As much as I would love to begin this article with an immediate response to the question, there is no simple answer to this dilemma. Engagement rings are difficult to budget for, especially with the eventual wedding in mind, and prices vary depending on a number of factors. This guide will help you better understand how to budget for an engagement ring and decide on a price level that best fits your needs.
In This Article
- Average Cost Of An Engagement Ring
- Money Saving Tips
- Common Myths in Ring Shopping
- Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the average cost of an engagement ring in Malaysia?
While sources report that the average price of an engagement ring is approximately RM 5000 to RM 6000 in Malaysia, the range can vary greatly, from as low as RM 1000 to a premium RM 20000 or more. The massive difference can be attributed not only to the many designs and materials to choose from in making an engagement ring, but the variance in quality of diamonds available. Diamond prices depend on the 4Cs: cut, colour, carat, and clarity. These are the four primary properties by which diamonds are graded by internationally recognised organisations such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or International Gemological Institute (IGI).
Aside from the 4Cs, a diamond’s value also depends on whether it’s lab-grown or naturally mined. Both have their benefits besides the matter of price. Therefore, considering the many factors that decide a diamond’s value, one should understand them as best as one can before starting the search for an engagement ring. Understanding what you want from an engagement ring would also help you narrow your options down to a more specific price range.
How to save money while shopping for an engagement ring?
Here are some handy tips to keep in mind that will hopefully help you save money on your hunt for an engagement ring.
1. Choose lab-grown diamonds over natural-mined.
Lab-grown diamonds are similar to naturally mined diamonds in both appearance and chemical composition. Aside from being more eco-friendly and always conflict-free, they can be up to 50% cheaper than their natural counterparts.
2. Skip diamonds altogether.
Alternative choices of gems are gaining in popularity. If you want a colourful ring, consider a sapphire, another rare stone which often comes in blue, white, yellow, or pink. For a romantic shade of deep red, consider a ruby. The exotic emerald is also well-known for its vibrant green hue. The closest alternative to the diamond, however, is moissanite, a lab-grown gemstone that’s often significantly cheaper. The most noticeable difference between a moissanite and diamond is that the former is usually tinged a slight brown or yellow.
3. Avoid the “magic sizes.”
When diamonds reach certain milestones in mass, their value can increase disproportionately to the additional size. For example, though there is little practical difference between the weight of a 0.99 carat (ct.) and 1.00 ct. diamond, there can be a considerable jump in price between them. These milestones are known as the magic sizes, and include “nice” numbers such as 0.50 ct., 0.75 ct., 1.00 ct., 1.50 ct., 2.00 ct., and other full-carat weights. Looking for diamonds marginally smaller than these marks could lead to significant savings.
4. Balance the 4Cs.
Clarity and colour are certainly worthy of consideration when choosing a diamond for your engagement ring. However, slightly lower grades in clarity and colour are not so noticeable to the naked eye. For example, some diamonds may have impurities (also known as inclusions) that are difficult to discern even under 10x magnification. As these compromises can easily be masked by the fiery sparkle of a well-cut diamond, you may prefer to prioritise a satisfactory cut over clarity and colour.
Common myths in engagement ring shopping
There are many misconceptions that shoppers and salespeople alike continue to believe in and tell people about. Here are a few of them.
Myth #1: An engagement ring should cost three months of salary.
If you’ve ever heard this, don’t sweat: It’s an outdated “rule” popularised by an old marketing campaign. With the considerable variety there is in the market, engagement ring prices differ so much that it’s impossible to simply assign an estimated value to it in wages. The budget for your engagement ring should depend on your wants or needs, and not a fixed formula.
Myth #2: Making a bespoke engagement ring is more expensive than buying a ready-made one.
Contrary to popular belief, the “bespoke” and “made-to-measure” tags need not cater only to incredibly specific and expensive requests. Many reputable jewellers without an off-the-shelf ring that fits your needs would be happy to craft a custom-made one more suitable for your budget and design preferences.
Myth #3: Diamonds are unbreakable.
Despite earning a reputation for being one of the most durable materials on the planet, diamonds can still chip or crack if constantly exposed to extreme temperatures or struck hard enough. Therefore, it is important to take good care of your engagement ring. Some jewellery stores offer lifetime cleaning and maintenance services, also helping to identify signs of wear and tear. Refer to this handy guide for a list of jewellers which do.
Myth #4: Fancy diamond shapes are better than common ones.
While diamond shapes such as the brilliant princess cut or romantic heart-shaped cut are usually less common, that doesn’t necessarily make them better or decide a diamond’s value. The prices of fancy shapes depend on rarity, demand, and supply, and not whether a shape is inherently superior. Other factors to consider include which cut would best fit the ring overall, but ultimately, the prospective wearer’s personal preference should prevail.
Myth #5: Bigger is always better.
Just because a diamond is bigger doesn’t automatically make it the better choice for your engagement ring. Revisiting the 4Cs explained previously, there are many more determinants of a diamond’s value than size alone. Additionally, a diamond that’s disproportionately oversized for the ring it’s intended for might not look great, so don’t feel pressured to splurge on a diamond too large.
Myth #6: Fluorescent diamonds are bad.
Fluorescence is a property some diamonds have of naturally glowing under ultraviolet (UV) light. A diamond’s fluorescence can vary from none to very intense, and from colourless to blue or yellow. Fluorescence generally has no effect on a diamond’s everyday appearance to the general public unless strong enough to make a diamond look oily or cloudy, but less than 0.2% of fluorescent diamonds have such an extreme effect, so you needn’t worry too much about it.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
1. How much does insurance for an engagement ring cost?
Insurance for a 0.4 ct. engagement ring in Malaysia could set you back approximately RM 6000. Some insurers might also charge 0.5% to 2.0% of a ring’s appraised value annually, which, for one valued at RM 6000, would be about RM 30 to RM 120 a year. These prices may be dependent on one’s location, since certain states of Malaysia are more prone to external factors that may increase the likelihood of making a claim, such as natural disasters (e.g., flooding) along the east coast. Do note, however, that these are from online sources. Consult an insurance company to obtain the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Insurance companies that could provide jewellery insurance include AXA XL, an international insurer with worldwide coverage of jewellery stored in residences, residential safes, and bank vaults. AIG also provides coverage of jewellery under their Premier Client Solutions plans, an all-encompassing policy for insurance of not only your house, but your personal belongings.
2. Where to shop for a budget-friendly engagement ring?
Now that you’re armed with everything you need to know about saving money on your hunt for the perfect engagement ring, it would help to make a list of the criteria you’re both dead set on and would like but don’t necessarily need to greatly narrow your search, and, therefore, a rough price range, down. For example, you may decide you only want a lab-grown diamond below 0.75 ct. This will allow you to better approximate the prices of rings with such diamonds as you search around.
With that, it’s time to start shopping! Get started with a comprehensive review on this list of jewellery stores in and around Kuala Lumpur for more convenient tips on the best places to begin.