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Expert Advice

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How to buy a diamond engagement ring on a budget

You know she’s got her heart set on a diamond engagement ring and you've seen the style you'd like to buy, but you’re worried you won’t be able to afford it, they all look really expensive. Sound familiar?

Vashi.com guides you through how you can buy an affordable diamond.

We’ve all heard the slogan ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’ but, what do you do if you don’t have thousands to spend on a celebrity-style diamond engagement ring? Is it possible to surprise her with a jaw-droppingly beautiful diamond ring and stay within your budget?

Well, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that high street jewellers, in fact, all jewellers, offer something for everyone, regardless of their budget. On the high street you can get a presentable ring with a tiny diamond or a cubic zirconia in 9 carat gold or silver for just a few hundred pounds.

But we don't think that's heart-stopping stuff. It's just not good enough for us, and it shouldn't be good enough for you either.

We're not talking cheap. We're talking, 'more diamond for your money', unbeatable prices, high quality and good value. the perfect time to make it work hard for you to get a really good value quality diamond.

Once you’ve know you want real diamonds. Let’s assume that you know what you can comfortable afford, what you have saved or how much you are prepared to spend on diamond engagement rings.

Buying diamond rings online is often cheaper than buying them from a high street jeweller. The reason for this is that the overheads (the costs associated with running a fancy shop in the most expensive part of town or in a shopping mall) are added to the cost of your purchase. Internet jewellers don’t have these costs and can therefore offer you a better deal on diamond engagement rings.

Get the best possible diamond engagement ring for your budget. This ring is going to be worn for a very long time, will have enormous sentimental value attached to it and will likely be seen by all of your friends, family and loved ones. If you’re looking for the lowest price, online price comparisons are a great way to find the best deal on engagement rings. Just ensure that you are comparing like with like, not apples and pears. You may be able to find a great deal on eBay or an online auction site, but what guarantee do you have about the quality and what protection do you have if the worst happens?

The 4 C's

A diamond engagement ring is for life. That’s a long time. You definitely want a piece of jewellery that will still be admired in years to come. You may already have come across the ‘Four Cs’ of diamonds: Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat Weight. Let’s go over these and see where you can get the best engagement ring on a budget:

  • Cut – The cut of a diamond is not the same as its shape. The cut is the way in which the diamond handles light, how light travels through it and bounces back to the eye. The better the cut, the more the diamond sparkles. Even a casual observer will notice the difference between a well-cut and a poorly cut diamond. If your budget is limited, focus on getting the best cut for your money – for example, a ‘very good’ cut. A good cut will make even a cheaper diamond look more brilliant and thereby bigger.
  • Colour – Diamond colours range from D to Z, with D being fully colourless (the best and rarest). Diamonds with a J colour start showing slight tints of colour (generally yellow or brown), and these colour tints become more prominent as the colour grades keep on lowering all the way down to Z. Only a diamond expert will be able to tell the difference between a D colour diamond and a G colour by comparing the loose diamond directly against each other. In their setting, both will look dazzling bright white. A G colour diamond is a lot more common, however, and therefore cheaper than a D colour diamond. If you’re on a tight budget, look out for a G or H colour diamond.
  • Clarity - Clarity refers to blemishes and inclusions in the diamond, both internal and external. The clarity of a diamond has a huge influence on its price, although most inclusions may only be visible to an expert under 10x loupe magnification. Once the diamond is set in a gorgeous engagement ring on your fiancés finger, few people will study it under a magnifying glass. If you’re after a nice diamond engagement ring on a budget, you can safely buy an SI1 or SI2 (slightly included) diamond. If you want a larger diamond, even an SI3 (slightly included 3) or I1 (inclusions 1) clarity grade represents incredible value.
  • Carat Weight – Diamonds are measured in carats (cts). So called “magic weights” are 1/2ct, 3/4ct, 90 points, 1ct, 1.5ct, 2ct etc. 'Under-sizes' are diamonds that weigh just below a magic weight. If you want a bargain 1ct diamond why not go for a 0.95cts? Compared to a 1 ct diamond of the same proportions even most jewellers wouldn’t be able to tell the difference and you could save up to 30%.

Buying an engagement ring on a budget is really about striking a balance between size and quality. If she prefers larger jewellery items, and you are working within a budget, you can still find a larger diamond of excellent quality gem by selecting one which is graded slightly lower in terms of colour and clarity. Probably the most important thing to focus on is to get the best possible cut that you can afford. As for the setting, platinum is more expensive than a high quality yellow gold or white gold engagement ring

Here are a few ideas. All of these rings are crafted in precious, metals with a minimum of 18 carat gold (75% pure) a minimum diamond size of 0.25, so a 1/4 of a carat and the diamonds are all of the highest colour quality, grade D. The are complete with free delivery, gift wrapping and a lifetime warranty to put your mind at ease.

At Vashi.com we not only have an outstanding team of engagement ring and diamond jewellery experts available to help you find the best deal for your money (we’re rated 5 out of 5 on Amazon), but we back it up with free return shipping and a 30-day “no questions asked” money back guarantee. Our London-based customer service team is available seven days a week on 0800 5300541 or by email at service@vashi.com.