Jul 112011
 

When it comes to gold and diamonds it’s possible to look and find good prices…but AMAZINGLY low prices don’t really exist.

There are tons of commercials which tout unrealistic prices for jewelry like, “6 carats of diamonds in a gold tennis bracelet for $999.00.”  Anyone with a partially functioning brain should recognize something has to give here, even if they can’t figure out what it is that’s fishy.

The main reason you aren’t going to find a “fantastic” price on gold or diamonds is because they’re both global commodities and prices are fairly standard throughout the world. What you will find are a lot of phoney 50%-60%-70% off sales, which deceive you into believing you’re getting more for your money than you actually are. The reason these companies can get away with this is because jewelry is considered a luxury product in the U.S., and the government has very few regulations on how it’s sold.  So, “Buyer Beware” is especially true in jewelry buying. Too many stores have resorted to deceiving the customer, and here’s part of the reason why.

About 20 years ago, the large chain and department store marketing departments tried an experiment.  They attempted to sell non gem quality diamonds in tennis bracelets.  These were industrial diamonds meant for grinders and drilling, and are extremely low quality.  This material costs about $60 per carat, but looks like a broken up ice cube.  Well, the experiment to see if a certain percentage of jewelry buyers were even paying attention to the items they bought was a success.  They found about 20% of buyers either didn’t care or didn’t pay enough attention, and made the purchase.

Let’s fast forward to today, where that once risky experiment is being applied to everything, including engagement rings.  Not only did they discover they could sell previously unethical industrial diamonds in gem settings to unsuspecting consumers, but they also experimented with mounting them in rings that were so lightweight they could not be made durable no matter what the design.  So the jewelry industry adopted a new standard for selling which had never been accepted before… “If it sells, we’re gonna offer it, regardless of whether the consumer understands what they’re buying or not.”  Wow!

It was 1987 and everything changed.  The average citizen hadn’t a clue what was happening in the jewelry industry, or that what once was considered underhanded salesmanship would come to be “business as usual” in the U.S.  Sadly, this practice was even adopted by many of the good stores who were tired of constantly explaining to every customer why they saw such a big price difference when comparing to prices in the advertising fliers from other stores.

There is nothing wrong with searching out a good deal, just be careful. If you care about the quality of gemstones and the durability of the mounting, make this clear to the salesperson so they don’t compromise quality while trying to quote you a better price than the competition. Every retailer knows that consumers believe they can find a great deal, and too many of them are well versed in making you believe you’re getting that gorgeous piece of jewelry at an “AMAZINGLY low price!”

Read How Much Should a Diamond Cost?

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