10 Ways to Save Money on a Lab-Grown Diamond Engagement Ring
An engagement ring purchase is a considerable investment. So naturally, you want to give your future spouse the most beautiful engagement ring possible — and so you should! But that doesn’t mean you should overpay. For example, cutting corners on research might lead you to make some costly mistakes. In contrast, by performing your due diligence (e.g., reading this article), you will undoubtedly save money while getting a better and bigger diamond engagement ring.
We’ll help you save money on a lab-grown diamond engagement ring while still giving the love of your life the ring of her dreams. There are several ways to get more bang for your buck and still end up with the perfect diamond engagement ring.
Just follow our 10 tips to save money on a lab-grown diamond engagement ring and save up to 40%!
Did you know that the average engagement ring cost is approximately $6,000 in the United States?
3 of our top-rated engagement diamond jewelers
1. Choose lab-grown diamonds over mined diamonds
Lab-grown diamonds are 30-40% cheaper than diamonds extracted from the ground because the supply chain is much shorter. Did you know, however, that lab-grown diamonds are not only better for your wallet, but also for the environment?
Not only can lab-created diamonds save you a lot of money, but they also don’t have the negative human and environmental consequences of mined diamonds. In fact, they are the only diamonds that are guaranteed conflict-free!
That’s why the sustainably created diamonds have become an increasingly popular choice among celebrities such as Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Emma Watson, Meghan Markle, and many more A-listers who have been seen wearing lab-grown diamond jewelry.
New to the concept of lab-grown diamonds? Read all about lab-grown diamonds and what you need to know.
Lab-grown diamonds, also known as man-made or lab-created diamonds, are 100% identical to diamonds that are dug up from the ground. The processes of cutting and polishing a lab-grown diamond are exactly the same as for mined diamonds. Similarly, the inspection and grading processes are the same as for mined diamonds and performed by the same reputable laboratories.
2. Study the 4C’s and be ready to compromise
Once you get familiar with the diamond’s 4 Cs, you will learn how to save on diamonds. The truth is that by compromising on some of the 4 Cs, you’ll save a huge chunk of money or get a bigger and better diamond. And we promise you that you’ll still end up with an eye-catching sparkling diamond that your soon-to-be will cherish forever.
The number one tip is to prioritize diamond cut grade over anything else. In fact, as long as the diamond is well cut (always, always choose the best cut), then you can safely compromise on clarity, color, and even carat.
Learn more about the diamonds 4 C’s and keep reading for more tips to save money on lab-grown diamond engagement rings.
3. Choose a near-colorless diamond color
The diamond color grading scale ranges from D (colorless and most expensive) to Z (most colored and least costly). D is exceptionally rare and reserved for billionaires for whom money is no object. Z is for industrial use, and grades all the way up to around K and L are reserved for (at best) accent stones.
In the following, we’ll explain which range lets you save the most on a lab-grown diamond engagement ring.
It’s pretty straightforward. Downgrading on color will save you a fortune! Rather than choosing a completely or very near-colorless diamond (diamond color ranges D, E, and F), you should start your diamond journey at G, H, or I. color diamonds provide tremendous value and appear colorless to the naked eye. For instance, the difference is unnoticeable with a G color diamond side-by-side with an F color stone.
You need to consider going above G only in rare instances when buying a gigantic stone set in a platinum setting.
Depending on the setting and style, you can consider a J-color diamond grade. These near colorless diamonds do contain a very faint yellow color, but you won’t be able to detect it with the naked eye. This is especially true if set in a gold-colored setting, which naturally emits a yellowish light.
Generally speaking, the larger the stone and the lighter the material it’s set in, the higher the grade you should consider.
Silver or light materials
- Very large diamond: G or H diamond color grades
- Small to medium-sized diamond: H or I diamond color grades
Golden and dark materials
- Very large diamond: H or I diamond color grades
- Small to medium-sized diamond: I or J diamond color grades
How much will you save? As an example, an F color VS2 clarity ideal cut diamond costs between $1,300 and $1.500.
The same as above except lower color grade, that is, an H color VS2 clarity ideal cut diamond is available at less than $1,000 (see our Clean Origin review).
That’s a 30-50% saving by going down just two color grades, which in most cases will be unnoticeable!
Instead, you can either save on your diamond engagement ring purchase or put towards a better cut grade (you should) or higher carat weight.
4. Compromise on diamond clarity
Diamond clarity relates to inclusions or blemishes trapped in the stone or surface blemishes. Diamonds are graded on a scale from Flawless (F) to Included 3 (the worst). Diamonds with fewer and less apparent inclusions are graded higher, and the price rises accordingly.
A diamond doesn’t have to be flawless (FL) or even at the top of the clarity grade scale — as long as it is “eye-clean”. In many cases, Very Slightly Included (VS1 or VS2), which are clean of “eye-visible” inclusions, give you the best quality for your money.
However, if you’re looking to save more, then consider a Slightly Included (SI) quality diamond. If you are lucky or diligent, you might be able to find a Slightly Included diamond that is eye-clean without inclusions or blemishes that impact light reflection.
If you do, you can save a huge chunk of money. Depending on the type of inclusions, you most likely won’t be able to see the imperfections when the diamond is mounted in its setting. If it’s eye-clean and the other 4 Cs align, you can easily go for an SI-quality diamond.
However, you don’t want to go to Included diamond grade quality diamonds. And even with SI, make sure to study the diamond and certificate well and only buy from diamond sellers that offer HD quality images, such as James Allen, Ritani, Clean Origin, and Brilliant Earth.
5. Go for a lab-grown diamond carat weight just below the standard sizes
Diamond carat (ct.) refers to the weight of a diamond rather than its size; however, the two are closely related. You can get a much better deal if you go for a carat weight just below the standard sizes of 1.0, 1.25, 1.50, 2.0 carats, etc. The reason is that you often pay a premium to reach those thresholds.
Try searching for a diamond with a carat weight of around 0.93-0.99. You’ll likely save a good amount compared to a full one-carat diamond. You’ll not be able to tell the difference in size.
A smaller diamond with a higher diamond cut grade will appear larger than a lower cut grade diamond with a higher carat weight. Go for the higher diamond cut and compromise on diamond carat.
6. Don’t choose a brilliant-cut diamond
Diamond money-saving tip number 6 on our list of ways to save money on a lab-grown diamond engagement ring is considering a fancy-cut diamond shape.
Fancy-shaped diamonds are any shape other than a round brilliant diamond. The round brilliant-cut diamond is by far the most popular choice for engagement rings due to its incredible brilliance, fire, and light-catching facets. In fact, diamond engagement rings with a round center stone account for 75% of all diamond engagement rings sold today.
It is, however, also the most costly diamond shape due to popular demand. You can save up to 40% on a diamond if you choose one that isn’t round.
If you are not married (pun intended) to the brilliant round cut, then consider another shape such as a princess cut or oval cut, which is less expensive than a round-shaped diamond.
Not only are they priced lower than a round brilliant cut stone, but the larger shape of a princess cut or an oval cut center stone makes the diamond appear larger than it actually is.
Read more about the various diamond shapes.
7. Choose smaller stones
Choose a ring with multiple small diamonds, such as the popular halo ring, where smaller brilliants surround the center stone to add extra sparkle and attention to the ring’s main attraction. They typically cost much less than a solitaire ring.
Not only does a halo ring look gorgeous, but an added bonus is that the smaller stones make the center stone appear larger — for a fraction of the price of a single large stone.
8. Go for 14K gold instead of 18K gold
18K and 14K are the most popular choices because they have a high ratio of gold while still being great for general everyday wear.
Why not 24K gold? The highest carat gold, 24, is too soft and easily dents and is prone to scratching, so it is unsuitable for everyday use (and jewelry in general).
14-carat gold is approximately 58% pure gold, while 18-carat is approximately 75% pure gold. 14K gold is the most affordable option and the most durable (it doesn’t scratch as easily as an 18K ring). This is why 14k gold is a great choice not only for its price but also for its durability.
The rare case when you might choose 18K over 14K would be to have a lower amount of alloy metals, which, while being present in 18K too, contains less than 14K and 10K gold. In addition, 18K gold may glow a little warmer, but it’s hardly noticeable and usually doesn’t justify the loss of scratch resistance.
9. Buy your engagement ring online
You save a ton of money by buying your engagement ring online instead of at a traditional brick-and-mortar store. Not only are their prices much lower, but you are also able to compare prices between jewelers more easily.
In addition, the best online lab-grown diamond sellers have huge selections that allow you to browse through hundreds and hundreds of lab-grown diamonds, so you can be sure that you find just the right and best-priced stone for your diamond engagement ring.
And perhaps most importantly, by buying your diamond engagement ring online, you avoid pushy sellers who are more likely to pressure you into making a wrong and overpriced purchase.
And one of our all-time favorite places to buy engagement rings, With Clarity, will even create a replica 3D model of the engagement ring that you are considering, which gives you the ability to assess the looks and feel of the ring. Free of charge!
3 of our favorite places to buy lab-created diamond engagement rings
When you’re ready to start looking for an engagement ring, make sure to begin by reading our guide on how to buy a lab-grown diamond engagement ring online and recommendations for the top 5 best places to buy lab-grown diamond engagement rings online.
10. Save on deals and sales
Last but not least, on our top 10 ways to save money on a lab-grown diamond engagement ring, we recommend looking for any lab-grown diamond engagement ring sales. Not only are lab-created diamonds 30-40% cheaper than the equivalent mined diamonds, but there’s a lot more to save during sales on lab-grown diamonds.
We continuously monitor the market and get the inside scoop on the best lab-grown diamond prices and deals. Sign up for our newsletter if you want to be alerted of any upcoming sales or discounts.
And there you have it. Our top 10 ways to save money on a lab-grown diamond engagement ring!
More tips and recommendations for finding the best lab-grown diamond engagement ring
If you have more time on your hand, then we have plenty of guides to make sure you get the best lab-grown diamond engagement ring:
- Guide to Buying a Lab-Grown Diamond – Top Tips to Saving and Getting a Better Diamond!
- How to Buy a Lab-Grown Diamond Engagement Ring Online
- The 5 Best Places to Buy Lab-Grown Diamond Engagement Rings
- What you need to know before buying a lab-grown diamond engagement ring
- How to buy a lab-grown diamond engagement ring at James Allen
- All sales on lab-grown diamond engagement rings