Engagement rings are a big investment. But it is possible to buy a stunning engagement ring without breaking the bank or leaving you and your beloved in debt until retirement.
Start off by setting your budget before you set foot in a store. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and carried away by all those sparkling diamonds. Contrary to what you may have been told, there is no rule on how much you should spend. Determine an amount you are comfortable with and stick to it.
Educate yourself about the 4 C’s of diamonds. This will help you gauge which stones are the best value. Look for a stone with a good cut, which will affect the sparkle of the stone. The human eye tends to detect sparkle first, and color second, which means you could get by with a near-colorless diamond rather than a colorless diamond and save money.
Look for stones that are just under landmark carat weights, such as .95 carats rather than a full carat. Prices tend to jump disproportionately at the half-carat and carat marks. While this slight difference in carat weight will be virtually unnoticeable in the size of the stone, it can save as much as 20 percent.
Choose a fancy shaped stone instead of a traditional round stone. Because round brilliant diamonds account for 75 percent of all diamond purchases, the increased demand makes the cost higher for these stones. You can save as much as 40 percent by selecting a fancy shaped diamond, such as an asscher cut, pear-shaped, cushion-cut, or princess cut. An emerald cut is another great option. It has fewer facets, making it look bigger at the same carat weight.
Select a solitaire rather than a ring with additional stones, such as a channel set band or accent stones. A solitaire is classic and elegant. You can always dress it up with an elaborate wedding band later.
There’s no rule that says an engagement ring has to be a diamond ring. Consider using a colored gem stone as the center stone in place of a diamond. Thanks to Kate Middleton’s sapphire engagement ring, this has become a popular, and acceptable, alternative. A gem stone will allow you to have a big ring with a smaller price tag.
Select a detailed setting that will let you choose a smaller center stone while still having a ring with an impressive size. A smaller center stone will cost less than a larger one and the detailed setting will make it look dazzling. A halo setting, which encircles a smaller center diamond in a ring of diamond accents, will create the illusion of a larger ring. A smaller stone set in a small pave border will look equally as stunning as a larger solitaire stone. Other setting enhancements that can make a ring look more impressive include hand-engraving, filigree, and milgrain.
Consider the metal you select for the setting. Platinum is popular but also a rarer metal, making it pricier. If you like the silvery tone of platinum, consider white gold or palladium for the same effect at a lower cost. Yellow and rose gold settings will make a diamond with a lower color grade look bright white, allowing you to save money on the stone.
Consider diamond simulants or lab-created diamonds, like moissanite, cubic zirconium, or Asha. These stones are virtually indistinguishable from diamonds but cost much less than mined diamonds of similar size and quality.
Forgo the traditional engagement ring altogether and select a band without a center stone. A beautiful band of smaller diamonds or a combination of diamonds and colored gemstones will provide the look of diamonds at a lower price.
Regardless of how much you spend, finding a trustworthy jeweler is imperative. The jewelry designers at The Diamond World can help you create a breathtaking ring that will meet your budget and exceed your expectations.