Shopping for the perfect engagement ring is so exciting and special. And hopefully, by the end of this article, I can show you that you can still buy a beautiful ring without breaking the bank account.
Understanding the 4 Cs of Diamonds.
Knowing the 4 cs of a diamond and how each diamond is evaluated will help you choose the best diamond engagement ring for your buck.
The 4 Cs of a diamond are the characteristics of the diamond, and play a huge role in the quality, value, and beauty of the diamond. The 4Cs stand for carat, color, cut, and clarity.
Let’s start with the Diamond cut or diamond shape, the cut of the diamond refers to how the diamond reflects light back to the viewer’s eye. A well-cut diamond has the greatest influence on sparkle, a poor-cut diamond will appear dull.
Photo credit to GIA.COM
Diamond Color– A diamond’s color is graded on an alphabetical scale from D TO Z, the color refers to the amount of yellow in a diamond, basically, it means a lack of color. The diamond color has five categories, Colorless(D-F), Near Colorless(G-J) Faint (K) Very Light Yellow(N-R) Light Yellow (S-Z). Color in a diamond has the ability to reflect light, the more color the diamond has the more sparkle it will have. The higher the color, the more expensive the diamond will cost.
photo courtesy of JamesAllen
Diamond Clarity– means how many inclusions or flaws the diamond has, when you look at the appearance of a diamond it’s important not to see any blemishes that stand out. The diamond clarity has 6 categories. Flawless(FL) meaning no inclusions and no blemishes under 10x magnification. Internal Flawless(IF) No inclusions visible under 10x magnification. Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1 AND VVS2) inclusions so slight they are difficult for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification. Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) inclusions are observed with effort under 10x magnification but can be characterized as minor. Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) Flaws may be visible to the naked eye. Included (I1, I2, and I3) flaws visible without magnification
photo courtesy of Whiteflash
Carat Weight– refers to the weight of the diamond, carat measures a diamond’s apparent size, the greater the carat weight the more valuable the diamond is. Diamond weight is one of the main factors when it comes to determining the value of a diamond. Larger diamonds are rare and in higher demand than smaller diamonds.
Photo courtesy JamesAllen
So now that we have a better understanding of the quality of the diamonds let’s talk about different types of Metals and why they play an important role when it comes to buying inexpensive engagement rings.
Platinum metal is a naturally white metal known for its strength and purity it’s 95% pure, also platinum is extremely durable and that is the reason why it’s one of the most expensive metals.
White Gold Rings are less expensive than platinum it consists of four categories the amount of pure gold in metal 10k, 14k, 18k, and 24k. The karat indicates the amount of pure gold in the metal, usually, gold is mixed with other metals such as silver, copper, nickel, and zink to make stronger jewelry. So the higher the karat the more expensive and more percentage of pure gold.
Another popular metal is gold(yellow gold is a mixture of pure gold and copper and silver that gives it that yellow color) and rose gold(is a mixture of gold 75% and copper25% allow that creates the warm reddish color) these types of metals are a little bit cheaper and is a great choice to help you save money.
Best place to buy the perfect engagement ring at an affordable price.
While doing my engagement ring research to find the best high quality engagement rings on a budget. I stumbled upon an amazing site JamesAllen.Com. And I am truly convinced that it’s the best jewelry store where you can find your dream ring on a budget.
James Allen has been in business for more than 16 years, though its founders have over 60 years of experience. JamesAllen’s mission is to offer customers the highest quality diamonds and the largest selection at the best price. JamesAllen does not operate retail locations (although you can visit their showroom in New York) that is how they can offer diamonds at a better value, than your local jewelry store or those small jewelry chains in the store.
Why is JamesAllen Cheaper than other Jewelry stores?
As mentioned above JamesAllen does not have retail locations and that is one of the reasons why they can provide customers with cheaper better quality diamonds. and is a great place if you have an engagement ring budget.
James Allen has G.I.A Graduate Gemologists as part of their team and they send them out to nearby suppliers and diamond warehouses to take HD videos. They do not own their own diamonds, but each diamond is examined by an in-house expert.
Major Jewelers like Zales, Jared, and Kays spend millions on advertising, and these stores mark up their diamonds to double their cost and also to pay their retail locations and employees. JamesAllen on the other hand only has to pay for website maintenance and photo/ video staff, customer service, and diamond specialists. Also unlike other jewels, they don’t stock their diamonds and don’t buy diamonds upfront, but the good news is this is how they can offer cheaper diamonds.
How Much Can You Save?
Well, it all depends on what matters most to you. You might prefer to have a Bigger Dimond over Clarity. In my opinion, I would focus on a Diamond Cut over Clarity. My wedding ring clarity is SI2 which means it has slight inclusions or dark spots, SI2 diamonds have inclusions that cannot be seen with a naked eye, you need magnification to see the flaws. Honestly, I cannot see the inclusions, so save your money and go for a better cut that will make your diamond sparkle.
JamesAllen has this amazing 360 Diamond Display Technology, every diamond is photographed with 15x or great magnification in 360 degrees that allows you to zoom in on diamonds as if you were holding them in your own hands, so you can see the diamond in detail much closer and decide what characteristics are most important to you.
I decided to do a little experiment and compare the prices of the same exact diamond from JamesAllen and Zales. I plugged in the same requirement on both websites, the same diamond clarity, cut shape, and color.
The price range was astonishing, the diamond from JamesAllen was almost half the price of the diamond from Zales. See for yourself.
I first went to Zales.com to create my own custom ring, and I plugged the following into the search bar: Shape: Roud, 1.00 carat, very good cut, color H and clarity SI1, and the result of the cheapest ring with those requirements is $8698, but when I plugged the same categories in JamesAllen.Com the price was $4610!!! That is mind-blowing, it’s $4088 cheaper to buy the exact same diamond from JamesAllen than from Zales.
You are more than welcome to check out both websites and compare the prices and see the price difference for yourselves. I would definitely recommend JamesAllen.Com as the number one place to purchase an engagement ring.
You will save so much more money and buy a higher quality ring, and if you’re still not convinced (because I know buying such a luxurious expensive item online can be very scary) they have a 30-day return policy if you’re not satisfied and they will pay for shipping too. Also if you need more reassurance, take advantage of the return policy and have it appraised yourself by your own trusted source just so you can have that peace of mind and reassurance that the ring you buy is, in fact, legitimate and you’re receiving a true value what the ring is worth.
Best way to save money when shopping for affordable engagement rings, some useful tips.
1. Go for a smaller carat size/weight, for example, if you had your heart set on a 1-carat diamond, the best option choose 0.99 or .95 instead of 1 carat. It’s still very close to a 1-carat diamond and will save you a couple of hundred dollars. But a diamond with 0.75 is even more budget-friendly, it’s a perfect size not too small, and closer to a 1 carat.
2. Another great option is to Choose colorless diamonds, the closer you are to the highest end of the color spectrum the more expensive is the diamond. Instead, look with your eye, and by choosing a lower color grade you can easily save much money.
3. Choose Your Center Diamond Shape Wisely. Did you know that round-shape diamonds are of the most expensive diamond cuts? Go for a shape that is more affordable like the princess cut, Emerald, or Cushion Diamond.
4. Consider diamond alternatives. I know natural diamonds are the popular choice, but lab-created diamonds have the same sparkle with the help of advanced technology the only difference is their origin. Lab-created diamonds are a great option and can be a huge impact on price point.
I hope that you found this article helpful and I know that you will make the best decision in buying the perfect ring for your loved one.
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