Attention all men: Valentine’s day is ten days away. It is February 14th this year… as it was last year and the year before and the year before that. You have no excuse not to know that Valentine’s Day is coming.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s decide what to get her. Flowers? Rote. Chocolates? Fattening. Lingerie? Tacky. Diamonds? Ahhh… good choice! But what should you look for when investing in a diamond that will ensure a night of hot naughtiness and a weekend free from the “honey do” list?
Diamond industry veteran Ira Weissman http://www.truthaboutdiamonds.com/ has come up with 5 tips to follow before buying the gal (or guy) in your life a pricy bauble. Weissman has traveled the world buying and selling diamonds and now dedicates his time to helping consumers make the most of their diamond buying decisions. He has done all the leg work, now it’s up to you to learn from his experience!!
Top 5 Diamond Buying Tips for Valentines Day
1. Buy Online – For the most part, jewelry stores mark up their diamonds over 100% of their wholesale cost. You might get a pretty light blue box shopping at Tiffany & Co, but is it worth 50% more of your money going toward their profit margin instead of a better/larger diamond?
2. Go Lower in Color - Diamond color is graded from completely colorless (D) down to Z (obvious yellow tinting),. The biggest mistake regarding color that people make arises when an uninformed customer is faced with these 8 different grades. The natural assumption is that K must be "the worst" and, you'd be best off sticking with the top half of the scale (i.e., G or better). The fact is that an ideal cut round diamond will still look completely white when viewed from the top even in a J color. Assuming all else is equal, a J color diamond will cost about half of a G color diamond.
3. Go Lower in Clarity - Diamond clarity is graded from Flawless (the best) to Included (the lowest grade) Remember, all that really matters (in terms of a diamond's beauty) is whether or not a diamond's inclusions are visible to the naked eye. As with jumps in color, jumps in clarity can lead to huge differences in price.
4. Choose Carats Wisely - When diamonds are bought and sold on the wholesale level, the price that's negotiated is not the total price to be paid, but rather the price per carat. As diamonds go up in size, their prices per carat increase as well. And since their carats are increasing at the same time, diamond prices increase exponentially as they go up in size. The diamond market is one that's built on a house of cards of perceptions and emotions. Since there's a psychological and emotional advantage to getting a "full size" (i.e., 0.50ct, 0.70ct, 1.00ct), prices per carat jump only at these points.
5. Try an Alternative to Diamonds – Weissman predicts that colored gemstones (in particular Emeralds) are going to make a major comeback in the coming years in bridal jewelry. Color experts Pantone have already declared "Emerald Green" to be the color of the year for 2013. Emeralds are significantly cheaper than diamonds as well because there are no supply constraints in the market and because there haven't been billions of dollars of marketing spent convincing you to blow a month's salary on one.
Oh, and in case you forgot…. Valentine’s Day is still Feburary 14th! And I’m actually partial to emeralds!
Guest reporter Karen V. Stevens is a segment television producer, USC booster and media/pr consultant living in Los Angeles, California. You can follow her on Twitter