Sticking to a budget when looking for your dream engagement ring is always tricky, because it’s hard to know exactly what you can afford without physically going into a jeweller for an appointment.
So, we’ve spoken to the masters of bling, Bond Street Jewellers, who’ve not only shown us some dream engagement rings at every budget, but they’ve also revealed some insider tips for maximising your bling, no matter your limit.
If you are not set on a colourless stone as the centre stone, coloured gemstones like rubies or sapphires are popular alternatives. You can get a stunning stone for a fraction of the price of a diamond!
The Halo Setting
If your budget won’t allow for that larger stone you have your eye on, don’t worry. You can actually create the illusion of additional carats by choosing a halo setting (a circle of smaller stones around the centre stone). This type of setting makes the stone in the middle look bigger. You can either get a single or double halo that sits flush with the centre diamond or you can choose an expanded halo (single or double) which is slightly set apart from the centre stone.
Yellow diamonds have become incredibly popular over the years. Yellow diamonds are much rarer than white and vary greatly in price, just like the whites. Lighter stones can sell for less than half the price of top-quality colourless round white diamonds; while the most fiery, vivid yellow diamonds will command small fortunes. A fancy yellow colour diamond is the best bang for your buck per carat vs E/F VS Quality Round Diamond. Yellow Diamonds look best flanked with white diamonds around it.
Fancy Shape Diamonds
Prices of diamonds vary greatly depending upon the shape selected (along with colour, clarity and cut). Round diamonds have been the most popular shape for decades due to their optimal brilliance. They command higher prices than fancy shapes because of their higher manufacturing costs and higher demand.
Choosing a fancy shaped diamond can save you more than 25% versus a round diamond of similar size and quality. Depending on the shape selected, many fancies such as marquise, oval and pear shape are elongated shapes and appear larger than a round. There is a wide variety of shapes to choose from; Princess, Pear, Emerald, Oval, Radiant, Heart, Asscher, Cushion, Marquise.
Pick a Setting
Opt for a more minimal claw setting (which secures the diamond like a tripod above the band) over a bezel one (a metal ring that encircles the sides of the gemstone to hold it in place). Since more of the stone is visible, a claw setting is a great way to highlight the diamond, as well as make cleaning the ring a lot easier.
The Band (aka the Shank)
Narrow or pinch the shank. A good rule of thumb is this – the wider the band, the smaller your diamond will look. If you use very narrow band, your stone will look bigger no matter its size. Your jeweller will be able to tell you how fine your engagement ring shank can be slimmed down without causing stability issues
Take one step further and add pave or claw set small diamonds on the band. The main reason for choosing this is the huge bump in sparkle and beauty you get by adding small diamonds to the ring. And because they are small they are less expensive.
As with all fine jewellery, it’s recommended that pave or claw set rings are taken into a jewellers to be checked at least once a year, if not more.
Side Stone Diamonds
Side stones are Key! If you opt for a design with matching side stones, your ring will look bigger (as a whole look).
A pair of side stones rarely have any other purpose in bridal jewellery except to flank a stone into a three or five stone ring. They are the supporting cast, not the stars. Just like fancy shape diamonds, there is also a wide variety of side stone shapes which include; tapered baguettes, straight baguettes, step cut tapered bullets, Brilliant Cut trapezoids, ovals, rounds, pears, half-moons – the list goes on.
Bond Street Jewellers has been creating diamond engagement rings since 1975 and its Master Jewellers, Zorro and Harry Keverian are renowned for their superior workmanship and commitment to customer service. With a design studio located in Chatswood, Bond Street Jewellers provide a range of engagement ring options from ready-to-purchase to bespoke pieces and can work with any budget.
Main image from glamour.com