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Industry Mark-Ups and Affordable Engagement Rings

Feb. 17 2014
Affordable engagement rings are sometimes hard to find due to outrageous industry mark-ups. But are they justified?

F sometimes seems to take the prices of engagement rings at face value and does not question the additional mark-up added to them. I, on the other hand, stubbornly refuse to believe that they are justified.

Fortunately, we have discovered that bespoke rings are typically more affordable engagement rings and you certainly get almost immeasurable value for your money. One of our designers tried to explain the reasons behind the typical mark-ups applied to most engagement rings these days, and although I understand it economically I certainly do not like it!

High Street Equals High Price

So why exactly are jewellery-store rings so expensive? As with so many other things in the realm of economics, the answer is related to supply and demand, as well as to the effects branding and designer names have on the relative worth of any given item.

Gucci by Mathieu Lebreton, used under a Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

Even the most common products may become very expensive with a luxury brand on it.

Simply put the high demand for diamonds in the past two centuries or so – when they pretty much became the stone to have on an engagement ring – have caused a sharp hike in prices, making affordable engagement rings increasingly difficult to come by. However, only part of this mark-up is justified by the prices of diamonds themselves and the labour necessary to mould them into shape.

The remainder of the inflated price can be attributed to jewellers seeking to make a profit.

And you have to factor in that strange phenomenon whereby a brand name instantly increases the price tag and relative value of an item.

A Worthy Alternative

In fact, couples looking for engagement rings will discover that, once they step outside the realm of ‘designer diamonds’, prices for rings and loose stones become considerably lower. This is because; much like with articles of clothing or handbags, the attachment of a label to an item causes its perceived value to increase, justifying the higher price.

Therefore, a ‘Tiffany diamond’ will be more expensive than an unbranded diamond, in the same way a Hollister shirt will be more expensive than an unbranded one. Couples on a budget are therefore advised to skip designer labels altogether if their goal is to purchase an affordable engagement ring and look to bespoke designers to create their perfect ring.

Tiffany by Pedro Plassen Lopes, used under a Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

A Tiffany diamond will most likely turn out to be much more expensive than an unbranded diamond.

As long as diamonds are in high demand it is inevitable that mark-ups will continue to happen, at least in establishments which need to make a profit.

Buyers seeking affordable engagement rings will benefit from the satisfying experience of working with a bespoke designer to create an exquisite, unique and affordable engagement ring.

Meet Independent Jewellery Designers

Deborah CadbyLondon
Keith GordonHertfordshire
Nicola HurstPlymouth
Daniel GallieLondon
Mirri DamerCornwall