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Buy an Engagement Ring on a Budget | JamesAllen.com

Buying an engagement ring is exciting process. By educating yourself with some basic knowledge about diamonds and jewelry you can find your dream engagement ring from the comfort of your home or mobile device, without any pressure and all at a great price.

At James Allen, our diamonds are presented in stunning Diamond Display Technology, so you know exactly what you’re getting. Seeing actual diamond photos puts you in control of the purchase process and gives you the confidence of knowing that you’re getting the best diamond for your money.

Here are some basic guidelines on how to buy an engagement ring on a budget:

  1. A Diamond Certificate Doesn’t Tell You the Whole Story

    If you base your diamond decision on a laboratory certificate alone, you can end up paying more. Although a certificate is useful for authenticating a diamond and providing basic specifications about a specific stone, a certificate alone doesn’t reflect the true beauty and value of a diamond. Two diamonds can be categorized as having the same characteristics on a diamond certificate, and yet be priced differently, and the certificate won’t tell you why. A diamond certificate doesn’t indicate how a stone’s inclusions affect its beauty and value. You need to actually see a diamond to understand the nature of its inclusions.

    At James Allen, you can view each diamond magnified in stunning Diamond Display Technology that shows you exactly what the actual diamond looks like.

  2. A Diamond's Cut and Shape Come First: Let them Be Your Guides

    Cut refers to the diamond’s proportion and facets. Shape is the overall geometric form of the stone (e.g. round, square, oval). A diamond’s cut and shape affect many aspects of the stone’s overall appearance and price—cut can be graded, whereas shape cannot. Experts say a cut is the most important buying criteria, because it determines the diamond’s sparkle and brilliance, and recommend buying the best cut possible that you can afford.

    Diamond shape is a very personal choice and you should go with the shape you like best. If you decide on a shape and cut first, it will be easier to decide on the other C’s. Choosing a cut and shape you love will save you money in the long term, because you’ll be happy with your purchase and less inclined to trade it up down the line.

  3. Choose a Diamond With a Clarity and Color Grade that Looks "Clean" to the Naked Eye

    When it comes to white (non-fancy) diamonds, most consumers can't tell the difference between diamonds on the very high end of the clarity scale, such as those classified as having very very slight inclusions (VVS1), and those lower on the scale which contain very slight or slight inclusions (VS1 or SI1). In the case of many SI1 diamonds, for example, the flaws are only visible under 10X magnification, although the price difference between a VVS1 and an SI1 diamond is considerable.

    Keep in mind that some diamond cuts, such as the popular round cut, mask inclusions and flaws very well. So if you're on a budget, you don’t necessarily need to buy an internally flawless diamond. A lower-clarity stone that looks clear to the naked eye is probably sufficient.

    The same advice applies to a diamond’s Color Grade. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the American Gem Society (AGS), and the International Gemological Institute (IGI) grade a diamond’s color on a scale of D (Colorless, and most desirable) to Z (least desirable, with a visible yellow tint).

    A "D" or "F" diamond (colorless) can easily cost double that of an I (near colorless) diamond of the same cut, although most people can’t tell difference between the two. Experts advise people on a budget to use your eye as a guide. So if you're on a budget, you don't need to buy a diamond that's on the highest end of the color scale. With James Allen’s Diamond Display Technology, you can view a magnified version of the actual diamonds on our website in stunning high-definition that show you the true and exact characteristics of the stone, to help you make an informed buying decision.

  4. Good Polish is Good Enough

    A diamond's polish refers to the smoothness of the exterior surface of the stone. When it comes to diamond's polish, a "Good" grade is good enough for most cases. Most consumers can't tell the difference between a diamond with "good" and the more-expensive "excellent" polish.

  5. White Gold is a Great Alternative to Platinum

    Although platinum is the preferred ring metal of choice, it is also the most expensive of the precious metals used in jewelry. White gold, on the other hand, is an excellent and affordable alternative to platinum and a great choice for the budget conscious shopper who wants the look of platinum. White gold has a stunning appearance and a white/gray patina that resembles platinum. White gold is also very durable, has a high scratch resistance factor, and does an excellent job of drawing attention to a diamond’s brilliance.

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