10 Ways to Save Money When Shopping for Diamonds

They say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. That might be true, but the price of the precious gemstones normally isn’t so friendly to one’s budget. While it’s true that diamonds are among the most expensive gemstones, there are ways to purchase one without having to go into massive debt or spend your entire life savings. Whether you’re shopping for a diamond engagement ring, a diamond jewelry gift or diamond jewelry for yourself, these tips will help you save money.

1. Opt for a Diamond with Inclusions.
An inclusion is a tiny impurity that is embedded within a diamond. A stone with an inclusion will be less expensive than a flawless diamond. SI1, SI2 and SI3 inclusions are so minute that you can only see them under a magnifying glass. These little imperfections will not diminish the beauty of the diamond, but they will lower its price and help you get a better deal.

2. Go a Little Smaller.
As odd as it may sound, a diamond that weighs between .9 and .99 carat can cost significantly less than one that is a full carat. The size difference is only .3 millimeters, so tiny that you can scarcely tell one from the other; however, the perception of the diamond being 1 carat allows jewellers to charge a whole lot more for the imperceptibly larger stone. Confine your search to diamonds slightly smaller than 1 carat, and you can save big.

Shopping for Diamonds

3. Choose Near Colourless.
Diamonds are graded from D to Z in terms of their color. Ones that are rated D to F are considered colourless, while ones that range from G to J are near colourless. If you hold a colourless diamond up beside a near coloirless one you might notice a difference between the two; however, when you’re wearing the diamond ring, necklace, earrings or bracelet that contains a near colourless stone, you won’t notice the slight trace of colour. You will notice the difference in the price you pay for grades G to J versus grades D to F, though!

4. Shop Online.
Online jewelers often sell diamonds for a more affordable price because they do not have the same overhead as their brick and mortar competitors. Basically, they are able to save money on expenses and then pass that savings along to you, the customer. The following retailers are all known for offering beautiful diamond jewellery as well as exquisite crystal and cubic zirconia pieces that offer the beauty of diamonds at a fraction of the price:

Pandora eStore
Goldsmiths Jewellers
Swarovski
The Jewel Hut

5. Pick a Less Expensive Platinum-Toned Metal.
If you like the look of platinum, you can save money by opting for a white gold or palladium band instead. Both tend to be much cheaper than platinum and less expensive than yellow gold as well. Palladium can actually be better for people with sensitive skin than other precious metals, which can make it very valuable to someone who has a difficult time wearing jewellery due to allergies. Newer metals like titanium and tungsten tend to be less expensive than platinum as well, and both are very durable.

6. Cut Down on Karats.
If you’re going for yellow gold, choose jewellery with fewer karats. Pieces made from 24-karat gold are 100 per cent pure gold and therefore the most expensive option. 18-karat gold is 75 per cent real gold, while 14-karat gold is 58 per cent real gold. Both can be very beautiful in jewellery designs and will cost you a lot less than a solid gold piece.

7. Take Advantage of Coupons and Sales.
Whether you want to buy online or in a jewellery store, be on the lookout for coupon offers and sales. Newspapers and magazines often publish sales information and coupons for brick and mortar jewellery stores. Online, you can use a voucher code or a discount code at checkout to save money the same way that you do with a paper coupon in person. Many online and traditional jewellery stores run sales around the winter holidays and Valentine’s Day.

8. Purchase a Loose Diamond.
Believe it or not, buying a loose setting and then paying to have it set in a ring is often a lot less expensive than purchasing an engagement ring that is read- made. Not only does this method of jewellery shopping save you money, but it also allows you to have a truly one-of-a-kind piece. Some women like to use either the stone or the setting from their mother or grandmother’s engagement ring. This is sentimental and a smart way to save.

9. Pick a Pave.
Cluster diamonds or pave diamonds can be every bit as breathtaking as a solitaire stone but much less expensive. Pave jewellery features multiple very small diamonds placed in a setting that maximises their sparkle. The look is every bit as beautiful as a single stone. Some women even prefer pave engagement rings because they are different and out of the ordinary.

10. Get Smart About Settings.
The setting and band style that you choose can help to keep the cost of a diamond engagement ring to a minimum. Consider the following:

• Bezel settings. A bezel is a continuous round setting that holds a stone in place. This type of setting visually adds to the size of a diamond, making it appear larger than it is.

• Halo settings. A halo ring features accent stones that surround a central stone. Like a bezel, the accent stones greatly add to the apparent size of the diamond without greatly increasing the price of the ring.

• Thin band. A thin band will make a smaller, more affordable diamond seem larger. Plus, thin bands are often less expensive in their own right because they are made from less precious metal than thicker bands.

• Elongated. A long, flat diamond will appear much larger than it is not just in a ring but also in bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Cost cutting cuts include the marquise, the oval, the pear, the baguette and the rectangular emerald.

Keep these 10 things in mind to purchase the perfect diamond piece at a perfect price.

*Image Source: Observer.com