Am I Getting What I Paid For
April 2, 2018, Alyssa Bruni
Buy diamonds online, even if you want to browse in store. Prices are significantly less and selection is far larger. You can see upwards of 20% price differences between online and in-store prices. Online jewelers are extremely price competitive and so the markups are actually very low. Jewelers make their margins on the setting, so buying the diamond loose then having it set in a ring locally is also a great idea.
There’s another important tip that you don’t want to overlook, and it can save you hundreds of dollars. Also, buy one from a jeweler that’s out of state so you save on taxes. Which can be an 8%+ difference.
A marquis is cheaper and so is the oval than a round but looks just as elegant and big and eye catching as the round. The round is the most popular shape so it’s most in demand — simple economics. Also, a diamond cutter’s job is to preserve the maximum amount of weight. Rounds lose much more carat weight than other shapes, so they carry a premium.
When buying a ring you can consider alternative stones, like precious gems or even a manmade, eco-friendly diamond-esque stone. Non-conventional brides might want to consider alternative stones to diamonds, or use a diamond setting but another stone for the centre stone. Asian cultures highly value imperial green jadeite, for example. It’s more rare than diamonds but still more affordable.
Yellow gold went out of fashion for a while over the past couple decades, but its back with a vengeance now that it has an enviable price tag. And we want you to hone in on it for investment’s sake
Gold provides the best value. Prices have steadily risen over the years so it’s a good investment metal, but more affordable than platinum.
While you’re concentrating your efforts on gold, you should also know that there’s a better value between one karat weight and another. It may seem like 18k gold is the best buy given the higher number, but that’s not the case. Generally, you can consider 18k like a brand name; it’s purer than 14k, but adds little to no extra raw value. The longevity of 14k is high, and simple ‘servicing’ (yes, like with a car) can keep it looking brand new. Just polishing out scratches or rhodium plating restores shine as if it were new. Do this once year — it should only cost about $10 to $20.
H/I color is an average colour, middle of the road, greatly abundant, and consistent colour in nature. The colour is a little bit off (a bit of yellow in the mix), but hardly noticeable. The SI clarity range on the other hand includes three levels — SI1, SI2, and SI3 — which equate to flawless to the naked eye, flawed to the naked eye, and This is probably a diamond, but it’s definitely not the best one.
Diamonds in the H/I color and SI clarity range offer the best value. The imperfections are rarely visible to the naked, untrained eye and the color is hardly distracting. Round diamonds mask colour much better than fancy shapes.
If you want to be sure that you are getting what you paid for, be sure to buy only G.I.A certified diamonds.
Look For G.I.A Diamond Rings
Yes, there is a governing body on diamonds. There are a few, actually. But the Gemological Institute of America is the only one you need to know. Only buy GIA-certified diamonds, if you’re truly looking for value for money. GIA is the most consistent grading lab and has the highest grading standards. Other labs are inconsistent and carry noticeable discounts for a reason. Please do not be fooled.
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