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).

Making the ring less expensive

In this article, I focus on specific things you can do to reduce the cost of the ring and diamond. Assuming that you have already checked out your various options with regards to buying online or second-hand, here are some ways you can make the actual ring cheaper.

Sponsored Links

First up, you can select a diamond that is smaller in order to save some money. This is a very viable strategy, because the price of a diamond does not linearly increase with the size. If you drop from a one carat to a half carat diamond size, the apparent size of the diamond will only go down a little. However, the price should drop by more than 50%.

You can also reduce other qualities of the diamond. For example, instead of choosing an ideal cut, you could choose a premium cut. Instead of choosing an I colour diamond, you could choose a J colour diamond. Both of these measures will significantly decrease the cost of the diamond.

If you're willing to spend some time learning about diamonds, you can also choose a lower clarity diamond and pick one that is eye clean yourself. This may let you choose and SI1 or SI2 clarity diamond, instead of a VS2 or higher clarity diamond.

Consider also changing from a fancy shape of diamond to a more common shape of diamond such as a round or princess diamond. Because these diamonds are available in larger quantities, you can usually get more diamond for your dollar.

If you're going for a simple setting like a solitaire ring, you can reduce the cost of the ring in two different ways. You can get a thinner band, which will have less gold or platinum in it, and consequently will be less expensive.

You can also choose a lower carat metal. A lower carat metal will be cheaper, and will also be tougher and more resistant to scratches.

If you are taking out a loan to buy your diamond engagement ring, be very careful of in-store finance plans. Sometimes, the store will earn more from offering you a finance plan, then they will from selling the diamond ring itself. Make sure you don't feel pressured into accepting the store finance, when you may be able to get a much better deal if you look around.