Let’s face it, next to buying your first house and a new car, buying a diamond engagement ring is likely to be one of the most expensive purchases you’re ever going to make. You want to get the best deal, save money wherever possible, but most of all you want the ring to be amazing and the center stone to be the most beautiful diamond that your girlfriend and her friends have ever seen! So you gather up all of the pictures of engagement rings that she has torn out of magazines and left all over the house, decide upon a ring style, head to the jewelry store to buy one and stagger out of the store mumbling something like “Diamond engagement rings cost WHAT?!?!” and turn to the internet for salvation.
A short time spent researching diamonds on the internet is likely to turn into a project which can span several weeks and even months, a survey conducted in 2011 by the xo group indicates that it takes the average groom 3 months to find an engagement ring. By the way, the average amount spent on a “luxury engagement ring” was $13,500.00 with the average center stone weighing around 1.50 carats and the total combined carat weight for all of the diamonds contained in the ring was more than two carats.
The wealth of diamond knowledge that is available on the internet is likely to enable you to become a virtual diamond expert who is capable of running intellectual circles around the staff of most brick and mortar jewelry stores, but this brilliant insight comes at a price… the odds are that once you become aware of the effect of proportions upon how bright a diamond looks, and how optical symmetry dictates the sparkle factor of a diamond, you’re probably not going to be satisfied with a diamond of average make (which is the industry term used to refer to the cut quality of a diamond).
In fact, the odds are that the more you know about diamonds, the less likely you are to be fooled into believing that a diamond is going to look great simply because it is accompanied by a diamond grading report that indicates that it has an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent or even AGS Ideal-0, because you’ll know that the gemological laboratories do not take the optical symmetry of the diamond into account when they grade diamonds for “Symmetry” ~ no, that grade is for “meet point symmetry” and while that is a factor of the overall cut grade, it is only a very small part of the puzzle.
Eventually you’ll come to the conclusion that there are only a few online diamond dealers who actually offer diamonds which are cut to the highest standards, that provide their online customers with ready access to images of their diamonds as seen through the various reflectors scopes which are necessary to judge the optical symmetry of a diamond, and when you reach that point it’s quite possible that you’ll begin to question your sanity because diamonds cut to the highest level of optical symmetry, which exhibit crisp and complete patterns of hearts and arrows, tend to cost a bit more than diamonds of average make and even “ideal cut diamonds” which are cut to the outer edge of the spectrum, just good enough to squeak by with an overall cut grade of GIA Excellent or AGS Ideal-0, good enough to fool the majority of the public, but cut poorly enough to give a real diamond expert the shudders.
There are very few companies which offer ideal cut diamonds that actually meet the selection criteria which I developed during the 25+ years I worked as a diamond buyer, one of those companies is Brian Gavin Diamonds and the other is High Performance Diamonds, which both specialize in round brilliant ideal cut diamonds which exhibit crisp and complete patterns of hearts and arrows and routinely provide their clients with diamond details pages which feature high resolution video of the diamonds, clarity photographs, and images of the diamonds as seen through an ASET Scope, an Ideal Scope, and a Hearts & Arrows Scope.
Another one of my favorite companies is James Allen, which used to provide diamond details pages which featured the same in-depth diamond grading information currently provided by Brian Gavin and High Performance Diamonds, however recently decided to forgo that kind of detail in favor of a high resolution of the diamond and a cropped image of the diamond as seen through a hearts and arrows scope if the diamond is from the James Allen True Hearts collection.
The saving grace with regards to James Allen’s decision to provide diamond details pages with less detail, is that they have been willing to provide additional details of the diamonds upon request, which enables me to make an informed diamond buying decision with the slight inconvenience of having to take the time to submit a request for more information.
Once you decide which internet diamond dealer you want to work with, the next challenge is to ensure that you get the best price possible. The reality of the situation is that internet diamond prices tend to be much better than the retail price of jewelry in traditional brick and mortar jewelry stores because internet diamond dealers are competing globally for your business while jewelry stores tend to only compete in their locality.
So the power of your diamond buying dollars are going to go further with a Brian Gavin Signature Diamond, a Crafted by Infinity Diamond from High Performance Diamonds, or a James Allen True Hearts Diamond, than it is likely to go with the best GIA Excellent or AGS Ideal Cut diamond that your local jewelry store has to offer.
But what if you could save even more money? While none of these internet diamond dealers is really open to negotiating on price because of the slim margins which they operate upon, there are ways to save a little bit of money if you’re willing to roll the dice and be a little bit flexible.
Brian Gavin Diamonds recently introduced the Brian Gavin Stone of the Day, which provides their clients with the opportunity to save money on a Signature Diamond from their exclusive in-house inventory, selected at random… it’s kind of like a lottery for diamond prices!
The feedback for the introduction of the BBrian Gavin Stone of the Day promotion was so positive, that Brian decided to make things even more enticing by introducing a similar campaign featuring the Brian Gavin Ring of the Day!
Brian Gavin is also currently running a special promotion on BBrian Gavin Signature Cushion cut diamonds which are VVS in clarity, which means that you can pick up a higher clarity diamond for around the same price as a VS-1 clarity diamond, just enter the promotion code “NICEVVS10” at checkout.
Wink from High Performance Diamonds is currently offering a 15% discount off the price of a setting which is ordered at the same time as a Crafted by Infinity Diamond or one of his Value Select Diamonds… it’s free for the asking, just tell him that Todd from Nice Ice told you that it was available!
So there you have it, five ways to save money buying a diamond engagement ring online:
All right, so we haven’t talked yet about the fifth way to save money buying a diamond engagement ring online, and that is to ask your buddy Todd at Nice Ice (that’s me) if he happens to have any coupons available for the vendors he works with… vendors frequently provide me with special incentives to offer my clients, but they are always limited in quantity and I’m not allowed to publish the details on my web site. I don’t always have coupons available, but it’s worth taking the time to ask!
Note that it’s usually not possible to take advantage of multiple discounts at the same time, you usually won’t be able to use multiple coupons or take advantage of multiple discount offers… but substantial savings can be obtained by using even one of them!
Todd Gray is a professional diamond buyer with 30+ years of trade experience. He loves to teach people how to buy diamonds that exhibit incredible light performance! In addition to writing for Nice Ice, Todd "ghost writes" blogs and educational content for other diamond sites. When Todd isn't chained to a desk, or consulting for the trade, he enjoys Freediving! (that's like scuba diving, but without air tanks)
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