Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but every girl still needs to pick the stone for her engagement ring wisely. Today we're diving into behind-the-scenes details you didn't know about diamonds and the stores in which they're sold. For example, are those Four C's really that important? How much of a retail markup are we talking about here? And what kinds of sales tactics should buyers be aware of? With help from pros who work in the business, we're laying it all out there for you.
There Isn't a "Diamond Season"
Lawn mowers go on sale in the fall, Christmas trees hit rock bottom prices in early January. But diamonds? They're purchased year 'round, and therefore don't experience much of a price fluctuation.
"Diamonds are commodities, and prices are based on fair market value. This means that there isn't necessarily an optimum time of year to make a purchase," says Tirath Kamdar, a 10-year jewelry business veteran and the CEO of TrueFacet, on online marketplace for pre-owned jewelry. "Savvy consumers can follow the market through Rapaport, but prices don't rise and fall all that drastically. Make the purchase when you're ready and buy what you love."
If you're all about snagging a good deal, consider shopping for vintage and antique rings. Kamdar says these are typically priced lower than buying new, and are beautiful and unique.
The Markup Ranges from 20% to 250%
We'll preface this by saying that every operation has different markup strategies. Still, every store must markup the price, otherwise no profit will be made. We asked a handful of diamond retailers about markup percentages, and their answers varied from as little as 20% (especially for online retailers), to as much as 250%. Most fall somewhere in between a wholesale markup of 100% to 200%, though.