Buying a Diamond

Even in a less-than-sparkling economy, engagement and wedding rings remain a priority for couples planning to walk down the aisle.  “No matter what the state of the economy, couples want and deserve beautiful rings that create memories and mark the occasion in a special way,” says Elan Effune owner of Alexa Rose Fine Jewels in Scottsdale Arizona. 

The following simple steps will assist couples to see they can afford their dream rings…

Get to know your perfect diamond.  “When shopping for a diamond ring, it’s important to love everything about the gem — including your ideal carat size, cut, color and the clarity,” says Effune, a third-generation jewelry expert and store owner.  He is originally from South Africa, the home of the world’s premier diamonds.

“By defining your ideal stone, you’re more likely to stay within your defined budget,” he adds.  Most often, the diamond is the most expensive part of the engagement or wedding ring. Remember: It’s important to buy a diamond that is GIA, AGS or EGL-certified in order to ensure the highest quality. 

Shop around and know your prices.  “Once you know the qualities of your ideal diamond, you can comparison-shop with confidence. The carat, cut, color, clarity of your perfect diamond are standardized,” Effune explains.   His advice:  Shop via the Internet and in a variety of stores in order to find and to verify the best prices.

Go Bigger and Better—on Sale!  “In difficult times larger diamonds go on sale,” says Effune.  “Currently, the market is flooded with larger diamonds and there is an opportunity to pick up a bargain.”  Diamonds that are two carats or larger are now 10 to 15 percent lower in cost.  “For those married folks who want to upgrade their stone, now may be a great time to do so,” he notes.

Deal with a reputable company.  Reputable companies are rated by or affiliated with the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT). Many companies are JBT-rated, including popular Internet sites, such as Blue Nile. Equally important is the company’s return or exchange policy, so read any fine print carefully.  Look for jewelers who extend credit or offer payment terms.  Solid jewelry establishments have the ability to extend credit or offer payment terms to you. 

Recycle the perfect gem.  Do you have a stone you love?  Perhaps it’s a diamond or other fine gem you’ve inherited from a loved one or received from your sweetheart.  Placing the gem in a new setting can give it new life and create wonderful, new memories.  By providing the jewel and paying for only the setting, you’ll have a beautiful, new ring at a lower cost!

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