“Hi my name is Carol Clarke and I would like to welcome you to my blog
in which I write about jewellery matters and try to reply
to any questions I am asked on a daily basis”

Interview With Carol Clarke by Paul Gian, Author of “The Consumer’s Guide to Buying Diamonds”

Recently, we were asked to provide an expert opinion for an interview with Beyond4Cs; a website dedicated to consumer education. Over 100 industry experts were interviewed including appraisers, wholesalers and retailers. Here’s the excerpt of our response from the write up:

When do I think is the best time to buy an engagement ring?

Well the answer to that question is another question: For what reason do you want to buy an engagement ring? I have found that people buy diamond rings for different reasons. Some for love, some for investments and some just for fun. I think if you are buying a diamond ring for reasons “of love” then anytime should be the best time to buy the ring. Go with your heart and not your head. When I opened my own jewellery shop 32 years ago, an engagement ring was all about the “ring”. That means the design, the beauty and the workmanship of the ring. The couples buying the ring had no interest in the colour, clarity, or cut of the diamond as it was all so romantic and it was all about “love”. They were so in love with the ring that the diamond was not important! Today, it is a completely different matter and personally I don’t think that “love” comes in to it very much. Today, it is all about the colour, the clarity, the cut, the fluorescence, the certificate and very little about the ring that is holding it! I am not saying that there is anything wrong about being informed about what you are buying but from my experience it has all become “too clinical”and lacks real romance and spontaneity.

The diamond market has also become so competitive that young couples seem to spend weeks and weeks traipsing around every internet site, shop, wholesaler fighting to get the lowest price that they can get… where is the romance in that? So if you are buying a diamond for “love”. I would say go for what you “love” and the look that suits your budget at a time that is right for you.

Now, if you are buying a diamond ring solely as an investment and hope to sell it on in another few years or so, I would suggest that you buy it at an auction at one of the quieter times when there are fewer bidders. So in Europe, that would be around February , June, July or August. These months would be considered “quiet months” in the jewellery auction trade. So you may pick up a good bargain as there may be nobody bidding against you.

If you are buying a diamond over one carat and the diamond does not have a recognized laboratory certificate like GIA or HRD, then it would be advisable to pay a qualified gemmologist to grade and examine the diamond before you buy it. The diamond is not a good investment if it has chips or cracks in it. You need it to be in the best of condition possible in order to be able to profit on it in the future. Nowadays, if you can’t get to an auction yourself you can bid online or have a personal bidder work for you so one can now buy from any auction worldwide. There are so many choices out there and many good bargains to be found. If you are buying a diamond for “fun”, I say just go with your heart and buy what you want, when you want it. Life is too short to spend too much time contemplating everything so much!

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