(Updated 6/15/18. Originally Published 11/2/16)
Does $2000 buy a good engagement ring?
Hi Danny, I’m a college student with a limited budget of about $2,000 to spend on an engagement ring… can I get a good engagement ring for that price? I heard a radio advertisement a local jewelry store promoting one carat diamond rings for $1,995.00 but the inclusions were really visible and the diamonds all had kind of a yellow-green hue to them, I don’t want anything like that… so obviously I don’t expect to be able to buy a nice one carat diamond for my price range, but can I buy a good engagement ring for that price? I realize that my budget is probably significantly less than you are accustomed to working with, but I am really looking forward to any recommendations and advice that you are able to provide. – Terry P.
I’ve seen a few of those $1,995.00 one carat diamond rings in the past Terry and you’re right, they’re pretty scary… in the diamond industry, we refer to the clarity of those diamonds as “dead” and joke that they look as if they have been stored near nuclear waste because of the lime-green color. I believe that they are intended primarily as a lost leader of sorts, designed to bring people into retail jewelry stores under the impression that they can buy a nice one carat diamond for less than $2,000.00 but as you’ve noticed, that is not really the case.
However this does not mean that you cannot buy a good engagement ring for $2000, merely that you have to consider diamonds with different characteristics within that price range, the first thing that I would recommend is to consider diamonds in a lower carat weight, because the carat weight of a diamond will have a major impact upon its price, and the price increases substantially as you get closer to the 1.00 carat mark.
Diamond engagement rings under $2000
With the understanding that any time any of us purchase anything, we are always working within a budget, I want you to know that the only consideration the amount of money that you have to spend on an engagement ring Terry, is the impact that it has upon the range of characteristics that we consider… Brian Gavin Diamonds carries an extensive inventory of diamonds in a broad range of carat weight, color and clarity, in hopes of being able to provide our customers with diamonds of exceptional cut quality and sparkle factor, regardless of the price range that they are working with.
One of the easiest ways to consider all of the options that are available within a specific budget is to incorporate our pre-selected engagement ring tool into your search and specify your budget of $2000 and select the metal type that you prefer. This method provided several viable options, the one I like the best features this 0.511 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature diamond set in a 14k yellow gold solitaire with a four prong white gold head. Of course, this is just an example of what is possible; there are many more choices available once you start digging through our diamond inventory.
Using the diamond search feature on the Brian Gavin web site, I found this 0.556 carat, I-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Blue diamond with very strong blue fluorescence which is selling for about $200 less, because of the discount provided by the presence of the blue fluorescence. The neat thing about blue fluorescence in diamonds is that it acts kind of like white wash and it will help the diamond face up whiter than an I-color diamond without fluorescence would look in lighting scenarios where strong UV light is present, and it won’t really affect the diamond the rest of the time.
So as you can see, it is possible to buy a good engagement ring for $2000 and there are quite a few options available within the diamond inventory of Brian Gavin Diamonds, this post focused on only two of them, but there are many, many more diamonds to choose from within your desired price range.
Biggest and Best Engagement Ring for $2500
“I’m a college student on a budget, so I don’t have a lot of money to spend. I’m hoping that you can help me find the biggest, best e-ring for 2500. A friend of mine recently purchased his engagement ring from Brian Gavin. The diamond is the most spectacular that I’ve ever seen! He told me all about the cut quality of BGD Signature round diamonds, and how that produces the best light performance. I’m totally convinced, no need to sell me on that. But can I get a good quality engagement ring for 2.5K? We prefer not to see any inclusions within the diamond and would like it to face-up white. A simple solitaire engagement ring will suffice; we’d rather invest the majority of money into the diamond.”
Size is relative, but the sparkle factor is absolute:
The reality about descriptive terms like “Biggest e-ring” and “Best e-ring” is that the exact meaning of those phrases is dependent upon our personal perception of what is best and what is biggest. Thus size is a relative concept, but I can assure you that the sparkle factor of Brian Gavin Signature round diamonds is absolutely spectacular. The nice thing is that you’ve witnessed the incredible sparkle factor of our diamonds with your very own eyes!
I think that this 0.557 carat, H-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature Blue diamond is the perfect choice. The proportions of the diamond are right in the middle of the spectrum designated for the zero ideal cut proportions rating, this is going to deliver a high volume of light return and a virtual balance of brilliance and dispersion. The diamond also exhibits the highest degree of optical precision, which is going to make the sparkle factor even more spectacular. This diamond exhibits medium blue fluorescence, which is a total plus in my book, because it tends to make diamonds look brighter & whiter.
Plus, it’s just fun to play with under black light! Try it.
Hearts & Arrows diamond for $2500:
Admittedly, not everybody shares my appreciation for blue fluorescent diamonds. Some people are hesitant to buy a blue fluorescent diamond sight-unseen, due to rumors about the potential for blue fluorescence to make diamonds look milky or cloudy. In reality, fewer than 2% of gem quality diamonds are negatively influenced by the presence of blue fluorescence, according to a study conducted by the Gemological Institute of America. If you prefer a diamond without fluorescence, then I’d recommend this 0.547 carat, F-color, SI-1 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond.
As you can see, it exhibits a stunning pattern of hearts and arrows due to the incredible optical precision. The reality is that all Brian Gavin Signature round diamonds exhibit this kind of precision, this is one of the things that Brian Gavin is known for throughout the industry.
For all intents and purposes, the light performance of these two diamonds is the same. They are both cut to the same range of proportions, and exhibit comparable levels of optical precision. The diamonds look equally impressive in both the ASET and Ideal Scope images.
Thus deciding which Brian Gavin Signature round diamond to purchase, is really a matter of personal preference as to whether you prefer SI-1 or VS-2 clarity, F-color or H-color, and blue fluorescence or negligible fluorescence. Regardless of which diamond you choose, the sparkle factor is going to be incredible, as you’ve already witnessed when you viewed your friend’s diamond.
Prioritizing Diamond Color, Clarity, Carat Weight:
Most people don’t realize that you should never sacrifice Diamond Cut Quality because that will affect the volume of light return and sparkle factor. But they also don’t realize how subtle the slight differences in diamond clarity, color, and carat weight can be.
Since the first question that people tend to ask when presented with an engagement ring is “How big is it?’ most people tend to focus on carat weight above all else. Which is why a lot of our clients lean towards diamonds of lower color and clarity grades while maintaining the higher cut quality offered by Brian Gavin Signature diamonds.
With this in mind, you might prefer something like this 0.668 carat, K color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature diamond which enables you to maximize carat weight while maintaining the price point you’ve set your sights on.
The K color falls into the faint yellow range, so you might be able to see a little more warmth in terms of hue and saturation than you’d see in an F-G color diamond. But at the same time, the reality is that most people are not that good at discerning between slight differences in diamond color grades.
Especially when the diamond has been set and is being influenced by the color of the prongs that hold it in place, and the color of everything else in the room which it will pick-up and reflect back to some degree.
Maximizing Diamond Carat Weight by Adjusting Color:
Did you know that the average diamond color sold in America is N-color? According to the GIA Gemology course material, most people are wearing N-color diamonds in their engagement rings. N-color diamonds are considered to be very light yellow.
And yet, I’m certain that most people wearing N-color diamonds don’t consider their diamond to be yellow, because their diamond probably faces-up pretty white in most lighting environments. Notice how bright the N-color Brian Gavin Cape Series Diamond to the left looks under normal lighting.
It is important to realize that diamonds are graded for color from a side-profile under laboratory grading conditions. Which means that the room is pitch black with exception of the light emitted by the diamond color grading light.
Now let me ask you something. When was the last time you saw anybody looking at their diamond engagement ring from the side profile? Probably never, right? Unless of course, they whacked their ring against something and they’re looking to determine whether the prongs are still in place (which is a good reason to buy jewelry insurance).
However, beyond that one specific instance, the majority of the time we look at a diamond engagement ring, we’re looking at it from the top-down vantage point because that is the way the diamond faces-up in the ring.
From the top-down vantage point, you’re not that likely to see the color of the diamond, as much as you’ll be looking at the sparkle factor and that is why you can bend things a bit when it comes to diamond color and clarity, which is why so many people choose Brian Gavin Cape series diamonds for their engagement rings so that they can afford a larger diamond.
Select a Lower Clarity Grade to Buy a Bigger Diamond:
Another option that will enable you to afford a larger diamond is to select a diamond of lower clarity grade, such as an SI-2 clarity diamond. The trick of course is to realize that not all SI-2 clarity diamonds are created equal. In fact, the SI-clarity grade encompasses one of the broadest spectrums of inclusion among the clarity grades. Which is why you’ll find that some SI-2 clarity diamonds look better than others. This SI-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature diamond for example contains inclusions which are more difficult to see with the naked eye because they are lighter in color.
Which brings me to another point. It is important to realize that an SI-2 and SI-1 clarity diamond might not be entirely eye clean to the naked eye. Although, it is likely that you’ll have difficulty finding the inclusions within the SI-clarity diamonds offered by Brian Gavin without scrutinizing the diamond harshly and having a good idea of where and what to look for.
Understand that the industry definition of an “eye clean SI-1 or SI-2 clarity diamond” means that the inclusions are not readily and immediately visible to a trained grader when they glance at the diamond from a distance of 9-12 inches. This means that you might be able to see the inclusions at that distance, or perhaps closer, if you scrutinize the diamond, or if you happen to have extremely good vision.
The reason I’m telling you this is because if you have realistic expectations about what an SI-1 or SI-2 clarity diamond is going to look like to the naked eye, it’s possible that you can afford a larger carat weight (bigger diamond) by purchasing a lower clarity than VS-2 and higher.
Wrapping Up How to Buy the Best Engagement Ring for $2000-$2500:
Buying the best diamond engagement ring for 2000-2500 dollars is all about knowing how to mix and match the characteristics of a diamond to achieve the particular look that you find most appealing. Of course, the definition of what’s best is going to be different for each and every person.
One person might prefer a diamond with bigger carat weight, while another person might prefer a smaller diamond which is higher in color, or higher in clarity. It’s important to realize that there is no right or wrong pertaining to how you decide to balance diamond color and clarity.
However, the one characteristic that you don’t want to deviate from is diamond cut quality, because that is what dictates the volume of light return and sparkle factor which will show-up from across the room! Which is why you’ll want to focus on Brian Gavin Signature diamonds which are cut to the pinnacle of diamond cut quality, so you’re guaranteed to look like a hero regardless of what color and clarity combination you choose.