Buying an engagement ring is one of the most important purchases a couple makes. There are a number of way to cut the cost of an engagement ring without compromising the quality or the beauty of the ring. From choosing the right ring setting to understanding what to look for in diamond colour and clarity, you can ensure you're allocating your budget wisely and ultimately getting the best engagement ring within your budget.
1. Avoid Round Cut Diamonds
Round diamonds are the most expensive diamond shape by around 25% compared to most fancy shapes. Not only is the round diamond the most popular shape, hence adding a premium but during cutting and polishing process from the rough diamond, a lot of carat weight is lost, contributing to the higher price per carat.
2. Buy Shy of a Carat
There are magic numbers in diamonds, these are typically found in 0.25ct increments: 0.50ct, 0.75ct, 1ct, 1.25ct, 1.50ct, 1.75ct, 2ct and so on. This means a 0.96ct diamond, for example, will be significantly cheaper than a 1ct diamond. You can save as much as 25% keeping under the full carat mark.
3. Measurements Are Key
Carat is a weight of the diamond and doesn't always reflect the face up appearance from above. Deeper diamonds visually appear smaller than shallow diamonds - always check the length and width mm measurements of the diamond as indicated on the GIA or IGI report. Two diamonds of 2ct can appear completely different size face up.
4. Embrace Fluorescence
Fluorescence is a naturally occurring phenomenon and appears in around 30% of diamonds. Diamond fluorescence is the intensity of a coloured glow, usually blue - visible when a diamond is exposed to UV light. GIA grades fluorescence levels in each diamond. Diamonds with medium - strong fluorescence can save you around 10-15% because of a strong misconception around it. In lower colour grades H-K colour, blue fluorescence can counter the yellow and make the diamond appear a grade or two whiter.
5. Avoid 3-Stone Settings
While these ring settings look incredible and add a lot more bling to a ring, adding side stones such as tapered baguettes or trapezoids can increase the price of the total ring significantly depending on size. If you are deciding whether to go for a larger centre diamond or a 3-stone setting, we would always recommend going larger on the centre. Whilst you can always re-set your engagement ring later on in life, your beautiful centre diamond is for life (unless you upgrade of course!).
6. Limit Micropave´
Micropave´ and hidden halo are very popular in engagement rings, but they are labour intensive and add a further cost to the total ring price. Keeping to a classic solitaire without micropave´ brings the ring setting price down significantly.
7. Colour and Clarity Combination
Each diamond cut has unique properties, some hide colour better than others (emerald, asscher) whilst others hide clarity better (round, oval). We can help guide you through the best colour and clarity combination to ensure you get the largest carat for your budget. Making a small compromise on colour and clarity can make a large difference to the cost.
8. Avoid Popular Diamond Shapes
Whatever the current popular diamond cut is, going with a different fancy shape can often save you on average 5-10%. When celebrities get engaged, and their ring makes all the news, we tend to see a demand influx (lowering available inventory) of that diamond shape in the market pushing the prices up.
9. Choose an Elongated Shape
Elongated diamond shapes tend to face up much larger. Ovals and Pears tend to look the largest versus other shapes due to their elongated silhouette. Larger look means saving on the carat weight.
10. Choose a Lab-Grown Diamond
Lab-grown diamonds have the same chemical, optical and physical properties as natural diamonds. They are real diamonds, just not mined. If you are looking to supersize your engagement ring without breaking the bank, lab-grown diamonds could be the answer.
Please note, we never recommend sacrificing the diamond cut grades. Unless buying an antique cut diamond, we do not recommend using diamonds with anything other than Excellent or Very Good for cut, polish and symmetry.