When buying an engagement ring, there are a handful of ways you can cut costs without compromising on the quality or beauty of the ring. By shopping smartly, it's possible to design the engagement ring of your dreams without breaking the bank. From choosing the right setting to knowing exactly what to look for in diamond color, you can ensure you're allocating your budget wisely and ultimately getting the most bling for your buck.
Below we've outlined exactly how to save money on an engagement ring with nine expert tips.
1. Avoid round-cut engagement rings
Although they are the most popular diamond shape, rounds cost approximately 25% more than all other shapes. The fact that round is the most in-demand shape makes round engagement rings more expensive, but the way round diamonds are cut also contributes to this significant price difference. A lot of rough diamond is lost during the cutting process and diamond suppliers make up for this by increasing the finished price per carat.
2. Avoid popular shapes
Just as you can save money by avoiding rounds, you can cut costs by avoiding other popular shapes of the moment. Right now, ovals are one of our most requested shapes, in part because of all the celebs recently seen rocking them (Blake Lively, Julianne Hough, Hailey Baldwin). Because they are in higher demand, inventory is lower and prices are increasing. If you're open to less in-demand shapes, you can save up to 10%.
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3. Limit micropavé
Micropavé-set diamonds are a very popular design element on most of our settings, but it's labor-intensive and therefore costly. Limiting the amount of micropavé on your setting brings the price down significantly. Our micropavé settings start at $2,500 but can increase to $7,000 for more complicated designs. Or opt for something without micropavé, like our Whisper Thin™ setting (above). Its simplicity shows off the diamond and it costs $600 less than the same setting with micropavé on the band.
4. Go for G color
Many clients want the look of a colorless diamond (D-F on the GIA color scale), but also want to best maximize their budget. Staying right under the Colorless range and purchasing a G color diamond is the perfect solution. A G color diamond side by side with an F color has an almost imperceptible visible difference and costs about 8% less! For example, a 2ct F VS2 Oval costs $24,700 and a 2ct G VS2 costs $22,800—an 8% savings.
5. Don't fear the fluorescence
Fluorescence is a naturally occurring property in about 30% of diamonds and refers to a diamond's tendency to emit a blue glow when subjected to ultraviolet light (like a black light). GIA grades the level of fluorescences each diamond contains (none, faint, medium, strong, very strong). Diamonds containing Medium or Strong can be discounted up to 15% simply because consumers have a negative misconception about it. However, in lower color diamonds (I-K color) the blue in the fluorescence counters any yellow and actually makes the diamond appear a grade whiter!
6. Buy shy of the carat
There's a large price per carat jump when you hit each full carat mark. For example, a 2.99 G SI1 Round costs $33,600 and a 3ct G SI1 costs $45,900. You can save as much as 25% by staying right under a full carat mark.
7. Avoid three-stone rings
While three-stone engagement rings make a classic statement, adding side stones—like trapezoids or half moons—increases the price of the setting by $2,000-5,000.
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8. Make the most of the measurements
Carat is a weight and doesn't necessarily reflect how large a diamond appears from the top. Deeper diamonds appear smaller than shallow diamonds. Always look at the length and width mm measurements indicated on the GIA report in addition to the carat weight. I can often find diamonds that measure a half carat larger than their actual weight, which can save up to 20%.
9. Know your diamond Cut grades
Rounds are the only shape that comes with GIA determined Cut grades. The Cut grade indicates how well-proportioned the diamond is, and therefore how well it reflects light. Excellent Cut rounds will emit more brilliance and sparkle than lower cut grades. In addition, they appear 2 color grades whiter and hide inclusions extremely well. If you're purchasing a Round, an Excellent Cut allows you to go lower color/clarity and allocate more of the budget towards carat weight.
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