The Expert Guide to Very Expensive Engagement Rings

Large certified diamond engagement ring set with D colour diamond

Very expensive is subjective. 

Very expensive is subjective. What you call ‘very expensive’ is not necessarily what somebody else would describe in the same way. If you have greater disposable income and income that has been generated from assets, your luxury purchases will not hit you quite as hard as the man saving 2-3 months of his salary.

What makes an engagement ring expensive?

There are two main reasons for this. Enormous price differences are typically down to 2 main factors.

  1. Diamond specifications. We’ll review the 4 C’s briefly below to explain.
  2. Celebrity factor. Designer names, celebrity jewellers – give status at a cost.

Diamond Specifications

The value of a diamond changes according to 4 factors. Jewellers refer to these as the 4 C’s. Variations of each ‘C’ determine the value. GIA certification is a benchmark of excellent jewellery and as such, a large proportion of very expensive diamond engagement rings include reputable diamond grading reports from the Gemological Institute of America.

Carat weight

The physical weight of a diamond. As size increases, the carat weight increases. Diamonds leap in their price per carat, as they jump from one size bracket to another. e.g. 1 carat – 1.49 carats and then 1.50 carats to 1.99 carats and so on. Larger diamonds are rarer, and are priced accordingly. Beautifully cut diamonds with high colour and clarity grades, significantly sized demand high prices owing to rarity compared to smaller stone sizes, equivalently graded.

2 carat diamonds feature in some of the very expensive engagement rings commissioned, alongside higher carat weights

2 carat emerald cut (left) and princess cut (right) diamonds 

Colour 

White diamonds are given a colour grade by letter, starting with ‘D’ to represent the whitest and highest value grade. Value decreases as whiteness drops. Below ‘J’ colour expect a gradually increasing ‘tint’ of yellow or brown within the diamond. Not to be confused with natural fancy coloured diamonds, prized for their rarity and value owing to natural colouration within the diamond. Some of the most expensive engagement rings are created with naturaly fancy coloured diamonds, or with exceptionally white diamonds—possibly a combination of both for contrast.

Clarity

The clearer the diamond, the more valuable it is. Diamonds are given a clarity grade which starts at Flawless. This means there are no internal characteristics (inclusions) or blemishes on the surface of the diamond. As the clarity is reduced, so is value. VS1 or VS2 clarity represents a very sensible clarity, without opting for the loupe clean perfection of flawless grades.

Cut

Refers to the proportions of the diamond. A beautifully cut diamond will produce far more brilliance than a poorly cut diamond. An excellent cut diamond will be far higher in value than a poorly cut diamond. Very expensive engagement rings tend to be commissioned with diamonds of the highest cut grades.

Celebrity factor

Celebrity jewellers, such as Neil Lane have a reputation for creating jewellery for red carpet clientele. For many such buyers, having a celebrity jeweller associated with their commission is far more important than realising greater value even within a very expensive engagement ring.

Precious Metal Choice

Although precious metal choice affects price, very expensive engagement rings are typically crafted from the most luxurious materials. 950 Platinum is an obvious choice, prized for its luxurious feel, weight, and natural whiteness. Ethically sourced precious metals are now adopted by some of the most prestigious jewellery houses, including brands such as Chopard and Tiffany & Co. Some of our most expensive commissions are created working with responsibly sourced Fairtrade Gold, traced back to the small scale Artisanal miners in areas such as Peru.

When it comes to the overall value of very expensive engagement rings, the metal choice plays a lesser role in the overall value. Most of the cost is held within the final diamond selected for the commission.

What you will need to consider

Very expensive engagement rings can be expensive owing to the size of the diamond, and specification, or they can be very expensive owing to the prestige and associated designer name. Heritage can also make a piece of jewellery very expensive. Some of the most expensive jewellery is purchased at auction from jewellery houses such as Cartier. Buyers include the original companies looking to purchase high value, historical pieces to add to their group collections. Our regular solitaire engagement rings span many price levels online, generally running upto around £90K for 2 carat designs, set with GIA certified diamonds (including CanadaMark fully traceable stones.) Contact us for a personal quote. We are able to source most diamond sizes, and offer in-house viewings with travel assistance to our location on the Isle of Wight.

Mark Johnson

About Mark Johnson

Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website. Anyone interested can connect with Mark on Linkedin via the profile link.

Mark Johnson

About Mark Johnson

Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website. Anyone interested can connect with Mark on Linkedin via the profile link.