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Affordable Engagement Rings | How to Buy Affordable Engagement Rings

Sep 2, 2013

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A sapphire engagement ring is more affordable than a diamond engagement ring

Affordable Engagement Rings Tip #1: Stay away from Platinum

Platinum has some benefits, but a platinum ring will cost substantially more than a 14k gold ring. Although both metals are priced similarly per gram, a gram of platinum takes up less volume than a gram of gold, so more of it is needed. I also recommend staying away from 18k gold because not only is it more expensive than 14k gold, it is also softer and can be scratched more easily. 14k white gold or palladium are the better options when looking for affordable engagement rings! Read more about Gold vs Platinum.

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Affordable Engagement Rings Tip #2: Consider Moissanite or Sapphire

Although I go over tips on selecting an affordable diamond below, they are still one of the most expensive options for a center stone. If you are on a budget, other options  can make a ring more affordable, yet just as beautiful. Two of these options are moissanite and sapphire.

Moissanite

Moissanite was originally discovered in a meteor, and is an extremely rare mineral. That’s why moissanite, as we know it in jewelry, is exclusively lab created. The main advantage of moissanite is that it is very similar in look to a diamond (some actually prefer the look over diamonds), but costs a lot less. The below table compares the stones in pricing:

Diamond Carat Weight GIA Certified Round Diamond (I-color, VS2) Moissanite Forever-Brilliant Moissanite
0.5 $1,000+ $90 $180
1.0 $4,000+ $270 $400
1.5 $10,000+ $450 $700

Our post on Diamonds vs Moissanite compares the two stones in more depth, and also discusses Forever Brilliant Moissanite. All of these engagement rings are available with moissanite center stones.

Sapphire

Sapphire is a natural, precious stone and is one of the most sought after centerstones. Typically thought of as blue, sapphires are actually available in all the colors of the rainbow. Even excellent quality sapphires (AAA rating) can offer substantial savings over a diamond.

Diamond Carat Weight GIA Certified Round Diamond (I-color, VS2) Round Blue Sapphire (Natural, AAA) Round Pink Sapphire (Natural, AAA)
0.5 $1,000+ $840 $780
1.0 $4,000+ $2,000 $1,800
1.5 $10,000+ $3,300 $2,700

As you can see, natural sapphires can offer significant savings over a diamond. Other gemstones, such aquamarine and rubies, are even less costly than sapphires. All of these engagement rings are available with any gemstone, including sapphire, aquamarine, and topaz.

Affordable Engagement Rings Tip #3: Don’t Pick the Best Color and Clarity

When looking for affordable engagement rings, a large part of the savings will come when choosing the centerstone. If you elect for a diamond, then there are several criteria you should consider when using our diamond search tool:

Diamond Color

A GIA-certified diamond will have a color rating that typically ranges from D (colorless) to K (faint yellow). If you are on a budget, it would be wise to stay out of the colorless range (D-F). The price difference between a colorless diamond and a near colorless diamond can be substantial. If you want a diamond that appears colorless, then I would recommend a G color diamond, but if you are okay with a diamond that has a very slight tinge of yellow, then I recommend an I color diamond.

Diamond Color Scale for Affordable Engagement Rings
Diamonds tend to decrease in price as you go from the left to the right (colorless to faint). When looking for affordable engagement rings, stay out of the colorless range.

Diamond Clarity

A GIA-certified diamond will have a clarity rating that ranges from F (flawless) to I (included). Clarity refers to how many imperfections a diamond has, and a flawless diamond means there are no imperfections. A diamond with a VS2 clarity rating has very few imperfections, but they can’t be seen with the naked eye. SI1 rated diamonds’ imperfections can technically be seen with the naked eye, but most everyday people wouldn’t be able to find them. For people on a budget, I recommend purchasing a diamond starting in the SI1 or SI2 range. If you are okay with some minor imperfections that can be seen with the naked eye upon close examination, then an I1 could be a great possibility as well.

Diamond Clarity Scale when considering budget for engagement rings
People on a budget should consider a slightly included diamond (SI1 or SI2), or even a higher-rated included diamond (I1).

Diamond Cut

GIA-certified round diamonds have cut ratings that range from poor to excellent. A diamond’s cut is what gives a diamond its brilliance, or sparkle. Because most yearn for a diamond with sparkle, this is one of the most important criteria when considering a diamond. A poorly cut diamond does not optimally reflect light, and will therefore appear more dull and less brilliant than a well cut diamond. It is wise to pick the best cut diamond you can find within your budget, and when looking for affordable engagement rings, it is usually worth sacrificing a color or clarity rating if it gets you a better cut. Because cut is slightly complicated, please feel free to contact us when picking a diamond and we would be more than happy to advise you.

Summary

An engagement ring is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be affordable. We love to help customers who are looking for affordable engagement rings because many times the options are even more beautiful and unique than a pricier ring. If you have questions when looking for affordable engagement rings, please contact us and we will give you the best advice we can on making one of your most special purchases ever, an economical one! Feel free to ask for me (Krish) personally, because customers’ on a budget are one of my favorite customers to work with!

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