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Stretch My Budget On A Diamond Engagement Ring

by Javier
(Oswego, New York)

I've been saving up money for a diamond engagement ring over the last few months and am starting to look at rings now. My girlfriend only wears yellow gold so I know that's what I'll get.

I've looked into diamonds and kinda understand what I need to look for but do you have any tips or advice on stretching my budget? I want to get as much bang for my buck as possible when it comes to the diamond. Thanks.

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Getting More Bang For Your Diamond Buck!
by: Engagement Experts Team

When you say you've "looked into diamonds", we hope you mean the 4 CS of diamonds.

So here are our cost saving tips for diamond engagement rings:

Go for gold. Both white and yellow gold are much cheaper than platinum (lucky you've already got this one covered).

Buy the setting and diamond separately (from the same place) as opposed to buying an engagement ring that is pre-packaged with the diamond. Why? Because you can then pick out the right diamond and stretch your budget and not compromise on the style of the ring.

So....

Save on carats... The cost of a diamond jumps in price when it's a round number or passes a certain carat threshold. In other words, if you get a .97 carat diamond as opposed to a 1 carat diamond you won't be able to notice the difference size-wise but you will notice a big difference in price. The same is true for a .48 as opposed to a half carat or a 3.4 as opposed to a 3 and a half carat diamond. It's an industry quirk based on the fact that you can't call a .48 a half carat diamond and for marketing reasons you pay a premium for being able to call a diamond by a round figure.

Save on clarity... By moving slightly down the scale you can save significantly. Most inclusions in a diamond are not really noticeable to the naked eye. So, for example, if you go with a VS diamond instead of a VVS diamond you'll save a lot of money and there will be little (if any) visible difference to the naked eye. The only way to really tell the difference between the two grades would be by using a magnifying jewelers loupe.

Save on color... Since you're going for yellow gold you can save here too because a yellower diamond will look cleaner and whiter in a yellow gold setting. Also, darker skin tones have the same effect. However if you're soon-to-be fiancee has a creamy white complexion then lean towards the colorless or upper range near-colorless keeping in mind that the yellow gold will help amke a diamond look whiter than it is.

The final C (Cut) is the only place we would recommend that you do not cut corners. The other 3 Cs are all about rarity and that is how they affect the price however a diamond's cut is purely about quality. A poorly cut diamond will not only dampen the natural beauty of the stone but it makes for a poor investment.

Lastly, buy online - Yep! Online jewelers sell diamonds for significantly less than brick and mortar jewelry stores for a couple of reasons. They don't have the overhead and staff required for a store and because they sell to the world at large they buy diamonds in much larger quantities and therefore get a better deal which they can then pass on to you. Our favorite is JamesAllen because they have a huge inventory of diamonds and real diamond pictures with a virtual loupe so that you can really see what you're buying....but most online outlets will give you a better deal than your local jeweler.

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