Changing or upgrading diamonds in an engagement ring, wedding band, or other piece of diamond jewelry can be quite a challenge. With so many factors to keep track of while diamond shopping, I can see why someone would be reluctant to go through the process again during an upgrade. However, there are plenty of upgrade options out there that don’t require you to start from scratch – unless you want to, of course!
If you isolate one or a couple of the 4C grades – cut, color, clarity, and carat weight – that you want to improve in your diamond, the process will be much easier. Read on for some tips on upgrading your diamond in sparkling, simple, and cost-effective ways.
The Most Dazzling Diamond Upgrades
If you’re planning on upgrading your diamond to give it the highest boost in sparkle, the two 4C grades you should be focused on are cut and carat weight. To get the most sparkle and the largest carat weight for your money, it is important to strike a balance between these two grades. If you focus too much on your diamond’s cut, you may select a stone that is smaller than you had hoped. On the other hand, if you focus too heavily on carat weight, there won’t be a significant sparkle upgrade. Then again, if your priority is only sparkle or only size, there’s no problem with investing in upgrading just one of these 4C grades.
A 2013 survey conducted by the Knot determined that the average diamond purchased has a weight of 1 carat. If your current diamond has a cut grade of Good or below, my first suggestion would be to upgrade to a diamond with a grade of Very Good, Excellent, or Ideal (if you have a round cut diamond). This will make the biggest difference in your diamond’s appearance and flash. Then you can consider a carat weight upgrade if you have room in your budget. If you then upgrade to a diamond that is even slightly larger than 1 carat, you will have the benefits of both increased sparkle and increased size.
Upgrading Your Diamond’s Color & Clarity
Upgrading your diamond’s clarity and color grades may not make the most significant difference in appearance, but these two 4C grades are great upgrade options if you’re already happy with your diamond’s cut and carat weight. In terms of diamond clarity, the most popular grades purchased by our customers are VVS1 and VVS2. With these two grades, you will not be able to see any of your diamond’s inclusions with the naked eye. Opting for VVS1 or VVS2 diamonds is a smart way to get the look of a Flawless or Internally Flawless diamond for less.
The most popular diamond color grades for our customers have been in the range of F to I. F color diamonds will be colorless even under magnification, without even a hint of yellow. However, G, H, and I color diamonds are all considered near colorless, making it hard to spot any yellow hue without magnification. Also, if your diamond is set in a colored metal such as yellow or rose gold, you will be even less likely to spot any yellow coloration if you opt for a color grade of G, H, or I.
Considering Changing Your Diamond’s Shape?
If your style has changed over the years, you may be thinking about switching the shape of your diamond. Different diamond cuts exude different styles. You may have wanted a round cut diamond for its classic look 10 years ago, but today you might want a diamond with a vintage feel. Just make sure your ring setting can accommodate your new diamond’s shape.
You might find some “hidden upgrades” if you choose to upgrade to a diamond with a different shape. Some fancy cut diamonds – such as marquise and pear cuts – can even appear larger than other diamonds with the same carat weight. Brilliant cut diamonds and diamonds with many facets – round, oval, and princess cuts to name a few – will hide lower clarity grades better than other diamond shapes. With round cut diamonds, you get extra upgrade options such as the Ideal cut grade.
Should You Upgrade Your Setting Instead?
In an engagement ring upgrade post earlier this week, we gave you a rundown of the best tips for switching up the band and setting of your jewelry. I’d like to point out the diamond and gemstone-oriented upgrade mentioned in that post, which is to add side stones to your ring for extra sparkle. Side stones are an excellent, cost-effective choice for upgrading your diamond jewelry. Adding side stones is usually less expensive than changing your center stone, and they can totally revamp the look and feel of a ring.
Diamond Upgrade Programs
Once you’ve decided which aspects of your diamond you want to upgrade, you can take your plan to any reputable diamond seller with a diamond upgrade program. At Ritani, we offer a diamond trade-up program for any AGSL or GIA certified loose diamond we sold you after October 11, 2012. It’s as simple as choosing the upgraded diamond you want, and then contacting our customer service who will help you through the upgrade process.
While there’s really no such thing as quality cheap diamond engagement rings, a diamond upgrade can ensure that you get the best diamond for your budget.
Have you upgraded your diamond? Have you considered it? What would be your ideal diamond upgrade? Feel free to share photos, comments, and any further questions in the comments below!