We all prefer owning the absolute best in fine jewelry, but top quality usually comes with a high price tag. Those beautiful jewelry pieces you see in the storefronts of Tiffany’s and Cartier are the absolute dream, but they are not for everyone.
Although quality things aren’t cheap, fine jewelry will always make a significant investment. Whether you are looking for a few pearl rings to add to your collection or shopping for bridal earrings for your big day, these tips will help you get the most bling for your buck.
#1: Know What to Look For
Whether you like classic pearls, extravagant diamonds, gold, or platinum, when shopping for fine jewelry, you must know the market and what to look for in a piece. If you don’t know the difference between karats and carats, you are not ready to go shopping yet. Karats are a way of measuring the proportion of gold in metal out of 24 parts. 24 karats mean pure gold, 18 karats mean 75% gold and 25% other metals, and so on.
On the other hand, carats are the measurement of the weight of a gemstone, such as a diamond. But unlike gold, carats are not the only indicator of value for a diamond. Cut, color, and clarity are also important factors in determining the quality of a stone.
So, make sure you know your 4Cs, to ensure that you don’t overpay for a lower-quality diamond. And when it comes to pearls, they are valued based on shape, size, surface, type, and luster. Freshwater pearls are generally less valuable than saltwater pearls. High luster is cheaper than a more extensive, perfectly-round shape and smooth surface.
#2: Use Coupons and Cashback Apps
You’re leaving money on the table if you’re not using coupons and cashback apps for all your purchases. Websites like Savings.com, Retailmenot.com, Dontpayfull.com, and Couponchief.com offer thousands of coupons for different retailers. You can get fantastic deals by using coupons, but keep in mind that the offers change all the time, so keep an eye out for the one you want.
Cashback websites and apps, such as Tada, Rakuten, Be Frugal, also make it easy to save money while shopping for jewelry by receiving sign-up bonuses, rewards, points, and cash on your purchases from the partner websites. Practically, you get paid to shop, and we love the idea.
#3: Compromise on Carat Weight and Stone
A great way to save money when shopping for fine jewelry is to opt for a 14k gold or 18k gold piece. It will look the same as a 24-karat piece, but it will be much cheaper. Also, if you want to save money on your diamond jewelry, opt for a 0.90-carat stone instead of a total 1.00-carat diamond, as it will be much cheaper and look just like the 1.00-carat diamond to the untrained eye.
This simple trick can help you save up to 25% on your diamond jewelry, so be sure to consider it when shopping for diamonds. However, you could always opt for a lab-grown diamond instead of an earth-mined diamond, as they can be even 50% cheaper since they don’t require a complex process to produce them. Plus, lab-grown diamonds are far more environmentally friendly than earth-mined gems, and you will never be able to see a difference between them.
#4: Don’t Be Afraid of Preloved Jewelry
Why spend thousands extra for a brand-new piece of fine jewelry when you can save a lot by buying preowned pieces? Online auction websites such as CataWiki and LiveAuctioneers are perfect for finding investment pieces, vintage and exclusive jewelry, diamonds, and gemstones.
Always ask for authentication certificates, appraisals, or valuation for any piece you want to buy, which are documents provided by the jeweler or seller that detail the item’s value. If they can’t provide that for you, ask the auction house if they can hold your payment in escrow until you can get your piece appraised.
#5: Know When to Shop
If you are not in a rush and want the best deals on your fine jewelry piece, wait until March, April, and the beginning of May. This period comes with the best prices, just before the engagement ring season but right after the holiday season.
Avoid shopping for fine jewelry during significant holidays like Christmas or Valentine’s Day, as it is unlikely that you will find any discounts during this period. Sign up for your favorite jewelry retailers‘ newsletters if you want early access to sales and other discounts. Signing up usually comes with a discount code, and the newsletter will give you the info you need, so you don’t miss out on big end-of-season sales.
#6: Stay Away From Popular Shapes, Colors, and Designs
It’s easy to fall in love with a gorgeous designer piece, but those jaw-dropping rocks usually come with a price tag. If you are looking for an investment piece, it would be a good idea to avoid shopping at brand stores and opt for a lesser-known but verified retailer. Use Trustpilot for reviews on your chosen store, or check the Better Business Bureau for complaints against that particular retailer.
As tempting as it may be, try to avoid jewelry trending amongst celebrities, as you will pay 10% more for your jewels. The same is valid for diamonds. The most popular shape has always been the round cut, but this particular shape usually costs 20% to 25% more than all other shapes.
#7: Shop From an Online Fine Jewelry Marketplace
Online marketplaces, such as Sears.com, are a great way to save money on your fine jewelry as they connect verified sellers directly to buyers. This allows you to bypass the middleman, often a retailer, resulting in obtaining the best prices on your fine jewelry pieces.
This tip could help you save up to 70% on your gems. Plus, all sales are guaranteed by each marketplace, so make sure to check their policies for any limitations that may apply.