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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Is it Safe to Purchase a 1.5 Carat Diamond Size Engagement Ring Online? My High School Gut Says No, but I'm an Idiot So What Do I Know Any Way?!


To my surprise as I was watching GMA (Good Morning America) earlier this week, there were people who felt extremely comfortable and had a sense of safety when they were trying to purchase a 1.5 carat diamond size engagement ring through online jewelry stores (e.g., Blue Nile, White Flash, Ice, etc.).  Not only that, since the discounts were so deep on the majority of these sites, it was their preference to buy online versus going to the local Robbins Brothers brick and mortar outlet and putting $12,000 on their American Express card (or heading out to Tiffany’s and plunking down $18,000 for the same ring!!).

When I was doing my own research and pricing in the summer of 2004, there was no way I would even consider making that dollar size of a purchase through one of these fly by night websites (which I thought they were back then) that looked like the steal of the century in comparison to the outrageous prices that the jewelers at the mall were promoting.  I just couldn’t think of letting one of these sites take my hard earned dollars (equivalent to 2-3 months of salary), especially after I learned how to properly evaluate the 4 C’s (cut, clarity, color and cost) and then send me my final diamond ring choice through FedEx or UPS.  That just sounded too shady to me at the time.

Fast forward to the present day, and lo and behold there are now engagement rings 3 or 4 times the size being sold on highly trustworthy websites such as Amazon.com and Wal-Mart.com, that carry money-back guarantees as well as the trusted brand names that come with the discounted price tag.  Like I mentioned on my last blog article, the immediacy of our culture has helped perpetuate these buying trends and has kept us from driving down to that local jewelry store, and instead moved us to a quicker more efficient buying experience online (it could be the increase in gas prices that’s contributed to this as well!).

All in all, as evidenced by one ring's bargain price of $1 MILLION (down from it’s retail cost of $1.6 MILLION!), at least we can find comfort in knowing that we can now save at least one month of salary by turning on our Macbook Pro or iPad 2 and doing all of our research, education and pricing (and buying!) all from the comfort of our own homes, and won't have to make that long and arduous trek to Zale's at the local mall. 

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