The Diamond App conducted a study to investigate online diamond prices and, in doing so, came up with this diamond infographic and these 7 money-saving techniques for buying a diamond ring. Over 10 million diamonds from multiple online diamond retailers were analyzed – nearly 500 million data points in total – and the results were compiled into this diamond infographic.
Online Diamonds Are Cheaper
You can save as much as 40% by buying your diamond online. In other words, you may spend 40% more if you choose to buy a diamond from your local jewelry store. A cheaper price online doesn’t mean that the diamond is of lesser quality. We are talking about the same exact diamond here; we are comparing apples to apple.
But how can online diamond retailers get away with selling the exact same diamond for a cheaper price? The main reason is because running an online business is much cheaper than running a brick and mortar store. Online business don’t have the overhead of owning or renting a physical building and paying as many employees so they can get away with offering their diamonds at lower prices.
Buying a diamond online comes with its own set of challenges, though. The most obvious one is that you don’t get to see the diamond in person before making the purchase. Here are a few ways to put your mind at ease when shopping for a diamond online:
- Check out diamonds at your local jeweler first. Then once you know what you want, purchase a similar diamond online and benefit from the cheaper price.
- Be on the lookout for online diamonds that have high-resolution photos and videos. These will give you a pretty good idea about what the diamond looks like.
- Most online diamond retailers have generous return policies on their diamonds. If you are not satisfied with the diamond, you can send it back for a refund.
After picking out a diamond that you like, you can have the online retailer set the diamond in a ring for you. If you prefer, you can choose to only purchase the diamond online and have your local jeweler mount the diamond on a setting.
Diamond Prices Are Not Set in Stone
A major finding by The Diamond App is that over 50% of diamonds change in price after being listed. Over 33% of diamonds had been reduced in price and 20% had increased in price.
The study also analyzed diamond purchase prices relative to listing prices and found that 1 in 5 diamonds were bought after a price increase occurred. Without knowing the price history, these customers unknowingly purchased their diamonds at inflated prices, giving the retailer a greater profit.
A website like The Diamond App allows users to view a diamond’s price history before buying, giving them confidence in their purchase. The Diamond App also allows users to track the price of diamonds and will notify them when a price change occurs.
The study didn’t investigate why diamond prices fluctuate, but it can be surmised that diamond retailers have dynamic pricing for some of their diamonds, which may be based on supply and demand. Whatever the reason may be as to why diamond prices change, it is very valuable to be able to track these changes and look at diamond’s price history prior to buying.
Buy Shy to Save Big
Price increases of up to 35% were found between diamonds just shy of half-carat or whole-carat intervals and diamonds at or just above these intervals. For example, buying a 0.95 carat diamond instead of a 1.0 carat diamond can result in significant savings with a negligible difference in physical size. According to the Gem Certification & Assurance Lab, diamonds between 0.95 and 0.99 carats have a diameter somewhere around 6.35 and 6.45 mm whereas a 1.0 carat diamond’s diameter is between 6.4 and 6.5 mm. The extra fraction of a millimeter is probably not worth a potential 35% price premium just to say that your diamond meets the arbitrary whole-carat threshold.
The reason for the price increases at half-carat and whole-carat intervals is a psychological one. Diamond cutters know that the majority of customers will be looking for a 0.5 carat, 1.0 carat, 1.5 carat, etc. diamond, so they cut their diamonds to be at or above these intervals. In the end, if you resist the unjustified temptation to purchase a diamond at or above these marks, you will save yourself some serious cash without sacrificing any noticeable size.
Clarity Is Costly but Not Critical
Clarity is a measure of a diamond’s internal and external flaws. A diamond without any flaws is graded as FL meaning it is flawless and has no imperfections. What’s important to know is that clarity has no impact on a diamond’s sparkliness.
According to the study by The Diamond App, 2 in 3 diamonds are graded as VS2 and above. In other words, the majority of diamonds are eye-clean, meaning defects cannot be seen with the naked eye. That means the naked eye cannot distinguish the difference in clarity between a VS2 diamond and a FL diamond. A microscope would be needed to see the difference.
On the other hand, any diamond with a clarity grade below VS2 comes with the risk of having visible flaws. Some SI1 diamonds are eye-clean, but be very careful when buying anything below VS2 online. With that being said, VS2 diamonds offer the best value for your money with minimal risk of having a visibly imperfect diamond.
It’s worth noting that, on average, diamond prices increase by 20% when going up each clarity grade. This means that, on average, a VS1 diamond will cost 20% more than a VS2 diamond, a VVS2 diamond will cost 20% more than a VS1 diamond, and so on. If you find yourself gravitating towards a more perfect diamond clarity, ask yourself, “Why should I pay more for something I can’t see?”.