Cheap diamonds don't necessarily need to be poor quality or look like the industrial grade stones used in drill bits. As long you do your homework and shop around you'll see that you can easily find a good quality ring for a reasonable price which is a cheap diamond.
The first step is establishing a budget, then do some research into engagement rings; things like different types of metal, ring settings, styles and diamonds. Then you can set about finding a cheap diamond ring of good quality to satisfy both taste and wallet.
Great Look for a Cheap Price
Shopping for cheap diamonds does not mean ignoring the quality of the diamond. In fact, the key to finding cheap diamonds is an awareness what diamond characteristics lower price but have minimal impact on the beauty of the diamond.
Carat weight is a big price driver for diamonds but often has little impact on appearance. When looking for cheap diamonds, seek out diamonds that are big in millimeter size for the carat weight. You see millimeter size, not weight. Then seek out carat weights just below the weights that most shoppers request. For example, there are great bargains at just under 0.5 carat, 1.0 carat, 1.25 carat, 1.5 carat, 2.0 carat, etc. which are the weights where there are price per carat increases.
Color is the next most important factor for price, but it is very hard to see the difference between color grades. We recommend at least I color for most diamonds but when shopping for cheap diamonds, you can go with J color in most brilliant cuts. For cheap princess, emerald, or Asschers diamonds, I color would be the better option. Diamonds with faint fluorescence can sometimes be less expensive than those with no fluorescence and still look great. We do not recommend medium or high fluorescence.
Clarity is an easy place to reduce prices when shopping for cheap diamonds. You want your diamond clean to the eye or very close to it. With brilliant cut diamonds look for SI1 or SI2 clarity diamonds with white, scattered inclusions. If the inclusions are able to be placed under prongs with the diamond is set, your cheap diamond will still have a great appearance.
Certification is an area that can sometimes help you in your quest for a cheap diamond, but you need the assistance of an expert. EGL certified diamonds are often less expensive than GIA or AGS certified diamonds but also tend to have lower color than their GIA or AGS counterparts. If you can find an EGL certified diamond that has the true color you want and is price low enough, you can have a beautiful cheap diamond. Don't even bother with cheap diamonds that don't have a GIA, AGS or EGL certification.
Cut of the diamond is a critical area in finding cheap diamonds that are beautiful. Since it is the cut of the diamond that produces the brilliance and sparkle, you don't want to vary too much from ideal cut but a few percentage points increase in the table percentage can provide a lower priced diamond with little, if any impact on the beauty. Good polish and symmetry are all you really need for beauty so don't pay for higher ratings here when shopping for cheap diamonds.
We always recommend getting the shape of diamond the person wearing the diamond will love the most, but different diamond shapes do have different prices. When shopping for cheap diamonds, ovals, marquises and pear shaped diamonds can produce bigger size than a round and at a lower price per carat. Emerald cut diamonds are relatively low in price per carat but you do usually need higher clarity and color compared to brilliant cut diamonds.
Low Price Setting
Jewelry stores push platinum settings because platinum is three times as expensive as gold and they make three times the profit. One easy step on your road to a cheap diamond ring is to go for a simple, 14 karat gold setting (either white or yellow gold). Gold is measured in terms of karat which ranges from 22k to 9k. The higher the karat number the more gold as a percent of the metal mix. Pure 24k gold is not used for jewelry as it is too soft. In the USA people tend go for 18k 14k which usually isn't too expensive.
18k white gold consists of the same quantity of pure gold as 18k yellow gold but may be slightly more expensive. If 18k is a little out of reach for your budget then you could opt for a lower karat such as 14k (58% pure). A 14 karat gold solitaire style setting will be strong, low priced and display the diamond beautifully. Picking the right setting is a key part of finding a cheap diamond ring.
Low Price Source
Perhaps the most important factor in finding great cheap diamonds is finding the right diamond supplier. It does little good to take all the cost reduction measures above if the retailer has a big markup built into the price. Find a diamond supplier like Diamond Source of Virginia that can provide the expert assistance in finding the best diamond for your dollar and who also offers very low prices due to a low overhead business model.
Sales tax can become a significant cost factor in purchasing cheap diamonds. Since the sales tax dollars add nothing to your cheap diamonds except cost, if you have a way to avoid sales tax legally, you owe it to your pocketbook to make that happen.
The biggest trap for shoppers looking for cheap diamonds, is that they only focus on the price and forget to get the beauty they deserve. This is especially true when the retailers are pushing diamonds that are unusually low priced per carat or a big discount from Rapaport prices. When a cheap diamonds seems too good to be true, it usually is. Be alert to diamonds that might be laser drilled, clarity enhanced or not even real diamonds. What looks like a cheap diamond might be a very expensive piece of glass or some other diamond simulant. Find a diamond expert you can trust and buy a certified diamond to protect you from these expensive mistakes when shopping for cheap diamonds.