Six tips to find the perfect engagement ring if you're on a budget

engagement ring
(Image credit: Rex)

Looking to pop the question? Diamond expert Tobias Kormind, co-founder of 77 Diamonds, shares his money-boosting tips:

1. The colour of white diamonds are graded D-Z. D is the whitest and Z is quite yellow/brown. However, you don’t need to splash out on D grade! Grades G and H offer the best value for money without compromising on visual quality.

2. Always look at the measurements of a diamond as you can get similar measurements as larger stones but without paying the premium. For example in choosing a 0.90ct diamond, you can get similar measurements as a 1.0ct stone and save up to 30% on the price as diamonds are predominantly priced by the carat.

3. Ring styles can assist the size and appearance of the ring on a hand. Engagement rings with a single, or double halo give the illusion of a bigger, more expensive ring, but can cost a fraction of the price. A single 2-carat diamond covers the same area as a 0.50ct diamond with a halo - with a price difference of almost £20k!

4. Metal colours are a great way to get more bling for your buck. The hues of yellow and rose gold mean you can afford to get a lower quality of colour in your diamond. You can go for I, J, or K colour diamonds in yellow or rose gold.

5. Clarity is an important factor for a diamond, but unless you have a magnifying glass or loupe to view stones, it’s impossible to tell whether a diamond is flawless or not. Clarity grades VS2/SI1 offer the visual appearance of a flawless diamond to the naked eye without the hefty price tag!

6. An engagement ring that tapers towards the diamond will enhance its size and brilliance, making it look bigger and more expensive than it is.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.