Buying an engagement ring is never going to be very cheap. Indeed, part of the statement he is making when a man gives an engagement ring to his beloved is that he values her very highly. A very cheap ring would conflict with that statement. Nonetheless, not everyone is a millionaire and hopefully they are marrying for love not personal jewellery so it makes sense to ensure that whatever you buy you get the best value. It’s wise to set yourself a budget that you feel comfortable with and try to stay within it.
Diamonds are assessed for value according to the 4 Cs: carat, cut, clarity and colour. If we are going to get the best value for our money we may have to make some compromises here.
Carat is the weight of the diamond and the most important determinant of price. The bigger the diamond the higher the price and the bad news is it’s exponential not mathematical. In other words a one carat diamond is much more than twice the price of a half carat diamond (it’s because the larger stones are much rarer than the smaller ones).
So we may have to look at a smaller stone that we would find ideal. The good news is that modern cutting can enhance the brilliance of a stone so much that the overall effect will be similar. Another increasingly popular route is to avoid the traditional single stone and go for a three stone ring. Because the three stones are smaller this may work out cheaper than the traditional solitaire. This is just one of the reasons why engagement rings with three stones are increasingly popular. They look great and the three stones combined often cost less than one large diamond.
Modern diamonds are cut for brilliance and the diamond trade does a fantastic job of coaxing every last gleam of light out of a stone. Having said that some cuts are more brilliant than others and command a premium. The most popular at the moment is the Round Brilliant but if we are looking for economy it might be wise to take other cuts and shapes into consideration. Oval, Marquise and pear shapes will almost always be less per carat than round diamonds.
Clarity refers to the internal faults (flaws) and external markings (blemishes) that most diamonds have to some degree. It’s the degree that is important. Many flaws and blemishes are only visible under a jewellers lens but will dramatically affect the price of the stone. Here is one of those cases where a little compromise might save you a great deal of money without reducing the impact made by the ring.
Some diamonds have undergone clarity enhancement. This is either done by laser which removes flaws without weakening the gem and is a permanent improvement or by fracture filling which may not be permanent and may weaken the stone. In either case if a stone has undergone clarity enhancement it should be stated by the jeweller and should reduce the price per carat.
Colours in diamonds cover a surprising range from clear to yellow or brown, and they are graded from D to Z. Again a little compromise on colour may save a considerable sum without being noticeable to the non-expert.
Diamonds are the traditional stone for engagement rings but there is no law saying you can’t use a different gem. It would be best to get your fiancée’s approval first but very attractive engagement rings can be found using sapphires, emeralds or other stones that are much cheaper than diamond rings.
When women choose their own rings they currently tend to go for a white metal rather than yellow gold. Platinum is the metal of choice for movie stars but white gold gives the same effect at around half the price. Most people won’t be able to tell the difference, but the real difference is in the price tag.
Finally, the ring symbolises eternity but things change over time, including your finances. Just because you can’t buy the ring of your dreams now doesn’t mean your partner will be wearing the same ring forever. Nowadays people update, renew and add to rings as their position alters. If you buy the best ring you can afford now the commitment it symbolises can be renewed and refreshed by renewing and refreshing the ring as life progresses.
Our engagement ring and diamond experts will be delighted to show you how to find the diamond engagement ring of her dreams within your budget, and they are available for live chat (online, on the phone or in person) 7 days a week. You can also email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.