One ring, every day, forever: obviously you want your diamond engagement ring to be truly beautiful. Feeling the pressure when you are ring shopping at jewelry stores to spend more than you can afford? We’re here to tell you that you don't have to spend too much to buy a diamond engagement ring that’s really special. With some insider diamond-buying hacks, you can buy a cheap engagement ring that looks like you paid a lot more. Here are six strategies to get the best deal on a diamond engagement ring without sacrificing quality.
1. BUY A LOOSE DIAMOND ONLINE
The average jewelry store might have a hundred diamonds to choose from for your engagement ring. Good online jewelers have about 30,000. Which one do you think offers the better deal on an affordable engagement ring? It’s almost impossible for local jewelers to match the prices online.
Buying a loose diamond online is the best way to find a beautiful diamond that’s an excellent value. Since the diamond is the most expensive part of your engagement ring, saving money by getting the best price on a diamond is the easiest way to save money on an engagement ring.
But you need to make sure you are buying a cheap diamond that is also a beautiful diamond. When you are ring shopping at jewelers, only consider diamonds that have a diamond grading report from the Gemological Institute of America, known as a GIA report. That’s how you know you are comparing apples to apples: reports from diamond grading labs other than GIA may not use the same standards to assess the quality of gemstones.
Once you find a diamond you like, you can make sure you are actually getting the best value before you pull out your credit card by using the Compare Your Diamond feature on RockHer. It works no matter where you found your diamond, whether it’s a jewelry store or at an online jeweler like Blue Nile.
Just submit the GIA report number and RockHer’s artificial intelligence algorithm will compare it to more than 30,000 diamonds on the market to see if there is a better diamond at the same price or a comparable diamond at a lower price. You’ll either find an even better deal on a diamond or know that the cheap diamond you found is a true bargain.
2. CHOOSE A SLIGHTLY SMALLER DIAMOND
Think you can’t have a high quality one-carat affordable diamond engagement ring? You can with this clever diamond hack: don't look for a 1.00 carat diamond. Look for a 0.95 carat diamond. Diamond prices are calculated by weight per carat and the prices spike at the 1.00-carat weight threshold. Buying a diamond that’s 0.05 less in weight, a difference that is impossible to see with the naked eye, will save you about 20 percent!
Of course, weight is related to size. But the main dimension that you notice when you are looking at the diamond in your engagement ring is the diamond’s face-up diameter. And what’s really surprising is that diamonds of the exact same weight often have different diameters.
In fact, you can find one-carat weight diamonds with a diameter of 6.1mm and one-carat diamonds with diameters of 6.5 mm. In fact, a 0.95-carat weight diamond could have the exact same diameter as a one-carat diamond.
Try an I color, SI1 clarity diamond around 0.90 carats for the best deal on a diamond engagement ring that looks like it costs hundreds of dollars more.
3. USE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TO FIND THE BEST DEAL
Even when you learn everything you need to know about the 4Cs, comparing thousands and thousands of diamonds looking for the best deal has always been difficult, even for professional jewelers. But now there’s a better way thanks to advances in artificial intelligence. You can use the same technology as IBM’s Watson to find the best deal on an engagement ring.
Give your diamond budget to ROSI, RockHer’s diamond picking artificial intelligence and she will search every diamond on the market and recommend the single best diamond value for you, taking into account more than 16 different quality factors.
It’s a bit humbling the first time you try it: in a few seconds, ROSI finds you a better diamond than you could find after weeks of learning about diamonds and months of searching through listings. It’s the single easiest way to get a great deal on a diamond.
And it gets even better: now you can use the ROSI Personal Ring Shopper to search for the best combination of diamond and engagement ring setting to fit your budget. ROSI compares 300 million possible combinations of diamond and ring setting to find the best deal on a diamond ring. It makes finding an affordable engagement ring ridiculously easy.
4. CONSIDER A FANCY SHAPED DIAMOND
One of the easiest ways to get the best deal on a diamond ring is to choose a fancy shaped diamond engagement ring rather than the traditional round brilliant engagement ring.
Here’s why. All one-carat diamonds are the same weight. But they are not the same size! Oval shaped diamonds, marquise cut diamonds, and pear shaped diamonds are a lot bigger than round brilliants. In fact, almost all fancy shapes look bigger than rounds. So by choosing a fancy shaped diamond, you can have a larger looking diamond ring while paying for the same carat weight diamond.
And here’s the crazy thing: fancy shape diamonds also cost less per carat than round brilliant diamonds! So that bigger looking fancy shaped diamond also costs less than a round brilliant diamond. You can save as much as $1000 on a one-carat diamond ring!
A bigger-looking diamond means your affordable engagement ring is an even better deal. All the style points that come from a fashionable fancy shape diamond are just a bonus.
5. BUY A WARM TONED DIAMOND RING
Diamonds are more expensive when they are colorless. But a warm colored diamond that has a slight hint of yellow can be very beautiful too. It’s in between a white diamond and a fancy colored diamond and more affordable than either. With a warm colored diamond, your cheap engagement ring can look much more expensive. And if you don't want anyone to be able to tell that your diamond ring isn't perfectly colorless, you can set it in yellow gold. No one will be able to notice that slight tint, they’ll just see a beautiful diamond in a beautiful engagement ring setting.
6. SURROUND A SMALLER DIAMOND WITH A HALO
An engagement ring set with a smaller (and cheaper) diamond looks bigger when you choose an engagement ring setting with a halo of diamonds around the center stone. Of course, a halo setting will cost a bit more than a plain solitaire ring, but the savings from the center diamond are worth it. To compare the two, use the ROSI Personal Ring Shopper. Select your budget for the entire diamond ring and you can compare different combinations of diamond and setting to get the most beautiful affordable engagement ring.
Because getting a cheap engagement ring that’s also really beautiful? That’s priceless.