Buying Shy

“Buying Shy” is a term I coined. It’s one of my shrewdest and most valuable suggestions for saving money buying diamonds. Here’s what I mean by buying shy: Shopping for diamonds that weigh just under half-carat and full-carat weights. VIEW price tables for buying shy.
For example, instead of a 1-carat (100-point) diamond you’d buy a .90-carat diamond. Instead of a half-carat, you’d buy a .49-carat stone. It’s as simple as that. “But Fred,” you’re saying, “why should I buy a smaller diamond than I want?” The simple answer: to save a lot of money.
Because the price of a diamond jumps dramatically when it reaches a true half-carat or full carat, the advantage of buying shy is also pretty dramatic! And let’s see how much smaller we’re talking about. The diameter of a 1-carat diamond is 6.5 millimeters. The diameter of a shy .90-carat stone is 6.3 mm. The difference is the thickness of a piece of ordinary paper! Looking at the stones side by side you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference.
.50ct S I 1- I $1,596
.49ct S I 1- I $1,303 You save $293!
1.00ct S I 1- I $6,384
.90ct S I 1- I $5,147 You save $1,237!
1.50ct S I 1- I $11,172
1.49ct S I 1- I $9,512 You save $1,660!
2.00ct S I 1- I $17,024
1.90ct S I 1- I $14,151 You save $2,873!
You’ll notice that buying shy sometimes means a difference of 1 point and sometimes a difference of 10 points. And you’re thinking, “Why don’t I buy the .99-carat stone instead of the .90 carat stone? Won’t I still get the same price break and a slightly bigger stone?”
Yes, but the problem is finding that 99-pointer. Diamond cutters, who are well aware that the full one-carat stoneis worth quite a bit more than the 99-pointer, will cheat on the proportions a bit to get the stone up to the full carat. So don’t be obsessed with trying to get closer than 10 points on full-carated stones, but you will find .90s and 1.90s, etc. With half-carat and in-between sizes you will be able to get within 1 point, and find .49s, .69s, 1.49s and so forth. Diamond cutters, who are well aware that the full one-carat stone is worth quite a bit more than the 99-pointer, will cheat on the proportions a bit to get the stoneup to the full carat.
See article “True Weight”.
The one potential problem with buying shy is a psychological one. What sort of person is your True Love? If she’s going to be upset that you didn’t get the full carat, and will forever think of you as a cheapskate, then it may be worth the extra money.
Your fiance may never ask how big her 90-point diamond is, but if she does, you might say, “About a carat,” and leave it at that. I believe that happiness is a dream that becomes a reality and if she sees a diamond that is just what she dreamed of, she’ll be happy!
Of course, if you’re a practical couple and you decide to shop for the diamond together, you should both read this first and then decide what you’re going to shop for.
FRED’S ADVICE: Always buy shy! You’ll pay a lot less for a diamond that looks just as good.
Take a look at these tables to see how much you’ll save:

Click on the following sizes to see the “buying shy” comparison.

Learn about Clarity Grading Scales or Color Grading Scales.
By Fred Cuellar, author of the best-selling book How to Buy a Diamond. More questions? Ask the Diamond Guy

The founder and president of Diamond Cutters International, Fred Cuellar is one of the top diamond experts in the world, as well as a three-time Guinness Book record holder in jewelry design.
Fred Cuellar
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