Getting a diamond ring shouldn’t break the bank. Consumers today are faced with overwhelming student loans and expenses that other generations never had to address. Long gone are the days of spending three months' salary on a diamond engagement ring. Now, more than ever, it’s important to get a diamond ring you love while being aware of your budget. Here are our top tips for getting a gorgeous affordable engagement ring without going into debt.
1. Choose a Center Stone That is Not a Newly Mined Diamond.
The newly mined diamond is the most expensive center stone you can go with (excluding rare or auction diamonds). Consider purchasing a Lab-Grown Diamond center stone (about 30-40% less than a newly mined diamond), a Lab-Grown Gemstone (about 50% less than a mined gemstone), or a diamond alternative such as our Diamond Hybrid® (about 3% the cost of a newly mined diamond).
2. Pay Attention to the 4 C's of Your Center Stone With These Money-Saving Tips
-Choose a diamond with a higher cut and lower clarity grade. This will not compromise the beauty of the diamond to the naked eye but it can significantly reduce the price of the diamond. The brilliance of the cut will mask the imperfections in the clarity.
-Choose a higher-quality cut and a lower quality color. The brilliance of the cut will make your diamond look more colorless.
-If your budget only allows for a J color or lower diamond, place it in a yellow gold setting. This will mask the yellow color in the diamond.
-Go just below the 1-carat mark (or half carats) for a big drop in price. For example, a 0.98ct will be lower in price than a 1.02ct while having no visual size difference. This can be done for any size; 1.90ct instead of 2.0ct, 2.85ct instead of 3.0ct, etc.
3. Pick an Affordable Metal Type
Platinum is typically the highest priced metal type you can choose for a ring - consider 14K or 10K gold instead of Platinum for a savings of hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the ring style you are considering. If you have your heart set on Platinum, go with a company that offers a discounted upgrade price on Platinum. For example, at MiaDonna you can save 30% if you upgrade from 14K gold when building your ring online.
4. Consider the Ring Style
Rings that have more simple details are going to be cheaper than those set with a lot of side diamonds, thick bands, or a lot of detail. That doesn't mean you have to sacrifice - within many style categories there are higher priced ring designs and lower-priced ring designs. You can browse and price compare for yourself or ask a personal shopper for suggestions
5. Go Small Now, Upgrade Later
Many companies offer an upgrade program on the center stone so you can trade it in at a later date for something large in size, when it makes sense for your budget. Knowing this, don't be afraid to go smaller than you would prefer to begin with - you will get the value of the stone back when you trade it toward something bigger.
Getting a beautiful ring doesn't have to put you in debt - follow these money-saving tips and you can get the beautiful, ethical ring you have been dreaming of.