People are really funny when it comes to buying Diamonds.
Some people look for weeks, months and even years before they finally make a Diamond Engagement Ring Purchase.
Here’s my take on this:
Are you Crazy?
Seriously, long term shopping for a Diamond is pretty futile.
Because once you finally find the Diamond you like, by the time you decide to go back and get it, it’s gone!
“Sorry, that Diamond is SOLD!”
Why is this? Because…
Every Diamond is Different
Every single Diamond is different. Unique. No two are alike.
The Cut, Angles, Proportions and Percentages will always vary. The Color hue may shift slightly between Colorless and Near Colorless Diamonds. The Clarity will always look different. Inclusions will change in size, shape, color and position from Diamond to Diamond.
So when you find the Ideal Diamond of your dreams, and you save up enough money to buy it, it’s gone!
Figuring out what you Like
You can pinpoint the exact Color and Clarity you want. You can scope Diamonds and look at all the different Certificates on the market (I would only advise buying GIA or AGS). You can learn a lot by doing your homework first…
But that’s where it really ends.
Because, the stone you look at and fall in love with today, may not be there tomorrow.
Murphy’s Law on Diamonds
I’m sure that there’s a Murphy’s Law that states “The very next person that walks in the Jewelry Store will buy the exact Diamond you’re looking at“.
I’ve seen it happen time and time again.
There’s a good reason for this… Most stones that are Certified by GIA or AGS are high quality stones (because it costs money to Certify Diamonds and Certifying a low quality stone isn’t really worth it). So most Diamonds (GIA and AGS) that you find in the stores are going to be SI1 Clarity or higher in Clarity. Color will still vary greatly, but generally it’s Near Colorless (G,H,I,J) or Colorless (D,E,F).
So it’s pretty guaranteed that within the next day or so, someone else will also be looking for a similar Diamond (keep in mind there are only 7 main Colors on the market and 10 main Clarity grades).
This happens because of one thing… Scarcity!
Diamonds are Rare and Expensive
As you know, Diamonds are not cheap. Jewelers don’t carry dozens of Diamonds in every Color and Clarity in back stock. It doesn’t work this way. Most Jewelers will carry a couple VVS Diamonds, a handful of VS, an assortment of SI Clarity Diamonds and a generous amount of I Clarity stones (because they are abundant and cheap).
So this selection limits what you can find from Jeweler to Jeweler (there’s an SI1, H here, and an SI2, G there…).
It’s easy then to see that if you’re looking for a VS2, E Color Diamond (my favorite combo), then it’s a hot commodity. You will only find maybe 15 stones around the city. These will turn over fast. High Quality Sells!
A Diamond’s Life Span
If you’re out shopping and comparing Diamonds, gathering info and prices and knowledge, know one thing: A Diamond’s life span in the Jeweler’s Showcase is usually between one hour and 2 weeks max.
Of course, you really never know for sure when someone will buy it, but generally the higher Clarity (SI1 or higher) Diamonds go fast!
This means if you take 2 weeks to hit every store, and finally find the one single stone you just can’t live without (for the right price), you go back, and they sold the Diamond.
You’re right back at the starting point…
Back at the Very Beginning!
What a Waste of Time and Effort. Now you have to pick the second best…
If that’s still there!
Plus, there’s one more thing that happens: It toys with your Emotions.
Seriously! I’ve seen people get really depressed over losing the Diamond they want. It’s almost heart-breaking.
People fall in love with stones and get attached to them. It’s no wonder that this let down can affect you.
This is why I always say “Don’t wait too long to make your purchase“. The sooner the better. Diamonds and Deals Don’t Wait! They get snatched up by happy people in happy homes.
If you’re in the market to buy a Diamond, try to keep it within a reasonable short time. I advise no more than 2 weeks (2 days really).
But there’s one more thing you can do…
Have the Jeweler hold the Diamond for you
Some Jewelers will do this, others won’t. Some may only hold it to the end of the day. You can’t blame them either. Holding a Diamond takes it off the floor and keeps them from selling the stone. And if you change your mind, they lose all the way around.
Plus, holding stones for people never works out great, because if they find a better stone somewhere else (usually based upon price), they never have enough respect to call the previous Jeweler and let them know that they won’t be buying their stone.
No Call. No Show. Nothing!
This is why most Jewelers won’t hold stones for customers. So it leaves only 3 options for the consumer:
- Take your Chances
- Buy the Diamond
- Put the stone in Layaway
Let’s take a closer look…
1) Take your Chances
People say the silliest thing when it comes to purchases “If it’s meant to be, the Diamond will still be here“. Silly Rabbit… It makes me wonder how serious these people are when it comes to Diamond Shopping. Are they just playing games? I would imagine that they would lose a lot of opportunities in life thinking that way. It can’t be very productive.
But, if that’s what they want to believe, then so be it. Take your chances, settle for what life gives you! Just cross your fingers if you do…
2) Buy the Diamond
Here’s something that many people don’t think through. If they buy it NOW, they aren’t stuck with it. There is a Return Policy!!!
Sounds crazy, but hear me out…
You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. If you decide that you want to keep the Diamond, it’s yours. You don’t have to worry about it being sold. If you find a better deal somewhere else, return it. No biggie.
Now before you do all this, check the Jewelry Store’s Return Policy! Some don’t have one. And some don’t have one on certain sales or deals “Our Million Dollar Diamond Sale is All Sales Final!“
Make sure they offer a 100% Full Refund with no penalties or restocking fees.
You want to be able to get all of your money back if it doesn’t work out.
Note that many Return Policies are anywhere from 1 Week to 90 Days. It gives you plenty of time to shop and compare. Just ask about their policies and read the fine print up front.
But, there is a better way…
3) Put the Stone in Layaway
Just about every Jewelry Store that I know of offers a Lay-A-Way plan (I believe all are Interest Free).
This will hold the Diamond and the price for the length of the layaway. But… You have to shop smart.
Check their layaway policies before you proceed. Some plans only give you 30 days for a full refund. Some then say all the money paid into the Diamond will have to be spent in the store elsewhere. Some also have huge restocking fees… FIND OUT!
Layaway is great and does give you a little extra time to make your final decision.
I believe layaway is the best choice. It’s simple, effective and it works!
I’ve even had people bring in other Certified Diamonds that they’ve purchased elsewhere to compare our Diamond to. Putting them side by side (without getting them confused) is awesome for seeing the true Beauty and Sparkle. Nothing beats the visual eye test.
You can see the differences between Inclusions and Flaws and really make an unbeatable comparison.
I will say this tactic is not always the best option, and here’s why:
- The Salesperson is bias and will try to knock the competitor’s Diamond (you really can’t blame them for this).
- The Jeweler could accidentally (or purposefully) swap out your stone for a low quality Diamond (Diamond Switching). You could leave their store with a poor quality or even a fake Diamond… Proceed with caution!
Only do this if you can positively, without a doubt, identify your Diamond… Or, if your Diamond is Laser Inscribed and you can view those etchings on the Girdle before you leave the store!
The Bottom Line
If you shop for Diamonds, especially ones for an Engagement Ring, don’t take 2 months to do it. It will only end up wasting your time and the Jewelers.
Get Educated first. Read my posts! Ask me any questions about Diamonds with my Diamond Guide Q&A. Then go and Shop and Compare…
Plus, when you’re ready to buy, you’ll also get much better deals because money does talk! When Jewelers see you are serious about buying Diamonds, you’ll then see some serious deals.
For example, if you buy online from James Allen (who I highly recommend), and use “RINGSUM” at checkout, you’ll get an additional 10% off your Mounting!
That was easy! :)
It keeps you from hearing that dreaded line “Sorry, it’s Sold!“
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About the Author
Author Richard Scott. Certified Diamontologist and Gemologist. 30 years of experience.
Let Richard help you choose the best diamond, the most dazzling engagement ring, and save as much money as possible. Read more about the author here. Follow Richard on social media; Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. Contact Richard Scott here.