So, you are ready to propose to the girl of your dreams, and now you need an amazing, over-the-top, jaw-dropping ring to go with your engagement. It has to be something unique, gorgeous, and of course, it needs a large carat center stone.
When money is no object and you want the best of the best, where do you turn to when shopping for a diamond engagement ring in the $50,000 range? In this writeup, you will find a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed purchase and explore the diamond options available in the market.
You will also get insider tips on selecting a spectacular diamond and some of the best looking ring styles that will help you make a splash. Let’s jump right into it…
Here is a list of topics we will be covering:
I often get asked questions like: “What does a $50k diamond engagement ring look like?” or “How big of a diamond can I get for $50,000?”. Well, the short answer to both these questions is that it depends.
First of all, a 50 thousand dollar engagement ring budget can literally get you any ring setting of your choosing. Whether it is a simple solitaire ring or a high-end designer setting, there is going to be plenty of budget left over for the center stone.
When it comes to the size of a diamond you can get with a 50k budget, there are several factors that will come into play. You see, the cost of a diamond largely depends on the 4Cs and the shape of the diamond.
If you want a larger diamond, then you would need to go down lower in clarity and color. Vice versa, if you want a high color/clarity diamond, you would expect to compromise on carat weight to stay within budget.
Below is a price comparison screenshot to give you an idea of the range of diamonds you can buy under $50,000. I’ve also included some real-life examples of $50,000 diamond engagement rings that people have previously purchased.
As a ballpark figure, it would be reasonable to expect at least a 2 carat size diamond and you can go as high as 5 carats if you go down to lower colors like K or M. In the screenshot above, you can also see that the price per carat of a D/IF diamond is significantly higher than that of a J/VS2 diamond.
If you want to get a bigger bang for your buck, a fancy shape diamond is relatively cheaper compared to a round brilliant cut diamond and it can offer a larger face up view because of the outline of its shape. Really, the sky’s the limit when you are working with such a generous budget.
If you want to get a stunning wedding ring that will make your recipient go “Wow!” and get the best value for your money, here are 4 tips that will help you shop strategically.
#1 – Don’t go preset or buy “off-the-rack”: A preset diamond ring basically refers to one that already has a diamond mounted in a ring setting available for immediate purchase. This offers consumers some degree of convenience as everything is already chosen for you.
However, the big downsides to buying an off-the-rack wedding ring are that you have to accept a stone that’s not as well cut or have to compromise on the color/clarity/carat weight specifications you are looking for.
Given how little jewelers know about cut quality and the mediocre selections available at the 50k price range, you are doing yourself a big disservice with preset options.
Instead, I highly recommend that you pick your own diamond and setting separately. This gives you complete control over the diamond’s quality and allows you to find a diamond that fits your budget/specs completely.
It’s much easier to find a well cut diamond yourself than relying on a jeweler with a vested interest to offload their inventory onto you. And here’s the thing, you aren’t paying higher prices contrary to popular belief. Instead, you are able to get a granular breakdown of the ring’s cost with better transparency.
#2 – Pay attention to the craftsmanship of the ring: While most of the attention may be turned towards the center stone because of the higher cost associated with it, the workmanship of the ring setting also plays an important role.
A well made setting offers better security for the center stone and enhances the overall appearance of the ring. But the million dollar question is, how do you know whether the workmanship of a setting is good or bad?
Well, there are plenty of things I personally look out for and the key is to find a reliable vendor. I’ve reviewed hundreds of rings from different vendors and to give you some real-life examples, check out the exact details to look for in the links here and here.
#3 – Always prioritize cut quality: One of the biggest mistakes that I see people make is that they prioritize carat weight to get the largest size diamond possible. This is often done without consideration for its sparkle factor or brilliance.
Think about it. What’s the point of having a large looking diamond if it doesn’t sparkle or resembles a piece of frozen spit? In fact, a smaller size but better-cut diamond actually helps it look larger because of its edge to edge brightness.
#4 – Color and clarity recommendations: Most people have a misconception that you need high color and high clarity in order for the diamond to have better sparkle. The truth is, the light performance of a diamond is determined by cut quality and how the individual facets are proportioned.
Color and clarity grade differences are very subtle in real life and most people cannot differentiate between the different grades even in a side by side comparison. Yet, prices can differ significantly when comparing top tier color/clarity grades with lower grades.
Check out the video below where I compare a D color VVS1 clarity diamond ring against an H color VS2 clarity ring. I want you to look carefully at both rings to see if you can notice any visible inclusions or color nuances.
Can you spot any noticeable differences? If you can’t, does it make sense for you to pay for features that the unaided eyes can’t see? With all that said, I generally recommend at least a G color rating and a VS2 clarity rating to ensure a white-looking diamond that is eyeclean.
If you want to get the best quality wedding ring for $50000, I strongly recommend that you make the purchase online. Yes, you’ve read that right. You should buy from a reliable online retailer instead of buying from a brick and mortar store.
The reason for shopping online is that you get a higher quality wedding ring online than you would be able to find for the same price compared to a traditional store. In my experience, there is a 25% to 100% price difference for diamonds of identical quality which can easily translate to tens of thousands of dollars!
Here’s a price comparison to give you an idea of what you can buy with fifty thousand dollars at Tiffany & Co. and an online vendor like White Flash. And mind you, the diamonds listed at White Flash are better cut for optical precision and light performance compared to Tiffany’s.
On top of that, most jewelry stores do not hold large size diamond rings in their inventory because of their low demand and capital intensive requirements. Even if you find a 50 thousand dollar engagement ring in a physical store, options will be severely limited and you will likely have to make compromises on your desired specifications of the 4Cs.
Here I do want to be clear that this is simply a reality of running a business in the modern age. Online jewelers have a more efficient business model and actually provide more transparency in helping consumers understand what they are buying by providing tangible data like magnified videos, ASET and Idealscope images.
There are literally thousands of ring designs for you to choose from and they can range in prices from as low as $300 for a simple solitaire ring to $5,000 for an extravagant designer setting. In this section, I want to share some of my favorite ring styles that go well with larger size center stones.
If you are interested in viewing the full details of any ring design, simply click on the corresponding image to check them out.
Vatche is one of my favorite designer brands for many good reasons. Not only are their designs elegantly crafted, but their prices are also highly affordable. This “Swan” solitaire ring setting has a lovely 6 prong head and incorporates an open cathedral shank that features 4 surprise diamonds on its sides.
This divine looking designer wedding engagement ring from Verragio is bound to turn heads with its intricately crafted shank. The center diamond is held securely together by split claw prongs and the rose gold metal wrappings on the shank creates a unique contrast on the ring.
An evergreen design that will withstand the test of time. This platinum solitaire ring setting complements all types of fingers and hand sizes. Sometimes less is more in the world of jewelry design and this unassuming setting places the emphasis completely on the center stone.
This petite cathedral ring setting elevates the center stone towards the viewer and has rows of pave diamonds to accentuate the center stone. If you are someone who loves bling, this is an option that offers the extra dimension of sparkle without being overbearing.
A romantic looking rose gold setting with a twisted shank that symbolizes your intertwining love with the recipient. This ring design has prongs that are made of platinum to help “whiten” the center stone while providing a strong, durable mounting to last a lifetime.
For people who prefer a more vintage style or symbolic ring setting, this captivating 3-stone setting is perfect for you. With tapered baguette diamonds that are bar-set to precision, the ring frames the center stone superbly for a classy outlook.
With a $50,000 budget, it is more than enough to get a spectacular diamond and a gorgeous setting of your choice to impress your recipient. As explained in this write up, you have plenty of options available at this price point.
Depending on your personal preferences, you could go for a really large diamond with lower color/clarity or go for a smaller center stone with higher color/clarity grades. When it comes to a ring setting, you can opt for a flamboyant design to make a bold statement or something more laid-back to place the emphasis on the center stone.
In order to get the best deal, I strongly recommend that you make the purchase online where you get the best selections of loose diamonds to choose from. If you were to buy your engagement ring from a brick and mortar store, you will end up paying higher prices for a ring that is significantly lower in quality.
As a final note, do take your time to shop around and don’t settle for one ring without seeing what’s available in the market. Feel free to get in touch if you need help to pick out the right diamond or require a 2nd opinion on something you shortlisted. Have fun with your search!
I understand that you are going to get a smaller carat diamond wedding ring for $50000 when buying from a well known brand like Tiffany. I think that may not be a fair comparison given that most people do not go to high end stores. I don’t think a normal retail store would have a massive 2x difference in prices compared to online stores and if it is just a little more expensive, won’t it make sense to buy from a store where you can see and touch the product?
I wanted to show the disparity of prices when shopping in a store where the brand is known by many people against going online. Sure, you are right that it is a luxury brand and they cost more than the typical retailer. However, you also need to know that it is extremely hard to find well cut diamonds in most mom and pop stores although their prices can be a lower than that of Tiffany’s. The thing is, even if you could find a decently well cut diamond, it is going to cost at least 20% more for a similar diamond online.
Personally, I would stay away from lower color diamonds given that this is such a large purchase. I don’t want people to think that I am getting a lower quality product just to save a few thousand dollars on a fifty thousand dollar purchase. I think having a wedding ring that you can proudly show off and be confident of wearing also has some value in paying a little more.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to buy a colorless D or E diamond. I personally prefer colorless diamonds because of cultural reasons and if you do, that’s fine! It’s your money and you can decide on how to spend it on a $50000 engagement ring.
What I am educating readers about is to prevent them from getting suckered into buying a high color/clarity diamond that can cost 20-30% more when they don’t actually need to just to get a colorless looking diamond that sparkles.
With a $50,000 ring budget, shouldn’t someone be looking at a well known brand like Cartier or Harry Winston since these are highly desired brands for diamond engagement rings?
There is nothing wrong with buying a branded ring. The misconception that many people have is that branded products have “better” or “more beautiful” diamonds. The truth is that these brands have poor quality control standards and the diamonds that they offer aren’t any better than those typically found in a normal physical store. If you remove the Cartier or Harry Winston name, the price of the ring can easily be halved.
Read these reviews for some insights:
Sure, I’ll submit that these big brands typically carry larger size diamond fitting of a 50k budget compared to other stores. They do offer a nicer environment and posh shopping experience. But, a 2 carat diamond from either of these brands can easily cost $50k which is about 2 times the amount of a similar non-branded product. Is this intangible experience worth so much? If it does, then by all means shop with them. I’m merely pointing out that there are alternatives for higher quality products and to get better value for money.