Proposals and engagement parties are an important rite for many people around the world. It is considered the sign of true commitment, which, to most people, is such a big deal.
Obviously, this translates to expensive rings and celebrations. But it doesn’t have to be. Not everyone is for the idea of big proposals or, even better, big rings that cost most of their savings.
And in the liberal and very progressive world, we live in today, more and more people are embracing the idea of reasonably priced engagement rings. No one wants to buy an overpriced engagement ring that loses more than half its value the moment it leaves the jewelry store.
If you are one of the people that subscribe to this school of thought, you will be happy to know that contrary to popular beliefs; there are numerous options of cheap but high-quality engagement rings that you could get your hands on. You only need to know what you’re looking for.
In this article, we’re sharing with you the best ideas on where and how to find stunning engagement rings that will not break the bank.
So, let’s get into it!
How can I get a nice engagement ring for cheap?
1. Avoid buying engagement rings from the big and chain brands in the malls
These stores have the best displays that draw you in, and you will fall in love with the options offered, but their prices are just too high, and you will spend too much, unnecessarily.
Avoid buying jewelry from the big brand stores in malls or from departmental stores. Go to the independent jewelers instead.
2. Look out for the local jewelers or the independent jeweler located in the nearest big city.
You will come across many jewelers selling the best of diamond jewelry, for example, in the diamond district of LA. There are many such jewelers, which translates to competition, and great discounts for you.
Before you settle on a jeweler, however, look them up online, ask around, shop around the other stores, and also check Yelp. You also need to make sure that the diamond you are buying comes with an authentic GIA report.
3. Choose the preferred stone, then consider the available alternatives.
A diamond is forever, but the best sparkling diamond costs an arm and a leg, but it is not the most affordable or valuable option for most people.
So, if you know that the diamond is the base in your search for the best engagement ring for your partner and you know that you S/O won’t mind something that costs less but looks just as good, then we’d recommend a cheaper stunning, diamond-like stone like the moissanite.
The moissanite is the best cheap alternative where you know that your partner wouldn’t want a stone that doesn’t look like the diamond.
And if they don’t really care about the stone and you know that she’d rather save that money on something more important instead of spending money on the real diamond, then you could even get away with the cheaper version of the diamond – the lab-created diamond; the cubic zirconia.
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but you don’t always need to spend all that money on the diamond when you have the moissanite, which is the perfect alternative.
The moissanite refers to a naturally-occurring stone that sparkles just like or even more than the diamond, and interestingly, it is rarer than the diamond. As a result, most of the moissanite jewelry on the market is made in the lab and is considered a stimulant.
The moissanite is, therefore, the perfect alternative to the diamond or even the CZ, especially because of the bright sparkle, which means that you end up spending less money, and no one will be able to tell that is not a real diamond.
And if your S/O would love an engagement with a colored stone such as the ruby or sapphire, then these would be cheaper options compared to the diamond.
4. Knowledge is power
If your partner is set on a diamond engagement ring and this is a non-negotiable thing for them, then you’d want to make the best out of the information offered on diamonds.
With the right information about diamonds, you will easily find the perfect diamond engagement ring that is still within your budget.
To do this, find and make use of the GIA report offering comprehensive details and analysis of the diamond’s cut, color qualities, carat weight, and the clarity of the stone.
You will be amazed by the range that is there and how choosing a certain cut and color grad would easily mean a gorgeous stone that doesn’t set you back much.
Know that the carat is the designation for the size of the diamond, and the rest of the characteristics making up the 4Cs relate to how the diamond will look.
The cut of the diamond is graded from Poor to Ideal/Excellent; the grading of the Clarity is from Flawless to Included, and the Color grading is in alphabetical order, from D for the colorless diamonds to Z for the light-colored diamonds. In between these grades is the perfect diamond for your partner.
The GIA or the Gemological Institute of America offers comprehensive reports for the diamond, and the reports on the grading of diamonds are often different and more comprehensive than what you’d find from most other diamond sellers.
5. Choosing the biggest diamond on a budget – Cut and Clarity
If you are looking for the biggest diamond you can find on your budget; you’d want to prioritize the cut and the clarity level of the diamond over the color of the stone.
What you need to know about the diamonds is that the best or the perfect diamond is graded as follows – D color, Excellent Cut, and Flawless Clarity.
Unfortunately, the diamond that ticks all these boxes will cost you a fortune, and since you’re on a budget, these are not the qualities that you should be looking at.
Instead, we recommend going for the diamond whose clarity levels fall in between VS1 and VS2. To the untrained and the naked eye, it’s quite impossible to tell these two diamonds apart, and to the average person, even the SI1 diamond would still appear perfect.
But that is not all you need to take into account; you also need to know what to avoid. Essentially, you must avoid the VVS, FL, and the IF diamonds, even when on a budget.
Then, regarding the color of the diamonds, opt for the diamonds in the D and J color profiles. Something else to note is that if the diamond’s clarity falls in is the VS2 grade and it has an Excellent Cut, then the brilliance from the excellent cut of this diamond and also its high clarity level will end up covering the color of the diamond.
For the best bargain on diamonds, choose a diamond in grade K for color and one with higher marks in the rest of the quality categories.
6. Solitaires cost more than the small cluster diamonds
The other way for you to end up buying a stunning engagement ring for less is by avoiding the solitaire diamond and opting for the cluster diamond instead. Of course, this is only ideal if your partner is into that style.
The reason why this should work is that the smaller diamonds cost significantly less than, the bigger stones. So, you should consider getting a diamond with a smaller center stone but surrounded by a bunch of smaller diamonds.
Most of these diamond engagement rings fall in the cluster or the halo ring style, and these rings will save you a good chunk of cash.
7.97 Carat Diamond Costs Less Than 1 Carat Diamond
This is the other thing that might not really make sense, but it will give you a cheaper diamond engagement ring and make everyone happy.
The reason why we recommend this idea is that the diamond sizes are in brackets, but most people opt for the specific carat weight deeming the diamonds that weigh slightly less as undesirable.
Interestingly, this very small difference in the carat weight of the diamond will shave some dollars off the cost of the ring. Also, the minute size difference doesn’t affect the apparent size of the diamond, and a 1-carat diamond looks just like the 0.97-carat diamond.
8. Round brilliant K-Color Gemstones are cheaper.
This is the other neat trick you need to learn if you must buy a solitaire engagement ring on a budget. All you need to do is to buy the round-cut brilliant solitaire.
This is the ideal option for you if you are looking for the best solitaire with inclusions or the K color grade. The reason for this idea is that the round brilliant-cut stones have the highest sparkle thanks to the cut profile.
So, if your S/O is keen on that emerald cut or something close, you should choose the round brilliant-cut stone. The sparkle of this stone makes the inclusions or that yellowish tinge less noticeable.
As long as you are buying the diamond locally, you must haggle the price.
While it doesn’t always work, depending on the ring selected and the seller, there is often some wiggle room, and many sellers would be willing to take down the price a bit, especially if you are knowledgeable about the rings and that the average prices are.
And even if this fails, the seller is likely to give you a discount on the wedding rings if you buy from the same store.
10. Compare prices online
A diamond engagement ring might not be the kind of purchase you want to make on the internet because there are just too many uncertainties, but this is an amazing space that has many options.
You can also save a lot if you opt to buy a loose diamond then have it set on the ring afterward. Since these sellers don’t incur some of the costs that jewelers with brick-and-mortar stores do, the prices are lower, in most cases, and would be a better bargain than buying from the diamond district.
However, you need to be very careful when it comes to online purchases because some of the sites selling diamonds online are untrustworthy.
So, consider buying the diamonds from the Blue Nile or James Allen – basically, any online store that is reputable and offers reasonable refund, return, and some sort of insurance policies.
11. The Settings Shouldn’t Cost Too Much.
The overall cost of the diamond engagement ring will be influenced by the metal the gemstone is set on. However, this doesn’t mean that you get to overpay for the metal setting. But also, don’t settle on poor-quality metals.
Platinum might be the perfect metal for the ring because it is durable and beautiful, but it is quite expensive.
On the other hand, cheaper metals like stainless steel or gold-plated brass might not be ideal for anyone with sensitive skin or allergies, which makes sterling silver your best option if you are buying the ring on a very tight budget. Just avoid metals like stainless steel or plated metals.
12. Buy Used Diamond Ring
If you are not superstitious and your partner wouldn’t mind wearing a used ring, you could buy a used ring. There are many sites and marketplaces that sell used rings in perfect condition.
We recommend choosing the ring with your partner and selecting the sites that are reputable. Also, compare prices offered by the stores selling used rings.
13. Meaning of conflict-free rings
Conflict-free is a term often used to describe ethically-sourced diamonds, but the phrase is sometimes misused.
Also, what conflict-free really means is that the diamond was not used to find violence, and it doesn’t cover other exploitative practices that may have been involved in the mining of the diamond-like child labor or use of processes that aren’t eco-friendly.
14. Buy Lower-Karat Gold for setting.
Instead of 18k gold or platinum, which are both very expensive, opt for the 10K or 9k gold instead – it is cheaper and durable.
15. Look for discounts
You can find great discounts on Amazon and other online jewelry sites. To reiterate, make sure that the sites are reputable and the discounts legitimate.
To save your money when looking for the best but cheap engagement rings, follow the recommendations above.
You can save a great deal of cash by choosing gemstone alternatives for diamonds and carefully selecting the features of the gemstones.
Lastly, remember that you don’t have to get a diamond ring just because it is the tradition of the thing you’re expected to.
Also, have open conversations with your partner and consider their style.
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Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.