How can I find the right engagement ring diamond when money's tight?
Isaac Gottesman, owner of the renowned Chicago jeweler Dimend SCAASI says there are things to keep in mind as you choose your ring in a tight economy.
"While the recession has affected a lot of businesses, luckily for me, couples continue to fall in love and want to get married," Gottesman says.
Here's what Gottesman suggests:
• Quality over quantity. While you may be inclined to go for a bigger diamond with more imperfections simply for the size, focus on a higher cut quality and grade over size. Make sure to get an objective third-party grade level of the ring from the Gemological Institute of America or American Gem Society Laboratories. Also, be sure that your gemologist shows you the different scopes of the diamond so you are aware of all imperfections and cut quality.
• Stay on budget. Most importantly, don't shop for rings outside your budget. Stick to a set range that you can afford on a ring, and look to jewelers that tell you the price up front.
• Save on the setting. An easy way to save is to choose white gold instead of platinum. Platinum bands are approximately $300 or more expensive than other metal alternatives.
• Make family heirlooms your own. While you can save on setting, it can also be an easy way to take advantage of a family diamond. If a family stone has been made into a pendant or used in another ring, incorporating the diamond in a newly designed setting can make something old, something new!
• Incorporate colors. Alternative engagement rings are becoming a hot new trend in engagement rings. By incorporating the most vibrant gemstones nature has to offer, engagement rings with rubies, sapphires, emeralds and more can be a way to save and also create not only a timeless ring, but a conversation piece as well.