The Essential Guide to Popular Budget-Friendly Engagement Rings at Blue Nile

Looking for an engagement ring but don’t want to blow the budget? Look no further. Here are some real world ideas of diamond rings people are actually buying when they want to limit their ring budget.

Budget: $3,500

Let’s start out with a budget of $3,500. Believe it or not there are plenty of great diamonds rings to choose from. And you can even choose the exact diamond you want.

No need to settle for pre-set diamond rings. Leave those for people who shop for diamond rings in malls. *shudder*

Setting Ideas

A classic simple solitaire setting in 14k white gold leaves us plenty in the budget for the stone.

Now, a lot of people do prefer six prongs, as not only does it look like it will hold the diamond in more securely, it looks more rounded and crown-like.

So for we can use this Classic Six-Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring. This still leaves plenty in the budget for a decent stone.

Classic Six-Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring

Diamond Shape

Naturally most people will want a round brilliant, hopefully without much color, and without visible inclusions.

We’ll look at some other shapes too, as it’s possible to go bigger if you are open to other shapes like cushion cut or pear.

To start out choose H and above for color, VS2 and above for clarity, making sure you’ve set the maximum dollar amount to $3,000.

There are a few other settings which will help make sure you get a brilliant diamond. The depth percentage and table size for example. These parameters only apply specifically if the search is for a round brilliant.

Clicking this button (or the image) will automatically use the parameters shown in the screenshot below the button.

click image (or button below) to automatically enter in the above parameters at Blue Nile.

At the time of writing this article there are a number of very nice looking stones to choose from the above search.

search results from this search

Three ways to increase the size

1. Choose a Lower Color Grade

The above search will return a great selection of diamonds which don’t require any compromise in terms of clarity nor in terms of color.

Of course if you are hoping to get something a little bigger, then the first thing I would suggest is to move the color slider to include I-J-K color diamonds instead of D-E-F-G-H colors.

This will increase the size of the largest diamonds in the search results by 20% to 25%.

The search results from this search

2. Choose a Lower Clarity Grade

If you don’t want to compromise on color there is another way to show larger stones in the search results.

Go back to the original color range we had and move the clarity slider to show you the SI1 diamonds.

This should also increase the size of the largest diamonds shown by around 20%.

Including SI1 diamonds in the search will require a little more examination of each stone so you still end up with a beautiful stone. There will be some SI1 diamonds which are very cloudy, or have big ugly inclusions under the table. This is why I don’t usually recommend lower clarity grades. I am of the opinion that it’s usually preferable to try for a lower color grade before a lower clarity grade, but again it depends on how you feel about color.

Search results from this search

Ideally you want to find an eye clean diamond. For an explanation of this term see: What is an Eye-Clean Diamond and What Does it Mean Exactly?

The images are obviously enlargements of the actual size of the diamonds so the inclusions are going to be bigger on screen than in real life. Just look at the measurements of the diamond and picture the diamond at 6mm or whatever is shown in the diamond’s description. It’s not impossible to find an eye-clean SI1, but it will take a little more effort.

3. Choose Lower Color and Clarity Grades

And finally we can try for both lower color and lower clarity.

Search results from this search

Bonus Tip

If you are still wondering whether you can find a diamond that is a little higher in weight without resorting to any of the previously mentioned tips you can try deselecting the following:

  1. Shape
  2. Depth
  3. Table

Since we have Astor Ideal selected we should see some magnificent Astor Ideal cushion cut diamonds appear in the search results.

Send in your question

If you are looking to buy any type of diamond jewelry online you are welcome to send in any questions you may have.

As an affiliate of the some of the world’s finest jewelers I am motivated to find the right purchase that is perfect just for you. Every person has specific needs and every jeweler has specific areas in which they excel.

Thomas J Stevens GIA DG CSG

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