Everyone is buying used nowadays to reduce their overall shopping expenses, but you don’t need to purchase a refurbished ring to find a great deal on jewelry. There are plenty of ways to save hundreds, even thousands, on your wedding ring without going the second-hand route.
Wedding rings can be expensive, but you can make subtle changes to your custom order and still get an incredible-looking piece.
Here are 5 small things that make a huge price difference.
A 0.9-carat diamond will be more cost-efficient than a 1.0-carat diamond, and no one will be able to tell the difference. Without specialty equipment, an I and SI-rated diamond look identical, but the I diamond costs hundreds of dollars less. You can compare gem size and grade online.
For example, you can customize the gem size and grade on Diamondere’s website. You’ll be able to see the difference (or lack thereof) between sizes and grades and instantly receive updated cost information. You can even replace diamonds with less expensive gemstones.
According to the International Gem Society, colored gems (like sapphires or rubies) cost less than diamonds of a similar grade. If you want to cut down on the overall cost of your ring, use a colored gem as the center stone and use smaller diamonds (or black diamonds) as accents.
You could also remove diamonds from the equation entirely. A single-stoned ring or a band without a stone can still look brilliant. Alternatively, you could purchase a high-quality white sapphire, white topaz, moissanite, or cubic zirconia if you want a clear gem for half the cost.
While the gemstones account for most of the ring’s cost, your band can still turn an inexpensive ring into something unaffordable. For example, platinum is more expensive than white gold, and white gold is more expensive than titanium, but all three materials look similar to each other.
If you don’t want to use a traditional metal, consider purchasing a wood ring. Lignum Vitae, the strongest wood in the world, can be turned into rings by some jewelers. Even unconventional materials, like enamel, bone, shells, stones, and colored plates, are cheaper than most metals.
Engagement ring shopping is similar to wedding preparation. There are some things you can live without, but certain things have to be included to pull off the finishing product. For example, you need white flowers, but you don’t have to get white roses. White lilies will do just fine.
With gems, the reverse is true. You should never sacrifice the cut (aka flower type) over the color. An “I” sapphire will look just as vibrant as an “H,” but a poorly cut diamond won’t reflect the light as brilliantly. Not only that, but a lower cut will easily trap dirt inside your gemstone.
Although round-cut engagement rings look brilliant, they cost much more than all other shapes. That’s because most of the diamond is lost in the cutting process. Jewelers will try to make up for this loss with the cut. The same is true for trendy shapes, like antique cushions or micropavé.
Shapes like the marquise (eye-shaped), briolette (pear-shape), and rectangle aren’t in vogue at the moment, so they typically cost less. If you still want a round-cut diamond, consider getting a mosaic of smaller round diamonds instead of one large one, as it covers more surface area.