“Diamonds are Forever” is one example of a ongoing campaign that is aimed to make you believe as a consumer, that diamonds have value and are desirable. Diamond rings are a scam. They are completely overpriced and we accept this because we have been trained. This article is mainly focusing on engagement rings, but it applies to all jewelry.
Now I can for-see the first argument against my statement, which is “everything is inherently worthless, for example —gold bullion is the same way.” Well yes and no. If the world spirals into chaos and anarchy – Gold might be just as worthless as diamonds, but at least gold has a track record, being that it has been used as currency since around 3100 B.C. Diamonds on the other-hand have only had their new “value” for roughly 60-70 years. Diamonds were marketing campaign perfection. It doesn’t get any better. Also the gold argument is irrelevant because when you buy gold you buy it for roughly what is worth – and with retail diamonds – You ALWAYS PAY MORE THAN IT IS WORTH.
If you love someone, you show it through something that “lasts forever.” I would go so far to say – the price you pay even represents how much you love someone. But what is a diamond really worth?
Appraisals are a joke. Have you ever tried to actually sell your diamond? I guarantee that you will not get “appraised value”, because jewelry stores can’t even get close to this supposed value! It’s not uncommon for a ring to have an appraised value of $50,000 that can only fetch somewhere in the neighborhood of $15-20k. Go to a jewelry store and see how their jewelry is “substantially priced under appraised value”. If something was worth $20,000 — it is highly unlikely someone would sell it to you for $12,000 (unless it was stolen perhaps), in fact – it something was worth $20,000, logic would say they would have to charge you $20,000 + service fees to keep the business going. You can’t sell $20,000 of inventory for break-even and stay in business. Sadly, that $20,000 ring probably cost the business $6,000 (Disclaimer: I’m speculating the actual price).
You want the truth? The truth is – the minute you buy a large diamond you have carelessly thrown away hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Money that is likely to never be recovered even through appreciation.
Why must so many young couples start their marriage off by sacrificing their finances? Because we have been programed, indoctrinated – and it takes an open mind to say no to this trend. Furthermore it become almost an insult to tradition because this trend spans two generations. “My mother got a diamond… My grandmother got a diamond” (why shouldn’t I?)
I am here to offer you an alternative. Take that $5,000 you were going to spend on that small/medium sized ring and invest it in your happiness. Go on a trip to Europe, buy a home, or simply save the money and avoid starting your marriage with debt. Do not give it away to a middle-man jeweler. When you on eBay it is laughable how cheap jewelry is when you truly take out the middle-man – it is unbelievable (literally you will think something is wrong after researching).
If you simply must buy a ring – buy at market rates (eBay) – after getting it, take it to a jewelry store and pay for the ring to be cleaned and appraised. I wouldn’t be surprised if it appraised it at 400-700% what you paid.
Do not give in – I know its easy and the retailers seem so nice, but its easy to be nice when you are making hand over fist on each sale. Their margins are criminal. How strong is the diamond industry’s grasp on our culture? I am afraid of the consequences I would suffer if I did not fall in line and purchase a new retail diamond for my potential bride. The thought of buying a retail priced diamond makes me sick.
eBay examples of rings:
.55 carat, 14k White gold – $185 (appraised for $995 two years ago at Reeds Jewelers)
1.30 carat, 14k White Gold – $800 (implied appraised value $4,500
1.75 carat, 14k White Gold – $1299 or best offer, Has original receipts and in “like new condition”, Retail $4999.99
Let’s not forget you can get some major cash back on eBay as well.
Disclaimer: Always consult a professional for major purchases. Jewelers can be a great source for information, but be careful not to be talked into something you are not comfortable with. If you decide to purchase on eBay – be sure to confirm authentication of jewelry with a professional.