Quick and Easy Buying Guide

Carat weight: 1 carat = 200 milligrams = 6.5 mm diameter. Doubling weight doesn't double diameter.

Diamond clarity: FL/IF/VVS/VS = super expensive, near perfect. SI = best value if you can check a photo for obvious inclusions (defects).


Color: D-G = colorless, expensive, only if you have money to burn. H-J = best value. Can go lower in gold metal settings than white metal.

Cut: Better cut ratings let more light into a diamond, making it sparkle more. Very important property, don't skimp here.

Set a budget and minimum cut (Premium). Go J color for gold and I/H for white metals. Go searching for SI1/SI2 clarity diamonds at James Allen. Pick a diamond with small/no inclusions. Choose a ring setting and buy it risk-free (60-day returns).

Discount Engagement Rings

There are a range of options for getting discounts when you buy a diamond engagement ring. If you only comfortable buying from your local jewellery store, what you can do is wait for a sale. Sometimes when the store gets in new stock, they will offer a significant discount to try and clear old stock.

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Like when you buy a new car, there is also the option to trade in your old jewellery and get a discount on any new items you are buying. Alternatively, you can bring in your own ring setting and just pay for the diamond. Or you could source your own discount diamond and just get the jeweller to supply you with a setting.

If you take it a step further, you may be able to source a good discount on a second-hand ring from a pawn shop. If you're really lucky, you might be able to find a bargain where the pawn shop has undervalued a ring.

Following in the steps of outlet fashion stores, you can go shopping at an outlet jewellery store. The idea of these stores is that they carry overstocked or out of date jewellery items at significantly lower prices than in normal shopping centre stores.

One method that people use to buy cheap cars is to look for damaged second-hand cars that they know they can fix relatively cheaply i.e. for less than the discount below the new car price. The same principle applies in jewellery – if you know what you're doing, or you have a friend jeweller, you may be able to find a second-hand damaged item or even a new damaged item, buy it at a significant discount, and then spend a relatively small amount of money to get it fixed.

If your heart is set on a diamond ring you may be able to buy a different type of ring and use it as an engagement ring. Some stores may apply a premium to the rings that are labelled as engagement rings just because they can get away with it. So what you can do is buy a normal ring and just not mention that it is going to be used as an engagement ring (the same trick works for both cakes and wedding dresses – if you can get away with it, don't mention that it's for a wedding, and you might be pleasantly surprised by the price difference).