The Most Wonderful Time of the Year to Buy Wedding Jewelry

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Great insider tips for the best time of year to buy wedding jewelry!

It happened right before Thanksgiving.  I got a card in the mail from a jeweler that had somehow found out I was getting married.  Come in to the store and we’ll give you some free earrings, no purchase necessary.  All I had to do was come in between Black Friday and Christmas.

The best time of year to buy wedding jewelry is the holidays.

So I did.  

Of course.  

While I was there, I figured I might as well look at wedding bands as I hadn’t yet gotten one for the fiance.  I didn’t know his ring size, but the jeweler showed me the selection. She told me I should definitely buy before Christmas.

She explained that during the holidays jewelers freeze their prices, regardless of how gold or silver performs in the stock market, and then they put on all these fabulous sales.  After the holidays the sales stop, and they resume pricing their products based on the current value of gold/silver, etc.

I walked out with a coupon, but ended up not going back. The prices were far outside of my budget.  This is my second go around with the whole marriage thing.  The last time I got married was before the housing bubble burst and the price of precious metals comparatively skyrocketed.  What I had been expecting to spend versus the reality I had just been confronted with had really hit home.

The sales continue through Valentine’s Day.

About halfway through the crazy holiday shopping season, we were out as a family at the mall buying the gifts that we still needed to fill in.  We stopped at a different jeweler to get him sized.  He saw some rings he liked, and the prices here were a lot more affordable.

I asked the woman waiting on us if what the other jeweler had told me was true:  would prices go up after Christmas?  Was this really the best time of year to buy?

She told me yes, and confessed that they would continue to have 40% off sales, but that it wouldn’t be on as wide of an array of products and that they would resume following the stock market when pricing their products.

We looked around the mall a bit, and found that the jeweler we had started with had the best prices for their selection.  So we headed back.  I handed the girl at the counter the business card of the woman I had been talking to before; I wanted to talk to her again so she could get the sale she had earned.

She took the card from me, put it under the desk, and started to show me Tungsten rings.  She was talking the fiance into it, too, despite my vocal protests that I didn’t want to spend that much money on a ring that you can’t resize.  I wanted gold or silver, and I wanted it in my price range.

She refused to show us the rings I asked to see, and lost a sale.

The best sales are online.

Time went on.  It was the night before Christmas Eve and I was freaking out. I was going to miss the best time of year to get these sales.  So I went on-line, fully intending to price compare and find a store that had a good selection for when I went in person on the morrow.

Of all places, I found it on Sears website.  A ring almost exactly like one he had seen and liked in a “real” metal, and in my price range.  And it was a comfort-fit, which is a bonus the fiance won’t even understand, but he’ll unknowingly appreciate it.

It said it wasn’t available in store because it was shipped by the original jeweler directly.  I checked out the original jeweler, and they had the ring for less on their website. Plus I found a coupon code for 5% off (which can be huge when you’re spending hundreds,) and free shipping.

I held my breath as I pressed the “Complete Purchase” button. I had gone mad — purchasing jewelry on-line based off an internet picture, and then having it shipped to my house hoping the mailman wouldn’t just leave it out on the street.

But I did it anyways. I was not going to have to go out on Christmas Eve.

What to look for when shopping for jewelry online

A few days ago it came.  All my fears were laid to rest.  It was exactly like the pictures.  (Though I can’t take a good one.)  The post office actually left me a note requesting that I pick it up rather than leaving it in the mailbox or on the street.

I couldn’t be more surprised that I didn’t hit a snag or problem. It’s at least as beautiful as the pieces we saw at all those other stores, and so much more affordable.

If you’re comparing pictures online, it’s a good idea to look at sites like James Allen. They provide a 360 degree view of their products, making it easier to see what you’re getting than with simple 2D pictures.

Since I had already seen pretty much the same exact men’s ring before, it made it easier for me to create a mental composite from 2D. Had I not, or if I had been shopping for an engagement ring with a diamond, the 360 degree view would have been something I mandated from my online jeweler.

Do you save money by shopping before Christmas?

I did some price comparison after the holidays.  I didn’t save any money by freaking out on Christmas Eve.  But I didn’t spend more, either.  Prices on the products I was looking at were pretty  much the same.

Additional research independent of jewelry store salespeople revealed that the best time of year for jewelry spans pretty wide:  October to February.  

So I did well.  I just didn’t need to stress quite so much about my timeline.

Brick & Mortar vs Online Retailers

Since this article went live in January of 2014, there have been several articles floating about the web citing summer as the best time of year to buy wedding jewelry. I’d like to present some context to that argument in a 2017 update.

The first thing to note is that at brick and mortar retailers, this may be true. Shopping online, though, can save you anywhere up to 50% over these in-person retailers–no matter the time of year.

When I asked Oded Edelman, Co-Founder and CEO of James Allen, about the difference, he explained it in this way:

“We take a consumer-focused approach to our promotions in order to make the experience as positive as we can during key times throughout the year. Our research has shown that the majority of engagements happen in the four months between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day.”

TIP: Check out this year’s James Allen Black Friday sales to save money on your wedding rings.

“Typically brick and mortar retailers have entirely different cost structures thanks to holding inventory, overhead costs, etc,” he continues. “Their operations structures as well as their marketing tactics are very different, which may lead to higher costs for the end consumer.”

This means the biggest sales at online retailers, at least at consumer-oriented businesses like Edelman’s, do indeed happen between October and February.

13 thoughts on “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year to Buy Wedding Jewelry

  1. donebyforty

    We thought about purchasing our engagement/wedding rings online, but ended up going the brick and mortar route. I was amazed at how much wiggle room there is in the price to negotiate with rings. That ultimately sealed the deal for us, but I know that places like Blue Nile and Pompeii are also a great option. Glad you found what you wanted for a good price!

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      My brick and mortar salespeople weren’t budging. Maybe if I had tried a small business instead of a chain…

  2. Snarkfinance

    Glad you got what you were looking for. I bought the diamond online and then had it independently appraised, then bought the setting separately brick and mortar. The diamond is always the most expensive portion, but is the easiest to buy online as well.

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      As far as I understand it, that’s exactly why it is the best time of year. Many people get engaged during the holidays or buy jewelry for valentines, and the stores know this so they stock up on inventory. Then to ensure the inventory is sold they have massive sales. Tax ramifications come into the equation somwhere there, too, though that part I’m not as clear on.

  3. anna

    We are on similar paths as we recently purchased our bands as well (we went with Blue Nile, I wish I knew about this site sooner) – I think brick and mortar tend to be overpriced, so we figured we’d risk going online. Tungsten is a fad?? I didn’t know that – B got one since his friends said it was tougher to scratch. It looks nice (and I liked the price at BN), at least, but I just hope it’s durable like gold/platinum!

  4. femmefrugality Post author

    It’s actually a ton more durable, it just can’t be resized. It’s probably not a fad. I’m not a very stylish person. I was just ticked off at the saleswoman who was knowingly trying to make him fall in love with rings outside of our price range in a metal I didn’t like so she could get a higher commission. It’s really popular though.. I may be alone in my dislike. 🙂

  5. Christine at More Than Mommies

    Buying a ring was pretty stressful—I remember walking in to Jared and being smacked in the face with the prices–we left without even trying anything on! I always laugh when I see those commercials ‘he went to Jared’ and he got ripped off I always say under my breath! 😉

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  7. Debtman

    I’m not sure if it’s different in Canada vs the US, but I just saw a segment on a Canadian talk show where they said Valentine’s day is actually the best time to buy jewelry. They didn’t say engagement rings, specifically, but I’d imagine that would be included.

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      It may be different! I’ve now been able to verify my findings with someone in the industry, though. At least here in the US, with all the “deal” madness leading up to the holidays (including but not limited to Black Friday,) the time frame has opened up. While Christmas-Valentine’s Day used to be the ideal, the window now expands to what’s outlined above.

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