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How to Buy a 4 Carat Diamond Ring for Less Than 20K

Shopping for a 4 carat diamond ring? We’ll give you some ideas for how to get what you want without breaking the bank.

By Stephanie Dore

The bigger the diamond, the more beautiful, right? Wrong. A 4 carat diamond isn’t necessarily more beautiful than a 3 carat diamond ring. There’s SO MUCH more to a sparkly diamond than its size—like cut quality, color, clarity, etc. If you’re reading this, you’re probably already reciting the 4 Cs in your sleep. Besides, all sizes really can be beautiful. 

But if size matters to you, it’s good to know how to really get more bang for your buck. After all, we’re not all made of money. So how exactly might you get yourself a 4 carat diamond ring for under $20,000? It won’t be easy, but you’ve come to the right place. Here are some ideas:

Pick your Lab Partner

As much as we’d love to tell you that you’re going to find gobs of 4 carat natural diamonds to choose from for $20,000 … you’re not. Only the most poorly cut, treated, and clarity-enhanced natural white diamonds are going to fit that bill. Our best advice? Look to the lab. While you still won’t find a huge range to choose from, when you go for a lab created diamond, you’ll definitely find just enough and at a much better quality.

And don’t forget, lab created diamonds are still diamonds! They have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as a natural mined diamond. Literally the same. Shout it from the rooftops, or don’t tell a soul. But you’ll save major bank with this one tip alone.

old european champagne diamond
Old European Champagne
Diamond

Break out the Bubbly

Who says your 4 carat diamond ring has to be white? Boooooring. Play with color by finding the perfect champagne diamond. They’re pretty—we promise! These fancy color diamonds (which means anything beyond a Z on the normal color grading scale) come in a rainbow of hues from greenish to yellowish to orangish to pinkish brown. And despite that mouthful, some of these colors are surprisingly stunning. And not to mention fancy color can help mask clarity, and they’re often cut into fancy shapes. Which means you have a lot more wiggle room when it comes to the price tag. 

All Fancy Everything

Significantly more affordable than round diamonds of comparable quality—we’re talking upwards of 35% lower in price at the time of writing—fancy shaped diamonds can give you a lot more look for a lot less. And they often appear larger than their weight. Which means measurement-wise, you can go down almost a carat and get something that takes up as much eye-widening space as a 4-carat round. 

4 Carat F VVS2
Emerald Cut Diamond

One and Done

You only need one, right? If you go with a solitaire ring style instead of something with sidestones, you can not only let that 4 carat diamond really shine, but save significant dollars too. Dollars you can spend on the main attraction instead. Sometimes $1,000 or more! I know, I know, some of you just have to have a halo. And we say “go for it,” but that’s also something you’ll have to work into your budget.

Punch Below Your Weight

It’s just the cold, hard truth that diamond prices jump at the full-carat mark. Try shopping for a “4 carat” stone instead, yeah, you read those quotation marks right. At the time of writing, a 3.99 carat stone is 15% less than a 4 carat. And no one will EVER be able to tell. In fact, you could go down a whole tenth of a carat in some cases and still have the measurements be negligible. We won’t tell. Your 3.89 carat diamond ring will face up nearly the same size a 4 carat diamond ring.

Perfection is Overrated

Sure, everyone throws “flawless” around like it’s just the average, everyday thing. But when it comes to diamond clarity, there’s a whole world of other options, most of which are not only more available but WAY more affordable. If you can find an eye-clean SI2, it’s a bit of a jackpot. But SI3s have even bigger discounts, running 35% less than an SI2. 

Just make sure if you’re going for lower clarity grades that you get yourself some brilliant facets (the better to hide inclusions behind), check to see if the visible inclusions are in out of the way places (try to see the diamond with your own eyes), and consider a bezel setting (that can hide inclusions found around the edges of your diamond).

L SI2 Round Lab
Grown Diamond

L is For the Way You…

Look, at your color grades, silly. While many retailers only sell D-K color white diamonds, there’s a baller price drop that happens at L. A whopping 28% price drop from K, in fact. While there may be a tinge of visible color in that baby, sometimes a warm tone is a good thing. Just set it in some yellow gold, or don’t—if you love it, you love it—but get eyes on it first to make sure it’s something you can live with, you know, forever.

Ready to Find your Rock?

Check out our diamond search where you can view 360-degree images of more than 10,000 diamonds and compare carat weights, or book a virtual or offline appointment at our New York salon to view certified lab-grown and natural diamonds in person. 

Not finding that perfect something? Email us with what you’re looking for at hello@frankdarling.com. We’ll curate a list of 5-7 exclusive stones that are just right for you.