What is the best solitaire engagement ring for your proposal? Princess or round cut diamond? White 14k gold or platinum? Find out the best ways for determining the right size, cut, style, material--and price! We have some great answers for your questions! This article is intended to apply to realists, not from the standpoint of a jeweler.
We think that starting with a price range is the best idea to begin the journey. Clearly, you are not going to be able to get a 2-carat natural diamond platinum ring for hundreds of dollars--these general attributes would lead to thousands of dollars in cost, normally. Also, the usual price range may determine the correct places to shop. There is not much sense in looking at a jeweler's showcase with an average price of $7,400, if your maximum budget for an engagement ring is $1,000--and vice versa. Keep in mind, also, that you do typically get what you pay for; although there are some deals on fine jewelry out there, it is a well-rounded market, and you should not expect to get good quality, natural diamonds in a solid gold setting for hundreds of dollars, realistically speaking. Once you've decided on a reasonable price range, let's assume $500-$1000, then it makes sense to start looking at styles within that price range, to get an idea of the best matched engagement ring for you.
There is nearly an endless amount of different style engagement rings on the market today. We are just going to hone in on a few for the purpose of simplicity and somewhat based on popularity. With that said, let's consider that we are looking at a classic style solitaire engagement ring. These rings, with a solitaire diamond center, are typically made from 14k yellow or white gold, although they can also be made from platinum or silver, etc. A simple and popular design will give you the opportunity to explore many different materials, compared to more obscure designs that are semi-custom made for the point of uniqueness and beauty--potentially limiting your options for materials, cuts, etc. Let us assume that we decided on a round cut diamond for our solitaire engagement ring.
Metal Band Material
Most people at least know that platinum is on the higher end of ring materials, while lower karat gold, and further, silver, is on the lower end of the price spectrum. Each one has its pros and cons and many people really don't understand the differences. For instance, although the higher karat (18k for example) golds are in fact more pure than say 10k gold, they are softer, weigh more, and scratch and blemish easier. Therefore, depending on your lifestyle and level of delicate touch, it sometimes makes sense to go for a lower purity gold, which is cheaper and more durable. This may seem counterintuitive to someone who simply looks at the numbers, like the karat and cost. Likewise, platinum, which is usually more expensive than the purist gold designed rings, is softer than 14k gold, but tougher than 18k gold. As a side note, platinum is in part more expensive due to the fact that it's much more difficult to deal with. Let's now assume that we decided on 18k gold for the ring material.
There is a ton of confusion when it comes to gemstone and diamonds, from a consumer point of view. The term "real diamond" is misused on a daily basis by consumers, and perhaps also some shady or unethical sellers. Do diamond rings differ from simulated diamond rings? Absolutely. Although, it would not be incorrect to say that diamonds are betteroverall, the needs of the consumer is paramount to that. For many consumers, it is more valuable to purchase an engagement ring that will meet the requirements for style, ring material, and gem stone, than simply having a real diamond. For instance, for $300-$1000, one can buy a 2 carat simulated diamond ring in solid 14k gold, in the size and style desired, from a number of trusted sellers and distributors online. This does not take away from the intrinsic value of a diamond, or the unique properties they possess, but realistically, price is more important to many people, and for good reason.
Only you and your significant other can really know what is right for you and your proposal, but exploring your options, and reality, is a great start to getting what you want and need. For instance, it doesn't usually make sense for a couple whose yearly salary is $60,000 post taxes, to buy a $20,000 platinum 4 carat natural diamond engagement ring. Imagine if it was lost, stolen, or damaged--it would be like losing 4 months of work, and perhaps financially devastating. However, there are many insurance plans that would cover such an instance, but it's a premium, and still a risk, that may or may not be worth taking, depending on your lifestyle and desires. Furthermore, although natural diamonds have intrinsic value, they are not easy to sell on the used market, if you ever wanted to or need to sell your ring, and it's likely you would take a huge loss in attempting to sell back to a jeweler. A lot of the value in the initial purchase is from the marketing, the "brand new", and the mark up--which is very substantial. A fine jeweler will likely feel they'd be losing money to purchase back from you at a decent chunk of your initial investment, as their inventory price of the same ring may be as low as 30% of the sale prices.
Whatever route you decide to go for your solitaire diamond ring purchase, make sure you've done your due diligence, considered all of the previously mentioned factors, and that it is a decision that makes you happy. Please click if you'd like to see our selection of Diamond Solitaire Rings.
If you are looking for something on the much lower cost end (under $100) than our engagement ring selection, such as Silver, we'd recommend looking at Dreamland Jewelry. If you're looking for something much more high-end than our selection, such as customizable, and higher end Gold and Platinum, we'd highly recommend taking a look at a very highly rated seller such as Shane Co.
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