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The Best Engagement Ring Under $10,000

If you are like me, when I am researching a product or service online, I always start typing this in the search engine, the best _______. I want the best quality for the lowest dollar possible. We all know the people who have more money than God who believe if you have to ask the price, you probably can’t afford it! Most of us are on a budget. We can’t walk into a jewelry store and not pay attention to the price tag. Selecting the best ring means different things to different people.

So how can we determine what is the “best” engagement ring under $10,000? I think it would be prudent to begin this topic with defining what we mean by best. Here are some of the more obvious.

• Best price. • Best quality. • Best warranty. • Best customer service. • Best resale/trade-in value. • Best brand. • Best eye appeal. • Best status symbol. • Best fitting.

So Many Choices, So Little Time

Shopping for an engagement ring can be both exhilarating and exhausting! The choices are endless. Do I want a solitaire, multi-stone, antique style, custom made, designer etc...? It’s enough to make your head spin. Add to this, the clock is ticking. Whether you have months, weeks or days to pick that perfect ring, the pressure of time can make this process stressful.

The key to beginning is prioritizing. From our list of what defines best (you may have others), chose two or three categories that are the most appealing and focus on them. Remember the acronym KISS? Keep it simple stupid! Over my 68 years on this planet, I have discovered that more is not always best. Here a few examples. If I eat more food than I need, I gain weight and develop health problems. If I have more sleep than I need, I waste time and my productivity suffers.

Remember, It’s Just A Piece Of Jewelry!

I don’t mean to sound cold or unromantic. Let’s be real. We are talking about a piece of metal with gemstones attached. This is not life or death. Choosing an engagement ring should be fun not stressful. Take a deep breath and enjoy the journey. Finding the “best” engagement ring is subjective. Instead of best, maybe we should use the word, favorite! That way you really can’t make a bad decision. It’s like searching for the best spouse. Does that person really exist? Like everything else, you can always find a better one!

Now that I am done philosophizing, (I have a Ph.D. so that is what I do best) LOL, below are guidelines gleaned from my many years as a jewelry appraiser and consultant.

  1. Determine your budget and stick with it. This is one of the hardest parts of buying jewelry because our emotions can cloud our judgment.

  2. Find a jeweler, whether locally or online with formal training in identifying and evaluating diamonds and gemstones (gemology). Look for credentials like G.G. (Graduate Gemologist) from GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or F.G.A. (Fellow of the Gemmological Association) of Great Britain. These designations assure the consumer that the individual has gone through extensive and rigorous gemological training. (All of the people you will encounter here at Rare Carat are graduate gemologists from the GIA).

  3. The fact that you are reading this blog proves you are an educated shopper. Knowledge is power. is one of the many great online sources to help you through the engagement ring gauntlet.

  4. Be prepared to walk away. Don’t ever be bullied or pressured into purchasing a piece of jewelry. Always go with your gut (and have our gemologists help you choose a great diamond).

  5. When choosing a center stone remember, a one carat round brilliant diamond cost significantly more than one carat of melee (diamonds weighing 0.15 cts. or less) accent stones.

  6. Don’t forget there are some viable diamond alternatives. The late Princess Diana had a beautiful blue sapphire for her center stone. Colored gemstones are becoming more popular in engagement rings. Lab grown diamonds (same chemical composition as natural but made in a lab) can give you the same look as natural diamonds and save you significant dollars. a blue oval sapphire center stone surrounded by a halo of diamonds

  7. The metal used for the setting is important. The most popular is gold. Depending on market conditions, these metals fluctuate in price. When I started in the jewelry business in 2004, gold was selling for around $200 an ounce. Today it is approaching $2000 an ounce.

  8. There are three basic kinds of engagement rings. The first, is mass-produced. These are generally the most affordable. Second, is custom-made. These rings tend to bring the most satisfaction but take many months to produce. They also cost significantly more than mass produced pieces. The third type is designer. They are usually purchased by people who seek status and bragging rights. World recognized designers like Tiffany demand exorbitant prices. Typically, about three times the markup of non-designer jewelry.

There Is A Difference Between Cost And Value

This is a little tricky. Let me try and clarify. Example, you could pay $10,000 dollars for a fifty-year-old rusted out Ferrari or $10,000 dollars for a five-year-old Chevy sedan. The Chevy will never be worth more than $10,000. In fact, over time it will depreciate. The $10,000 dollar rusted Ferrari restored could be worth ten times that amount. Mass produced jewelry may cost less than custom or designed pieces but the perceived value is greater. A $5000 designer ring has more value than a $10,000 mass produced ring.

What Is The Best Engagement Ring Under $10,000?

Did you notice I never specifically answered that question? The truth is, there is no single best choice. Armed with good information and working with one of our graduate gemologists, will help you discover the best engagement ring for you and your budget. Remember I stated earlier, maybe we should substitute “best” with “favorite”. Best for you may not be best for me!

Michael Shanlian G.G., Ph.D.
Michael Shanlian (aka Doc Mike) career includes jewelry appraiser, pastor, adjunct professor, entrepreneur, motivational speaker and leadership consultant. Doc Mike earned his G.G. (Graduate Gemologist) diploma through The Gemological Institute of America and his C.G.A (Certified Gemologist Appraiser) with the American Gem Society. He holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from Tennessee Temple University. He and his wife Susie live in St. Augustine, Florida.