Shop Smart: 5 Tips On How To Save For An Engagement Ring
True love doesn’t come with a price tag. Therefore, a romantic proposal doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank too. The Knot reported that almost 70% of buyers felt more stressed about financing the ring than actually proposing to their partner.
Understanding the concerns are in the minds of many, here are the 5 tips to save for an engagement ring we have based on our Founder’s personal experience when he was shopping for an engagement ring:
1. Determine a Comfortable Budget
When it comes to any major purchase, deciding on a comfortable price range is the most important step. Set a maximum amount that you are comfortable spending. Then, you can establish a separate savings account where you have a pool of money that is automatically swept into that account.
It’s also good to keep in mind that when making a large purchase like an engagement ring, there are financing options that you can take advantage of. At ZCOVA, we offer a 12-month interest-free instalment plan for our customers.
Remember, your price range should be based on how much you can comfortably afford as you begin the next stage of your life together. There’s no need to follow any rule that says the ring’s price should be equivalent to three months of your salary. Spend only what’s comfortable for you.
2. Understanding the 4Cs of Diamonds
Being the four most important factors (Cut, Colour, Clarity, and Carat) in determining the value of a diamond, they also play a really big role in the final price of the diamond.
You have to decide which is a priority in your diamond.
Carat Weight (Diamond size)
If you prioritize the diamond size, Colour and Clarity can be adjusted accordingly without compromising on the Cut or overall quality of the diamond.
If you prioritize either Colour or Clarity or both Colour and Clarity, then compromising on the diamond size is inevitable.
The more that you know, the more you can understand how much you can get for your budget. Here are some recommendations that we have from our in-house GIA graduate geologist:
Out of the 4Cs, Cut has the biggest impact on a diamond’s quality. We’re looking at the angles and proportions of a diamond. If the diamond is cut too deep or too shallow, it will leak light on the sides, giving it a lacklustre appearance. This will then reduce its value and brilliance.
A well-cut diamond is bright and delivers that eye-catching sparkle, which is the brilliance.
The colour-grading scale ranges from D to Z where D is completely colourless to the naked eyes and Z appear to be light yellow.
Rather than choosing the highest range D colour diamond, you can try opting for F-H colour diamond as these ranges are more affordable compared to higher grades. Moreover, you won’t be able to see the difference unless the diamond grade is compared with a D colour diamond in the right lighting environment.
Inclusions are the imperfections within the diamond.
Diamonds with VS1 and VS2 Clarity are definitely pricier than diamonds with SI1 and SI2 Clarity. If you have a budget constraint, there’s no need to pay extra for something you can’t see. Diamonds with slight inclusions can save you thousands, as opposed to buying a flawless diamond. SI Clarity diamonds can be as pretty as the flaws are almost invisible to the naked eye, but only visible with magnification.
Instead of buying a 1ct diamond, try going for something with less weight like 0.9ct. With the prices having increased at every carat, less brings more savings!
Did you know that fancy shape diamonds such as cushions and ovals are much cheaper than the classic round-shaped diamonds?
The fact that round shape is the most in-demand shape makes round engagement rings more expensive, approximately 25% more than any other shapes. A lot of rough diamond is lost during the cutting process and diamond suppliers make up for this by increasing the price.
3. Make Sure to Get the Right Certificate
The best way to ensure you aren’t overpaying for your diamond is to check its certification. A diamond certification is a document from an independent lab that describes a diamond and all of its characteristics like Cut, Colour, Clarity, and Carat.
Each lab grades slightly differently and some labs are significantly more reliable than others. We highly recommend choosing diamonds that come with a GIA certificate to make sure you’re getting what you pay for.
If you’re a fan of round brilliant diamonds, we strongly recommend requesting a Dual Certificate (GIA & GemEx) for quality assurance on the brilliance. GIA created the globally accepted standard for describing diamonds and assess them based on the 4Cs (Colour, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight). GemEx is a laboratory that specialises on analysing the brilliance of a diamond using five different lighting positions of the diamond’s light returns. With this advanced technology, customers will be assured to get the diamond with best brilliance performance.
4. Buy Online
Some are nervous about buying diamonds online, but there are some reputable jewellers make online shopping for engagement rings a safe choice. In most cases, engagement rings are 30-40% cheaper online compared to retail stores.
Think of it this way, retail stores have high overhead costs and they need to take care of the staff, rent, utility bills, and it will all add to the price of the ring. On the other hand, these expenses are much lower or almost non-existent with online jewellery stores. Hence, they can afford to offer better prices.
If you’re worried about the shipping, it’s secure too. At ZCOVA, insured shipping on all packages and 3-Point Check for all diamonds are available.
5. Take Advantage of the Technology
When you shop at the retail stores, you will be seeing the diamonds under enhanced lighting so the brilliance of the diamond is there. It will look nice and shiny, but you don’t know where the inclusion lies or is it even visible with naked eyes.
But things are different when you shop online. Customers can benefit from the online jewellery brands that offer a technological experience where you will see actual photos of the diamonds taken under controlled lighting on a specialised photography machine for diamonds.
Look out for 10X magnification of 360-degree, high-definition videos of diamonds where you can see them from many different angles including shape, cut, colour, and clarity. This makes online shopping for diamonds so much easier as you’re taking the guesswork out.
Once you’re ready, just select your preferred diamond and choose your ring setting. Voila!
RELATED: 7-Step Guide to Buying Diamonds
Smart Engagement Ring Shopping Starts Here
All in all, buying an engagement ring shouldn’t be a stressful process. Instead of stretching to purchase a diamond ring out of your range, try applying the tips above and you’ll be able to get what you’re looking for without being affected by the most common traps.
Need help in getting the perfect engagement ring within your budget? Talk to our jewellery experts and get assistance from our in-house GIA graduate gemologist for an unbiased opinion on your diamond buying journey.