Engagement Rings - Cost Explained
Everyone knows that an engagement ring is expensive. But why? There are many factors to consider when shopping for an engagement ring and it can be overwhelming as first due to the large selection and price points and rings out there. At the end of the day, buying something that doesn’t compromise on the look of what ring you want but staying within a certain budget is ideal.
Some of the features that drive up the cost of an engagement ring aren’t even visible to the naked eye so here are a few things to look out for, ask and research:
The 4 Cs of a Diamond
In the middle of the 20th Century, the Gemological Institute of America or GIA, set out an agreed-upon standard by which diamonds could be judged. These standards have subsequently become the foremost scale by which a diamond is assessed and is globally recognized. Knowing what the 4 Cs of a diamond is key to understanding the price tag attached to it.
Carat: A carat is a weighting system used by jewelers. The more carats, the heavier the stone and the more expensive the ring will be as a result. Know that prices may differ drastically between small carat differences like .96 and 1.00 carat. The cost of the full engagement ring isn’t calculated solely by the weight of the center stone but includes other smaller stones which may be included. Take note of this when shopping around.
Cut: The cut of a stone, whether a diamond or otherwise, makes a surprising difference in price. Certain shapes are harder and more time consuming to produce so they cost more. Emerald and princess cuts are among the least complicated, so they cost less than more intricate and difficult shapes like heart, pear and oval. The most popular cut, a round diamond, sits about halfway on the cut-to-price scale mostly due to demand and brilliance.
Clarity: There is a clarity rating that comes with every diamond just like a cut, carat and color. Clarity refers to how flawless a stone is. Only one in about 10 000 naturally mined diamonds are said to be truly flawless and are the most expensive. The lower down the scale of clarity a diamond is, the cheaper it will be. The most popular clarity rated stones are SI and VS. These stones are a good option to keep the price down but know that SI rated stoned have tiny imperfections which may be visible to the naked eye while VS stones also have tiny imperfections but can only be seen through a microscope.
Color: The highest quality and most expensive diamonds are colorless. The price of a stone will decrease based on its color rating- ranging from slight yellow coloration to noticeable coloration. The most popular choice of color rating is a G, H or I. These ratings mean the stone is near colorless and are considerably less expensive than a D rated, absolutely colorless, stone. Fancy colored diamonds, which come in a variety of hues also may cost more. Rarer colors like pink and blue are very expensive. The more in tense the color- the higher the price.
The design of an engagement ring also plays a big part in the price of a ring. Modern ring styles are often larger and more intricate which dramatically increase the price. A simple band with a center stone will cost less than a double band with pave set diamonds for example.
Engagement rings are no longer just made of yellow gold. Rings made from white gold, rose gold and especially platinum, will vary in cost due to the costs of mining the metal, working it and distributing it to jewelers.
Jenna Clifford has a wide range of engagement rings to choose from on jenneclifford.com and with many price points to match!