Shopping and buying online gives you access to some of the lowest prices on diamonds, just make sure you research the website and diamond before making a purchase.
Buying a lower end diamond with lower clarity / color ratings and a smaller carat will save you hundreds, even thousands, of dollars.
Only buy what you can afford and pay cash for the ring.
All posts by Ben Edwards