When Dollars Count

When it comes to engagement rings and affordable wedding rings, for most people bigger is better and the more of it, the better. Given an unlimited engagement ring budget, this premise would hold up quite well, but since most engagement ring buyers are on a budget, sacrifices are eminent. The question is, what sacrifices can be made to turn engagement rings into affordable engagement rings? The bigger question, however, is what sacrifices can me made to turn unique engagement rings into cheap engagement rings while keeping them unique and original? The reality is that, depending on which engagement rings you may be considering, the biggest price determining factor will be either materials or labor. In this issue of DT Era we discuss the different aspects of making engagement rings more affordable and the sacrifices that make this process possible.

Italian engagement ring

Italian engagement rings are a good place to start, as they are known for their sophistication and high prices. We start with a relatively complex and labor intensive Italian solitaire diamond engagement ring, produced in 18k white gold and rose (pink) gold with a 1/7 carat VS1 Italian round brilliant diamond, listed at $1,499. The main challenge with labor intensive engagement rings is the limitation with regard to what can be done to transform them into cheap engagement rings. To illustrate this point further, if you downgrade this Italian engagement ring to 14k gold, the price only drops to $1,349. Downgrade the diamond to an eye clean SI1 and the price drops to $1,279.

Italian engagement ring

We move on to a different Italian solitaire diamond engagement ring. This particular engagement ring design is much less labor intensive, and a larger percentage of the price is concentrated in the materials. This Italian engagement ring is also produced in 18k gold, and features a 1/6 carat Italian round brilliant cut diamond, also listed at $1,499. Downgrade this engagement ring to 14k gold and the price decreases to $1,149. That’s almost a 25% decrease! Downgrade the diamond to an eye clean SI1 and the price decreases to $1,079!

Italian wedding ring

Let’s touch on this 18 karat white gold Italian wedding ring, featuring 3/4 carats in total diamond weight, listed at $3,849. As you can see, the design of this Italian engagement ring, although beautiful, is not too labor intensive, or is it? A common misconception is that only complex wedding rings require a significant amount of manual labor. However, you probably noticed the large number of Italian round brilliant diamonds, set along half the circumference of the white gold shank – 50 diamonds, to be exact. Each of these diamonds is set by hand and the prongs are manually bent, to secure each diamond in place. The price range per each set diamond is typically $3-8. Therefore, as expected, if you downgrade this Italian wedding ring to 14k gold, the price only decreases to $3,549.

Hopefully this issue of DT Era helped shed some light on the factors that can convert unique engagement rings to affordable engagement rings. Remember, the higher the quantity of diamonds the more labor, and the more complex the design, the more labor. Labor intensive engagement rings and wedding rings leave little to no room for price reduction, as regardless of how much you downgrade the materials, the amount of labor remains the same. On the other hand, the less manual labor an engagement or wedding ring requires, the more of a discount you will receive by downgrading the materials. A word of caution – when downgrading engagement or wedding ring materials, make sure that the savings do not compromise the integrity of the design. For instance, downgrading a VS2 diamond to an eye clean SI1 is acceptable in most cases. But downgrading an SI1 diamond to an I2-I3 will likely eliminate the diamond fire and scintillation, thereby compromising the integrity of the design. Be patient, ask questions and save some money!

Categories: Cheap Engagement Rings, Italian Engagement Rings, Italian Wedding Rings, Unique Engagement Rings

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