Congratulations! Popping the question is one of the most important decisions in every man’s life. Whether you spent a long time thinking it over or followed an unexpected emotional splash, you need to carefully prepare for this life-changing event. Besides contemplating the impeccable words you will say to your woman when you ask her to marry you, you need to choose an absolutely perfect engagement ring. This website is designed to make your choice as easy as possible while taking up the least of your precious time.
- 1 Which Ring is the Cheapest?
- 2 How Much Are You Ready to Spend?
- 3 What Does She Like?
- 4 Popular Metals
- 5 Popular Ring Settings
- 6 Popular Stone Cuts/Shapes
- 7 10 Smart Tips for Choosing a Perfect Engagement Ring
Which Ring is the Cheapest?
When it comes to buying an engagement ring, every man is looking for a good deal. The price of a ring depends on many factors.
1. Purity of gold
When you are choosing the type of gold the ring is made out of, don’t look at the color. The value of golden jewelry depends on how much pure gold was used to manufacture it. The pure gold percentage is measured in karats (which is absolutely different from “carats” that measure the weight of a diamond). The most common ratios are as follows:
- 24 karat gold – 100% purity – The most expensive
- 22 karat gold – 91.7% purity – Less expensive
- 18 karat gold – 75% purity – Less expensive
- 14 karat gold – 58.3% purity – Less expensive
- 12 karat gold – 50% purity -Less expensive
- 10 karat gold – 41.7% purity- The least expensive
The size of the band will not affect the price. When you buy the engagement ring, you are buying the diamond (or other stone). The cost of the band is insignificant compared to it.
2. The cut and shape of a diamond
The better the cut, the more expensive the ring will be. The cut defines the beauty of the ring. Cutting a diamond is basically polishing it. A well-cut stone will also be pricier since more labor is required for the process. The least expensive cuts are “emerald” and “princess”. “Pear”, “heart-shaped” and “oval” cuts will cost more money.
3. The design of the ring
There are myriads of ring designs on the market today and they dictate the price of an engagement ring. The more complicated the design, the more expensive the ring will be. The modern designers are making larger and more intricate rings with several stones, so the price often goes up. The simpler the design, the cheaper the ring.
4. The weight of a diamond (carat)
The more carats the stone has, the heavier it is and the more money it costs. For example, a .97 carat diamond will be much more affordable than 1.00 carat stone, while you won’t be able to tell the difference looking at them side by side. The cost of the engagement ring will depend on the total carat weight. So if you have several stones, their weight will be summed up.
5. The clarity of a diamond
The clarity of a diamond depends on how many internal blemishes it has. These blemishes are called inclusions. In order to determine the clarity of diamond, all the parameters of these inclusions are considered, such as size, nature and relief. The price of the diamond will drop depending on how seriously these blemishes affect its appearance.
6. The color of the diamond
A pure diamond has no color and costs the most money. If a stone has a slight hue, it automatically becomes cheaper. The more color it has, the less money it costs. However, this is not true of natural-colored diamonds. Their purity is judged by different parameters.
Overall, the cheapest engagement ring will be made out of 10 karat gold, have a simple design and sport a small, hued diamond with an oval cut. There are also other stones used in engagement rings. Their cost is usually lower than the diamonds. So if you are a fan of rubies, emeralds and sapphires, you can save even more money on the ring.
How Much Are You Ready to Spend?
Before you start choosing that perfect engagement ring, you need to decide on how much you are ready to spend on it. It’s important to remember that you’ll find an engagement ring for absolutely any budget. They start as cheap as $150 and then the prices go higher and higher.
All depends on the stones you choose. A $150 which is a cheap engagement ring will have a simple design, will be made out of 10 – 12K gold and have cubic zirconia as a stone. A $2000 ring will have an intricate design and 1.00 carat stone. There are many variations in between for you to choose from. Whatever your budget is, you can find a beautiful engagement ring that your girlfriend will love.
What Does She Like?
Before buying the ring you really like, stop to consider whether or not your girlfriend will like it as well. Take a close look at her style. Does she like simple clothes and doesn’t wear too much jewelry? Then even the most beautiful large ring with a huge diamond won’t make her happy.
Does she usually wear gold or silver? If she likes silver jewelry, then your best bet will be to go for white gold or platinum. Does she have allergies? Get yellow gold since it’s the most hypoallergenic metal (white and yellow gold contain nickel and copper that can cause allergic reactions). Is red her favorite color? Get a ring that has diamonds and rubies.
In order to make the right choice, take a close look at the popular types of metal for the ring band:
Created as a combination of gold with nickel, silver, manganese and palladium, it’s much harder and more durable than yellow gold. White gold engagement rings compliments fair skin.
The rose color appears due to gold being alloyed with copper. It’s more affordable since copper is a cheap metal, compliments most skin tones and is very durable.
Silver is significantly cheaper than gold. It compliments all skin tones. It’s lustrous, can outshine gold and suits casual wear.
Popular Ring Settings
Getting an idea the most popular settings can make your choice easier.
This is the classical ring setting that draws the most attention to the center stone. It’s popular for its absolute simplicity and ability to suit any style. Little metal claws called prongs hold the stone and help fully expose it to the eye of the viewer.
This setting has a center stone completely surrounded by smaller stones to create a halo impression. Smaller stones make the centerpiece appear much larger than it really is.
This setting has two smaller stones placed on either side of the center stone. The right combination of three stones makes it look as if a ring has one huge flashy stone in the center.
This setting has smaller diamonds inside the band of the ring. The diamonds are held by a metal strip instead of prongs which makes them more durable. This setting makes the ring appear more brilliant.
Popular Stone Cuts/Shapes
The shape of a stone is another factor to consider when choosing the perfect engagement ring.
• Princess cut – Square or rectangular shape with sparking planes. This cut is mostly popular with solitaire settings. A good choice for a hand with long fingers.
• Round– This is a classical shape. More than 75 percent of diamonds are shaped to be round.
• Cushion – This is a square shape with rounded corners that looks like a pillow. It’s the second popular shape after the round cut.
• Marquise – A modern football-shaped cut. The diamond is long and narrow and creates an illusion of being larger than it really is.
10 Smart Tips for Choosing a Perfect Engagement Ring
Here are a few tips for choosing the best engagement ring for your budget.
1. Save on the carats
As we explained above, a .95 carat stone will cost much less than a full 1.00 carat stone while there is almost no difference to the eye. You can save up to 30% getting .95, 1.95, 2.95 and etc. carat stones instead of 1.00, 2.00 and 3.00 carat diamonds.
2. Get insurance
Protect the ring you buy against theft and loss by buying insurance. If you are about to spend a hefty sum on a piece of jewelry, you want to feel relaxed when your girlfriend is wearing it. The insurance costs are not too high. You will be paying about 1 – 3% of the ring’s price yearly.
3. Do your homework
When you first visit a jewelry store or website, all diamonds will look the same to you. If you just pick the one that looks appealing at first glance, you will waste money. Learn the basics about the cut, the clarity, the carats and the color and you will be ready to make the right purchase.
4. Ask around
Before shopping for an engagement ring, make sure to get a good idea about what your girl likes. Since many men have problems observing such things as style and color preferences of their loved ones, your best bet will be to ask her friends.
Pay special attention to the size of the ring. Buying a wrong size is not a problem, you can easily exchange it afterwards. But don’t you want the ring to be a perfect fit? If her girlfriends don’t know her size, there are some tricks to measure the ring size on your own.
5. Get a diamond certificate
If you are buying a ring with a diamond that’s larger than 1.00 carat, it should come with a diamond grading report. This is an evaluation of the diamond’s color coded with letters and numbers (for example FL – flawless, VS1 or VS2 – very slight inclusions). The certificate should also list other parameters, such as carat weight and cut.
6. Buy a ring online
While actually touching the ring before buying might seem rather important, you can save a lot of money by avoiding a land-based jewelry store. Online stores offer cheaper products since they don’t have to pay expensive rent and vendor salaries. A reputable online store must have a return policy and be able to certify a diamond.
7. Don’t go for designer brands
If you want to save money on an engagement ring, forget about designer brands. They might look terrific but their price goes through the roof. A non-designer ring with the same stones will cost you much less money.
8. Be creative
If you are looking for an affordable and unique ring, consider thinking outside the box and going for other stones instead of diamonds. Contrary to the popular belief, diamonds are not all the girls’ best friends. There are many women who appreciate sapphires, rubies and emeralds much more than they do diamonds. If a diamond is an absolute must-have, you can get a three-stone ring with a sapphire and a couple of small diamonds on the sides.
9. Save on clarity and color
As you already know, clarity and color define the cost of a diamond. A slightly colored diamond might not look any different to an average person than a pure one while costing significantly less. The same is true for the clarity. A small inclusion is often not noticeable but reduces the price of a diamond.
10. Choose white gold over platinum
White gold is much less expensive than platinum. At the same time, there are many people who can’t tell the difference between them. White gold has many advantages, such as durability. Platinum is a softer metal and it scratches easier than white gold. It’s also heavier and maybe uncomfortable to wear for people who are not used to heavy jewelry.