How much does an engagement ring cost?
I understand how confusing and overwhelming it can be to find the perfect diamond. Your first thought is probably to look online to get a general ballpark figure for what a diamond will cost, right? But you may become frustrated the longer you look at diamonds online because you’ll see various prices and won’t know why each one costs what it does.
The big problem with buying internet diamonds is that clients can’t see the actual diamonds they’re choosing from. They see a long list of price options that can vary by thousands of dollars for a diamond with very similar (if not the same) specifications, which makes it hard to know why one costs what it does, and whether or not it really is better than the one on the line below it. And when they finally do see it in person after the purchase, it may not be what they thought. Happens all the time.
Here are 4 secrets to getting a fantastic diamond:
Why One Diamond Looks Bigger Than The One Next to it Despite Being The Same Carat Size
Let’s say you have two 2.50ct diamonds side-by-side. Both have the same color & clarity, but you notice that one of them looks smaller than the other. This is likely because the GIRDLE thickness is causing one of the stones to look small. The girdle is the widest point of the diamond when looking at it from the top. Often times diamond cutters will cut a diamond to hit a certain carat weight because this makes the per/carat price jump significantly higher. However, just because it weighs in at 2.50ct, doesn’t means it LOOKS like a 2.5ct.
The ideal grades for Girdles are:
– Slightly Thick
The Girdles that are NOT advisable to choose are:
– Very Thick
– Extremely Thick
If you choose one of these last two, you’re just paying for extra carat weight. Let’s say your budget only allows for the 2.50ct that looks smaller – In this case, the better scenario would be to get around a 2.25ct that is cut to the same proportions as that 2.50ct and you’ll end up paying less for the same size. The 2.25ct will likely sparkle a lot more, too, since the overall cut will be better.
If you go with the small 2.50ct, you’ll just be paying for the carat weight without seeing the benefit of the larger stone.
Consider “SI” Clarity Diamonds in Addition to “VS” Clarity
Diamond inclusions come in many sizes and colors, which greatly affect the diamond’s price. (The “Clarity” grade on the 4C’s refers to the degree in which these imperfections are present and visible on the diamond.) Unless you get a “Flawless” diamond, there will be some form of inclusion in your diamond. The great thing about this is that it becomes the birthmark of your diamond! The benefit is that you can always identify this as YOUR diamond (under extreme magnification, of course).
Many people come to us with the idea that they need VS clarity or above because they are fixated on a paper grade, but the truth is this: No one wears the certificate on their finger.
One thing I would suggest is that you consider SI clarity diamonds in addition to VS clarity. I wouldn’t suggest this if you were picking a stone blindly off an internet list based solely on the certificate since in that case you can’t see the location and size of the inclusion. However, if someone is personally choosing a selection of diamonds for you, we would select only the very best SI options. Inclusions come in a variety of shapes and colors and if we’re able to find one where the inclusion is white, or can be hidden by a prong, or it’s barely perceptible to the naked eye, you would be able to get a bigger size while still staying within budget.
When I show them their SI clarity options, quite often they see that they can get a bigger diamond by going with SI clarity while still staying near their budget. And as long as I do my job correctly by getting you a beautiful SI diamond, you win!
This doesn’t mean that VS clarity options aren’t worth looking at – they absolutely are. My point is to keep your options open if someone is looking at diamonds on your behalf since the inclusions on a diamond can be all sorts of colors and shapes. In many cases, you could pay the same price for a diamond where the inclusion is not visible as you would for a diamond where it is visible. Crazy, right? Obviously you would likely go with the SI clarity diamond where the inclusions are not visible if it allows you to also get a bigger stone within the same budget.
I’m not saying that the “biggest size” is always the most important thing, BUT let’s be real here. When it comes to diamonds, in my experience nearly 10 out of 10 women would choose the bigger diamond if given the option.
Fluctuating Diamond Prices Can Benefit You.
The diamond market changes every day (similar to how the stock market varies daily). This means if a diamond dealer buys stones when the market is lower, those diamonds often reflect the lower cost, which means the markup doesn’t change. They will make the same profit, but YOU get a better deal than current market prices. It allows dealers to stay competitive with pricing and move stock quickly.
This is one of the benefits to working with a jewelry company that doesn’t own an inventory of diamonds. It allows them to go in search of the exact stones you’re looking for rather than trying to push an inventory of stones. Plus, they can get awesome deals on great diamonds for clients because when a client is ready to choose their diamond, they utilize my network of diamond dealers to ship in the BEST stones at the BEST prices. In the end, it allows you to get a larger diamond for the same price, which makes YOU look like the best fiancé ever once she looks inside her ring box. Win-Win for everyone.
She’ll Be Wearing The Diamond, Not The Certificate.
Don’t get hung up on what’s on the Diamond Certificate. The certificate is only a piece of paper and it DOESN’T grade “Most Beautiful.”
Keep this in mind: She’ll be wearing the diamond, not the certificate.
Diamonds are typically accompanied by a grade report, which is issued by an independent gemological association such as the GIA, EGL, AGS, etc. This will formally list all the characteristics of your chosen diamond.
You’ll see a lot of diamonds at various prices and not know why each one costs what it does. Many people come to us fixated on a specific grade, but your fiancé won’t be wearing the certificate on her finger. All she is going to see is whether or not it’s gorgeous, white & sparkly.
It is important for customers to know that the purpose of a diamond certificate is to identify and describe the diamond… That’s all! Many customers feel that the certificate is a guarantee or warranty – It is not. Even the disclosure on certificates states: “This certificate is NOT an appraisal, guarantee, or warranty”.
Color and clarity results can differ based on when or who grades the diamond. It’s not done by a machine, it’s done by a human. This is why the same diamond can go to the same lab and receive different grades.
The color and clarity are the OPINION of the lab at that time, which is why colors D-J all fall into “Colorless” & “Near Colorless” categories rather than each in their own specific category. It’s a sliding scale. The sweet spot is being in the D-J color category though – this will ensure that she doesn’t see any major color on her diamond. If she’s very sensitive to seeing color, stick to D-H colors.
Dimensions alone will not tell you if a diamond is bright or pretty. This is why you cannot rely solely on the certificate to determine how gorgeous a diamond is.
Hopefully this information has helped you become a more confident consumer!
Vanessa Nicole is a master diamond setter in San Diego creating custom engagement rings for clients worldwide. Vanessa has received over half a million views on YouTube for her ring videos. She is the bestselling author of ‘The Perfect Custom Engagement Ring’, and has a 5-star rating on every review sites. She also provides a personalized touch by offering a Making Of The Ring™ DVD, which documents the creation of each engagement ring.