Apart from your house and car, your engagement ring and wedding bands are likely to be some of the biggest single purchases you will make. No one wants to think of something as mundane as a budget when they are planning their romantic proposal. However, it’s important to get down to brass tacks early on in the buying process. You’ll need to have a realistic idea of what you can afford.
We never recommend getting a “cheap” ring as it will likely need resetting many times over the years and often the stones can get loose and fall out! It is perfectly possible to find the ideal engagement ring at a lower price than you see on the high street and with our tips and hints, you will not be compromising on quality.
The next step is to make sure you get the most bling for your buck. Read on to find out how!
The four Cs of diamond quality are the international standards by which all diamonds, including lab-grown diamonds, are assessed. You should familiarise yourself with these four main components – colour, cut, carat and clarity. We also suggest an additional three factors to consider, ensuring you save money but keep the quality of your ring.
From this, you can decide which features you want to concentrate on. You can learn a few tricks of the trade that will help you to bag the best possible diamond that your budget can buy.
Below we have a summary and then some added detail of the 4 ‘C’s of diamonds:
Diamond colour grades range from the rare D, which is fully colourless, to Z, which are stones with a strong yellow tint. It is best to view diamonds in natural daylight to get a true sense of their colour. Artificial lighting can make them look brighter than they are.
One way to save on your engagement ring, without scrimping on the quality, is to opt for a lower colour. For example, an “I” grade ring over the more expensive “G” range. Often there is a large price difference between the two grades, but visually they look remarkably similar.
The carat of a diamond refers to its weight. The price of a diamond rises significantly as the size of the carat increases. This is due to that fact that stones of a larger carat are rarer than smaller stones. Prices also shoot up at certain carat sizes which are known in the jewellery trade as ‘magic points’. These are usually carat values like 0.5ct, 1ct, 1.5ct, etc.
One budget friendly tip is to ‘buy shy’. In other words, look for a diamond with a carat value just under the magic point. For example, a .95ct ring or a .47ct ring will not look discernibly smaller than a 1ct or a 0.5ct ring but could cost 15 to 20 per cent less.
The popular halo setting can also give the illusion of a larger stone while having a smaller price tag. In the halo setting, the centre diamond is surrounded by a ‘halo’ of smaller diamonds. This can make the centre stone look up to half a carat bigger saving a lot of money!
The clarity rating of a diamond measures the existence and visibility of internal imperfections. These are known as inclusions, and external blemishes. Most diamonds feature some of these characteristics, which were created when the diamond was being formed.
Diamond clarity ranges from Flawless (FL) to Heavily Included (HI), with various grades in between. For example, a VVSI (Very Very Slightly Included) and SI (Slightly Included). Just one per cent of all diamonds are flawless, making this grade the most expensive.
Opting for a diamond with a lower clarity rating is one of the best ways to save money when buying an engagement ring. Inclusions are often only visible to diamond experts and not to the naked eye. Si2 stones can offer excellent value for money, but caution is advised. Sometimes these stones can contain inclusions that ARE visible to the naked eye if you examine it closely.
At Bespoke Diamonds we specialise in sourcing the best Si2 clarity diamonds on the market to ensure you get the best-looking diamond available for your budget.
Often confused with the shape of the diamond, the cut is the most important of the 4 Cs. Cut refers to how well the stone reflects light which is what determines its sparkle. The SHAPE refers to the appearance of the diamond – round, princess, emerald, oval, pear, and so on.
Diamonds that are cut either too deep or too shallow will be duller and have less brilliance as they reflect less light. Diamond cuts are graded Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. Choosing a diamond with a lower grade than Very Good is not really recommended as it will be noticeably dull.
In fact, most reputable jewellers do not even sell diamonds with a Fair or Poor cut grade.
Ring metal is another factor that influences the price of an engagement ring. Keep in mind, what matters most is which one you prefer, as it’s you who will be wearing the ring forever!
So, all metals come with their own pros and cons, and it’s up to you to decide what you prioritize. These are all necessary questions to ask yourself to ensure that you get your perfect ring.
Gemstone engagement rings are currently very much on trend and offer a more affordable alternative to diamonds.
The most popular gemstones used in engagement rings are:
An engagement is an incredibly special time for a couple and is a celebration of the joining of a couple and their two families. The engagement ring is a symbol and a reminder of the bonding together of the couple and the hopes for the future as well as their love. The ring needs to reflect the lady’s personality and personal style and must be in keeping with this.
It is possible to find an engagement ring to suit all tastes even if you have a fairly tight budget. Finding affordable rings just requires some research.
The main requirements of budget friendly engagement rings are as follows:
It is common for trends to come and go and this true with engagement rings. It is important to choose a ring with longevity and not something that will look out of date in a few years. Any new metals, shapes or stone settings may be a risky choice as they may look dated in a few years.
Therefore, it is important to choose a ring that will stand the test of time. You do not want to tire of the ring in just a few short years. Classic solitaire rings are a safe option. However, you also want something that you will be happy to wear for life and will always look good on your ring finger.
With the above in mind, it is perfectly ok to choose a bespoke or custom designed ring with diamonds, gemstones, metal, shape, and style that you really like. This is your ring and will always remind you of the day you said yes. It is a unique piece of jewellery which symbolizes something more than trends or fashion – it’s all about your choice!
More than anything else your chosen ring must fit into your budget. This is the main consideration and a point which you must always stick to. When deciding on your budget it is important to consider your income and any savings that you have set aside for the ring.
If you chose something that is outside of your budget, it will be necessary to rely on loans or credit cards. Some jewellers have layaway plans for engagement rings – at Bespoke Diamonds, we offer interest free layaway plans of 3, 6 or 12 months.
It is possible to find affordable rings within your budget in both antique jewellery shops and pawn brokers. They stock a wide selection of rings at competitive prices to meet a variety of budgets. However, many of these rings are used and not ideal for daily wear. If you go to a jeweller in any town or city you must consider that you are incurring costs such as overheads, staffing costs etc. As a result, the jeweller inevitably passes these costs onto the customer with inflated prices. Many high street jewellers get huge mark ups on these rings. Another option is to purchase your ring from an appointment only jewellers with lower overheads and better value.
The authenticity of the diamond or stone that you buy depends to a large extent on the diamond certificate. This can be obtained from the jeweller which you buy the ring from. Often if you buy a much cheaper diamond then there may not be a certificate available. You should ensure that the jeweller can give you a certificate that comes from either HRD; IGI or GIA.
If you buy a lesser quality diamond, you will regret it in the end. You get what you pay for and always look from a certificate from the jeweller. Also, many jewellers will offer a 1-year guarantee on the ring, and this is something particularly important to consider. Affordable rings should be low in price, but still high is quality.
For any big purchase, when you buy can be a crucial factor in price. This is true of diamond rings and the festive season is particularly popular as well as the run up to Valentine’s Day. These are the most popular time of year for couples to get engaged and so you can save by choosing your ring significantly before or after these periods. If you are late in choosing to get engaged, consider a proposal ring as an alternative way to propose during those periods and then choose the engagement ring afterwards.
We see that many couples are looking for more affordable engagement rings and budget friendly diamond rings.
However many couples only consider diamonds for their engagement ring. As a result, many end up being disappointed for what they get for their money. These days most people know something about the four C’s – cut, colour, clarity, and carat weight. What they may not be aware of is the alternatives to the traditional diamond that can make a beautiful and unique engagement ring at a lower price.
Coloured diamonds are without doubt becoming an increasingly popular choice for engagement rings. When one thinks of diamonds, they think of ice white sparklers rather than the other shades, which are very real options. Black, grey, yellow, green, blue, orange, brown and pink diamonds are viable and wonderful options. It may surprise you that these are also more affordable options. It really comes down to the personal taste of the woman. You can buy any of these diamonds loose. However, they can be bought with diamond certificates and in many different cuts and carats. The availability of various settings means the choice is endless. Whether you just like the colour or are budget-conscious, coloured diamonds are worth considering.
These coloured stones are very much ‘in vogue’ now and a large variety are on offer for fair prices. However, what is affordable to one couple is not necessarily affordable to another so one must always stick to their own budget. These diamonds are sometimes referred to as Budget-friendly rings but are available without compromising your engagement.
If money is tight, a coloured diamond can give you more bang for your buck. As a result, you can get a bigger centre stone which affords you with a more wow factor than a traditional clear diamond. Of course, it can be set in any setting of your choice. You can add in side stones or a diamond band for added impact. This allows you to make it more unique to your needs. Many sites online and appointment jewellers will help you to design and build a ring. This option allows the ring to be uniquely yours. It will be one of a kind and you will be involved in each stage of the design process. This design process generally takes 3-4 weeks.
All the same rules apply with buying a coloured stone as buying a clear one. Again, some come with certificates and others do not and the price is reflective of this. This certificate gives you details of every aspect of the ring. It is a good piece of paper to have in terms of buying insurance for your ring. If you have any doubts about where it came from, it is also something to consider if you ever want to sell the ring on.
It is crucial that you insure your ring as soon as you get it as it is quite easy to lose your ring. If you do not insure it and lose it, it will be a sore blow and really undermines the work you have done to be a savvy shopper. Shopping on a budget is less effective when you need to replace your ring! Your ring also holds sentimental value for you and needs to be taken care of.
Here at Bespoke Diamonds, we specialize in custom made rings. If you need a top-quality custom-made engagement ring or a stunning wedding ring, contact us on 01-6855800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t worry if you need help. Our in-house design team is always on hand to step in. Once you are ready, we’re sure you will love the finished result.
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