But, a word of caution is in order. The diamond ring market is now full of diamonds that are man-made / manufactured. While these types of diamonds are all but identical to natural diamonds in terms of physical characteristics and appearance, they are less expensive. This may seem to be a very good thing, however, these manufactured diamonds lose a lot of their initial value very quickly. In contrast, real quality diamonds not only usually hold their value, they often go up in price over time. Therefore, this article will only be discussing real, natural diamond rings. Discussed below are tips on how to buy a low price, high quality diamond engagement ring.
A common belief by many people is that the bigger the diamond is – as measured in carats – the better. It seems more impressive to have a 2 carat ring over a .75 carat ring. This is not the right belief or approach. The most important thing is the diamond’s appearance, not its size. It is better to have a beautiful high quality half carat size stone than a full one carat duller looking stone. Also, once the diamond size goes over one carat, price goes up exponentially. By looking at rings under one carat, you will get much more quality and beauty for your money.
The cut of the diamond determines things such as how well the facets are formed and how deep the “table” of the diamond is. If a diamond is cut well, its appearance will dazzle and sparkle the eye. If it’s not cut well, it will appear dull and lifeless. It is the quality of cut that most affects the diamond’s overall appearance and appeal. It is best to shop for Excellent and Ideal cut diamonds.
Shop for and buy an “eye-clean diamond”—meaning with no imperfections that are visible to the naked eye. The diamond’s clean look quality is known as Clarity. Clarity is ranked on a scale from Internally Flawless (IF) to Included 2 (I2). Rather than paying more for a higher clarity grade, save your budget for an aspect that will impact the diamond’s beauty more (like Cut as discussed above). Such eye-clean diamonds are often found in the VS1 or VS2 Clarity grades.
The Color quality of a diamond indicates how white or colorless it is and is graded on a scale from D to Z—with Z being a diamond with noticeable yellow or brown tint. You can usually find a diamond that looks white in the G to I range, rather than paying more money for a D or E colored diamond. This is especially true if you’re buying a yellow gold or rose gold setting. The diamond should look white in relation to the setting, so a darker setting makes the diamond appear lighter.
White gold, rose gold and yellow gold are all beautiful options that will hold up with everyday wear. 14K and 18K golds are similar, but 14K gold is less expensive because it has less gold in its mixture. Choosing a 14K gold setting is a smart way to save on cost without sacrificing quality.
Only buy diamonds that are certified by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or AGS (American Gem Society). These are the two most reliable grading entities in the industry. You can trust their certificates to accurately tell a diamond’s true cut quality, color, clarity and other characteristics.
Diamond rings are priced about 30-40% cheaper online than they are in physical stores, or, in some cases, over 50% cheaper. The online stores below provide high-quality budget engagement rings, all for a fraction of the price of other sellers. Just be sure to buy from a reputable online vendor, so you feel confident in the ring. Also, there’s a wider selection online, which gives you more choices for less expensive rings. The following online stores are both highly rated for their prices, quality, selection and service.
– James Allen: They offer a huge collection of budget diamond engagement rings, their prices are some of the best in the industry and their customer service is excellent. The buying process is easy, stress-free and James Allen provides a 30-day return policy and a lifetime warranty.
– Blue Nile: Their diamond inventory is massive, their prices are excellent, their selection of settings is very good and their customer service is some of the best in the industry. Blue Nile also offers a 30-day return policy and a lifetime warranty.