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When is the Best Time to Buy a Diamond Ring

Which time of the year is best to buy an engagement ring

By Mike Fried,

While there is no ‘one magical time’ to buy an engagement ring, you can find perks for shopping during certain seasons and holiday marketing.

Shoppers often assume that prices will be higher when there’s more demand, like during the holiday season from November to February. However, when it comes to engagement rings and other diamond jewelry, this usually isn’t the case. Diamond vendors are eager for shoppers, so they offer discounts to encourage buyers to choose their company.

In general, you’ll find sales on engagement rings and other jewelry during the following periods of the year:

One important thing to point out is that the typical seasonal promotions and sales in brick and mortar stores don’t apply to high-quality diamonds. Steer clear of signs that promote a massive sale or 25% or 50% off. These promotions are a red flag: they indicate that the diamond is of significantly lesser quality or overpriced to begin with.

Our article below gives you honest information about the best time to buy a diamond engagement ring or a loose diamond. The goal is simple: to help you have the greatest chance of getting the most beautiful diamond for your budget.

To help you with the diamond buying process we lean on our expertise and experience. The author of this article, our CEO, Mike Fried has over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. Mike started from the bottom, sorting and evaluating hundreds of thousands of diamonds to learn every facet (pun intended) of diamond quality and value. Mike followed that up by spending years buying and selling diamonds on the wholesale market as well as selling tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds to diamond retailers.

Bottom Line Recommendation:

Diamond sales and promotions can be found throughout the year and are offered by almost every jeweler in the industry. By choosing a high-quality, reputable vendor, like James Allen or Blue Nile, you’ll receive excellent value from the start, like with this beautiful Halo Ring from James Allen

The best vendors rarely have large discounts, but offer small ones during the holidays and other promotional periods. For example, James Allen and Blue Nile never discount their diamonds, but sometimes offer sales on their settings.

Because the savings aren’t huge with high-quality vendors and jewelry, it’s probably not worth it to wait for a sale. If the savings are large, it’s a huge warning flag that the company is ripping you off to begin with. It’s more important to plan in advance and take your time in selecting the best diamond, than jump on a sale and feel pressure to purchase during the holiday window. 

Best time to buy a diamond ring

Know that you want to propose soon but unsure of the best time to buy? You’re not alone: many shoppers want to know the best time of the year to buy a diamond engagement ring.

And with diamonds, things are a little different than with other products and goods. There isn’t a huge profit margin on diamonds, so the sales tend to be smaller than with other products. Still, there are certain months that will give you better prices and options.

We recently helped one of our readers find this fantastic round diamond halo engagement ring from James Allen. This ring was a phenomenal value, even though it was purchased a couple of weeks before Black Friday.

Keep in mind that because the savings aren’t huge, it’s probably not worth it to wait for a sale period. If the savings are large, it’s a warning flag that the company is ripping you off to begin with.

Remember that the most reputable diamond vendors rarely offer large discounts. For instance, Blue Nile and James Allen never discount their diamonds, but sometimes provide sales on their settings.

Deal Alert: Get 25% off sitewide at James Allen

Best Time to Buy an Engagement Ring

If you’re considering timing your engagement ring purchase for the best value, we recommend starting by selecting a reputable vendor for your ring. This ensures that you’re getting excellent value for money to start with.

We highly recommend Blue Nile, James Allen and Brian Gavin Diamonds. These are trustworthy vendors who offer excellent value for superior diamonds and settings. All of the diamonds from these vendors come with a reliable certificate from AGS or GIA.

With that said, some reputable vendors may offer slight discounts or seasonal promotions. The sales might save you a few percent on your purchase. Below we outline the best times to buy a diamond ring.

1. Black Friday Jewelry Deals and Cyber Monday

Around the Thanksgiving holiday, many stores and websites offer deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With Christmas and New Year’s in sight, and with Valentine’s Day not too far behind, purchasing an engagement ring like this one from James Allen during these sales can be a good idea.

Many people plan to propose during the holiday season from December to February, because it’s easy to celebrate with family and friends. This special time of year becomes more special with an engagement.

Note that the discounts are minor for Black Friday and Cyber Monday if you’re buying from a company that offers good value to begin with, like with James Allen and Blue Nile. Their profit margins aren’t large, so there isn’t much room for serious discounts.

According to this guide in diamond industry publication Rapaport, many mall-based stores provide discounts during November to compete with online jewelry retailers who offer Black Friday deals for shoppers.

While you do save some money during the holiday season, it’s also the time when diamonds are flying off of the shelves. Many factors go into buying a diamond, and you want to ensure you’re making the right purchase. It’s possible that during the holiday season — while you spend time contemplating which diamond to buy — the best choices will already have been sold by the time you work out what you want.

Because of this, it pays to have a plan ready ahead of time covering your budget, specific needs from a diamond and any other important information.

2. Before Christmas

Leading up to the holidays, most businesses post ads for sales and discounts. Stores are competitive with each other to snag customers, and it can be a great time to get a good deal on most consumer products.

Because it’s likely that others will be looking to buy a diamond ring at the same time, it’s always best to start your search early. You’ll have a larger selection and more time to think through your purchase.

Some shoppers prefer to avoid the holiday rush, as it can be harder to find a ring within your specifications. If you want to take your time in looking at various prices and diamonds, you may not prefer the busy holiday season. The one you want might be gone by the time you come back to it.

The pre-Christmas period can also be a great time to buy other jewelry. We’ve talked about this more in our Christmas jewelry buying guide

3. After Christmas, Before Valentine’s Day

February 14, or Valentine’s Day is another favorite day for marriage proposals. Shopping for an engagement ring in late December and early January can be advantageous, since you’ll likely beat the crowds and be able to access a large selection of diamonds.

Some promotional sales will be happening, although you’ll generally see minimal percentages in terms of discount offers with high-quality vendors like James Allen and Brian Gavin Diamonds (because you’re getting a great price to begin with).

While discounts on diamond jewelry generally aren’t that big, Valentine’s Day can be a fantastic time to get other jewelry at a great price. We’ve talked about this more and shared some expert tips in our Valentine’s Day jewelry guide.

4. After Valentine’s Day, in the Spring

Get ahead of other spring and summer proposals by shopping soon after Valentine’s Day and in early spring. One advantage of shopping during this time of year is that you won’t feel under any pressure from holiday sales or large crowds.

During spring, jewelers and vendors will generally have more time to spend with you, making it easier to get your questions answered. Some spring promotions may be available, but they aren’t as frequent as during the holidays. You’ll have plenty of time to look for the right engagement ring like this one from Blue Nile.

5. Summer

Whether it’s on the beach or up in the mountains, the summer offers plenty of beautiful backdrops for a proposal. It’s also a season for romantic getaways and family gatherings, family gatherings and other great opportunities to either pop the question or celebrate your engagement with your loved ones.

Plan at least a month or two (or even three) in advance for your ring purchase, so you’ll have it ready for that perfect location and timing. While occasional summer deals do exist for diamond jewelry, the advantage of buying in the summer is that you don’t have the holiday rush.

Instead of choosing quickly, you can take your time in selecting an engagement ring that’s truly exceptional, such as this one from Blue Nile.

6. Autumn

September and October are often the best months to buy an engagement ring. These months are often relatively quieter times for the jewelry industry, meaning some diamond vendors may run promotions to encourage shoppers to buy during the fall season.

You’ll also have the luxury of fewer shoppers vying for the engagement ring you want. If you’re planning for a holiday engagement, autumn is an excellent time to buy, if you’re able to shop in advance.

Tips for Buying an Engagement Ring All Year Round

Because there are many great opportunities to buy an engagement ring throughout the year, a little diamond knowledge and planning will go a long way. Review our Diamond Pro educational resources to ensure you choose a beautiful engagement ring at an excellent price.

Below, we’ve provided some of the best tips for buying an engagement ring, whether you’re planning to buy around Black Friday, before Christmas, for Valentine’s Day or for any other time of the year.

1: Buy Your Engagement Ring Online

Throughout our extensive years of experience in the diamond industry, we have found that online vendors offer the best selection and best value. Diamond dealers like James Allen, Blue Nile and Brian Gavin Diamonds are trustworthy and reliable, and offer some of the best inventory in the world.

There are several reasons for this, but the biggest is that the economics of operating a diamond jewelry business online simply allow for better pricing than the economics of running a physical, brick-and-mortar retail business.

Pro Tip: If you are visiting a retailer, don’t buy on the spot. Pushy salesperson aside, the diamond likely won’t be sold while you think about it for a few days. Write down all the details and be sure to research the characteristics and do a price comparison. And don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’ll be happy to give you our opinion on the diamond.

From your perspective as a consumer, this means better pricing, a larger selection of diamonds and more generous, customer-friendly resizing and return policies.

We highly recommend looking for a ring through a reputable online vendor above any brick and mortar store. The best engagement ring stores are online. Nervous about buying online? Blue Nile and James Allen have exceptional return policies, and their online stores also allow you to view every diamond up close before purchase.

Eye-Cleanliness is Paramount

In our opinion, a consumer’s goal should be to find the cheapest (in regards to clarity; other factors matter as well) “eye-clean” diamond you can find. We use “eye-clean” to describe diamonds that may have inclusions if you look at them with a magnifying glass (or microscope or loupe), but the typical person can’t see the inclusion with their naked eye.

We have recently developed Ringo, a patented artificial intelligence model, that can examine videos of diamonds and determine if they are eye-clean. Ringo will also filter for other parameters like making sure the diamond is well-cut, doesn’t have fluorescence issues and will match the style setting you choose.

Ringo Approved Eye Clean Diamonds

What is Ringo?

2: Plan 2-3 Months in Advance

Although it’s certainly not required, we recommend beginning your search for an engagement ring about two to three months before you plan to propose.

This gives you time to narrow down your options, look for the right vendor and have the jewelry made for you and shipped. You’ll also have the advantage of being able to negotiate prices and ensure that you have the most beautiful ring for your fiancé-to-be.

As a first-timer, buying a diamond can be a confusing process. Planning ahead of time lets you take it slow and understand what’s important to you, take advantage of engagement ring sales (if available) and make sure you get the best possible deal on your engagement ring.

3: Don’t Rush Into a Decision

You might feel pressure to buy a diamond ring during a sale to save a couple of hundred dollars (at best). Don’t let marketing gimmicks or time constraints drive your decision. Remember that this is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase — not a normal consumer product.

Your partner will be wearing the timeless engagement ring for the rest of their life. Not only does rushing increase your risk of getting a subpar ring, but it also increases your risk of paying more than you need to.

One thing we want to reiterate is that the best time to buy diamonds is when you feel that you’re ready to make the purchase. Diamonds are rarely available with large discounts, and you’ll save more by being prepared and understanding what to look for than you will from any sale.

For example, choosing a beautiful, well-crafted engagement ring like this example from James Allen will far outweigh any small discounts you receive.

If you want to propose during the holiday season (November to February), plan in advance as best you can. Research and planning is the best method for ending up with a diamond that’s truly exquisite. You’ll get excellent value based on your diamond knowledge and vendor selection—more than any sale will benefit you.

Pick a Budget for Your Diamond Ring

One of the most important things you can do before shopping for a diamond ring is preparing a clear, specific budget. 

Engagement rings can vary hugely in price. You can buy a beautiful engagement ring for $1,000 or less, or choose to spend $10,000, $20,000 or more on an ornate setting with a large and truly stunning center diamond. 

As we’ve discussed in our guide to how much to spend on an engagement ring, you should set your budget based on your financial situation and the desires and tastes of your fiancé-to-be — not based on any old-fashioned “rules” or multiples of your income.

How much to spend on an engagement ring

Setting a budget ahead of time makes buying a diamond easier in several ways. First, it gives you a fixed limit on how much you can afford to spend. This can make it easier to narrow down your criteria and choose a diamond — something that’s otherwise quite time consuming.

Second, it can help you to avoid the temptation to increase your diamond’s carat weight, clarity, color grade or other qualities while you search for the right diamond — another issue that often contributes to budget creep and makes choosing a diamond harder.

Third, it makes paying attention to the diamond 4 Cs more important. When you have a limited budget, you’re more likely to pay close attention to color, clarity, cut quality and other characteristics of a high-quality diamond, which can help you to identify great value and avoid poor quality stones.

Reasons to Buy Off Season

When is the best time to buy an engagement ring? In general, we recommend that you start the research process two to three months before you plan to propose, then get the ring as early as possible before your planned proposal date.

It’s absolutely okay to buy a ring outside of seasonal sales and discount offers, even if it means buying “in season.” However, buying an engagement ring off season does offer a few potential advantages:

  • You’ll save a reasonable amount on the setting. Although reputable vendors rarely offer discounts on diamonds, many offer generous discounts on settings. This can be extremely helpful if you have a limited budget and want the best possible value.

    Discounts on settings can be especially good for saving money if you’re considering a side-stone, pavé, halo or three-stone ring.
  • Although rare, some diamonds may be discounted. It’s very uncommon to see big discounts on diamonds. However, some vendors may provide small discounts on their loose diamonds during seasonal sales.

    As we mentioned above, if you see a big discount on a diamond, proceed with caution and make sure to compare it to similar diamonds from other vendors.
  • You’ll likely get bigger discounts on other types of jewelry. Although diamonds are rarely discounted, other jewelry is. By shopping during a sale, you might be able to pick up some other gifts, such as bracelets, earrings or pendants, at great prices.

Where to Buy a Diamond Ring

As we mentioned above, we highly recommend buying your diamond engagement ring from a trusted online vendor, not from a brick-and-mortar jewelry store.

Buying an engagement ring online gives you access to a larger range of diamonds and settings, all with more competitive pricing. It also makes it easier to compare the different deals available for Black Friday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and other holidays.

In our experience, the best places to buy an engagement ring online are James Allen and Blue Nile. Both have huge inventories of beautiful diamonds and settings at industry-leading princes, all with generous return and ring resizing policies. 

For exceptionally well-cut diamonds, we also recommend Brian Gavin Diamonds. Leibish & Co. are also a fantastic option for fancy color diamonds, such as pink, blue, champagne and Argyle diamonds.

Need Help Buying a Diamond Ring?

Buying a diamond can be a confusing process, especially if you have specific requirements or a certain budget. If you’d like help searching for a high-quality diamond, reach out to our experts. They can help you review diamonds or source diamonds based on your specifications.

We help hundreds of readers get the best deal on their dream diamond engagement ring every month, and we’d be happy to help you review different diamonds or compare options based on your tastes and budget.

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab-created diamonds online. Get 25% off sitewide at James Allen
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free International Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging
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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing.Save 25% on settings at [dp-bn-coupon type_id="5" message=" Blue Nile!"]
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment
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About the author

Mike Fried Mike Fried Mike Fried has over 25 years experience in the diamond industry working with Leo Schachter Diamonds, Moshe Namdar Diamonds, and joining The Diamond Pro in 2007. He is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as Us, People, Page Six, The Next Web and more.

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