How To Buy an Impressive Engagement Ring– From a Pawn Shop

She deserves the world, even if you can’t afford it.

Thursday, June 25, 2015 | 9:39 pm

It’s finally time– you’ve found the woman of your dreams, the woman you want to give the world to, and now you want to propose. The only problem: you can’t exactly afford to give her the world, let alone that big fancy ring.

The best thing about marriage is that it’s all about compromise. Why not start now? You can still get her a ring that looks like a million bucks but doesn’t have the Tiffany’s price tag. If you do your homework, pawn shops, much like thrift stores and vintage shops, can hide some incredible finds.

However, buying your diamond ring at a pawnshop isn’t as simple as buying from the store. Here are some things to consider if you choose to take the pawnshop route.

1. Do a lot of Googling and read up on diamonds and pawnshops. Get a sense of the going rate for brand new engagement rings to know that you are getting a better price.

2. Before you go out to your diamond-hunting trip, determine ahead of time what size, shape, color, and clarity range you want.

3. Try to get a loupe, or a special magnifying glass, and learn how to use it properly. You can find one on Amazon. This will not only make you look like an expert, it will also help to deter brokers from taking advantage of you as well. Once you get the hang of using this, the tool can actually help you detect internal flaws in your diamond. This is what that “clarity” part is all about. In diamond jargon, these are called inclusions, surface defects or blemishes. Because the more inclusions there are, it often means there is less sparkle in your diamond.

4. Check out shelves that look untouched for years. Chances are you might see a piece with an old, faded price tag that does not reflect the going rate of diamonds. If it looks like the ring has been sitting there for years gathering dust, chances are the broker will sell it to you with a discount just to let the piece get moving.

5. Once you have made your selection and have decided to buy, try to get a certificate that states the diamond is genuine, natural and untreated. There are a number of fakes going around such as those made with diamond simulants or imitation gems.
Watch out for very clear fracture-filled diamonds. These are usually grown in the lab using high-pressure heat called Moissanites.

If you’re not sure if you can do this alone bring a friend or look for a well-known reputable pawn shop like Crown City Loan & Jewelry, a family-owned business that’s been operating from the same location for decades. Check them out at 65 E Colorado Blvd., Pasadena or call (626) 793-5404 and look for Todd Robinson who’s been running the shop for the last 26 years.

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