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Diamonds In The Rough: Tips For Purchasing A Wedding Ring At A Pawn Shop

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Maybe you were hit hard by the economy or are just trying to save a few extra hundred dollars for the honeymoon -- there are lots of reasons to look for your engagement ring at a pawn shop, rather than relying on jewelry stores. But how do you know if you're really finding a diamond in the rough, rather than a ring that will break down after the first few years of wear? If you're looking for hints for purchasing an engagement ring at a pawn shop, then here's a few things to know before you say "I do."

Tip #1: Prepare for battle

Information will be your greatest asset as you wade into the world of ring shopping, so start hitting the books. You'll need to decide on a cut, carat, and clarity before you even think about setting foot in a store. Know exactly where your preferred range of clarity lies -- remembering that lots of technically flawed diamonds will still look perfect to the unaided eye -- and figure out how big you're going, carat-wise. Some cuts, such as the emerald cut, can make small stones look bigger, so if you're looking for the bling factor, that's a good place to start.

Tip #2: Gather the right equipment

Going into a pawn shop means you're going to have to bring your own equipment for looking at the gems, so come prepared. A loupe is always a bonus, so you can look closely for any major flaws or cracks, but the most valuable tool is actually another diamond for comparison. Grab a friend who wears a diamond (large enough to look at, and preferably of an excellent clarity) and use it as a benchmark to judge clarity and color.

Tip #3: Don't be afraid to haggle

Pawn shops aren't like regular stores, where the cashier will scan a barcode and a fixed price will pop up on the screen -- in fact, most pawnshop owners will expect you to throw out a price you're willing to pay, and will negotiate with you from there.

When trying to haggle a price down, remember to keep yourself detached; if the seller knows you're already set on buying the item, they'll look for the highest price possible. If you mention you have 3 or 4 other options to look at, the sale suddenly becomes uncertain, and you're more likely to get a better price.

To learn more, contact a company like Advanced Pawn Shop for help.