“What does that diamond engagement ring cost?” is a question that we are often asked by clients. And, as with all things diamond, the answer is not straightforward. The cost of an engagement ring can be tailored to suit different budget levels when you have a custom made engagement rings. We do this simply by making different choices in the selection of the central diamond to suit any particular budget.
The Cost of an Engagement Ring Depends on the Size and Quality of the Diamond
Obviously the quality and weight of the diamond affects the cost of an engagement ring. Different grade levels throw up differing cost levels. If you look at the chart below you can see that the highest grade for colour is D. The highest for clarity is Flawless, but the chart starts at Internally Flawless. When working out what grades we should look at for a client, we set minimum parameters based on what will look best. This is kind of like saying, “OK what is the lowest grade we can go to in a diamond that will still look great to the eye and have all the best visual elements for the ring, but be the largest, good quality option?” Once we have a base cost for a good quality option, a person can go for higher grades or greater weight if funds allow. Or we can re-assess and adjust some of the criteria down if the client’s budget requires it. There are many variables in diamonds, so it is important to work with the budget available and make well informed compromises where budgetary constraints necessitate this.
Recommended grade levels:
The grade levels we recommend will vary, depending on the type of diamond cut shape that you are interested in. For example, a good basis to start in Oval diamonds would be F/VS2 with GIA certification. If you look at the chart below for reference, you can see that the colour “F” is 3rd from the top, so is a white diamond. With the recommended level of VS2 for clarity, some very tiny inclusions within the diamond (like tiny specks) will be present, but nothing the eye could ever see without magnification. Other diamond shapes, such as the Emerald Cut diamond, ideally require a minimum clarity level of VS1, as the large faceting of this shape of diamond means that any inclusions within the diamond will be more easily seen than a cut shape that has a lot of faceting. However, because of the larger facets, we can get away with a lower colour grade, G will still look great in this type of diamond cut.
The 4C’s only covers the basics:
Please bear in mind that the 4 C’s (colour, cut, clarity and carat weight) that the GIA assesses only cover the very basics of diamond grading. When we select a diamond for a client, there are about 20 main factors that we look at and discuss with cutters in order to sort the good from the bad and ugly.
The GIA does not give a cut grade for diamonds that are not round. This means that with fancy shape diamonds (all diamond cuts that are not round are called “fancy shape”), part of what we do in the selection process and in our discussions with cutters, is an assessment of the cut of the diamond. There is a great deal of variability in the cut of fancy shape diamonds – from absolutely fantastic to very ordinary indeed. Poorly cut stones will be cheaper, but should be avoided at all costs.
There is more info on the other factors that we look at when selecting a diamond. Click on this blog link for more info about what influences the cost of an engagement ring: The Top TEN Issues You MUST Consider when Purchasing a Diamond Engagement Ring. It might send you to sleep, but on the all-important purchase of an engagement ring, it is well worth investing the time to get it right.
Check back with us next week for the culmination of our two part series on “How much does an engagement ring cost?”