An engagement ring symbolizes one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. So, it’s easy to get carried away when you shop for one, and end up spending more than you can afford. So, here’s some expert advice on ways to save money on a diamond without looking like a cheapskate:
First: Concentrate on the cut. The minute you start shopping, jewelers start in about the 4 C's, cut, color, clarity, and carat. But gem expert Russell Shor says that the right cut can make stones look perfect to the naked eye, even when they’re graded 7 levels below flawless. That move alone could save you 66%.
The next money-saving engagement ring tip: Choose a gold setting. That’s because yellow-gold makes diamonds look whiter, which allows you to buy a stone with a lower color rating. In fact, if you’re looking for a diamond in the one-carat range, that could save you 75%!
And speaking of carats: Go slightly smaller. Scott Gordon is a member of the American Society of Appraisers. And he says that prices jump when a diamond hits the quarter, half, and full-carat marks. So, a stone that’s slightly under the next level up, say, .96 carats instead of a full carat, will cost a lot less.
And the final tip for buying a diamond ring: Pick a distinctive shape. Antoinette Matlins is the author of Engagement and Wedding Rings: The Definitive Buying Guide. And she says that round diamonds are the most expensive because they’re the most popular. So, choosing another shape can cut your cost in half. Plus, unusual shapes have more surface area, which makes smaller diamonds look bigger.