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Affordable Diamond Engagement Rings


There are a lot of tricks and tips to saving money on diamond engagement rings.

If you know how to shop and what to look for, you can actually save yourself hundreds, if not thousands on an engagement ring purchase.

That’s the purpose of this post. To show you how to buy a beautiful ring and how to save money at the same time.

Do keep in mind that saving money, especially a Lot of money, may mean sacrificing the quality of the diamond.

But if you want to save big bucks… this is how you do it…

12 sneaky ways to cut cost on an engagement ring.

1) Buy Carat Total Weight Diamonds:

Cheaper Engagement Rings

You can buy a one carat diamond ring (1.00 carat) and save thousands if you do this one simple trick:

Buy a smaller center stone.

Instead of buying a diamond engagement ring with a one carat in the center, buy a ring with a 50 point (1/2 carat) diamond in the center, and another 1/2 carat of diamonds around it.

What this does is split up the carat weight. You still get a diamond ring with “one carat of diamonds“, but that weight is distributed around the entire ring.

This will really save you a ton of money.

She will still get the “carat” she wants, but you will not end up spending an arm and a leg.

Pure genius!

Read more: Diamond CT or CTW?

2) Buy Light Carat Diamonds:

Cheaper Diamond Rings

Round the carat weight down.

Instead of buying a 1.00 carat diamond ring, buy a 93 point diamond ring instead.

Or, buy a 43 point diamond instead of a 50 point diamond. Buy a 68 point diamond instead of a 75 point…

It’s smart to buy it shy.

Buying a light carat weight will save you plenty.

Visually, the diamonds will look similar, it’s hard to see the difference of just a couple of points… But, you will see a huge difference in price.

Speaking of prices, James Allen has some unbeatable deals on diamonds… – Awesome diamonds, awesome prices – use “RINGSUM” at checkout and save 10% off the ring mounting.

Take a look:


3) Buy Illusion Head Diamonds:

Best Cheap Engagement Rings

Illusion heads are a type of head with a flat plate on top.

That flat plate has a hole in the center of it and small prongs that hold in the actual diamond. Upon closer inspection, you’ll see that the diamond is visually smaller, but it looks big.

The plate is what helps give the appearance of a larger diamond (like this ring below from Fred Meyer Jewelers).

Fred Meyers Engagement Ring

It’s all an illusion!

Illusion heads are a great way to go if you have limited money, but still want a big bang for your buck.

4) Buy Invisible Set Diamonds:

Cheaper Wedding Rings

Invisible set illusion heads (also called clusters) are the modern day illusion heads. You will find tons of different shapes and variations of these in stores today.

They look great. They look huge. It’s the process of fitting smaller diamonds together (like a puzzle) to give the appearance of a larger looking stones.

You get a lot of bling with a greatly reduced price.

You could get a one carat total weight diamond ring for almost half the cost.

Just be careful with this many stones and settings, they may come loose in the mounting. :/

5) Buy Lower Quality Diamonds:

Inexpensive Engagement Rings

I’m not saying “buy bad quality“, I’m saying “Buy a little less quality”.

Like one notch lower in either color or clarity.

For example:

Instead of buying a VS2 clarity diamond, Buy a SI1 clarity. Instead of buying an SI1, buy an SI2.

Buy an H color instead of G.

You just have to think lower…

When you buy slightly less in quality, you probably will never be able to see a visible difference between the two diamonds, but you will save yourself a lot of dough.

Less is MORE!

6) Buy a diamond that has color:

Diamond Engagement Rings

A good way to save some cash is to purchase a diamond with a slight yellow tint to it.

Yellow hues are generally in the K-L-M range (or lower).

Most diamonds on the market do have a slight yellow tint to begin with (like I-J color). But K-M stones will have more color.

This yellow may or may not be obvious depending on the shape of the stone, the cut, or the clarity.

Most people don’t notice color anyway unless the stone is really, really, super yellow.

My advice:

If you buy a stone that has a yellow cast to it, you can mask that color by setting the stone in a yellow or rose gold mounting (14kt Gold). This will hide the color and make the stone less noticeable.

Read more: Hide diamond color.

7) Buy Eye-Clean Diamonds:

Save Money On Engagement Rings

Buy a diamond that’s eye-clean.

Eye-clean basically means that there are no obviously visible inclusions to the bare eye.

Generally these diamonds are SI2 clarity or higher, but you will still run across some really good looking I clarity diamonds that face up well and could pass for an eye-clean stone (even if they’re not).

As long as the diamond doesn’t have any eye visible inclusions, like huge black carbon spots (that look like pepper), you’ll be fine.

Plus, most people would never notice inclusions in a diamond unless you point it out to them.

One other note about inclusions in a diamond…

If you buy a diamond that has inclusions that you can see with the eye, make sure these flaws are white inclusions, versus black inclusions. White inclusions tend to hide more in the stone and look invisible. Black inclusions, or dark inclusions, stand out like a sore thumb.

Read more: White inclusions vs black inclusions.

8) Buy Spread Diamonds:

Affordable Bridal Rings

Buying a spread diamond (a diamond that is shallow, but looks bigger than it really is) can get you a much cheaper diamond.

You can purchase a diamond that’s 80 points, and that diamond could appear to be 1.00 carat or larger in size. Spread stones really do look bigger.

Granted, spread stones will sparkle a little less, and may even appear dark, but they do look large and the price will be less.

Diamonds with a poor cut like this may lack life and light (and sometimes become more brittle), but most will still look good and save you money.

9) Buy Clarity Enhanced Diamonds:

Inexpensive Engagement Ring

Buy a diamond that’s been Clarity Enhanced…

This means that man has made attempts to make the diamond look better.

Things like burning out eye visible internal inclusions (called laser drilling), which is basically getting rid of black carbon spots, and sometimes even taking it one step further and filling those cavities with a clear substance, which is called fracture filling.

Laser drilled diamonds or fracture filled diamonds can make an I2 clarity diamond look more like an SI2 clarity diamond.

This enhancement lowers the price of the diamond and makes it look better.

Just be careful, because clarity enhanced diamonds are frowned upon by the jewelry industry. After all, they are altering the real quality of the diamond.

As a side note: All enhanced diamonds sold should be disclosed at the time of purchase from the store (especially fractured filled stones). If not, they could get themselves into hot water.

10) Buy Fancy Shaped Diamonds:

Inexpensive Engagement Diamond Ring

The round brilliant cut diamond is the most expensive cut of diamond there is… Because it’s the most popular.

Every other cut of diamond will be cheaper in price (that’s if everything else is identical: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight…)

For example:

A 1.00 carat round diamond of VS2 clarity, F color could cost you $6,500. That same clarity and color in a pear shaped diamond could save you a thousand dollars or more.

Fancy shapes, like the marquise, princess, oval, pear, radiant, emerald, asscher, and heart are generally cheaper cuts of diamond.

11) Buy Estate/Vintage Diamonds:

Save on Engagement Rings

Buying estate, pre-owned, or vintage diamonds will save you plenty of money.

Purchase an old mine cut diamond, or an engagement ring from a pawn shop and you could knock thousands off the retail price of that ring.

Older cut diamonds, or previously owned diamonds are a good choice (just like it’s your grandmother’s ring) if you want a good sized diamond, but don’t care if it has a new modern cut, and want the most affordable ring you could buy.

P.S. You can always buy a diamond from a friend who is looking to sell theirs. And you could also check the local newspaper listings, or Craig’s list; people are always looking to get rid of their rings.

12) Buy Trio Set Diamonds:

Trio Engagement Ring

Trio wedding sets are some of the most affordable wedding rings on the market (and Amazon has tons of them).

They usually have pretty small carat weights to them, but the good thing is, the pieces all match; the ladies engagement ring, ladies wedding ring, and the gent’s wedding ring.

What’s cool about this is that by buying them all together at the same time, you save tons of money.

These rings are generally cheap with small lower quality diamonds (most set in illusion heads). But, I have seen some nicer sets where the mountings are a little bit more durable, heavier, and the stones at least SI clarity.

You get what you pay for!

Rule of thumb:

There are tons of ways to save money on engagement rings. In fact, you could also buy a promise ring, buy man-made diamonds, buy a CZ engagement ring, or buy a gemstone as an engagement ring (like Sapphire or Ruby) instead.

Also note that if you buy both the engagement ring and the wedding ring together at the same time you can usually save even more money.

Keep in mind, some of these ways will not get you the best quality of diamond. You have to be careful that you buy a diamond that faces up well and doesn’t look dark or lifeless.

I always advice buying quality over quantity, but every diamond is different and every one will appear differently.

Microscope the diamond:

It’s wise to microscope the diamond and do your homework before you buy. And above all else, if you can buy it certified (GIA), then do so.

These ways will definitely save you money, but buying the cheapest diamond available isn’t always the best diamond to purchase.

Often cheaper diamonds will be poorly cut with very little brilliance or sparkle.

This is why you must…

Compare the diamonds!

Go around to all the local jewelry stores and compare rings, prices and quality.

You don’t need to buy a bad quality diamond in order to save yourself some money. You just need to know where you can cut corners. Sacrifice only what you can afford to. Plus, shopping online with James Allen will save you tons more money (they have no overhead. Compare prices, you’ll be amazed).

Cheers! :)

Recommended Jewelry Supplies:

Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner Jewelry Steam Cleaner Complete Jewelry Cleaner Kit Diamond Dazzle Stick
Gold Silver Jewelry Polishing Cloths Jewelry Making Supplies Kit Gold Acid Test Kit Watch Tool Repair Kit
Ring Adjusters EMT Emergency Ring Cutter 10x Jewelers Loupe Jewelers Microscope

Recommended Jewelry Supplies:

Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner Jewelry Steam Cleaner
Complete Jewelry Cleaner Kit Diamond Dazzle Stick
Gold Silver Jewelry Polishing Cloths Jewelry Making Supplies Kit
Gold Acid Test Kit Watch Tool Repair Kit
Ring Adjusters EMT Emergency Ring Cutter
10x Jewelers Loupe Jewelers Microscope

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