One of the most exciting – and, dare we say it, romantic – things about buying a diamond is that there’s a small element of fate involved. Sure, you might not go in for all that stuff, but is there ever a better time to get a little head-in-the-clouds about the idea of a diamond, billions of years in the making, travelling thousands of miles to wind up in your city, at the exact time you’re looking for the perfect way to say, “How about spending the rest of our lives in love?” We think not.
One (major) caveat: there’s never a good time to take a head-in-the-clouds approach to buying a diamond. Wherever you are in the world, you’ve got to understand the process – know what to expect – and feel confident enough to put that knowledge and preparation to use.
Seattle is a great place to buy a diamond. It’s a city bursting with hidden gems for shoppers who know the basics – and where to look. Here are five steps to buying a diamond in Seattle.
For starters, do the groundwork
There’s a particular art to buying a diamond in Seattle, as there is in any part of the world, but a successful investment always starts from the same basic foundation: how much you know about diamonds.
A great place to start is with the GIA (AKA, the Gemological Institute of America), who specialize in providing trustworthy and highly accurate reports on diamonds. Since you’ll want to make sure that your diamond has been graded by the GIA, it’s a good idea to read up on their guide to the Four Cs of diamond quality.
That way, you can walk into the jewelry store without feeling like you’re starting from zero. A good jeweler will always talk you through these things, but it’s less overwhelming if you’re already up to speed on your diamond terminology.
Next, understand why you should buy a diamond in Seattle
The instant you start doing your own research into diamonds, you’re going to start to see plenty of sources pushing you this way and that, telling you exactly where to buy your diamond from.
In recent years, for instance, a handful of brands have made a lot of money advising shoppers to cut out the legwork, and buy their diamond online instead. Fortunately, an even greater number of shoppers have realized the pitfalls of doing so (namely, the fact that you’d be buying a big ticket item with a lot riding on it without ever seeing it first), and continued to support the bricks-and-mortar businesses in our communities.
Seattle is no different. It’s a city brimming with masterful jewelers, many of whom have been honing this historic craft for decades, and who are always ready to guide you through a process that, even with preparation and research, can be pretty daunting to shoppers.
If you live in or near Seattle, there’s no better place to turn to, since nowhere else can ensure an expert in his or her field is right around the corner. Plus, you get to support the very community you and your partner call home.
Thirdly, find a jeweler
Some cities, like New York and London, have their own ‘diamond districts’ – areas on the map that any diamond buyer can make a beeline towards when they’re ready to invest.
Seattle is a little different. We mentioned above that it boasts a thriving community of skilled jewelers, and it does, but they’re spread a little wider across the city. And, as with any city, there are stores you’ll want to add to the top of your list, and stores you probably won’t want to waste your time on.
We’d recommend steering away from the really obvious choices, since it’s way easier to save money if you stray from the usual path. For instance, if you’ve lived here any amount of time, you’ve probably passed Tiffany & Co. on Pike Place. It’s a beautiful store, but not one that caters to a wide range of budgets.
For that reason, there’s not much use to searching ‘jewelry stores’ on Google Maps and hitting up the first result you find. The site willyou.net was specifically designed to take that level of guesswork out of buying a diamond, and to provide shoppers with a tool for locating reputable, trustworthy, and quality jewelers in their area. It’s a pretty handy trick to keep up your sleeve, since it means you’ve always got access to a list of stores that have been pre-approved for shoppers just like you.
Once you’ve found a jeweler you like the look of, you’ll want to arrange an initial consultation. This is your chance to talk through ideas, see some styles in person (maybe even for the first time) and let your jeweler weigh in with their own thoughts. Don’t expect to walk away from this appointment with a ring in hand; arrange it in plenty of time before you expect to propose – between two to three months, ideally.
Prepare to negotiate
One of the biggest benefits to shopping from a real, established jewelry store – and building a professional relationship with your jeweler – is that prices aren’t set in stone like they are at the big online stores. Plenty of jewelers are open to a little friendly negotiation, particularly if you’re buying your diamond as part of a bridal set, for instance.
For that reason, you don’t need to get too caught up on timing your consultation with a seasonal sale. A lot of the time, they’re a much bigger deal online than they are in the real world. Plan your visit according to your plans, not the Christmas rush, and don’t be shy about ‘talking numbers’ with your jeweler.
While Seattle is not home to a world-famous diamond district, it’s actually a great place to buy a diamond – particularly if you’re lucky enough to call the area home. Sure, nabbing the best deal possible might require you to think a little further afield than Pike Place, but that’s certainly not the hard part. The real struggle starts when you’ve got to make that final decision the diamonds laid out in front of you. Trust us, life won’t be the same again.