Without a doubt, one of the most common questions I get is a variation on this theme: “I know diamonds are expensive, but is there any way for me to save money while I’m shopping for one?”. It’s true that the phrase “discount diamonds” should raise an eyebrow to anyone shopping for a high-quality stone, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to save some dollars while buying diamonds.
If you’re a savvy shopper who knows what they want, there are plenty of tricks you can use to save money on your purchase. Read on for my advice on how to save while buying loose diamonds.
Make the 4Cs Work for You
First comes first: brush up on your diamond education and familiarize yourself with the 4Cs. Isolate which of the 4Cs – cut, color, clarity, or carat weight – is the most important to you while buying diamonds. This will help you determine where your opportunities are for saving money.
For most customers, cut is the most important 4C grade, because a diamond’s cut quality has the most impact on sparkle. For budget purposes, this means that a lower clarity or color grade will be a good way to save.
If you want to save on clarity grade, it’s best to go with a brilliant cut diamond. Princess and round diamonds are the most well known brilliant shapes. Brilliants will hide lower clarity grades because of the faceting pattern on their table. In terms of diamond cutting, princesses are the least wasteful shape. This means that a princess cut can cost 20-30% less than a round cut of the same carat weight.
To be cost-effective with your color grade, consider setting a diamond with a lower color grade in a colored metal. Colored metals such as yellow and rose gold will conceal some yellow coloration. You can also do some certification report sleuthing and select a diamond with a lower color grade, yet a higher blue fluorescence grade. High blue fluorescence can improve the appearance of a low color grade. However, stay away from high yellow fluorescence, which could make a diamond’s color look worse.
Do you want to save money on diamond carat weight? Try buying a diamond with a pear or marquise cut. These diamond shapes have the highest size to carat weight ratios, meaning that they will look larger than they actually are. This way you can be cost efficient with how much you spend on carat weight.
For those who won’t be making their first diamond purchase, an upgrade is often a cost-effective alternative to buying a new stone. Before doing anything else, you should check with the jeweler where you bought your first diamond. Many reputable jewelers – including us here at Ritani – offer diamond trade-up programs to help customers save money on a better quality stone. Naturally, these trade-up programs will provide attractive price reductions on a larger or higher quality diamond.
More Diamond Pricing Tips
It is also a wise choice to wait for fads to die down before purchasing popular diamond cuts. For example, everyone is clamoring for a heart shaped diamond now that Lady Gaga is sporting one. Diamond sellers know this, and can artificially inflate prices for trending shapes. If you are looking for a diamond shape that you know is popular at the moment, make sure to do lots of comparison shopping to ensure you are getting a fair price.
When Not to Cut Corners
Here are three ways that you should never use to try and save money while buying a diamond:
1. Don’t buy uncertified diamonds. Some people make the ill-advised choice to purchase uncertified diamonds to save money. Purveyors of uncertified diamonds tend to offer a steep price discount, but it is most assuredly not worth the risk. Uncertified diamonds – if they are genuine diamonds at all – are almost always extremely low quality. Even with the discount provided, you will not be getting what you paid for.
2. Don’t skimp on step cut clarity grades. The step cut shapes – specifically, Asscher and emerald cut diamonds – are adored for their wide, open tables. However, this also means that inclusions are quite obvious on these shapes. Don’t try and save money on a step cut diamond by buying one with a low clarity grade. The inclusions will seriously detract from the beauty of the diamond, so is saving the money still worth it?
3. Don’t buy blind. Even if it is a screaming deal, don’t buy diamonds without getting a clear sense of what it looks like. This may seem intuitive, but many people buying diamonds online have only seen digital renderings of the stone. Ask the diamond seller for real photos or video of the diamond in question. Or, take advantage of a service like Ritani’s free in-store preview program, which allows our customers who are buying a diamond to see their stone in person, obligation-free.
How did you get the best price while buying a diamond? Were you able to get a higher quality stone by using your diamond education? Feel free to share stories, photos, and any questions in the comments below!