Buying an engagement ring is an exciting process. With James Allen you can buy an engagement ring within your budget, from the comfort of your home or mobile device.
Here are some basic guidelines on how to buy an engagement ring on a budget:
If you base your diamond decision on a laboratory certificate alone, you can end up paying more. Although a certificate is useful for authenticating a diamond and providing basic specifications of a specific stone, a certificate alone doesn’t reflect the true beauty and value of a diamond. Two diamonds can be categorized as having the same characteristics on a diamond certificate, yet be priced differently, and the certificate won’t tell you why. A diamond certificate doesn’t indicate how a stone’s inclusions affect its beauty and value. You need to actually see a diamond to understand the nature of its inclusions.
At James Allen, you can view each diamond magnified with Diamond Display Technology. This technology shows you exactly what the actual diamond looks like, with all its inclusions and brilliance. Seeing actual diamond photos puts you in control of the purchase process and gives you the confidence of knowing that you’re getting the best diamond for your money.
Cut refers to the diamond’s proportion and facets. Shape is the overall geometric form of the stone (e.g. round, square, oval). A diamond’s cut and shape affect many aspects of the stone’s overall appearance and price; cut can be graded, whereas shape cannot. Experts say cut is the most important buying criteria, because it determines the diamond’s sparkle and brilliance, and recommend buying the best possible cut that you can afford.
Diamond shape is a very personal choice and you should go with the shape you like best. If you decide on a shape and cut first, it will be easier to decide on the other C’s. Choosing a cut and shape you love will save you money in the long run, as you’ll be less inclined to change your ring or upgrade down the line.
When it comes to white (non-fancy) diamonds, most consumers can't tell the difference between diamonds on the very high end of the clarity scale ( like VVS1), and those lower on the scale which contain very slight or slight inclusions (VS1 or SI1). In the case of many SI1 diamonds, for example, the flaws are only visible under 10X magnification, although the price difference between a VVS1 and an SI1 diamond is considerable.
Keep in mind that some diamond cuts, such as the popular round cut, mask inclusions and flaws very well. So if you're on a budget, you don’t necessarily need to buy an internally flawless diamond. A lower-clarity stone that looks clear to the naked eye is probably sufficient.
The same advice applies to a diamond’s Color Grade. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the American Gem Society (AGS), and the International Gemological Institute (IGI) grade a diamond’s color on a scale of D (colorless, and most desirable) to Z (least desirable, with a visible yellow tint).
A "D" or "F" diamond (colorless) can easily cost double that of an “I” (near colorless) diamond of the same cut, although most people can’t tell the difference between the two. If you’re on a budget, use your eyes as a guide. You don't need to buy a diamond that's on the highest end of the color scale. With James Allen’s Diamond Display Technology, you can view a magnified version of the actual diamonds on our website in high-definition which shows you the true and exact characteristics of the stone, to help you make an informed buying decision.
A diamond's polish refers to the smoothness of the exterior surface of the stone. When it comes to diamond's polish, a "good" grade is good enough for most cases. Most consumers can't tell the difference between a diamond with "good" and the more-expensive "excellent" polish.
Although platinum is the preferred ring metal of choice, it is also the most expensive of the precious metals used in jewelry. White gold, on the other hand, is an excellent and affordable alternative to platinum and a great choice for the budget conscious shopper. White gold has a stunning appearance and a white/gray patina that resembles platinum. White gold is also very durable, has a high scratch resistance factor, and does an excellent job of drawing attention to a diamond’s brilliance.