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How to Lower Your Engagement Ring Budget

BY Peter Vey    |    04 October, 2018
Here are some insider tips to make your diamond engagement ring look even more impressive—while saving you hundreds of dollars. 

If you want a striking engagement ring that won’t eat up your entire wedding budget, here are some insider tips to make your diamond engagement ring look even more impressive—while saving you hundreds of dollars.

1. Add a halo to your center stone.

A halo is made up of round pavé or micro-diamonds that surround your center stone. Halo ring settings add sparkle to your engagement ring’s overall design and make the center diamond look bigger. This means you can save on a smaller diamond and let the halo (which is comparatively inexpensive because a halo uses only small diamonds) visually pump up your ring’s size with a little extra shine and flash!  

Emerald Cut Diamond Halo Ring

2. Select a diamond with very small inclusions.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grades diamonds based upon their clarity (or their overall visual appearance and how few or many inclusions are visible within the stone). The highest grade diamonds are Flawless (FL) diamonds and have no visible inclusions, even under 10x magnification. Flawless diamonds are incredibly rare and therefore very expensive.

Of course you want a dazzling diamond for your engagement ring but that doesn’t mean you have to select a flawless diamond. But you can save a bundle if you opt for a Very Slightly Included (VS) or Slightly Included (SI) diamond. These diamonds have inclusions but the inclusions are only visible under 10x magnification. So to the naked eye, these diamonds are virtually flawless and visually comparable to higher grade diamonds. Most experts will advise couples to choose a VS or SI diamond to get the best value for any given budget.

3. Pick a diamond with a carat size that isn’t a whole number.

You can shave a bit off the price tag if you choose a diamond with a carat size that isn’t a nice, whole number, like 0.97 carats versus 1.0 carat. Diamonds within fractions of a carat size of one another look nearly identical, especially once they’re placed in an engagement ring setting. Therefore, opt for a very slightly, imperceptibly smaller diamond and you can save a bit without sacrificing the engagement ring look you’re after.

Natural Round Diamond Engagement Ring

4. Add a filigree detail to your ring design.

A filigree is an extremely delicate and highly ornamental detail created by fusing tiny beads or hair-thin threads of metal to metal surfaces. A very beautiful and vintage-inspired look, filigree embellishments on engagement rings are often laid out in a romantic flower or organic motif.

Like a halo, filigree settings often amplify the prominence of the center stone and can make a smaller diamond look larger overall.

Vintage Antique GIA Certified Ring

5. Shop vintage or pre-owned engagement rings.

Pre-owned engagement rings are a highly economical way to purchase a wow-worthy engagement ring or diamond without the hefty retail price tag attached. Similar to a new car, the moment you take your new ring out of the jeweler's, the price immediately starts depreciating. 

You can circumvent (and actually benefit from!) that price drop off by shopping pre-owned rings. Pre-owned and vintage engagement rings allow you to stretch your budget further and potentially upgrade in the future to a higher diamond carat weight that may have been out of reach otherwise. 

By TrueFacet on 10/04/2018

TrueFacet is an online marketplace for pre-owned fine jewelry and watches. Every item sold is verified by our in-house team of gemologists and watch experts to ensure its authenticity.