Ways to Save Money Buying Diamond Rings

Ways to Save Money Buying Diamond Rings

Looking to save thousands of dollars when purchasing a diamond ring? Well, you’ve come to the right place! This isn’t just any ordinary guide with a few tips that might save you a small amount of money.

Our comprehensive guide offers 51 highly actionable strategies that are not readily available anywhere else on the internet. These strategies are so valuable that you’ll want to print them out and keep them on your desk for the next time you’re in the market for a diamond ring.

Our experts at frequently receive inquiries such as, “What are your top ways to get the best deal on diamonds?” and “How can I save money when buying an engagement ring?” We understand the struggles as most available guides are either incomplete, vague, or outdated. Furthermore, many of these guides aren’t even written by people with a strong knowledge of diamonds; rather, they’re just regurgitated advice that you’ve probably heard numerous times before.

We wanted to provide a comprehensive resource that covers every possible way one can obtain the best deal and save money when purchasing a diamond ring. From selecting the right settings to tax workarounds, our guide is unparalleled amongst all the online engagement ring reviews available on the internet. So go ahead and enjoy the savings!

Ways to Save Money Buying Diamond Rings

When it comes to saving money on diamond rings, the ring setting is often overlooked. However, there are several ways in which selecting a specific ring setting can help offset the price of your diamond ring. Here are three ways to save:

  1. Choose a 10K Gold Ring Setting

While most engagement rings are set in 14K or 18K gold or platinum, opting for a 10K gold ring setting can significantly reduce the price. Although the gold will be less yellow and there is a slightly higher risk of metal allergies due to the lower gold content, a 10K gold ring will be stronger and more resistant to scratches and dings. You can easily find affordable wedding sets for less than $1500, such as a 10K rose gold engagement ring from Kay.


  1. Choose a Cluster Ring Setting

Cluster settings feature a center made up of multiple smaller diamonds, which creates a more brilliant sparkle due to the numerous facets on each diamond. This type of setting is much cheaper than buying a single, large solitaire diamond, as you don’t need as high of diamond grades in smaller stones. You can find affordable cluster engagement rings like this 14K white gold cluster ring from Zales.


  1. Choose a Quad Ring Setting

Quad ring settings are similar to cluster settings, but feature only four small diamonds that are often arranged in a square shape to give the illusion of a single princess cut diamond. Because you are buying smaller stones, quad rings often have a higher total carat weight and are a great option for those wanting a bigger look without paying a hefty price tag. Check out this 2 carat 14K white gold quad engagement ring and matching wedding band from Zales to see an example.


  1. Choose a Halo Setting

A halo setting consists of a circle of smaller gemstones encircling the center stone. Although there are variations to the style, they all serve the same purpose.

By creating an illusion of a larger center stone, a halo setting can make a smaller diamond look bigger from afar, such as this classic halo setting from James Allen. You can save money by choosing a smaller carat weight diamond with lower clarity and color grades.


If you have a specific carat weight in mind, halo ring settings with smaller stones in the circle can provide the most savings. This is because larger carat weights in the halo require higher diamond grades, which increases the cost.

  1. Opt for a Halo Solitaire Setting to Save Money

Opt for a halo solitaire setting to save money on your diamond ring purchase. This type of setting features a plain metal band with a ring of smaller gemstones around the center stone. The fewer diamonds in the halo, the less you’ll have to pay, so keep carat weights in mind when making your selection.

One benefit of this style is the contrast between the plain metal band and the sparkly halo, which can look fantastic. You can also add your own personal touches to dress up the halo solitaire without overwhelming the design.

If you’re looking for something unique, check out the 14K rose gold halo flower setting from James Allen. It offers a twist on the classic halo solitaire design and is sure to stand out.


  1. Choose a Hexagonal Ring Setting

Choosing a hexagonal ring setting is an excellent way to stand out from the crowd. While they may be harder to find, you can save money by choosing this unique option. Hexagon-shaped rings create an illusion of a bigger center diamond, but it only works with a round or cushion cut diamond.

By selecting a hexagonal ring, you can avoid paying for a higher carat weight or better diamond grades. Even a ½ or ¾ carat diamond can appear like a 1 carat diamond, making it an ideal choice for budget-conscious shoppers.

Furthermore, if you choose a hexagonal ring setting with a plain metal band or only a few side stones, like this 18K yellow gold hexagon engagement ring from James Allen, you can save even more money by having less bling.


  1. Choose a Multi-Stone Ring Setting

Opt for a multi-stone ring setting if you want to save money on diamonds. Having smaller diamonds in the ring is less expensive than a single large diamond, but the cost savings depend on the carat weight and diamond grades of the other stones.

Multi-stone rings typically have two or three smaller diamonds in the center, rather than one large one. For example, three half-carat diamonds will be less expensive than a single 1 ½ carat diamond. Non-traditional two-stone engagement rings, such as this 14K white gold two-stone engagement ring from Blue Nile, are a good option for those looking for a unique multi-stone ring.


  1. Buy Illusion Settings

There are various ways to save a few hundred dollars or more when choosing a ring setting, and fortunately, there are numerous options available. One often overlooked option is the illusion setting, which can be either skillfully or poorly executed.

One type of illusion setting is the diamond illusion setting. In this type of setting, a metal ring surrounds the diamond, which is then cut with ridges to reflect light alongside the diamond, making it blend seamlessly with the surrounding diamonds.

This setting is typically used for round or princess cut diamonds and generally looks better in a round setting. However, there are exceptions to this, as demonstrated by the beautiful illusion wedding sets available from Brilliant Earth.

  1. Choose a Six Prong Ring Setting

When it comes to engagement rings and wedding bands, the type of metal used can have a significant impact on the price. Platinum, while the strongest of the precious metals, is also the most expensive. Gold is more affordable than platinum, but its price varies depending on the karat weight. On the other hand, sterling silver is less expensive than gold, but requires more upkeep.

One popular option for engagement rings is the six prong diamond ring. The minimum width for most engagement rings is 2mm, with an average width of 2-2.5mm. However, wider bands, ranging from 2-6mm, are also available, but come at a higher cost due to the increased amount of gold used.


It’s important to note that a thinner band can make the center stone appear larger than it actually is. Conversely, a larger band can make a smaller carat diamond look even smaller due to the amount of metal surrounding it.

  1. Choose a Thinner Band

The price of engagement rings and wedding bands is significantly affected by the type of metal used. Platinum, the strongest of the precious metals, is also the most expensive, while sterling silver is less expensive than gold but requires more upkeep.

When it comes to the band width, the minimum width for most engagement rings is 2mm, with an average width of 2-2.5mm. However, wider bands, ranging from 2-6mm, are also available, but come at a higher cost due to the increased amount of gold used.


Opting for a thinner band can result in cost savings, and can also make the center stone appear larger than it actually is. Conversely, a larger band can make a smaller carat diamond look even smaller due to the amount of metal surrounding it.

  1. Avoid Brand Names

As with any other retailer, brand names in the jewelry industry often charge a premium for their products. This holds true for diamond rings as well, with brand name jewelry often being hundreds of dollars more expensive than non-branded alternatives.

By opting for a non-branded ring, significant cost savings can be achieved without compromising on quality.


Gemstone Selection and Pairing

The imaginative ways to cut costs while choosing the real gemstones used to construct your ring will be the main topic of this section.

  1. Choose Lab Grown Diamonds

Lab grown diamonds are identical to diamonds that are found in nature, both chemically and physically. These diamonds are grown in a laboratory under conditions that simulate the environment underground and can be produced in a matter of weeks.


Compared to mined diamonds, lab grown diamonds have a much lower value, as they are easier to make. In fact, they can be over 40% cheaper than mined diamonds with the same diamond grades. Lab diamonds are typically more eye-clean as they have only one type of inclusion, which is not easily visible.

Mined diamonds, on the other hand, can have a range of inclusions, some of which may be quite noticeable.

Although only trained gemologists can typically distinguish between a lab diamond and a mined diamond, the cost savings can be significant. However, lab diamonds have zero resale value and do not usually qualify for trade-in programs.

  1. Choose a Moissanite Center Stone

If you’re looking for a way to save money without sacrificing the beauty of your engagement ring, consider swapping your center diamond for a moissanite gemstone. Moissanite is a lab-created gemstone that closely resembles a diamond in appearance, but is much more affordable.

Moissanite is the second most scratch-resistant mineral on earth, right below diamonds. It is also eye-clean and perfect for everyday wear. Unlike other diamond imitations, moissanite has its own unique look and is more expensive. However, you can get larger carat sizes for a fraction of the cost of a diamond of similar quality.


Before buying a moissanite, be sure to check out videos of the gemstone in different lighting to ensure that you like its sparkly appearance. Keep in mind that moissanites have their own set of guidelines to follow, so do your research before making a purchase.

  1. Choose a Colored Gemstone Center Stone with Side Diamonds

For those with non-traditional taste, consider swapping your center diamond for a colored gemstone while keeping diamonds on the band. Colored gemstones don’t require high clarity or a specific cut, but rather a consistent color throughout the stone.

Choosing a colored gemstone as your center stone can be much more affordable than a diamond, making it a great option for those on a budget. Brilliant Earth offers loose rubies, sapphires, and emeralds as center stone options, with blue sapphire being one of the most popular choices.


The contrast between the colored gemstone and the white diamonds on the band creates a beautiful and striking look that will save you money without sacrificing style.

  1. Choose Colored Gemstones as Accent Stones

When it comes to engagement rings, you can save money not only by choosing a colored gemstone as your center stone, but also by choosing colored gemstones as accent stones. This means keeping your center stone as a diamond, but choosing other gems to complement it.


Choosing Your Diamond Grades Online

To ensure you get the best value for your money, it’s essential to compare loose diamonds. However, most local retailers do not sell loose diamonds, making online shopping a better option. Online retailers such as James Allen, Blue Nile, and Brilliant Earth allow you to select your own diamond grades and view the diamond through an online viewer.

  1. Save By Choosing Brilliant Cut Diamonds

One way to save money on your engagement ring is to choose a brilliant cut diamond. These diamonds are the most popular diamond shapes, including round, princess, cushion, pear, marquise, radiant, trilliant, heart cuts, and ovals. Brilliant cut diamonds are known for their short, choppy sparkles, making them appear glittery.


  1. Save By Choosing Step Cut Diamonds

Another way to save money on your engagement ring is to choose a step cut diamond. Step cut diamonds, such as emerald, Asscher, and baguette diamonds, have long facets that resemble mirrored steps. While step cut diamonds can be more expensive due to the need for higher color and clarity grades, they show color and clarity imperfections more than brilliant cut diamonds. The flashes of light in a step cut diamond are dramatic, and inclusions are more visible.


Overall, both brilliant cut and step cut diamonds are beautiful options for an engagement ring. By choosing the right cut for your budget, you can save money without compromising on the beauty of the ring.

  1. Choose a Diamond Shape with a Large Table

If you desire a center diamond that looks larger but don’t want to pay for a big and high-quality diamond, consider opting for a diamond shape that has a larger table, which is the top of the diamond.

Round brilliant diamonds are the most popular and costly shape, but they also have one of the smallest top views.

You can achieve the illusion of a larger diamond by selecting shapes with more surface area, such as Asscher, oval cut, pear cut, emerald cut, and radiant diamonds. In fact, most shapes will look bigger than a round diamond of the same carat weight, except for marquise diamonds, which are less sought after.


Keep in mind that cushion, princess, and heart shapes have a similar appearance to a round diamond, so you may not notice a significant size difference. However, cushion cut diamonds can be an excellent alternative to round diamonds and cost at least $500 less for a similar size. Look for the “crushed ice” type of cushion diamond for more sparkle.

  1. Choose a Cushion Cut Diamond

For many people, a round brilliant center stone is the ideal choice for an engagement ring. This classic diamond shape is renowned for its exact symmetry and dazzling brilliance. However, it is also the most popular and expensive diamond shape on the market.

Fortunately, there are ways to save on the cost of a round diamond. One option is to consider a different diamond shape, such as a cushion cut diamond.

Cushion cut diamonds are essentially princess cut diamonds with rounded corners, combining the best of both round and square shapes. They are the third most popular diamond shape and can be at least $500 dollars cheaper than a similar round diamond. While they may not have the same level of sparkle as a round brilliant, cushion cuts are still very sparkly due to their brilliant cut shape.


For those concerned about sacrificing sparkle, “crushed ice” cushion diamonds are a great option. Additionally, a 1 carat cushion cut diamond will appear larger than a 1 carat round diamond because it has more surface area to reflect light. If you’re looking to save money on your engagement ring, a cushion cut diamond is definitely worth considering.

Hidden Diamond Details

The four Cs of diamond quality are cut, carat, color, and clarity. All diamonds are evaluated according to the GIA’s system, which was developed to determine their quality and worth. The following cost-saving techniques are based on the 4Cs as well as other different diamond-specifics.

  1. Choose Carat Points

Carat weight is a crucial factor to consider when shopping for diamonds. However, carat weight is often measured in fractions or decimals, which can be confusing for some buyers. The most popular carat weights are ⅓, ½, ¾, 1 carat, 1 ½ carat, and 2 carats.

For example, a half carat diamond may be represented as .5 or 1.5 carats, depending on the context. These carat weights are usually standard for engagement rings found in popular brick and mortar retailers like Kay’s and Jared.

It’s important to note that carats are actually measured in carat points, with 100 points equaling one carat. Online diamond retailers like James Allen or Blue Nile allow buyers to choose their preferred carat weight in carat points. In the world of carat points, there is a 7 point rule, which means that a .93 ct diamond is still classified as a 1 carat diamond, and a 1.07 ct diamond is also considered a 1 carat diamond.

If you were to compare a 0.93 ct diamond to a 1 carat diamond, it’s unlikely that you would be able to distinguish between the two. This is because the slight 0.07 carat difference is likely to be in the pavilion, which is the bottom part of the diamond that cannot be seen from the top.

Therefore, it may not be worth spending the extra few hundred dollars for such a small difference that cannot be noticed.

  1. Choose a Diamond with Fluorescence

Diamond fluorescence is often overlooked or misunderstood by most people. Some diamonds exhibit fluorescence, while others do not. If a diamond has fluorescence, it will emit a colored glow when exposed to a UV black light. The color can vary, but blue is the most common. This means that your engagement ring may appear slightly blue in sunlight.

Fluorescent diamonds are classified as None, Faint, Medium, Strong, and Very Strong, which are indicated in the diamond certification report. Diamonds with no fluorescence are generally considered more valuable and, as a result, are slightly more expensive.

However, having a fluorescent diamond is purely a visual preference and does not affect the quality or durability of the diamond. Some people love the color-changing effect of fluorescent diamonds, while others don’t even notice it. Choosing a fluorescent diamond can even save you a couple of hundred dollars.

  1. Buy AGS or GIA Certified Diamonds

If you want to ensure that you’re not overpaying for a diamond and getting scammed, it’s important to purchase certified diamonds. But not all diamond certifications are created equal.

For the top-tier diamonds in the world, you should look for those that have been graded by either the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the American Gem Society (AGS).

Diamonds with grading reports from GIA and AGS are considered the most respected and professional in the industry, making them the most valuable and sought after. Choosing a GIA or AGS certified diamond ensures that you’re getting a high-quality diamond that is accurately graded for its carat weight, clarity, color, and cut. So, if you’re looking to make a smart investment in a diamond, choosing a GIA or AGS certified diamond is a wise choice.

When purchasing diamonds, it’s crucial to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth and not being scammed into overpaying. The best way to do this is by buying certified diamonds, but not all certifications are created equal.

The top two certification authorities in the world are the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society (AGS). These labs are respected and professional, so diamonds with grading reports from them are the most valuable and sought after.

However, this also means that GIA or AGS certified diamonds are more expensive than non-certified diamonds or those certified by other labs. While it may be tempting to opt for a cheaper IGI certified diamond, their grading standards may not be as rigorous, resulting in a lower quality diamond.

In some cases, retailers may pressure certifying bodies to be more lenient in their grading, which can result in a diamond with an inflated grade and price point.

To ensure accuracy and ethical standards, it’s worth investing in GIA or AGS certified diamonds, even if they come at a slightly higher cost. By doing so, you can be confident that you’re getting a high-quality diamond that’s worth the price.

  1. Save Money by Buying GIA Certified Diamonds Online Instead of In-Store

When purchasing a diamond, it’s essential to make sure you’re getting what you pay for, and this is where GIA certified diamonds come in. GIA and AGS certified diamonds hold more value than other certified diamonds, making them the most sought after.

While brick and mortar retailers like Zales or Kay offer GIA certified diamond engagement rings, they come at a much higher cost than online retailers. For instance, a GIA certified 1.96 carat princess cut diamond with VS2 Clarity and I Color from James Allen goes for around $11,000, while a similar diamond solitaire ring from Zales is almost $27,000.


Although GIA certified diamonds cost more than non-certified diamonds or diamonds from other grading labs, they are worth it to ensure your investment is well spent. To save money, it’s best to purchase GIA certified diamonds online from a reputable retailer.

  1. Consider Lab Created Fancy Yellow Diamonds Instead of Natural White Diamonds

Lab created fancy colored diamonds are becoming a popular choice as they offer a unique look at an affordable price. In general, fancy colored diamonds tend to be more expensive than white diamonds. However, fancy yellow lab diamonds can cost less than a natural white diamond.

For example, a 1.01 carat emerald cut fancy yellow lab diamond can make a great center stone on a simple solitaire band, as pictured here. These diamonds are lab-created and treated to turn a different color, offering a range of unique shades.


A fancy yellow diamond intentionally has a yellow color and will cost closer to a white diamond of the same grades. However, finding a diamond that has the same shade of yellow throughout the stone is difficult, which is why it gets higher pricing. Consider a lab-created fancy yellow diamond for a one-of-a-kind look at a reasonable cost.

  1. Cut Costs with Bank Wire Payment Option

This cost-saving advice pertains exclusively to online diamond vendors. Many of them offer a bank wire payment option, which allows you to link your bank account and withdraw funds for your engagement ring directly from there instead of using debit or credit card information.

You can actually save money by opting for this payment method. Many online diamond retailers offer a discount of 1-3% for paying through bank wire. This may seem insignificant, but it can accumulate into substantial savings for large purchases, such as a high-value engagement ring like the stunning 2-carat pear engagement ring from James Allen.

Some people may be hesitant to provide their bank information online, especially when buying high-end jewelry for the first time. The reason why this option is cheaper is that it enables the retailer to avoid paying any processing fees associated with credit card transactions. Fortunately, many of these vendors pass on the savings to their customers.

It is crucial to only use bank wire payment with trustworthy online retailers, and fortunately, we have a few reputable ones to recommend. The following approved online diamond retailers all offer discounts to customers who pay via bank wire.

The table below illustrates how much you can save by using bank wire payment with various online retailers.

James Allen 1.5%
Blue Nile 1.5%
Whiteflash 3%

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