Today’s guest post comes to us from Vashi Dominguez, a Spanish entrepreneur, founder and owner of Vashi, a luxury online diamond jewellery store founded in 2007. Enjoy!
Who said you have to spend more to get a bigger diamond or an exquisite engagement ring of your choice? Deciding on your dream ring goes far beyond buying a sentimental piece of jewellery, however it doesn’t need to break your bank or lead you down a road to financial disaster before you’ve even said ‘I do’. With the right amount of knowledge (knowing exactly what to look out for) coupled with a few tricks of the trade, founder of Vashi and celebrity diamond jeweller, Vashi Dominguez, has put together his top five tips on how to save money on your dream engagement ring.
Read the full post after the cut!
The essential five things to consider are:
- Magic Weights
- Stone Clarity
- Online vs Retail Purchase
It’s essential when buying a diamond that you’re fully aware of how a carat is measured. A carat is the unit used to measure the weight of a diamond (e.g. one carat equals 0.2 grams). Magic weights are the under-size diamonds that weigh just below a carat mass (i.e. 1/2ct, 3/4ct, 1ct, 1.5ct, 2ct etc). There are two major benefits of buying a magic weight diamond. Firstly, there is very little visual difference between the two that even most jewellers wouldn’t be able to spot.
Secondly, and most importantly, you could be saving up to 30%. As carats are measured for its weight, and not strictly for its size, it is possible for two diamonds (one with a carat weight of 0.95 compared to a 1 carat diamond) to appear as exactly the same (in size) when seen in direct comparison.
Believe it or not, the choice of metal for your ring band plays a significant role in the cost of your engagement ring. There are four metals to choose from: Gold (white and yellow), Silver and Platinum. Gold, whether in white or yellow, is the most popular and durable choice — plus it’s a lot cheaper compared to other metals such as silver and platinum. If you prefer a gold metal band, I would recommend that you purchase a ring up to 18 carats. Although 24 carat gold is the highest quality available, it’s also a very soft metal. This can lead to quicker and more extensive damage, including warping.
White gold bands are coated in rhodium, a metal similar to platinum to create a real and brighter appearance. However, its thin layer of rhodium will eventually wear off requiring ongoing maintenance. To keep it looking its best, it should be re-plated every 12-18 months. With platinum being the strongest metal, it’s resistant to damage and won’t tarnish; making it a great choice if you don’t mind paying an additional £500 in excess.
Another great way to save big when buying a diamond engagement ring is to be knowledgeable about stone clarity. The clarity of a diamond measures the imperfections and inclusions within a stone. As diamonds are formed under the earth’s surface, little air bubbles and elements can get trapped in their formation. In most cases, inclusions can only be seen using a magnifying glass. A stone’s clarity can make a huge difference in the value and price. Here’s a picture of how a diamond’s clarity is graded:
Flawless (FL) diamonds are extremely rare and consequently much higher in price. For a less visible inclusion (eye clean diamond), I would recommend that you purchase a VS1 or VS2 clarity grade and save up to £200.
You would be surprise at how a little shade can sky rocket the price of a diamond. Another factor to consider that can bring about massive savings when purchasing your engagement ring is whether you would prefer a colourless or fancy coloured diamond. Here are a few images depicting the colour grades available:
Whiter (colourless) diamonds are rare, and therefore more expensive. Experts, however, will only be able to tell the difference in colour between diamonds grading within D to G. If you want a more colourless diamond, I would recommend that you purchase within the F to G range, as you could save up to £250. Alternatively, why not incorporate other jewels such as a gemstone? Kate Middleton’s blue sapphire engagement ring sparkled off a massive trend in fancy coloured engagement rings. Marrying the two jewels can offer huge savings, when selecting a low magic weight coupled with a faint colourless diamond(s).
Online vs Retail Purchase
There are pros and cons of purchasing an engagement ring via online compared to retail stores. Whilst the obvious reason of physically being able to see and try on your ring (in a retail store) is a strong and valid pro, online purchases tend to be a lot cheaper. Some jewellery stores source diamonds directly from the mines (cutting out the middle man) therefore allowing them to sell diamonds at a much more affordable price than the high street; in addition to free delivery and returns within a certain amount of days. My advice would be to anyone purchasing such a valuable and prized item, is to buy from a recognised and reputable brand. They will be able to support you in the future and offer additional services for years to come.
Thanks for educating our readers, Vashi! For more information and to view the collection of engagement rings, please visit his website.
Do you have any questions or comments for Vashi? Add them to the comments below!
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