Buying a diamond ring is one of the most important--- and most stressful--- things a man will do. The pressure is real to not only find a ring she’ll love, but to find a high-quality ring that fits their budget. Fortunately, with a few tips, men can spend less and actually get a better ring. At Blue Nile, we want you to be confident and ready, and we believe a solid foundation in the facts will provide you with the foundation you need when shopping. Here’s one right up front: Ignore absurd “rules” such as spending three month’s salary on a ring. That’s all marketing. There are no “rules.” Men should set a budget that they can comfortably afford and stick to it.
Here are a few more to ensure men say “I do” to the best ring at the best price:
- Do Your Homework: You don’t have to be an accomplished gemologist to buy a diamond, but shoppers must take the time to do research. The No. 1 fear diamond buyers have is – will I get ripped off making this purchase? With a little research on the education sections of sites like BlueNile.com, consumers can quickly become knowledgeable. In fact, they’ll likely end up knowing more than any behind-the-counter jeweler.
- Of The “Four C's,” Don't Sacrifice Cut: A diamond has four major characteristics - Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat weight, known as the Four C’s. Taken together, they determine a diamond's quality and price. All are important, but cut is the most critical because it determines a diamond's brilliance (sparkle). Even if a diamond has perfect color and clarity, if it has a poor cut, it will appear dull. And a diamond that sparkles more looks larger – another way to save. Want to learn more about the Four C's? Check out the video below
- Buy Shy to Save Big: Diamond prices increase disproportionally at the carat and half-carat marks, so shoppers should try to buy just shy of these levels. For example, instead of a one carat diamond, look for a .95. That will save a significant amount of money, and the slight size difference will never be noticed – especially if it has a high-quality cut.
- Make Sure It’s Legit: What should really be the Fifth C is independent certification. Insist that the diamond have an independent grading report from the GIA (Gemological Institute of America). The quality of diamonds accompanied by these grading reports is considered guaranteed. Independent certification is important. If the certificate comes from the jeweler itself, it's a bit like the fox guarding the hen house.
- Find the “Sweet Spot:” As a diamond’s color and clarity grade improves, its price increases. But at a certain point the human eye cannot detect the difference in grades. That makes paying for perfect color and clarity like paying someone to paint the bottom of your house. For the best value choose a near-colorless (graded G-H) instead of a colorless diamond (graded D-F), or an eye-clean (graded VS1-VS2) as opposed to a Flawless diamond.
- Your Phone Does More than Send Emoticons - Shop Around: Diamond specs from an independent grading report are ironclad. That means two diamonds with the same specs are the same, even if you can’t physically see them side-by-side. Smart consumers take these specs and visit several retailers, online and off, to compare prices apples-to-apples. Blue Nile’s 100,000 independently-certified diamonds are accessible by smartphone and tablet making real-time comparisons easy, and because the online jeweler lacks the overhead of traditional brick & mortar chains, consumers often find that they’re as much as 40% less for the same quality diamond.
- Be Smart About Returns: Just in case, make sure the jeweler has a good return policy. Believe it or not, some jewelers still only allow returns within 24 hours and a few don’t accept returns at all. Blue Nile offers 30-day returns, no questions asked.