With their incomparable sparkling beauty and extreme natural hardness, there’s little wonder why diamonds are the most sought after of all gemstones. Diamonds have been a favorite choice for use in jewelry for thousands of years, but they are certainly not the cheapest decoration.
However, it’s entirely possible to buy diamond jewelry without breaking the bank – if you shop smart. Whether you’re buying women’s or men’s wedding bands or just upscale fashion jewelry, here are four ways to save money on diamonds.
Opt for smaller stones. While large solitaire styles are a popular choice when it comes to diamond jewelry (especially for women’s engagement rings), they are certainly not the only option. Anything over one carat is going to tend to be more on the expensive side, and as a general rule prices go sharply up with each subsequent carat. There is no huge visual difference between a 0.95 carat stone and a 1 carat stone, so choosing that slightly smaller diamond alone may save you a bundle of money. Consider also styles that cluster a number of smaller diamonds together, as is frequently seen in wedding rings for men. Designs that group many small diamonds together have the same sparkling visual effect as a single large diamond, but are far less costly.
Consider setting material. Diamonds are frequently set in classic precious metals like gold and platinum, making diamond jewelry all the more expensive. Oftentimes the setting material is far more costly than the diamonds themselves, as anyone who has observed the sharply rising prices of gold over the last 10 years can affirm.
For those who prefer a precious metal as their diamond jewelry setting, palladium is an excellent alternative to platinum. Priced comparably to 14K gold, palladium is a member of the platinum group metals (PGMs) and shares its more expensive cousin’s naturally lustrous white hue and durability. For even bigger savings, however, shoppers would be wise to look at contemporary materials such as cobalt chrome and Argentium silver. Both of these metals are naturally silvery white and never need to be re-plated, and are available at a fraction of the price of their precious metal counterparts. While growing in popularity across the jewelry market, these contemporary metals are most frequently seen in wedding rings for men.
Don’t be a slave to the Four C’s. Anyone who has shopped for women’s or men’s wedding bands can no doubt recite the legendary Four C’s by heart: cut, color, clarity and carat weight. Some consumers have it in their minds that they simply MUST have a flawless, colorless diamond, but insisting on only the highest standards of each C will only ensure a very expensive purchase.
Look critically at the Four C’s and think about what is really most important to you when buying diamond jewelry. Of course, the Four C’s are a great baseline to use to get a sense of the value of the diamonds that you are buying, but you may find that a colorless D diamond is not much more appealing to you visually than a G diamond. If purchasing diamond jewelry that contains smaller stones, the cut and setting of the diamonds themselves will likely be the factors that will influence your buying decision the most.
Comparison shop. Finally, take advantage of the transparency of the internet to find the best prices for diamond jewelry. While deals can be found at brick and mortar stores as well, generally the best prices for virtually anything can be found online thanks to low overhead for businesses and a heightened sense of competition. Once you’ve settled on a particular item or style of item, use price comparison engines or shopping aggregate sites to compare prices across stores. Make sure to take into account other factors that will affect your bottom line, such as seasonal discounts, free shipping and if sales tax will be applied.
Despite the upscale appeal of diamond jewelry, you will no doubt be able to save money when making this luxury purchase with a little time, effort and buying savvy.
Tanya Naouri writes articles on men’s wedding bands, tips to save money and diamond jewelry items for JustMensRings.com.