Tag Archives: pawn shop

How Much Should You Spend on Jewelry?

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The average U.S. household spends only $167 on jewelry per year, but that number varies greatly by region. The northeastern U.S., southern and central coastal California, and the east coast of Florida, for example, spend the most on jewelry per year, while the northwest region spends less than $50 annually per household.

The popular concept of smarter spending has a lot of people taking a closer look at how much they spend on everyday items, and jewelry is often an impulse buy. Self-help and finance blogs discuss budgeting and making realistic financial plans, which often results in cost-cutting or looking for ways to get some of your money back.

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But when you’re buying new jewelry, how much should you be willing to spend? What’s the price tag on feeling pretty or scoring a compliment from your moody boss? The obvious answer to this dilemma is: spend the amount that makes sense for you, whether that’s based on your region, your social circle, or your personal style. The decision, however, is more complicated than that, and probably varies with every piece you look at. It’s not easy to choose between shelling out more cash for nicer, longer lasting jewelry over less costly, trendier pieces. It’s hard to place a number on the value of the little boost in self-esteem you might get.

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Websites like Pinterest and Instructables make Do-It-Yourself a viable option for saving money on a lot of important items including jewelry, but there are certain pieces that are essentially impossible to DIY. And that’s one element of DIY that people often overlook before diving in to a project: the cost of the materials and tools, which is one part of what goes into jewelry-making. When you’re deciding how you want to better your budget, consider how original you would like your jewelry collection to be. If originality is important to you and you want handmade jewelry from an artist or smaller manufacturer on a site like etsy, plan to spend a little bit more than you might for a similar piece from a larger manufacturer, like Forever 21, who outsource their work and user cheaper materials specifically so they can offer their products at a low price point. Some smaller companies even begin to outsource once they gain popularity so they can manage the costs and offer their product to more customers, saving 400-500 percent by having someone else produce their designs.

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Choosing how much to spend on jewelry may also depend on the materials you are looking for. If you’re more concerned about the look than the actual material, sterling silver is a good substitute for silver and white gold, and purchasing gold-coated jewelry can save you a lot of money if you prefer the darker color. In addition, synthetic gemstones can be created to look like a natural gemstone, so if you are here because you are aiming to sell your diamonds, a man-made stone might be a great replacement.

Another consideration for choosing an amount to spend on jewelry is whether you value the experience of going into a physical store and trying on the jewelry or whether you are comfortable buying it online. Online stores are often cheaper, simply because renting a brick-and-mortar space is expensive for the business.

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If you are not looking for a specific piece, buying jewelry at an overstock or auction site can be a way to find great deals. Sale jewelry is typically marked down temporarily, while clearance and overstock jewelry are usually marked down because the manufacturer or retailer wants to make room for other products. Because there is an incentive to get rid of it, clearance and overstock jewelry can offer a steeper discount, but the selection may be limited.

One great rule of thumb for a jewelry purchase is the dollar-per-wear rule. To follow this rule, ask yourself how many times you anticipate wearing a particular piece, and if that number is the same as or lower than the price, then it is probably a good purchase. However you decide how much money to spend on jewelry, remember to make the choice for your own reasons, not someone else’s.

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7 Ways to Get out of an Accepted Marriage Proposal

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All right.  Okay.  Deep breath…

Here’s the deal: you met, sparks flew, you realized you like the same movies and gum flavors, you were introduced to each other’s doting/quirky parents, you spent a weekend in Paris without a single kerfuffle and you both enjoy that new Rihanna song.  Naturally, you decided it was time to get married.  So when you proposed to her/he proposed to you, it was no surprise that an ebullient “yes!” erupted forth.  Everything was right with the world.  And then…something happened.  Either you woke up one day and the snoring, drooling face of your betrothed made you suddenly cringe with disgust, you saw them sneeze (while naked) or you just vehemently hate their new perfume/cologne so much that you hope they fall in a well.  Either way: ppfffttt – the spark went out…permanently.

Now what?

Well, you were madly in love with this person at one juncture, so you’re not going to just dump them via text.  You need a way to sensitively and compassionately relay the sad news that you can no longer spend your life with them.  Now, you can either summon the courage to tell them the truth in as non-debilitating a manner as possible, or… fabricate a tale of such monumental wonder they will have no choice but to accept the crushing verdict, while you escape with a virtually clean and guilt-free conscious.  Pick one of the following that best suits your personality: (or maybe even a zesty medley of excuses!)

1 – Fake your own death

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This really isn’t as complicated as the movies make it out to be.  All you need to do is find a recently deceased body of roughly the same dimensions as yourself, put it in your clothes, add other identifying items, place it in the front seat of a vehicle, light said vehicle ablaze and then send it careering off a mountainside.  Violà.  You now cease to be.  Just make sure you relocate to a foreign land remote enough that even vacationing friends/relatives won’t spot you.  Oh, also you’ll need a new, phony passport; just ask your sketchy cousin “Randy” if he can help you with that.  Soon you’ll be anonymously sipping coconut drinks on a beach in Belize or manning an oil rig on the Caspian Sea.  Totally up to you.

2 – Fake being drafted into the military/really get drafted into the military

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Look, everyone supports the troops.  If you don’t, you’re basically a communist.  Your (former) flame will not be able to accuse you of relationship malfeasance if you proudly don a uniform (if you look especially good in white, pick Naval) and promptly ship out.  Even if you do enlist for real, it will be better than having to fight the ne’er-ending war at home…

3 – Find religion

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If you and your beau have lead a fairly secular lifestyle, the moment you find _____, everything will change.  Odds are that they will no longer want to be in close proximity with a bible thumping/torah touting/krishna quoting person, let alone marry them.  Discover some version of the lord and find your pious freedom.

*Fun variation: join a cult.

4 – Pursue your “art”

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Regardless of whether or not you are expected to be the primary breadwinner, if you suddenly quit your corporate job to become a pottery maker/Pollack-esque paint splatterer/illustrator specializing in squirrel portraits, your partner will raise quite the eyebrow.  The further ensconced and passionate you become in your alleged art endeavor, the more irked your partner will become.  When you hint that maybe they don’t fully support your dream, they will become defensive and possibly hostile.  Then you can shift the blame on to them and they will gratefully end things.  Win.  Now, Van Gogh get ‘em.

5 – Gender-swap

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It may seem a little cliché to do this one right on the high heels of Caitlyn Jenner’s emergence, but it will be effective nonetheless.  If your boo just doesn’t take the bait and thinks you are bluffing (or is actually delightfully surprised by this new turn of events), then just give it to ‘em straight: you want out so bad you’re willing to…remove things.  They’ll get the message.

6 – Get kidnapped

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Staging a kidnapping is a piece of (non wedding) cake.  All you need are a few willing accomplices to participate in order for this to go smoothly.  Just have them pull up (preferably in a windowless van) on you and your special one while you stroll home together one night (the fewer witnesses, the better).  Your pals then pop a bag over your head, toss you in the van, and speed away.  Your dumbfounded lover will most likely attempt to find you, but will inevitably give up after a few weeks/months/years.  Either way, they will eventually move on – all without you having to see that sad break-up look on their sullen face!

7 – Alien abduction (aka: get kidnapped, version 2)

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Believe it or not, but people get abducted by aliens all the time (about 2.5% of the population claim to have been probed).  If you are lucky enough to get selected to join a cadre of alien visitors on their nifty spaceship, even if only for a few hours, you will never be the same.  You can start acting extremely odd, and it will be totally justified.  Your spouse-to-be may even be quite freaked out by the whole thing and just call it off, fearing you will only be able to produce green offspring, etc.

No matter how you choose to end things, either by the conventional means of “having a break-up talk,” or by one of the colorful and inventive ones detailed above, if you end up in possession of the engagement ring, you’re going to want to get rid of it.  It’s only going to provide hurtful memories (or potentially damning evidence if you create a new identity).  Why not sell that engagement ring for the most money you could ever dream up?  If it features a diamond, bring it to Diamond Lighthouse.  We will light your way to a dramatically high price.  Once you sell that unneeded diamond engagement ring, you can then use the cash to move on with your life – either in the emotional sense, or in the hiding-out-in-Manitoba-forever one.

Learn more!

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-Joe Leone 

When Life Gives You Lemons…Sell Them and Buy a Scratch Off Card

Super Fast Ways to Get Cash 

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The bills are piling up and your bank account is plummeting down.  You need cash, and you need it NOW.  What to do?

Use your Body

She funded me with science!  The medical departments of most universities are always looking for (willing) participants to experiment on.  Becoming a human guinea pig for testing the effectiveness of new vaccines and medications is a nice (if potentially hazardous) way to make a chunk of quick change.  Each trial usually pays in the few hundred range; extra cash if you have a specific disease or ailment they are lusting to test on.
Continue reading When Life Gives You Lemons…Sell Them and Buy a Scratch Off Card

Ask Professor Facet

Diamond-Lighthouse-broker-professor-facetWelcome to the first installment of “Ask Professor Facet” where our resident diamond expert answers all your diamond related questions, and gives you a little life advice too.

Professor Francesca Facet received her doctoral degree in diamondology from the prestigious School of Hard Rocks.  

Q:  Dear Professor,

I’m confused.  I had my wedding ring appraised through an insurance agent last year.  The insurance company’s appraisal valued my ring at $15,000.  My husband and I recently decided that the we wanted to upgrade my ring, so we elected to sell the original to help with the purchase of the new one.  When we took it to a few different jewelers in our area, the highest offer we got was $7,000.  Why this huge discrepancy?

-One Perplexed Lady

Continue reading Ask Professor Facet

Unusual Diamond Uses

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Diamonds have it pretty hard.

Well, as the most dense substance on the planet, how could they not?  Having originally been deemed “adámas” by the ancient Greeks (their word for ‘unbreakable’), diamonds know a thing or two about having their mettle tested.  Aside from the engagement and wedding ring obligations they commonly pull, diamonds have tons of other work to do.  Utilized in industries that range from ultra grade electronics to highly advanced medicine, diamond duties are definitely as diverse as they are demanding.  Read on for a conclusive list of diamond jobs, old and new. Continue reading Unusual Diamond Uses