Diamond Price Guide for Engagement Rings
So, you want to get engaged? Congratulations! It’s an exciting time in your life. And what better way to show your soon-to-be fiancé how much you love her than by giving her the perfect engagement ring.
If you’re wondering where to start and what you need to know to get the best value for your money, you’ve come to the right place.
Below is a formal diamond price guide to help you make the best decision.
ENGAGEMENT RING PRICING FACTORS
No matter where you shop, there are a wide variety of factors that can and do affect the price of an engagement ring. For example:
- The type of engagement ring. (Whether it’s a gemstone (ruby, sapphire, tanzanite) ring, a diamond substitute (moissanite) ring, or an authentic diamond ring)?
- The 4 Cs: Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight.
- The Setting (The metal framework in which the diamond will eventually be mounted (e.g., platinum, gold, palladium)).
- Whether you’ll be buying a standard engagement ring or a custom-made one.
As demonstrated below, engagement rings can range from the simple to the highly elaborate.
Even when diamonds do cost the same, they can vary greatly in the details. For instance, three round diamonds could have the same carat weight, color grade, number of inclusions (SI1), and be titled as Excellent Cuts, but one could have more depth, while the other two measure with larger diameters. In addition, one might have a inclusions located in the middle, while the other two may have inclusions near the edges. All of these subtle factors impact the pricing.
Hence, why it’s important to understand and closely compare the differences between diamonds before you buy.
UNDERSTANDING THE 4Cs
How much a diamond costs is typically based on a combination of the 4 Cs: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight, as follows:
HOW TO GET THE BEST VALUE FOR YOUR MONEY IN YOUR PRICE RANGE
Now that you know what to look for in a diamond, here are some general guidelines on how to successfully combine a diamond’s quality and price to get the best value for your money within each price range. (Note: Because every jeweler sets their own prices, prices can and do vary from jeweler to jeweler):
If your budget is really tight, to get the best value for your money, you may want to buy a gemstone with a 0.15-0.25 carat weight. (Keep in mind though that many women expect a diamond engagement ring. So, you may need to do some sleuthing to find out if your girlfriend would be okay with that).
For budgets between $500-$750, gemstones (sapphire, tanzanite, tourmaline, etc.) are usually a better value. For $750-$1,000, you can find some great value in small diamonds (0.20-0.5), including some that are GIA certified, and some 10-14k gold and occasional 18k gold and platinum settings.
Look for either mid- to high-quality diamonds in the 0.58-0.70 range, or ones in the 0.30-0.55 range. For this price, you can also usually find some GIA-certified stones, and 18K gold and platinum settings.
You can find some exceptional quality diamonds in the lower carat range of 0.35-1.10 for a great value at this price. And, you can also find some 14-18k gold or platinum settings. But be cautious when looking at the larger stones, as those stones often have an SI1 or lower clarity grade, or a “H” or lower color grade.
The best value will be in smaller carat diamonds (0.9-0.93), but once in a while, you can find 1.0+ carat stones at the top end of this price range. If you decide to go with a larger carat diamond, just know that the larger stones will likely have a SI1 or lower clarity grade, or a “H” or lower color grade.
Look for a high-quality diamond on the lower carat end of the 0.80-1.10 range, as the larger stones will likely have a SI1 or lower clarity grade and a “H” or lower color grade.
You can buy some really big and beautiful diamonds in this price range (0.70-1.75) and also get a 18K gold or platinum setting. But for the best value, select a diamond in the 1.00-1.10 carat range.
Choose a high-quality 1.5 carat diamond. You can buy some 1.76-2.50 carat diamonds for this price, but those usually have a SI1 or lower clarity grade, or a “H” or lower color grade.
For more information on buying an engagement ring, see these Icing on the Ring articles:
- The One She Always Wanted: How to Find the Perfect Engagement Ring
- The Most Popular Engagement Ring Styles of 2016
- 4 Ways to Know You’re Getting a Good Diamond