Maybe your style has changed and a trendy marquise stone is no longer your vibe, but a more classic cut is, or maybe you and your spouse have, let’s be frank, more dollar signs in the bank account than when you first wed. Whatever the reason you’re looking to upgrade your engagement ring, it’s can be a tricky area to navigate — how do you decide what you want in your new ring? Or, if you’re keeping the old, how do you upgrade diamond in the engagement ring while maintaining its sentimental value? And just how do you convey your wishes to your partner? Luckily, we’re here to hold your hand throughout the process. Don’t upgrade your engagement ring without some heavy research — consider these things first.
1. Your Style
With endless options, it can be difficult to choose just one style. If you’re updating your ring because there’s something about it that doesn’t suit your personality, then use that as your guide — swap a solid band for a pavéd one if you’re a little more glamorous, or a round stone for an emerald cut if you’re a little more fashion-forward. If, however, you’re updating because you have a bigger budget, you may want to keep a similar style and just opt for a larger carat diamond.
2. An Appraisal
Brown recommends having your current ring appraised with a reputable and knowledgeable buyer, which will help you get the highest value to use toward your new ring. If you’re keeping parts of ring and getting rid of others, still get the components you won’t be using (diamonds, side-stones, band) appraised — selling them can go toward financing your new piece.
An appraisal doesn’t take much — WP Diamonds can quickly appraise a ring with a photo and a few questions. “Swapping the old for the new can be seamless and simple,” says Brown.
3. Your Budget
How much money are you willing to spend on the final product? “Evaluate your preferences on setting and stone so that budget can be broken down and best divided,” says Brown. “A typical setting will range anywhere from $600 to $4,000 depending on the total carat weight of its diamonds, the metal used, etc., leaving the remainder for the star of the show, your center stone.”
If you’re on a budget, Brown recommends keeping the center stone and changing the setting. “This can dramatically impact the look of the ring at only a fraction of the cost,” he says. “By switching from a yellow gold solitaire band to a platinum split shank band, for example, your ring will look transformed.”
Another great option is to sell the stone(s) to a reputable company that has great trade programs. “For instance, WP Diamonds has a variety of partners in place so that, should our customers choose to get a new ring at the same time they're selling their old one, they will receive a much higher value from our partners and can get more out of their old ring,” says Brown.
4. Finding Your Ring
Whether you decide to purchase your center stone first and choose a setting that complements it or buy a completed ring that suits you, Brown stresses the importance of making sure the center stone comes with proper paperwork such as GIA certification and that the retailer/jewelry is highly accredited or recommended by reputable sources.
But what if you want to keep your current ring and only update your work? Consider upgrading the center stone. “Why not trade in your existing diamond for a larger stone or different shaped stone?” asks Brown. “Round diamonds and princess cut diamonds are by far the most popular shapes, however oval and cushion cut diamonds are currently very fashionable and in high demand. Keeping the setting or side stones allows you to maintain sentimental pieces while having the ring you really want right now.”
Another option is to add in additional detail. “Consider adding in side stones or changing a simple band to a pavé band for extra bling,” says Brown. “Gemstones such as emeralds, rubies, or sapphires create a pop of color and will make a traditional ring feel more unique.”
5. Telling Your Partner
“Don’t make this decision without involving your partner,” advises Brown. “Not only could that be considered very hurtful, this is also a great opportunity for you to choose a ring together.”
“Don’t forget that your original ring was purchased with love and may still be sentimental to your partner,” he adds, suggesting that you consider why you want to upgrade. Maybe your style has evolved over time, maybe your current ring no longer fits your lifestyle, maybe you want something more relevant to the times, or maybe you always talked about making the change and now’s the time. Whatever the case, “Explain your reason for upgrading and make sure your partner knows how much you love and appreciate the ring they proposed with,” says Brown.
And no matter what you do, “Don’t rush this decision,” advises Brown. “Take your time to find the perfect upgrade.”