Robbie from the Cheap Engagement Rings Guide tells the Preloved community what to look for when shopping for a bargain diamond ring.
Love is priceless, but engagements and weddings can be eye wateringly expensive. Buying a preloved engagement ring is one way to keep costs down, with the potential to save hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
Unlike gold, diamonds plunge in value when they have had a previous owner, so there are real bargains to be had if you look around and pick carefully. With a bit of searching you could pick up an engagement ring which originally sold for £1000 for as little as a couple of hundred pounds in the second hand market. Rings which might sell for a couple of thousand pounds in the high street will likely sell for a few hundred pounds on Preloved.
Whilst some people turn their nose up at second hand jewellery, others realise that there are cracking deals to be had. In the case of engagement rings, it isn’t unusual to find someone selling a ring which has only been worn for a matter of days or weeks and so is in near mint condition.
You will probably need to pay get the ring resized, but that should only cost about £30 from a local jeweller so that certainly won’t gobble up all the money you have saved.
Before you rush to get down on one knee, it’s important to do a bit of research to ensure that you are getting what you’ve paid for.
Most engagement rings will come with a grading certificate from an organisation such as GIE or IGI which provides a rating of its cut, clarity, colour and carat. Many legitimate jewellers sell diamonds without these certificates but a ring holds its value a little better if it has been formally certified.
In the absence of a grading certificate, you may get some reassurance if the buyer can provide a receipt or the original ring box. If it is a distinctive design and was bought recently from a big name retailer, they may be able to provide a link to the original product as evidence of its original value.
Without any evidence of what the ring is, the buyer is in a strong position to pick up a bargain or consider haggling down on price.
Once you’ve found a diamond ring you like the look of you’ll want to decipher the grading certificate to figure out if the price is fair:
- Carat refers to the weight of the diamond, with typical engagement rings ranging from 0.10 carat to 1.0 carat, although of course you can buy much larger diamonds if you have very deep pockets.
- A diamond which is perfectly white is given a colour rating of D, with the scale usually extending through to Z for a yellow stone.
- The diamond’s clarity is based on the number of imperfections, many of which are only noticeable under a magnifying glass. Scales vary, but a common scale ranges from IF (internally flawless) through to I3 for a diamond with the most ‘inclusions’ or imperfections.
- Put another way, it defines how well the diamond’s facets interact with the light.
The value of the ring is also affected by the type of metal used to hold the diamond in place. White or yellow gold is the most common material with 9 carat being much cheaper than 18 carat. Platinum is another option and generally costs even more than 18 carat gold.
So, take a look at those five factors and you’ll start to get an understanding of whether you are getting a good price (and if you go for a second hand ring, you will have a good head start in being able to afford the wedding!).
Good luck – I hope the answer is yes!
For more advice visit The Cheap Engagement Rings Guide.