Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and love is in the air! Engagement rings are one of the most expensive purchases a person will make in their lifetime, making it extremely important to determine a budget before visiting the jewelry store. In order to help you stick to your budget, we have talked to experts in the jewelry industry from Reeds Jewelers, Diamond Hut, and Monica Jewelers to get the inside scope on how to score the best deal on an engagement ring.
1. Rumor has it that certified rings are always better, right? Wrong! Tim Blanton, Manager at Reed’s Jewelers in White Marsh, MD, informed us that “Certified only means that a diamond has been rated from an outside source; it does not ensure that the diamond is better quality than a non-certified diamond.” Instead of focusing on certified diamonds, which cost more than non- certified diamonds, ask the retailer for a breakdown of a diamond’s four C grades (color, cut, carat, clarity). When compared to a certified diamond’s grades, this will help you determine exactly what you are paying for, the certification or the quality of the ring, and will help you make a more knowledgeable decision.
2. Are you set on getting a specific carat diamond engagement ring? Tim Blanton from Reed’s Jewelers says that carat size might not be everything. If you want to save some cash, look for diamonds that fall right under their carat weight, such as .97 carat, .90 carat, etc. Because these diamonds fall just short of the popular weight, they are often sold at a discounted price while still appearing to be full-size.
3. If you want to surprise your loved one with a large diamond ring, but don’t want to go up another carat, opt for a round cut. Round cut diamonds are larger in diameter than other cuts, making them appear larger. In addition, round cut diamonds are the most symmetrical and have more facets for light to reflect, making them appear more brilliant.
4. When trying to keep costs down, consider buying a silver or yellow gold ring instead of a white gold ring. Silver and yellow gold are much less expensive than white gold; however, silver is less wearable and requires more maintenance to keep in tip-top shape. If having a jaw-dropping diamond is more important to you and your significant other, opting for a silver or yellow gold band might be the way to go.
5. We have all heard of the four C’s when picking the perfect diamond- color, cut, clarity, and carat; but what C’s are the most important? Each C ranks differently in importance depending on the individual. However, sales professionals from Reed’s and Monica Jewelers agree that the color and cut of the diamond are the most important when trying to get the most bang for your buck. These C’s are the most noticeable to the naked eye; so if you want a ring with some major glitz and sparkle, spend more on a diamond with a higher quality color and cut, and less on its clarity and carat size.
6. To save additionally on your engagement ring purchase, Reed’s Jewelers and Diamond Hut suggest looking at middle grade diamonds. The most cost-effective grades for each of the four C’s are stated below:
- Color– Opt for a G-H graded diamond. These diamonds are nearly colorless and not yellow, and are much more affordable than a D-F graded diamond (highest graded).
- Clarity– Look for Sl1-SI2 graded diamonds, which means they are “slightly included”. Slightly included diamonds have few visible markings and still appear to be high-quality.
- Cut– Ask for a diamond with a “good” cut grade. These diamonds will reflect the majority of light that enters the diamond, giving it an above average appearance at a more reasonable price.
- Carat– As mentioned earlier, look for diamonds that fall right under their carat weight, such as .97 carat, .90 carat, etc. Because these diamonds fall just short of the popular weight, they are often sold at a discounted price while still appearing to be full size.
Buying an engagement ring is one of the most important purchases you will ever make. Let Mariner Finance help you make this moment unforgettable with a personal loan Learn more about Mariner Finance and the products we offer.