2 Sneaky Hacks to Save Major Money on an Engagement Ring
We all have different preferences when it comes to personal style. This is everything from how you define your vibe (preppy, downtown, and so on) to more specifics in terms of the types of items you favor over others—a certain shoe silhouette, bag shape, and, for the purpose of this piece, style of engagement ring. If you’re one that dreams for a massive stunner but don’t want to spend everything you have (or your other half has) on the perfect 1- or 2-carat stunner, don’t fret. There are simple ways you can save on an engagement ring without completely sacrificing quality or the illusion that you’re carrying a big rock. To help us out, we tapped Kathryn Money, VP of strategy and merchandising at Brilliant Earth to spill the sneaky ways you can save huge amounts of money on your dream engagement ring.
Below, we’re highlighting two points to keep in mind to save up to 50% on your engagement ring. Just note that all of the factors coming your way will certainly vary depending on your priorities and budgets. Brilliant Earth’s approach is to work with every customer to help make an informed decision.
Keep scrolling for our guide on how to get your dream ring without the exorbitant price tag. Plus, go a bit further to shop some of our favorite rings of the moment if you're looking to send over inspiration to your S.O.
"A round 1 carat, D color, IF clarity, Super Ideal—which is a very rare and exceptional diamond—would cost $17k to $19k. By comparison, a round 1 carat diamond that is G color, VS2 clarity and Very Good to Ideal Cut would cost less than half this amount." — Kathryn Money
Note the clarity, color, and cut scales:
Clarity: IF (Internally Flawless), VVS1/VVS2 (Very Very Slight Inclusions), VS1/VS2 (Very Slightly Inclusions), SI1/SI2 (Slight Inclusions), and I1/I2/I3 (Imperfect).
Color: D-F are considered colorless, G-J are near colorless, K-M are slightly tinted, N-R is very light yellow and S-Z is light yellow to yellow.
Cut (in order of ideal cuts): Super Ideal, Ideal, Very Good.
“The majority of clarities will look similar to the naked eye, but they increase in rarity, and therefore price, as you go higher on the scale. Clarity grading is done under 10x magnification by a trained gemologist. The majority of factors that would affect the clarity grade for diamonds above VS2 cannot be seen by the untrained eye without magnification. Under 10x magnification, and with help from a gemologist, you could see the differences between IF, VVS1, and VVS2. Generally, we recommend VS2 and above as completely eye clean, although many customers are happy with an SI1 clarity diamond. In some instances, people could be able to distinguish between VS2 and SI1 diamonds in that SI1 diamonds could have visible characteristics. The increase in price from a VS2 to an IF is significant. Staying within the VS1–VS2 range, which is still a completely eye clean option, will keep your diamond at a well-balanced price.” — Kathryn Money
“Color is really a customer preference. We generally recommend customers purchase D through J on the color range. DEF are the iciest white diamonds in the colorless range, GH are a great middle ground, and IJ are slightly warmer. If a customer was seeking to mimic the icy white look of a colorless diamond, we would recommend they stay within the D-G range. IJ diamonds can be great options for people interested in warmer metal tones, such as yellow or rose gold or those interested in vintage styles. Some customers are more naturally drawn to this warmth, while others prefer the icy white tone of a colorless or near colorless diamond. We actually do blind diamond ‘taste tests’ to help customers determine which color they prefer. Again, the higher in rarity on the scale, the more significant the price change. If you’re not able to tell the difference when looking at a diamond side-by-side in the color range, then selecting a higher rarity color option would be more expensive and may not be necessary for you.” — Kathryn Money
“The cut of the diamond optimizes light refraction and creates sparkle and scintillation. For cut grade, we recommend Very Good cut and above (Very Good, Ideal, and Super Ideal) to maximize sparkle and ensure you have a beautiful brilliant diamond.
Shape is different than cut. Round diamonds command a premium over fancy-shaped diamonds. This is largely due to higher levels of customer demand for round diamonds. Most customers select a fancy shape because they are drawn to the uniqueness of the style.” — Kathryn Money
"There can certainly be a cost benefit by going slightly below 1 carat since many customers seek to hit the 1 carat mark. By buying an 'underweight' diamond at .9 carat instead of a 1 carat diamond, you can achieve savings of 10–20%. Oftentimes, the difference is not noticeable to the naked eye and can yield good value.” — Kathryn Money
What are your tricks for saving money on an engagement ring? Let us know in the comments below!
Opening Image: Lindsay Goldenberg Jones via Woman Getting Married