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Buying Diamonds on a Budget

8 practical tips for buying a diamond on a small budget

Very few people can afford to purchase expensive diamonds. In reality, most people are looking to buy best looking diamond, at the least possible price, for a patricular purpose, be it for an engagement ring, wedding ring, or any of the other reasons.

A pair of engagement rings with small diamonds embeded
If your budget limits you from buying a large diamond for your rings,
consider getting three smaller diamonds, which can look just as
beautiful and impressive in your rings.

If you are a diamond shopper that can't just walk into a high-end jewelry store and buy a 5-carat, D color, Internally Flawless diamond with Ideal cut parameters, you will find these tips very useful.

Like most diamond shoppers, you probably have a limited budget. But you still want to get the biggest and most beautiful diamond within your budget. Take these simple steps that will ensure you get the biggest diamond possible that will look beautiful and be appreciated. Also, be mindful of potential diamond scams.

1. Choose diamond with less than usual carat weight

Diamonds price per carat increases at the most popular carat weights (0.50, 1.00, 1.25, 1.50, 2.00, etc.) because that is what shoppers request when they go into a jewelry store. Your dollars can go further buying a diamond that has a carat weight just under those weights. For example, a diamond that weighs 0.90 carats can be the same millimeter diameter as a diamond weighing 1.00 carat but cost $1000 less. The difference to your eye is almost unnoticable, whereas your budget will go further.

2. Buy the lower color grade diamond that looks beautiful

The price of diamonds is very sensitive to color grade, yet most shoppers have a difficult time seeing the difference between some of the color grades. If you buy the lowest color grade that looks beautiful to your eyes, the lower price per carat allows you to buy a bigger diamond with your dollars. The highest color grades (D, E, and F) are categorized as “colorless.” The next color grades (G, H, I, and J) are “near colorless” and the source of beautiful diamonds at much lower prices. Choose the lower color grade diamond that's just as beautiful, but costs less.

Cost projections page with a pen and calculator, with a note 'Can we do this?'

After you decide to buy a diamond, the first thing you need to do is
work out your available budget and investigate the cost of different
size, shape and grade diamonds online.

3. Buy several small diamonds instead of one large

A ring with several smaller diamonds is less expensive than a single diamond with the same total carat weight. For example, three 0.50 carat diamonds will cost a fraction of what a single diamond weighing 1.50 carats. The same holds true for a 1.0-carat center stone with 0.25-carat diamonds on each side. If you want a finger full of diamonds with a limited budget, go for several smaller diamonds rather than solitaire. This can even look more appealing than a single stone.

4. Choose a diamond that's clean to the eye

All diamonds have inclusions. The question is, can you see those with your eyes? Once a diamond is clean to the eye (VS2 or good SI1 for brilliant cut shapes), higher clarity grades have no impact on the beauty or appearance of a diamond. But they can add considerably to your expense. Get the lowest clarity grade you are comfortable with and save a lot of money with no sacrifice in beauty.

5. Select diamond shapes that make it look larger

The shape of the diamond can affect the millimeter size. Of course, you should always get the diamond shape you like best, but some shapes do look larger than other shapes. Ovals, marquises and pear shaped diamonds generally look larger than round or square diamonds with the same carat weight. Combine this with the next tip, to make your diamond look larger.

Bride putting wedding ring on groom's finger
Beauty is in the eye of beholder. With some smart choices made
when choosing your diamond, you will spend your money wisely
and get the diamond that excites you.

6. Shallower diamonds look bigger than deeper ones

Even diamonds with the same shape and carat weight can be different sizes. The cut of the diamond can influence the millimeter size. Shallower diamonds tend to be bigger in length and width than deeper diamonds. It is similar to two stones of the same weight, one thin and wide, the other thick and short, making thinner one look bigger. Yes, sometime it it's all about appearances.

7. Type of diamond setting can influence its perceived size

The type of setting for your diamond is yet another way to make your diamond look more beautiful for less money. When you smartly choose the setting for your diamond, it can influence its perceived size, as well as affect the dollars you have to spend on the diamond. White gold settings cost about one-third of platinum settings, leaving more money for your diamond. Bezel set diamond or diamonds with pave around the center stone can make the diamond appear bigger.

Young woman wearing a bold necklace
While substance is important when it comes to choosing the right
diamond for you, the look and appearance to the naked eye make
the difference how you feel about it.

8. Be mindful of retail markup that different retailers have

Perhaps the most important factor in getting the biggest diamond for your dollars is where you purchase it. The retail markup on diamonds can range from well under 10% with online retailers to over 200% at high-end jewelry stores. Finding a retailer with very low overhead and low prices will ensure more of your dollars go for your diamond. Why spend your money for polished marble floors, fancy display cabinets, and elaborate store interiors, all things you cannot wear out of the store? Look for the right places to buy diamonds.

Spend your money wisely

In the end, you want to go with the diamond that excites you and makes you happy every time you wear it. That is the best indicator that you have made the right decision and have the best diamond for you. The above tips should guide you to make an informed choice and spend your money wisely.

   Things to Know When Buying Diamonds
Buying Diamonds on a Budget
Buying Diamonds on a Budget
Guide to the 4Cs of Diamonds
Guide to the 4Cs of Diamonds
Diamond Places
Places to Buy Diamonds
Tips for Choosing Diamonds
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