There are certain items that are a great bargain at various times in the year. TV’s in February. Mattresses in May. Suits in June. But a little known fact is that summer time is one of the best times of the year to buy an engagement ring. Granted, we think that any time is a great time to buy a diamond, but here’s why summer is one of the best.
Off peak engagement season:
If you’re wondering what on earth engagement season is you’re not alone! Engagement season is an actual phenomenon that occurs every year between Thanksgiving and Valentines Day, when over a third of all couples get engaged. Call it holiday romance, or chalk it up to time spent as a couple with the family, but this time of year often means a holiday proposal. However, the summer months are when most weddings occur. So jewelers are focused more on serving the needs of the bride’s wedding day jewelry and wedding bands for couples, so many offer specials on engagement rings at this time. With all these wedding invitations rolling in, engagement is probably already on both of your minds – now is the perfect time to surprise her with an amazing ring. Another bonus? You two can celebrate your newly engaged bliss without sharing in this special time with the 3 couples who got engaged last week and the two who will the next week.
Financing Slow Season:
A great perk of buying a diamond through your local jeweler is the financing option. This incentive offers you enormous flexibility in paying for your engagement ring. Rather than taking up space on your credit card or completely depleting your saving account, financing through your local jeweler is a great long-term way to pay for the perfect engagement ring. Plus, because we are so far out from the holidays, your ring will likely be paid off by the time the large financial burden of the holiday season rolls around.
Diamond prices down:
Another reason to buy a stone now is particular to the diamond industry at this time. This year, diamond prices have fluctuated slightly more than normal. If you’re in the market for an engagement ring, or think you will be soon, now is an excellent time to be a customer.
As always, the best way to get a good deal on a diamond is by educating yourself first. The same advice we always give applies year round:
- Be flexible on shape: if you’ve got your heart set on a round diamond (or, more likely, she does) know that you’ll be paying more for it than you would for a “fancy” shape with otherwise same qualities. Rounds are the most popular because of their brilliant cut, lack of corners to chip, and good surface area to carat weight ratio. Cushion cuts are the next most popular, and come at a premium because they’re in high demand. Princess cuts are also hot, though they tend to carry a lot of their weight on the bottom of the stone where it can’t be seen. Pears, radiants, emeralds, ovals and marquise diamonds will help you save.
- Consider estate, vintage and antique rings. Not only are they gorgeous, with unique and hand crafted looks, they’re less expensive than “new” rings. Also bear in mind that technically all diamonds are billions of years old. The only thing new in a new ring is the mounting, and even that’s made from minerals mined from the earth for the last couple thousand of years. So save yourself a couple thousand – or even a few hundred, by looking at estate jewelry first. If you want a more modern setting, an antique diamond can always be re-mounted.
- Look for a diamond a few points shy of your ideal carat weight to avoid the price increases at the carat and half carat marks. For example, a 1.38 carat diamond instead of a 1.5 carat diamond.
- Color is a great asset for stretching your budget. Skip the colorless grades of D-F and look for a stone in the near colorless range. The more facets your particular diamond cut has, the higher into the alphabet you can go without affecting the stone’s beauty.
- You can’t skimp on the cut grade. Look for very good or excellent so your stone – no matter the size or color – will sparkle the way a diamond should.
- Lastly, bear in mind that certain shapes are more forgiving on their clarity grades. Brilliant cuts like round, pears, princess and ovals can hide the miniscule flaws of VS and even SI stones very well, potentially saving you thousands of dollars. A step cut, like emerald or Asscher should have a higher clarity grade of VVS or better to maximize their beauty, so a lower carat weight – but better clarity and color – is the way to go when buying these diamonds on a budget.
You can learn more about diamonds with our in-depth 4 C’s web series that breaks down the GIA’s diamond grading criteria. We highly suggest using this guide as a starting place for consumer education. You can also visit www.GIA.edu for great information and tips. But before you even start your search, learn about diamonds. Then find a jeweler you trust, whether it’s your local jeweler, or you visit our online store or showroom in Boca Raton, and let us help you choose the perfect ring for a fabulous summer engagement.