Diamond rings need not sport expensive “rock-sized” gems such as those worn by Elizabeth Taylor or Princess Diana. In real life, enormous gemstones look ridiculous, ostentatious, and ironically fake. What you probably need are: 1.) smaller, good-quality gemstones and 2.) good diamond ring designs which reflect the personality of the couple and make good use of the natural beauty of the gemstones used.
The best and most traditional of engagement rings is, of course, the diamond ring. But there are a few important things to consider before purchasing a diamond engagement or wedding ring.
Some people like to have diamonds set on gold or gold-plated rings. But the “fire” of diamonds is best shown off against silver, which seems to enhance the glitter of diamonds. This is especially useful if the gemstones chosen are small.
Another trick for showing off smaller diamonds is to use a ring with slightly smaller width than the diameter of the gemstone itself. When the finished ring is worn on the finger, the gemstone looks more pronounced.
Yet another way of enhancing the emotional value of engagement rings or wedding rings is to employ traditional designs, rather than modern ones. Examples of traditional designs are the Celtic ring or the Irish claddagh ring, which date back to medieval times. Incorporating a single diamond into a silver traditional ring makes a beautiful piece.
Apart from size, finished diamonds are valued according to four characteristics, which we call the 4 C’s: carat, cut, clarity, and color. These characteristics determine the price of the gemstones used in a diamond ring. And since diamonds will form the bulk of the cost of the entire ring, the quality of the diamonds will be the first thing considered in terms of budget.
Carat is a unit of weight for diamonds. Couples on a budget will end up using diamonds that fall within range of 0.1 to 5 carats. In fact, most of them use diamonds about 1 carat or less. This is sufficient. By using high-quality but low carat gemstones set on simple but elegant wedding or engagement ring designs, they end up with beautiful diamond rings.
The next important characteristic is “cut.” In reality, diamonds from the mine are like dull glass. It’s how perfectly and symmetrically it’s been cut and polished to reflect light that gives it beauty.
Diamonds aren’t always as clear as glass. When mined, some diamonds have “inclusions” or imperfections embedded within, as well as external blemishes. The best (and more expensive) diamonds are those with the highest clarity. However, some imperfections are tolerable enough that such lower-priced gemstones can be used in a diamond ring.
Finally, there’s color. Diamonds aren’t always “white” or colorless. Some of them have yellow, grey, or pink tints, while others are even intensely yellow, brown, green, blue, and red. These variations are quite rare, however, and cost a lot more than usual diamonds.
To lower the cost of the ring, it’s therefore best to stick to lower carat, slightly imperfect diamonds that have been expertly cut, and set against the best diamond ring design.