Finding an inexpensive engagement ring may be the ultimate quest for cash-strapped young men who are eager to secure the lifetime affections of their loved ones. Of course, brides-to-be may not be too thrilled if price is the only consideration given to the stones that they will be showing off to family members and friends.
But the good news is that an affordable ring can be purchased that will delight your lady and yet not force you into bankruptcy. If the lady’s heart is set on a sparkling diamond, then her beau is well-advised to educate himself on what is known in the jewelry industry as the 4 Cs of diamonds, namely, cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.
These are the four factors that determine the value and worth of a diamond engagement ring. By becoming familiar with these important 4 Cs, the potentially engaged young man will be a more informed shopper. As the jewelry salesperson displays different choices on a variety of black velvet trays, the shopping will have a better understanding of why one diamond is more expensive than another. The cheap engagement rings will have settings with less valuable diamonds than the more expensive rings.
Let’s take a quick look at each of the 4 Cs in the context of distinguishing between expensive and cheap engagement rings. First, the cut can determine the diamond’s sparkle and brilliance. Experts know how to cut the precious stone in such a way to get the most fire from its depths. This brilliant fire is a main reason that diamonds are so appealing and popular.
There’s something delightful about unexpectedly seeing the prism of colors in a lovely diamond as it catches and reflects the light. Gem experts, known as gemologists, grade loose stones on the second factor, color, according to their whiteness. Stones are graded from D to Z with D, E, and F designating colorless diamonds while those with a grade nearer the end of the alphabet have a visible yellow or even a brownish tint.
A valuable diamond will have a higher letter grade for color than a lower quality stone. The third factor, clarity, refers to the flaws or the inclusions within the stone. The grades for clarity are: I (included); SI (slightly included); VS (very slightly included); and VVS (very, very slightly included). Additionally, there are distinctions, indicated by the numerals 1, 2, and sometimes 3, within those grades. A gem that is graded as I3 may have inclusions that are visible to the naked eye while the clarity of one that is graded VVS1 is an excellent and very expensive jewel.
The fourth factor, carat weight, refers to the size of the stone. Generally speaking, larger stones are more valuable than smaller ones. From this brief summary, it’s easy to see that cheap engagement rings may have settings that are poorly cut, yellowish, included, and small.
Of course, the jewel isn’t the only factor that determines the price of an engagement ring. A platinum or white gold band is often more expensive than one made of yellow gold. Other metals, such as titanium and silver, are even less expensive. The beau may choose to set a more valuable gem in a less valuable band or vice versa.
Either way, inexpensive engagement rings don’t need to look cheap. The groom-to-be just needs to be an educated and careful shopper. Many young women have their own ideas about what type of ring they want to receive so communication is key.