Quality jewelry is expensive, and the issue is made even worse by jewelry stores. By now, it’s common knowledge to most people that diamonds aren’t as rare as they’re made out to be. Yet, their price tag hardly seems to reflect that fact.
Other than superstition or social pressure, there’s nothing wrong in buying a secondhand engagement ring. Think about it for a second. If every couple had a brand new engagement ring and no one ever bought secondhand, we’d have an abundance of engagement rings being melted down or scrapped as parts.
If you’re environmentally conscious, you’ll know that it’s better to reuse than to recycle. So, here’s how to buy an engagement ring responsibly.
Engagement rings that are no longer used or wanted (unless they’re sent off to be scrapped or passed on to family) tend to find their way to pawn shops.
Sometimes this isn’t for positive reasons, such as someone defaulting on a loan where they offered their ring as collateral. However, it could also be that family members have sold it after a loved one passed away.
Whatever the reason, a ring found at the pawn shop is almost always cheaper than one bought on consignment from a jeweler.
Find a Specialist
If possible, try to find a pawn shop that specializes in jewelry. Often times, these places make sure to carefully verify the nature of any and all items they have.
If the items are set up as collateral, this ensures the shop won’t be scammed and that the ring is properly cared for.
As a bonus to you, the rings you shop for here are guaranteed as quality, and the shop knows exactly what they’re worth – which is accurately reflected in the price. On one hand, you may not find a hidden treasure going for pennies, but you also won’t buy a cheap ring that’s overpriced.
While it’s typically more expensive to buy from a jeweler than a pawn shop, it can give peace of mind to those who are worried about getting bamboozled.
However, that peace of mind isn’t always cheap. While secondhand stores and jewelry consignment stores are cheaper than buying new jewelry, they often employ more highly trained staff. Additionally, they may have more security, as their whole shop is full of jewelry as opposed to the smaller jewelry collection of a pawn shop. These kinds of additional expenses can reflect in the price tag of the jewelry.
Overall, any of these options are much cheaper than buying from a jewelry store. It’s similar to how buying a used car is always significantly cheaper than buying a new car.
The “Poor Man’s Engagement Ring”
If you’re uncomfortable buying secondhand, there is (what some people refer to as) the “poor man’s engagement ring.” This is comprised of a sterling silver band with a synthetic (or “created”) sapphire. The price tag can hover somewhere around $200, depending on where you buy it.
Though the concept of a diamond engagement ring isn’t as expected in modern days, there’s no shame in hiding the fact that you bought or own a white sapphire instead of a diamond. Most people will never know the difference.