For decades, a diamond engagement ring has been a symbol of love and commitment, and while habits have been quickly changing in recent years, a diamond ring is the ultimate choice for modern couples.
While you may not have have the budget of a banker, or the resources of royalty educating yourselves in all things diamond is usually the first step taken by proposers.
If you have a fixed cost on your mind, or simply wish to make the most of the budget you’re comfortable with, there are a few factors that will help you make the best choice.
The Right Jeweller
Choosing the right jeweller requires research.
To make things easier, opt for local companies with a wealth of reviews.
Online jewellers often offer high-street quality at a more affordable price, combining the benefits of online with the physicality of showrooms, where you can go and chat with a design expert, get your finger sized and learn more about the diamond you’ve chosen.
For an even greater level of convenience, you may wish to avoid going out at all, and choose your diamond engagement ring from the comfort of your home instead.
That’s where virtual consultations work best. Either way, your jeweller should let you choose the process that best suits you and their guidance should be the same whether you connect with them in person or via a webcam.
You may not be comfortable with buying a diamond you haven’t seen with your own eyes. Enter lab-graded diamonds.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) developed their grading system so that you can choose a diamond having never seen it, yet still trust you’re getting exactly what you selected.
GIA-certified diamonds are the most highly valued and respected by the industry. You will need to be extra careful if you’re considering a different diamond grading lab, because the grading scales differ and your goal is to receive what you’ve opted for.
In Any Shape or Form
You probably know that round diamonds hold a premium over fancy shapes because they produce the most waste in their cutting process.
Elongated diamond shapes like oval or marquise can appear larger than a round diamond, despite being the same carat weight.
The Colour of the Ice
Colour grading can also be on your side since a diamond graded I and H look the same to the untrained eye, but an I colour is slightly less expensive.
The same can be applied to the clarity grade which is determined based on a diamond being inspected under 10 x magnification.
These natural inclusions that appear in diamonds can not be easily seen to the naked eye, so don’t set rigid expectations when it comes to diamond quality grades.
In Good Company
Trilogy and halo settings are a great way to enhance the appearance of your diamond without actually spending a fortune on a big rock.
Many people think that a trilogy is out of their price range because there are three stones, however the flanking stones will typically cost far less than the centre stone
You can also save on the centre diamond by adding a halo of smaller diamonds to surround the centre. Long live the sparkle!
While platinum is the most preferred metal of choice, it does command a premium price point. If you’re drawn to a splash of colour, yellow or rose gold could be an excellent alternative.
Not only are they known for their soft and blushy tones, but the yellow or pink hue present in the metal makes a diamond appear whiter, allowing for some flexibility on diamond colour or clarity grades.
Diamonds are only carbon under pressure. Sounds affordable, right?
Enter the lab-grown or man-made diamonds which are made in labs using a range of techniques replicating the high pressure and temperature found in the earth’s mantle where mined diamonds are formed.
And while you may not be able to spot the difference between a natural and an engineered diamond right away, the latter is up to 30% lower in price.
It doesn’t matter if you’re planning to propose soon or if you’re an admirer of the sparkle of a diamond, it is always best to make an informed decision.
Remember that a good jeweller will help you get the best value for your money by balancing each of the ring’s elements, while still achieving a beautiful diamond engagement ring within your budget.