If you think I’m going to say “throw a halo on it!” you’re incorrect. Though trust, I thought about it. But you already know that a halo makes your diamond look bigger. Today you’re here to find out how to make your engagement ring look more expensive – the whole thing.
- Metal Choice It’s no secret that platinum is the ultimate in precious metals. And while rose gold engagement rings and yellow gold engagement rings are having an undeniable *moment*, the most classic choice over the last hundred years is white metal. And remember, the engagement ring has really only been around about that long. So if you want the luxe look while saving a little bit of money (or a lot, depending on the setting style) choose white gold to get the platinum look for a fraction of the cost.
- Diamond Color If fancy colored diamonds are in your budget – and the odds are good that they are, depending on other factors – a pop of yellow or pink will definitely make your ring look more expensive. But that’s not what I mean. Now that we’ve elected white metal for the body of our ring, we need a white diamond color grade that still looks bright and white against a cooler metal, but that doesn’t break the bank. The sweet spot is a G/H color grade that’s at the very high end of the near colorless spectrum, but is priced lower than the premium “Colorless” grades of D,E, and F.
- Diamond Clarity The name of the game is Eye Clean. Eye Clean diamonds have inclusions (like 99.9999999% of them) but they’re minimal, light in color (think wisps and interruptions in the crystal structure, rather than black carbon fragments) and invisible to the naked eye. Even better, they’re hidden by the prongs of your ring. This usually means a VVS clarity grade.
- Diamond Cut There’s no way around it: this is where you need to splurge. By springing for the absolute BEST cut grade you can afford, you’ll make your diamond look better all around and your ring look more expensive for it. If you use the above tips to save money, then try to save with a sub-par cut grade then all your savvy shopping is for naught. A bad cut grade will make your diamond look dull, lifeless, smaller than it really is, and cheap.
- Private Label Ok, now let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Halos do make your diamond look bigger. But I know some of you are yelling at your screen “But they make your engagement ring look tacky and cheap!” I hear you babes, I really do. But I promise you the ladies wearing RoyalT halos while they sunbathe on their yachts do not. All halos make your diamond look bigger. Not all halos make your engagement ring look cheap. But nor do all halos make your ring look more expensive – that depends on the designer. Some designers have a knack for making even an expensive ring look cheap – we don’t carry them at DBRL but I think you know they types of stores that do and I know you know if you follow me on Twitter. Restraint can go a loooooong way toward making a ring look more elegant and refined. And if you want a simple design – like a solitaire or three stone – you can save big by going custom or shopping your jeweler’s private label. If you’re in love with certain design touches (Tacori’s Crescents, Verragio’s crowns, A. Jaffe’s squared shanks, Henri Daussi’s everything, etc.) then no, don’t go this route. A knockoff engagement ring is always a bad idea. But if your idea of perfection is a knife-edge solitaire, then you’ll save thousands by shopping your jeweler’s private label and applying the tips above. And your ring will look just as gorgeous – and just as expensive – as one that came in a different colored little box.