This is an age old question that we hear many engagement ring buyers wrestle with. If you do a straight Google search of this question you will get the 2-3 month salary answer along with the stated fact that an average one carat diamond costs $5,500! These are both false, no offensive to good ole Google.
First off, you should only spend what you can afford. The amount you spend on your future wife’s engagement ring is in no way correlated to your love for them. You should think about a budget and stick with it. You should also talk to your trusted jeweler about layaway options if you want to pay on it over time. Oaks Jewelry offers a fee FREE layaway plan that we can custom tailor to suit your needs.
Next, you should seek out obtaining the best diamond/deal in your price range. This is where dealing with an industry expert like Oaks Jewelry is a huge advantage. We have the best deal on diamonds in the business and offer diamond sales events to even more discount our amazing deals.
Determine if a GIA (or other diamond grading organization) is important to you. GIA (Gemological Institute of America) is the most prestigious and the most highly trusted among diamond/gemstone certification. (This is where I received my training). Their Graduate Gemologists are the best in the world. With that being said, it comes with a price tag. Diamonds with GIA certifications do tend to cost more because they are guaranteed to be what GIA says they are and that certification does cost the jewelry store/jeweler money to have it completed. This document can provide a lot of comfort to some and others do not care what a paper says about their diamond just as long as their diamond sparkles. If you have a jeweler that you trust or a reputable jewelry store that has been in business for many years, you many feel comfortable to purchase a diamond that does not have a certification. Keep in mind too, that just because a diamond is certified does not make it “sparkle” more.
You don’t need to know all about the 4c’s of diamonds to shop smart. Yes, these 4 C’s are important. Yes, they play a huge part in cost. But, they do not trump your emotional connection to a certain style or what you know in your gut to be the right ring. So with your instinct being your ultimate guide, we will still touch on these points (Disclaimer: this is just a quick, easy to understand, reference. More info is widely available online and I personally recommend GIA as a resource).
First the cut, this can mean two different things. Cut can mean what shape (round, oval, princess – square, emerald – rectangular, etc) or it can mean the quality of the cut. The quality means how well was the diamond cut to have the right proportions and polished to reflect light or sparkle. If you are looking at diamonds that have a certification or paperwork with them, this information will be on that document. However, if you have been on the hut a few times you will start to notice that some diamonds just don’t have “it”. They lack luster or just look a little tired. This is an indication that maybe the symmetry of the cut is off.
Next is clarity, this means that there are inclusions or blemishes present. The less inclusions the higher the price goes up. Inclusions can come in many forms. Some you can see with the naked eye (like little black pepper spots or white feathers/cloudiness) and some you have to look into a magnifying device to detect. These inclusions have a ranking system that is used in grading diamonds. You can use this terminology if you want (such as SI1 – slightly included level 1). Next we have color. Color grading with diamonds is actually the absence of color. This scale ranges from D-Z (D being completely without color). As with clarity, the less color (or the closer to the “D” side of the scale), the higher the price tag.
Lastly, there is the carat weight. As you probably would have guessed, the larger the diamond the more “carats” it is and the higher the cost. Diamonds under one carat are referred to as points alone. For example, 0.75ct is said 75 points. Keep in mind that all 4 C’s play a part in the cost of the diamond. Oaks Jewelry’s amazing diamond experts can teach you how to look for a diamond (in your budget) that has the perfect combo for the ideal diamond. For instance, my diamond has a large inclusion but the way that it is set in the ring, the inclusion is hidden by the prong that holds it into place. I don’t mind that my diamond was less expensive because of this “flaw”. I actually like that my diamond has that, because it makes it special and easy for me to identify my diamond.
In regards to the price tag that Google places on a one carat diamond…check out these options that are well under that price and are a carat (or more).
Just remember that the price tag really doesn’t matter in the long run. Think of the love of your life and what they will love. This can answer a lot! For example, if your sweetheart is a classic beauty who values tradition and who does not follow all the trending styles but rather sticks with the all-time favorites (such as black dresses, pumps, tailored jeans, etc) you might want to rule out the modern princess cut (or square shaped) diamond. If your love writes a fashion blog, is forever changing her hair color and cut, is always getting comments about her unique style and dresses in the newest couture fashions, you may want to consider something a little less traditional and more unique to fit her style. If your beauty is into antiquing on her days off, watches Fixer Upper on HGTV, likes vintage cars or dresses in hipster retro clothes, you may want to contemplate an antique or heirloom engagement ring. Say your girlfriend is an artist, with gorgeous inked arms and legs, with a passion for anything off the beaten path, then you may want to entertain going completely non-traditional and opt for something different than a diamond (maybe a colored diamond or precious gemstone).
We would love to be a part of your engagement ring buying journey. Message us or stop by anytime! We will not only save you money, but will make the whole process enjoyable!