While we are most likely prepared to pay out exorbitant prices for engagement and wedding rings, we definitely would appreciate any way we can stretch that budget. You shouldn’t be worried about opting for the more affordable ones as long as it still looks good and the quality is not compromised.
Here are a few engagement ring shopping tips and tricks to help you maximise your budget and still end up with the perfect engagement ring for your proposal:
1. Choose your centre stone wisely.
Knowledge of the 4 Cs (clarity, colour, cut, and carat weight) of diamond quality will help you decide on which factors you can prioritise over others:
Clarity grading is done under 10x magnification. Majority of the clarity grades look similar to the naked eye. The clarity scale features the following grades:
- IF for Internally Flawless
- VVS1-VVS2 for Very Very Slight Inclusions
- VS1-VS2 for Very Slightly Inclusions
- SI1-SI2 for Slight Inclusions
- I1-I2-I3 for Imperfect.
The higher the grade of the diamond is on the scale, the rarer it will be, which means it is also pricier. Stones within the VS1-VS2 range are recommended as they already appear completely eye clean and they are more affordable than the VVS1-VVS2.
The cut refers to how well the diamond refracts light and creates sparkle. You would want a diamond graded as Super Ideal, Ideal, or Very Good. A Very Good cut already maximises sparkle, so you can opt for this cut and still have a dazzling diamond engagement ring.
Colour is largely dependent on your preference. You can check out the colourless and fancy colour diamonds Diamonds.co.nz offers to see which ones suit you best. For the colourless kinds, diamonds are graded D-F for colourless, G-J are near colourless, K-M are slightly tinted, N-R is very light yellow, and S-Z is light yellow to yellow.
If you want the clear white stones, you can choose from the D to J range. To save money on diamonds based on colour, do a side-by-side check. If you can’t tell the difference between them, then pick the lower grade as obviously higher grades also mean steeper price tags.
The recommendation is to buy a diamond shy of a carat, basically choose one that is slightly below the regular carat weight markers. This means that instead of going for a 1 carat stone, buy a 0.9 or instead of a 3 carat buy a 2.8. Generally, you can still enjoy superior cut, clarity, and colour at these slightly smaller carat weights. The difference in weights can translate to savings of as much as 20%.
2. Choose a white gold band over platinum.
After searching for engagement ring shopping tips, you get to make smart choices such as choosing the metal of the ring. While platinum is an ideal metal for an engagement ring, choosing white gold is recommended for those with tight budgets. Unless you have a very delicate ring design, white gold will look just as beautiful as platinum as an engagement ring band.
3. Add a halo (or two).
Adding a halo to the design adds bulk to the ring and makes your centre stone appear bigger without spending extra on carat weight. Going for a double halo will create the illusion that your diamond is three times larger.
4. Opt for diamond alternatives.
Diamonds are expensive, we know that. So, why not opt for diamond alternatives? Try a white sapphire, moissanite, and cubic zirconia, which also appear similar to diamonds but cost much less.
In the end, the engagement ring you choose should wow your special someone into saying yes to your proposal without burning holes in your pocket.