— Thu, 10th September 2009 —

Marriage can wait, but, thanks to the recession, it’s never been a better time to execute one of the biggest purchases of your life — the engagement ring.

“There’s a lot of inventory in the United States that needs to get sold,” one diamond-industry analyst tell WSJ Magazine. “It’s in an evolutionary change and the consumers are the big winners.” [WSJ.]

“One-carat high-quality diamonds (those with high marks for color, cut and clarity) have dropped in price by more than 20 percent in the past year, with a polished rock now selling for around $8,600, down from around $11,100. Five-carat gems have dropped more than 30 percent, down to around $57,000.”

But remember, independent and small chain stores — through which half of the $60 billion industry’s sales flow — is always where the real deals lie. Where, exactly? “At Dales Diamond Store in the heart of New York City’s diamond district on 47th Street, for example, half-carat princess-cut diamond stud earrings can be had for half price, down to $393 from $850. The store is also unloading one-carat solitaire diamond rings in 14-karat gold for around $1,000, about 60 percent off.”

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