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Size Without the Dollar Sign: Engagement Rings

Q Report Team
Updated on October 06, 2022
5 min read

Looking for a large engagement ring with a smaller price tag? With a few tried-and-true strategies under your belt, you can find the perfect, impressive engagement ring without breaking your budget. Here are our best tips to help you achieve that goal.


Prioritise the Stone Over the Metal

Some fine metals increase a ring’s cost substantially. Therefore, if you want to buy a more substantial engagement ring for less, you can choose a less-expensive metal. This leaves more money in your budget for larger stones.


Let’s take a look at the most popular metals for engagement rings, from the most expensive to the least costly.



Dense, durable and hypo-allergenic, platinum has a purity rate of 95 per cent. It develops a desirable patina with wear, but your family jeweller can quickly restore the metal’s original shine at any time. Platinum resists wear and corrosion beautifully. 


Because it’s such a rare element, platinum is expensive. If you poured the whole world’s reserve of platinum into an Olympic-sized swimming pool, it would only cover your ankles. To own a ring made from a portion of that one pool of metal, you have to pay a premium. If you’re looking for a large ring on a limited budget, platinum is probably not the metal for you.



Less expensive than platinum and extremely popular for engagement rings, gold is always a good choice. White gold has held a vast majority of the market for the last ten to fifteen years, but yellow gold is roaring back. Rose gold, with its romantic pinkish hue, has also been trending for several years. We expect to see more of it in the wedding jewellery market.


Because pure gold is too soft for jewellery that is worn every day, it must be alloyed with other metals. Sometimes people have allergic reactions to these other metals, especially to nickel. So if the wearer has sensitive skin, ask about the gold’s make-up.


While gold is less expensive than platinum, they’re not the only precious metals to consider. Let’s look at a few more.



Sterling silver is a classic choice for an engagement ring, and it’s generally less expensive than gold. It’s essential to keep in mind that silver will tarnish, so it requires more maintenance than many other precious metals.


Some people solve the tarnishing problem by having it coated with rhodium (the same metal that covers white gold to give it that white, luminous sheen). This can be a great option when you’re trying to save money on the metal.



Incredibly durable and lightweight, titanium is hypo-allergenic and darker in colour than silver or white gold. Its steel grey shade gives engagement jewellery a modern appeal. As strong as steel but 45 per cent lighter, titanium has been increasing in popularity since the 1990s, when it first entered the wedding jewellery scene.



If you love the look of white gold and platinum, but you’d like to spend less on the ring’s precious metal, consider palladium. Although palladium is a rare metal in the platinum group of metals, it’s much less expensive. It provides that same steely white look, but the metal is less dense, perfect for a large ring.


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Be Selective About Diamond Shape

The diamond shapes you choose greatly influence an engagement ring’s overall appearance and style. Additionally, some diamond shapes appear more significant than others, even though they have the same carat weight.


Marquise diamonds, for example, may appear to be larger than round brilliants of the same carat weight, simply because the marquise is elongated and more shallow. Also, if you were to spend the same amount, you would get a 10 percent larger surface area by purchasing a princess cut diamond instead of a round brilliant.


Choose Clusters or Halos

Another way to get a more substantial engagement ring for less is to choose a style that clusters smaller diamonds together. Halo styles, for example, give the centre stone a much larger appearance by surrounding it with smaller diamonds. Other cluster styles provide the same effect: more bling for less money.


Opt for Side Stones

Increase the size of an engagement ring by adding smaller stones to the band or the sides of the main stone. These styles add more sparkle and an illusion that the ring is more extravagant. Pave rings provide increased lustre for a relatively small price tag.


Prioritise Size Over Clarity

After size, clarity has the biggest impact on a diamond’s cost. Some ring designs, such as bezel and channel settings, don’t showcase the stone’s clarity anyway, so it doesn’t make sense to splurge on a clear diamond. Prioritise size over clarity, and you can purchase an impressive ring for less.


Choose a Shallow-Cut Diamond

A shallow-cut diamond has a larger surface area but shallower depth. When you make this choice, you sacrifice sparkle, but you gain a larger stone. Deeper stones have increased light performance, and therefore more brilliance. If you opt for this route, carefully consider the overall appearance of the ring with the shallow-cut diamond.


You can employ one or several of these strategies to purchase a larger engagement ring for less. From shopping the pre-owned market to making calculated decisions regarding the ring’s style, you can buy a ring that will delight your partner.


Consider Buying a Pre-owned Ring

It’s possible to bag a pre-owned engagement ring for a fraction of the price you’d pay for a brand new one. If you’re hoping to stretch your budget for a larger ring, explore the pre-owned market, both locally and online.


Pay special attention to ring size as you shop for a pre-owned ring. Most rings can be increased or decreased by one to two ring sizes. Certain kinds of rings (eternity-style, tension settings, titanium and tungsten), however, are nearly impossible to resize. Therefore, narrow your options down by size before you get too attached to a particular ring.


And when you find that just-right ring, insure it with Q Report engagement ring insurance. Protect your ring from the moment you walk it out of the store. Get an online quote today.


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