Does a Diamond Ring Suit Everyone?

Diamond rings are a classic. They’re the go-to for engagement rings and can make you feel like an old Hollywood starlet. However, diamond rings weren’t associated with weddings until the 1940s because of a highly successful marketing campaign. 

A diamond ring can suit anyone who wants one, but you aren’t obligated to get one. There are more affordable and different-colored gemstones that are just as beautiful. Alternatively, a ring without a jewel can look great too. It’s all about preference. 

People buy gems for many different reasons. You aren’t obligated to have a diamond ring for your wedding; in the same respect, you can buy a diamond ring for any other occasion. Your jewel is your personal treasure, so choose whatever fits your personality.

Is a Diamond Ring for You? What You Need To Know

Though diamond rings range in price, the diamond is the most expensive part of the ring. Affordable diamond rings can be less than $1,000, while pricier ones can be $20,000 or more. Therefore, budget-friendly options are out there; finding them just takes some effort.

There are also a lot of different styles. You can choose a gold or silver band, different shapes, and a different number of diamonds. Be mindful that some of these stylistic choices will affect the final price of the ring.

Some jewelry enthusiasts are concerned about the ethics of the diamond trade. Today, many ethically sourced diamonds are on the market. Widespread public outcry encouraged many companies to alter their practices. Ethical diamonds are not as hard to find as you might think but do ask your jeweler about your jewel’s origin if this is a concern.

What Drives a Diamond Ring’s Price?

The number, size, and quality of each diamond on a ring will increase the ring’s price. Some precious metals are more expensive than others, but the band has a minimal effect on the ring’s final cost. 

A ring that sparkles with diamonds will be significantly more expensive than a ring with one diamond in the center. Yet, that single diamond could be very expensive on its own. Jewelers put higher price tags on higher-quality diamonds. 

A diamond’s value is typically determined by “the 4Cs.”

  1. Cut: a diamond’s cut has nothing to do with its shape. Cut refers to the angles inside the gemstone and how they reflect light. A well-cut diamond will sparkle more than a poorly-cut one. This is because its angles reflect light upwards and out of the crown.
  2. Clarity: clarity isn’t about whether or not you can see through the diamond. It’s about if the gem has any scratches or blemishes. Many diamonds have a few minor blemishes that no one but an expert will notice. The fewer minor blemishes, the higher the price.
  3. Color: a diamond’s transparency or translucency has more to do with color than clarity. White diamonds range between glassy-clear to yellow-tinted. The less of a yellow tint there is, the higher the price of the white diamond. Naturally red, blue, and pink diamonds are rare and more expensive than white diamonds. 
  4. Carat: carat weight is probably the most significant contributor to the diamond’s price. A 1-carat diamond is 20% more expensive than a 0.99-carat diamond. If such a slight carat increase can change the price that much, it makes sense that high-carat diamonds are pricey. Carats are the unit of measurement that weighs jewels and precious metals. In other words, the bigger the diamond, the more it will cost.

Other than cost, observing the 4Cs can help you weigh what you want with your budget. For example, if you want a diamond that glitters but you don’t need it to be big, you can save on carat weight and prioritize better cuts.

Lower-Cost Diamond Alternatives

Firstly, lab-created diamonds are cheaper than naturally-mined diamonds. They’re still considered true diamonds, so they’re not the cheapest alternative. However, they’re a good choice for someone who wants a diamond but can’t afford a natural one.

The cheapest alternative is cubic zirconia. Zircons are almost identical to white diamonds to the untrained eye. Most zircons on the market are lab-made, but natural ones are also available. Diamond rings for under $1,000 exist, but zircon rings are frequently under $100. Inexpensive zircons can even dip below $50. 

For something in-between, white sapphires are cheaper than diamonds. Interestingly, white sapphires are even less expensive than the popular blue ones. Additionally, sapphire rings were used as engagement rings long before the popularity of the diamond. It’s a great choice for something higher-end than a zircon but more affordable than a true diamond.

The downside to lower-cost diamond alternatives is that they tend to be softer than true diamonds. Therefore, they may wear down faster if worn every day. An affordable lab-created diamond or white sapphire is more durable than a zircon for a wedding band that will see daily wear and tear.

Different-Colored Diamond Alternatives

If you want something unique, you might seek a colored gemstone. Colored diamonds are available but are usually more expensive than white diamonds. Artificially colored diamonds are cheaper than naturally colored ones. However, if the diamond itself was not lab-grown, it will still be as pricey as any naturally-mined diamond.

A more affordable option is a different naturally colored gemstone. Like diamonds, all gems are subject to the “4Cs” so price and quality will vary. Two of the most affordable jewels on the market are amethyst and garnet. The hardest colored jewels are rubies, sapphires, and topaz.

Birthstone charts gave many people ideas about the colors of these jewels. Here’s a rundown of what people commonly think: 

  • Garnets and rubies are red.
  • Sapphires are blue.
  • Topaz is yellow. 
  • Amethysts are purple. 

However, this is not necessarily true. White sapphires were mentioned earlier in this article, and garnets come in six different colors. 

The six colors of garnet include: 

  • Red
  • Orange
  • Green
  • Pink
  • Black
  • Honey

Additionally, sapphires can be any of the following colors: 

  • Blue
  • White
  • Pink
  • Purple
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Black

Topaz’s range is even wider and includes: 

  • Yellow
  • Brown
  • Blue
  • Red
  • Orange
  • Purple
  • Pink
  • Green
  • Transparent

Rubies only come in red, but their tints can vary. They can be pinkish, bluish, brownish, or orangey. Amethysts usually range from lavender to deep purple, but they can also be duo-colored or pastel pink.  

Instead of choosing an alternate gem based on its stereotypical color, consider other factors like availability, affordability, and hardness. From there, you can choose from a variety of different colors.


A diamond ring can be for anybody, but it’s okay if it’s not for you. Budget, personal tastes, and availability can put diamonds out of reach. 

Remember, the notion that diamonds are for wedding rings is relatively recent. There’s nothing wrong with a wedding ring that uses another gem or buying a diamond for another reason.

If you found this article useful, make sure you save this pin below to your Jewelry board.

Leave a Comment