How to save money on a round diamond engagement ring
Looking for the Best ROUND Diamonds
in Dallas, Texas?
It's not just the festive season that's almost upon us but the peak proposal season, too. Christmas Eve is the most popular day of the year for men to propose, with New Year's Eve not far behind.
Experts say those popping the question don't necessarily need to spend more to get bigger diamonds or more impressive jewellery, they just need to know a few tricks of the trade.
Alastair Smith, a Briton living in Sydney, spent six months researching the market to make sure he got his now-wife's dream ring at the very best price. He's written a book about his search.
How To Buy An Engagement Ring explains what kind of retailers men should approach, how to save thousands of pounds on diamonds, and how to get the exact diamond you want.
"Most men like to think they know their partner pretty well, but the reality is that guys often get it wrong when it comes to engagement rings," says Smith, "The jewellery industry doesn't offer a centralised place for impartial information, meaning that men end up repeating the same mistakes as millions before them. Buying an engagement ring has changed, and there are thousands to be saved if you know what to look for and where to find it."
Before you start diamond shopping you need to understand the "4Cs": cut, colour, clarity and carat. Each diamond is priced individually according to the mix of the 4Cs.
So, now you know what you're looking for, where should you buy it?
The experts agree that anyone buying an engagement ring should give high street jewellers a miss and go online instead.
As with other online retailers, internet-only jewellers can offer cheaper deals as they avoid the overheads associated with running a shop. Make sure you shop around and only buy from a company with a good reputation and excellent, authentic reviews.
As well as saving up to 80% of the cost of a diamond, shopping online at certain sites allows buyers to match up the exact combination of the 4Cs that they want.
"Online has completely changed the diamond industry, as people now have their pick from hundreds of thousands of diamonds and rings, rather than just the handful that their local jeweller stocks," says Smith, "Going online gives guys access to the best choice and the best prices."
Smith eventually bought his fiancé's ring at ShiraDiamonds.com. Other online retailers he recommends include Zales.com, JamesAllen.com, Ritani.com and RobbinsBrothers.com.
If you're on a really tight budget you can give diamonds the swerve altogether and opt for an alternative stone such as a sapphire or zircon. Alternatively check with your relatives to see if there are any heirlooms waiting to be passed down. Not only is this option potentially free but jewellery with history can be much more meaningful and significant.