How to Buy an Engagement Ring on a Budget
by Brynlee Handy June 22
As we all know, our economy isn’t in the best shape right now coming out of the worst part of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, even though it may not be the ideal time to purchase an engagement ring, we also know that love doesn’t wait. That’s why we’re here to give you the inside scoop from an industry professional on how to purchase an engagement ring on a budget. Check out some of these helpful tips and tricks from Houston vendor Uptown Diamond below!
Photo // Fulleylove Photography
Grading The 4 C’s
Learning and understanding the grading of the four C’s of a diamond (cut, carat, color, and clarity) can help you get the most bang for your buck. The highest grades are not necessary to have a beautiful diamond.
The better your cut grade, the more brilliant your diamond, the larger your diamond will appear. Make sure you are checking proportions. The wrong proportions can make your diamond appear darker and smaller.
Carat: Buying Shy
Buying just below a whole carat will help you achieve the same look, without having to pay the price (Example: 1.90 ct vs. 2.00 ct will virtually look no different but the price will greatly increase going up to the whole carat).
Color: Face Up White
You don’t need a high color grade to get a white-looking diamond. You can achieve a face up white appearance with an “I” color grade.
Clarity: Eye Clean
Inclusions can come in all shapes and sizes. Diamonds that are graded correctly at S11 clarity we refer to as “eye clean.”
Set a Budget
Set a budget and do not waver. When shopping for a ring, aside from selecting a center stone, consider the setting and other stones necessary for certain settings for your overall budget.
Purchase your diamond from a local jeweler rather than a large online store. Your local jeweler has the same amount of buying power as a large online store and provides you a more personalized experience.
Make sure you do your due diligence. Check in with different types of jewelry stores. Compare stones 4C’s and the correlated pricing, settings, and side stones if applicable.
Avoid shopping around gift-giving holidays. Some retailers will raise the price of their products to take advantage of your emotional purchase or “love buys.”
Find a jeweler that offers a lifetime warranty and a lifetime guarantee. This will help you feel more confident about the quality of your diamond and overall purchase knowing your jeweler is willing to purchase it back.
Lab-Grown vs Mined
Lab-grown diamonds are becoming more popular. Lab-grown diamonds are made by simulating a mined diamond’s surroundings and fast-tracking the growth. Genetically they are the same but lab-grown diamonds cost less.
Setting: 14K Gold
Rather than platinum or 18K gold, with 14k gold, you can still achieve any look at a more affordable price. 14K gold is available in yellow, rose, and white.
If you desire a larger appearance, consider setting your center stone in a halo. Although a halo consists of many small diamonds, the smaller diamonds do not cost as much as what a larger stone would.
Stone: Like New
Use a family heirloom or if you are not superstitious, buy a pre-owned diamond. You can check with your family members to see if they have any pre-owned stones.
(Semi) Precious Stones
If you are not set on a diamond center stone, consider a semi-precious stone such as an aquamarine, citrine, topaz, etc.
We hope these tips and tricks help you find the engagement ring of your dreams at a price that won’t break the bank. For more information, or to browse their selection of fine jewelry, check out Uptown Diamond’s vendor profile directly here. And take our quiz to see which engagement ring style fits you. Cheers!
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Other Local Vendors: Fulleylove Photography, Uptown Diamond