Like with any other situation where you’re spending a pretty penny on a given item, you want to make sure you get the most value for your money when shopping for a beautiful diamond engagement ring. Not only should the ring be exactly what your significant other needs to showcase your commitment to one another, it should fit within your budget while doing so.
At AAA Jewelers, we’re proud to offer a wide range of diamond engagement rings for any of our clients, plus expert staff who help our customers line up their ring needs and desires with their budget and financial factors. When budgeting for an engagement ring, here are some general tips within several of the specific ring variables you’ll be looking at to ensure you’re maximizing your budget.
For those unaware, diamond clarity refers to how many flaws, or inclusions, are found within a diamond. In general, the less flaws there are in a given diamond, the more valuable it is.
Tips for maximizing your budget when buying a diamond based on clarity:
In addition, there are certain specific diamond clarity options that may offer especially great bang for your buck. Consider an SI or I1 diamond, for instance, which will contain inclusions that either present well or are completely undetectable by the naked eye — the GIA report for such diamonds will even specifically state that the inclusions are difficult to see with 10x magnification. These diamonds can be found in higher color grades and larger sizes, offering more value for your money than a diamond of identical clarity without these specific qualities.
Ideal cut diamonds are those which have been specially cut to best refract light back through the top of the stone, allowing for optimal brilliance and shine that will truly show off the stone’s clarity and color. It’s also important to note, however, that carat weight is interconnected with diamond cut in a few important ways.
To get more specific, carat weight actually refers to the overall weight of the stone, not its size. Two diamonds with the exact same carat weight may have different cuts and appear very differently, but they’re actually the same in terms of carats.
One general tip for maximizing your engagement ring diamond budget is to find diamond cuts with larger faceup dimensions. That 2-carat diamond that sits perfectly on your significant other’s finger? You will often be able to find a 1.7 or 1.8-carat diamond that’s cut very well, and ends up having the same or even larger dimensions to the human eye than the 2-carat diamond, despite being less expensive. This sort of attention to detail can help you get a fantastic deal.
Diamond color is graded on a large scale, running from D to Z, with D diamond referring to a colorless diamond. As you may have guessed, diamonds closer to the D range tend to be most expensive, while those toward the end of the alphabet come in a bit lower.
Color is mostly a preference decision when it comes to engagement rings, and this means your budgeting will generally depend on your significant other’s choice. As a general rule, however, the closer to the D colorless diamond range you can find diamonds, the better they will look and more expensive they will be.
If you’re looking for certain specific diamond shapes, such as round, emerald or cushion cuts, it’s often beneficial to look in the I-J range for color. This is because these shapes look fantastic face-up, revealing very little color even if they’re only midway up the color range — they will often look as though they belong higher on the scale even though they were priced lower.
While it’s not one of the “Four Cs” of diamond purchasing, diamond fluorescence is becoming more and more important. Fluorescence refers to a diamond phenomenon where the diamond emits a glow when put under ultraviolet lights. While this can be considered a negative quality — anything that detracts from the appearance of the stone, such as inclusions or color, will reduce its value and should affect your decision about what diamond to buy — fluorescence does not actually influence the diamond’s other 4Cs.
In fact, fluorescence may actually be considered a rare and desirable characteristic, as it will help prevent the stone from appearing dull under different types of lighting. A diamond that emits a blue glow, for instance, may be less susceptible to graying out when put under bright lights. And in many situations where diamond are worn face-up, fluorescence color phenomena may make it appear whiter, or more visually appealing. Meanwhile, under 0.2% of all fluorescent diamonds submitted to the GIA showed issues of cloudy or oily appearance, so there’s very little downside risk here.
As with many other things related to diamonds, fluorescence is also related to price — stones with weak or nonexistent fluorescence are usually less expensive than those with medium-to-strong fluorescence.
For more on how to budget properly for various elements of diamond engagement ring selection, or to learn about any of our diamond rings, engagement jewelry, fashion jewelry or other products and services, speak to the staff at AAA Jewelers today.