How to Find the Most Valuable Engagement Rings
Choosing an engagement ring your loved one will wear for the rest of their life can seem daunting. After all, this is a piece of jewelry that symbolizes your love and devotion.
Not to fret, we've brought in an expert to help make selecting a beautiful and valuable engagement ring a fun, memorable and unforgettable experience. Ira Gabay is the designer and fine jeweler behind the luxury jewelry label Keyzar Jewelry.
You'll light up their eyes (and their heart) when you follow our guide to choosing the perfect engagement ring that will become a treasured heirloom, while getting inspiration from the most valuable engagement rings of all time.
This article is a partnership with Keyzar Jewelry.
Step No. 1: Decode Their Style
Engagement rings are the ultimate investment piece that will last forever and hopefully be passed on for generations. You want to be sure that you choose a high-quality ring that will stand the test of time and reflect your love's style.
"If you're not already sure, start to pay a little bit of extra attention to their wardrobe choices and jewelry," Gabay says. "Finding the perfect ring is all about choosing a piece that seamlessly fits your partner and shows that you understand them on an intrinsic level."
Consider your significant other's aesthetic:
- Are they romantic and dreamy? Try a delicate ring with thoughtful details and hidden accents, like Keyzar's Mia Ring.
- Classic and refined? For an eternally elegant ring, traditional designs never go out of style, like The Kamielie.
- Vintage and quirky? A unique gem that really captures their spirit will show how much you appreciate their personality. The Rebecca from Keyzar Jewelry is a vintage lover’s dream with its art-deco curves.
- Modern and sleek? Simple yet stunning is the name of the game — and diamonds are always a winning option. Keyzar Jewelry’s The Naomi is a shimmering masterpiece.
You may also want to peek inside their jewelry box to see what color band they prefer. While gold and white gold tend to be classic choices, rose gold is another lovely option, especially if their style leans toward romantic or vintage.
Step No. 2: Remember the 4 C's
Who doesn't adore diamonds? "Diamonds are pure carbon, which is found in all living things," states Gabay. "Perhaps this is why humans are inexplicably drawn to their magnetic shine. Their mystical appeal is drawn out from deep within our earth."
With their luminous sparkle and luxurious oomph, there is no better choice than a diamond when selecting the gemstone for your ring. That being said, it's important to understand and keep in mind the 4 C's of diamonds: cut, color, clarity, and carat, to ensure you're purchasing a ring that has value and is of the highest quality.
- Cut: Mined and grown diamonds begin as lumpy and unpolished gems. The cut refers to how a diamond is cut and polished by jewelers and is graded from "poor" to "excellent." How a diamond is cut affects its shine, proportions and presentation.
- Clarity: Clarity refers to the diamond's imperfections or inclusions. Clarity can significantly impact the price of a diamond, as only the most rare ones are without flaws. Most, even very high-quality, mined diamonds, still have some inclusions. To optimize clarity at a gentler price, consider choosing a lab-grown diamond. They will still have imperfections, but you'll find diamonds with higher clarity grades at a more approachable price.
- Color: Diamonds are graded on a scale from colorless to light yellow or brown. "There's a misconception that colorless diamonds are the best to buy," says Gabay. "In fact, it's nearly impossible to discern the difference between a colorless diamond and nearly colorless, especially with the right set." Keyzar Jewelry, for example, offers beautiful natural and lab-grown diamonds in both colorless and almost colorless grades. "You can preview all our stones in 3D, making it super easy and fun to pick the degree of tint that you prefer," recommends Gabay.
- Carat: Contrary to what many think, the carat refers to a gem's weight, not size. Understanding this can help ensure you get the best ring for your budget. Larger mined diamonds are harder to find, so a 1-carat diamond might cost four times more than a half-carat of similar quality. The most desirable carats are the "magic sizes" (1ct, 0.75ct, 0.5ct, etc.), which cost a bit more. Choosing a diamond slightly under this threshold, for example, 0.92ct or 0.47ct will land you a similar size stone while saving you a bit of money.
Step No. 3: Choose the Perfect Style
Next, onto choosing the perfect style. "There are artisan jewelers that make heart-stopping, beautiful engagement rings that are one-of-a-kind and special," states Gabay, whose brand Keyzar Jewelry works with a team of highly skilled artisans to create handmade, custom pieces. "Choosing an engagement ring online opens up a world of possibility, allowing you to choose the ring that's the perfect match, often giving you access to a specialized team to help you design your dream piece."
There are many beautiful shapes and designs to choose from. Gabay shares some of the most valuable and her clients most-loved diamond shapes:
- Round brilliant cut: A well-cut round diamond can reflect nearly 100 percent of its light, making it the most brilliant cut available. This is the most timeless and classic shape.
- Princess cut: Princess cut diamonds are the second-most popular diamond cut, surpassed only by the round brilliant cut. This cut is feminine and elegant, making it an excellent shape for an engagement ring.
- Cushion cut: Cushion cut diamonds glow spectacularly. This cut's classic appeal and shine make it the perfect choice for vintage lovers and trendsetters alike.
- Elongated Cushion cut: This diamond is like the one above but has an elegant, elongated shape.
- Pear cut: The coveted pear cut diamond resembles a teardrop and is unquestionably chic. This shape hides imperfections nicely, so it's a great choice if your diamond has a few flaws.
- Emerald cut: Go for a bit of glam with these timeless and mesmerizing styles with a touch of art-deco chic.
- Radiant: Radiant cut diamonds are incredibly sparkly, with unparalleled brilliance. The hybrid shape and beveled corners make it less likely to chip or break, making it perfect for active people.
- Oval cut: Oval cut diamonds are a blend of round brilliant and pear cuts. These diamonds are super shimmery and look bigger than their carat weight. Plus, their elongated shape is chic and refined.
- Marquise: This sophisticated shape carries a brilliant luster and has charmed people with its noble silhouette rooted in royal history.
Regarding band colors, refer back to your detective work earlier. White gold, gold, and rose gold all make exquisite settings for any of these glistening shapes.
Step No. 4: Choose a Valuable, Artisanal Piece
Now all that's left to do is to find the ring that will put a beautiful smile on your partner's face and light their heart with joy. Choosing a gorgeous ring with lasting value serves as an everlasting token to your partner of your love and will be a jewelry box keepsake that will turn into a prized heirloom.
You also may want to consider choosing an engagement ring from an online boutique. "You are often able to connect with designers and artisans directly this way," Gabay relays, "giving you a highly personalized ring and experience that is truly unique and memorable that's as unique as your love story." You can even cuddle up with your future fiancé on a cozy evening and browse together a bit, so you have an idea of what they like before you buy.
"For example, here at Keyzar Jewelry, we offer the option to design your dream engagement ring — right at your fingertips. You can even book a personal appointment with one of our specialists to answer any questions or offer design advice," Gabay says, "We then handcraft each and every ring, making this the ultimate luxurious experience for every kind of budget and style."
In Need of Some Inspiration? These Are Some of the Most Valuable Engagement Rings Ever
"From Grace Kelly's emerald cut diamond ring to Serena Williams' stunning ring and Kate Middleton's blue sapphire," starts Gabay, "artisanal engagement rings have always transmitted a quality of eternal love and rarity."
Gather a little inspiration from the most iconic and valuable engagement rings from past and present stars below.
- Grace Kelly: American royalty in her own right, the Hollywood actress wed Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956. Her custom-made Cartier emerald-cut ring is estimated to be worth over $44.3 million today.
- Mariah Carey: Carey's 35-carat engagement ring from ex-fiancé James Packer reportedly cost about $10 million, making it one of the most valuable engagement rings in recent history.
- Beyonce: This musical queen sports a shimmering number from Jay-Z, who paid around $5 million for the brilliant emerald-cut ring.
- Jackie Kennedy Onassis: Jackie's proposal from Aristotle Onassis—one of the world's wealthiest men at the time—bought her Harry Winston engagement ring for $2,600,000 in 1968. The 15-carat diamond would be worth around $22.17 million today.
- Jennifer Lopez: J. Lo has a little bit of a history with glimmering gems. She has been proposed to multiple times with out-of-this-world engagement rings. The first was by Ben Affleck back in 2002, when he proposed with a 6.1-carat ring worth $1,200,000. The second comes from her ex-husband, Marc Anthony, who proposed with a stunning blue 8.5-carat diamond ring, estimated to be worth around $6.2 million today. Lastly comes her proposal from baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez, who proposed with a reported 15-20-carat emerald cut diamond set on a platinum band worth around $5 million.
A Shimmering Story of Your Love Story
We know that buying a dream-worthy engagement ring can be a bit like playing a game of Guess Who? But you're ready with our fail-safe guide and insider knowledge from Ira Gabay, our expert behind the artisanal brand Keyzar Jewelry.
Now you can confidently choose a valuable engagement ring that will delight your partner and be a shimmering story of your love story on their finger for years to come.