You’re Not Going to Outsmart the Diamond Business

That’s what Paul Weber of Long’s Jewelers told me as I was shopping for an engagement ring several months ago. I had just brought up the fact that several online retailers, such as Blue Nile and Union Diamond, offered the same GIA certified diamonds for at least $1,000 less than Long’s did.

“You’re not going to outsmart the diamond business.” I’ve thought about that statement from time to time – there are days I agree and other days I disagree. What do you think?

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  • Jeff Rosenbaugh September 30, 2010 at 10:54 am

    It’s true that you’re likely not going to outsmart the diamond business, but you can learn to play within the rules well enough to get what can be considered a good deal.

    For example, always buy shy of the milestone carat sizes. NEVER buy a 1 carat diamond if you’re shooting for a single carat. Buy a 1 carat shy, which ends up between .9 and .95. You’ll likely never really notice the difference and your stone price will be up to $3-4k less just because you’ve avoided that “milestone” size.

    It’s also important to realize that the best color and clarity will make no difference to you than something significantly less “imperfect” since you won’t be able to see it with a naked eye. Some people smartly lean away from larger stones but then spend an astronomical amount on insanely high clarity… The diamonds at the top of the color and clarity spectrum are called “Investment Diamonds” for a reason – they are not meant to be worn!

    So yeah, you’ll never really outsmart the diamond business, but you can learn enough to use the system to your advantage. The poor suckers who get engaged to someone who walks into the store and says, “If it ain’t a carat,I won’t wear it!” are the ones who get screwed with higher prices. Be educated, flexible, and realistic with what you want and you can walk away feeling good about your decision.

    Oh, and most warranties are bogus – if you truly want a warranty on your stone look for bonded diamonds..

  • Brooke October 1, 2010 at 8:14 am

    There are people who actually are happier with their purchanse if they believe they got a deal. With diamonds, you know it will be a big purchase. You also know that you want something worth that money. Buying a diamond online and hoping it will be exactly what you want is a worry I wouldn’t want. I believe you could shop through lots of wholesalers and find a better price than a retailer. But in the end you have to ask how long would it take? How much would you save?