If you’re in the market to buy a diamond, we have some simple tips to help you find the stone of your dreams without breaking your budget!
When shopping for diamonds, knowledge is power
First, educate yourself
Knowledge is power, so make sure you know a bit about diamonds before you start your quest for a deal.
There are plenty of places online to learn about cut, clarity, color, and carat weight — the four Cs of diamonds — before you spend a dime. Websites such as www.4cs.gia.edu and www.americangemsociety.org are great places to start.
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As always, the internet is one of the best places to find a deal. There are some specific websites dedicated to diamonds and jewelry. I Do Now I Don’t is one of the most popular and specializes in engagement and wedding sets. It bills itself as a “completely secure platform for buyers and sellers” and backs that up. Once you see something you like, you add it to your cart and make a secure payment. The buyer has seven days to ship the item to the company. They keep your money in escrow until they receive the money and authenticate the item, then ship it to you.
Another option is Have You Seen The Ring, which sells pre-owned engagement and wedding sets. When you see something you like, you make an offer to the seller. Once they accept, you pay the website. They also hold your money in escrow until their experts verify the item, then ship it to you.
Rare Carat doesn’t actually sell diamonds, but allows you to search for your ideal diamond using the “4 Cs,” then sends you to various retailers who sell them. Finally, Worthy sells a variety of precious jewels, watches, and diamonds. You sign up as a buyer and, once approved, get notifications on items you may like. You then bid on them in an online silent auction format. They notify if you win, then manage the secure payment process.
If you have a favorite jewelry brick-and-mortar store, many of them offer special “buy and sell” sites online. Remember the big sites, too, like eBay, Craigslist, and Amazon.com where you can find nearly anything “gently used.”
Pawn shops are still a great option for finding deals on diamonds. In fact, you can find some of the lowest prices at pawn shops. One caveat: Make sure it is a shop with a solid reputation. Check out the Better Business Bureau in your area to be safe.
Scour your local newspaper (either the old-fashioned print version or the website) for local estate sales. Many will sell diamonds and other jewels at good prices. Contact your favorite estate sale companies and ask to be added to their email or mailing list so you know when sales are happening in your area.
Before handing over any money for a diamond or precious gem, ask for an appraisal and get it verified by a certified gemologist.
If you are buying from someone online, make sure to use a safe, insured method of payment and delivery. If you are meeting someone in person for an exchange, again, put safety first. Many local law enforcement agencies offer a “safe place” for online purchases. If the seller does not want to meet at one of these safe places, cancel the transaction.
Selling a diamond
Many of the sites where you can buy diamonds also offer a way for you to sell diamonds or other jewelry. Before doing so, again get an appraisal so you know the worth, then price items to sell.
Most websites take a 10% to 30% cut of the sale. If you decide to sell at a brick-and-mortar jewelry store or use a broker, you will likely pay between 15% and 40% commission to that store or broker. Spend some time researching the broker and ask for references.
Pawn shops will typically offer the lowest return for your jewels, so unless you are in need of emergency cash, a pawn shop is typically not the best option.
Good luck, and happy buying — and selling!