Buy a Diamond on a Budget

When it comes to buying diamonds size really isn’t everything. A smaller stone cut well will shine and sparkle more than a poor quality cut diamond that looks dull or cloudy. This means that it is possible to buy an impressive diamond that is also affordable in your budget.

Before You Begin, Calculate Your Budget and Stick to It

The amount of money you spend on a diamond is entirely your choice. If you are looking for a diamond engagement ring, ignore all suggestions that this needs to be a particular portion of your salary. This notion came from the advertising campaigns of the South African diamond mining company De Beers several decades ago and can be ignored.

a square shaped diamond ring

Do Some Research

Before you go to the store, do some research online so that you have an idea in your mind about the diamond you might like. It will also help you to understand the jargon that will be used in the store and will stop any panic rising when faced with a multitude of options.

It is not just the stone itself you need to consider, it is also the setting for the diamond that needs to be decided. Will you choose gold or platinum, modern or traditional, classic or flamboyant? Look at what this person wears on a daily basis to see if they prefer silver or gold, plain or decorated.

Decide What You Want in the Diamond

A good diamond on a tight budget is possible as long as you are willing to compromise. A diamond’s cut is one of the most important elements of a diamond since this gives the sparkle, so don’t compromise here. The clarity rating is not so important on diamonds that are less than one-carat. If the setting of the diamond is yellow gold you can choose a colour closer to H, I or J without impacting on the effect of the diamond when being worn as the gold setting will show through.

Choose a fancy shape

Round diamonds are the most common shape, but they are also the most expensive because of the amount of wastage created when they are made. Other cuts, known as fancy shapes, are cheaper because they cost less to make. An oval shape appears 40 percent bigger than a round, for the same amount of money.

Replace the centre diamond with a gemstone

Save money on a diamond ring by having as the centre of your piece a less expensive gemstone that can have smaller diamonds on the side. Sapphire is a very popular choice as is topaz and tourmaline.

buying a diamond on a budget

Choose diamonds in a less popular size

Few people can see a visible difference between a 0.9 carat diamond and a one-carat diamond. However, the difference in price between the two is significant as a one-carat diamond is more popular and has a much higher price point than a 0.9 or 0.8 carat diamond.

Add a halo around the centre diamond

To make a diamond look bigger, add a circle of smaller diamonds around the centre stone. The price of diamonds doesn’t increase linearly, which means a two carat stone does not cost double the price for a one-carat, but is eight times the cost of a one-carat stone due to its rarity. This means that, for example a circle of 70 small diamonds around a centre diamond can add up to 0.5 carats. Add the 0.6 carat centre stone and you have a total carat weight of 1.1 carats that looks far more substantial than a one-carat solitaire ring that will cost more than double.

a sapphire and a diamond ring

Choose white gold band for your setting, not platinum

A white gold band rather than a platinum band will help with the initial cost of the diamond. White metal will also reflect back, making the stone appear bigger than it is. White gold looks similar to platinum, but will need to be re-dipped in rhodium every two or three years to maintain its shine so there is a long-term cost involved.

Choose a slim band if you want the diamond to look relatively bigger. A pinched shank will taper as it approaches the stone to make it look even more impressive. Also use slimmer prongs which cover less of the stone, making it appear bigger. Four prongs, rather than six allows more light to enter the diamond which means it sparkles more.

Buy a pre-owned diamond

Consider buying a pre-owned diamond. There are some incredible vintage and antique diamonds on the market for sale at a price much cheaper than you will find in a modern day equivalent. These pieces can often be unique, with their own background story. This is a great option for someone who loves vintage inspired jewellery, or history.