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Expensive Wedding Rings: Most Expensive Brands & Factors That Make Engagement Rings More Expensive

Expensive Wedding Ring Brands

Ever since jewelry designer De Beers launched its "A Diamond is Forever" campaign in 1948, the engagement ring has become a symbol of eternal loveThroughout the years there have been many engagement ring designers, such as Tiffany, Cartier and Harry Winston, whose brands have become synonymous with luxury and extravagance. Boasting rare and unique diamonds and being associated with rich and famous clients often gives engagement ring designers more prestige and exclusivity. It is widely known in the jewelry world that designer and name brand jewelry is usually more expensive.

In 2017, the average cost of an engagement ring was $5,764 with "high spending" couples paying about $13,933 on average. Here we will explore some of the most expensive brands of engagement rings and wedding rings, along with other factors that add to an engagement ring's expense.

Cost of Engagement Ring

Most Expensive Brands for Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands

  1. Neil Lane
    Designer Neil Lane is known for his vintage style and for creating engagement rings for stars such as Jennifer Hudson, Madonna and Nicole Richie. As a young adult, Lane traveled to Paris where he was drawn to antique shops featuring vintage jewelry. His engagement rings feature vintage design elements such as colored stones, intricate lace patterns, delicate milgrain detailing and marquise, pear-shaped and cushion cut stones reminiscent of the 19th century. While rooted in vintage and Victorian style, Neil Lane rings also feature elements that mirror current engagement ring trends such as mixed metals, fancy cut stones and colored stones such as amethyst, aquamarine and morganite. Lane also designs wedding bands that feature the fine and vintage detail found in his engagement rings.

    Adorning the red carpet and fingers of many A-list celebrities for the last 20 years, including those of many of lucky ladies from ABC's long-running series The Bachelor, Neil Lane engagement rings and wedding bands are considered one of the most highly sought luxury engagement and wedding ring brands. Prices for Neil Lane's current bridal collection, featured in retail jewelry stores, range from about $2,000 for a smaller stone up to about $15,000 for a larger stone with a detailed setting. Customers can also view the designer's Couture collection and work directly with him to design a custom engagement ring at his flagship store in Los Angeles.
  2. Forevermark
    A brand of world-famous diamond company De Beers, Forevermark is backed by over 125 years of diamond expertise. Each diamond is inscribed with a unique marking certifying that it has undergone the rigorous selection process and deemed worthy of being a Forevermark diamond. Forevermark engagement rings have been worn by celebrities such as Kim Zolciak and feature settings that are designed to showcase the beautiful and rare center stone. Simple designs such as halo and cascade settings and bands featuring channel set diamonds and elegant side stones are hallmarks of the Forevermark style. Mixed metals, golden diamonds and vintage filigree detail are also commonly seen.

    Due to its strict grading criteria, less than one percent of the world's diamonds are accepted to become Forevermark diamonds. Hand chosen by master craftsmen and ethically sourced, Forevermark diamonds must undergo a process of at least seventeen steps through which the stone is inspected, cut, polished and graded. Once accepted, each stone is inscribed with the Forevermark logo and a unique identification number. Prices for Forevermark engagement rings range from $2,490 for a white gold set diamond band to $249,000 for a diamond-encrusted platinum setting designed for a 4-carat diamond. Forevermark also features a line of luxury designer wedding rings and offers custom design services.

  3. Tacori

    The Tacori brand of luxury designer engagement and wedding rings was founded in California by the Tacori family in 1969. The Tacori brand is well known for its signature crescent silhouette, which is a design element featuring interlocking half-moon arcs along the side of the band. These arcs allow light to catch the diamonds that are placed within each crescent. Tacori engagement rings have been worn by celebrities such as Ellen Pompeo and Christina Hendricks. Although available in white, yellow and rose gold, Tacori engagement rings are primarily designed in platinum. Classic Tacori design features include large center stones encircled by smaller diamonds and channel set diamonds in the band.

    In a system known as the Tacori Process, each ring design is sketched by the Head Designer and then turned into a three-dimensional mold. Each diamond, including those set into the band, are hand selected and hand set to ensure a perfect match. A goldsmith inspects the band and applies the signature Tacori crescent design. Tacori diamonds are ethically sourced, and only those that are graded with a G color and VS clarity are chosen. Prices listed for Tacori engagement rings include the setting only and range from $1,560 for a polished four-prong setting in gold to $28,990 for a platinum setting featuring channel and pave set diamonds. Tacori features a collection of wedding bands and also offers custom design services.

    Classic Tacori Ring

  4. Simon G.

    Founded by jewelry designer Simon Ghanimian in 1980, Simon G. engagement rings feature vintage elements with a modern twist. Features such as milgrain detail, colored diamonds and mixed metals give Simon G. engagement rings a unique style. His intricately designed settings feature detailed filigree scrollwork and diamonds set in a variety of ways from bezel and halo to three stone and solitaire settings. Simon G. has designed engagement rings and wedding bands worn by celebrities such as Rebecca Romijn and Melissa Rycroft. Simon G. rings are available in a variety of shapes from princess and cushion to marquise and round. Simon G. also offers differently colored stones such as pink and yellow diamonds and sapphires. The company is known for its fine pave set jewelry.

    Simon G.'s diamonds are ethically sourced and their metals are alloyed in-house to ensure quality and color control. Each ring design is hand sketched and computer generated before being hand set. Simon G. engagement ring settings are sold without the stones and range from about $1,600 for a simple setting with a few channel set diamonds in white gold to over $14,000 for a white and rose gold setting featuring baguette and pink diamonds. The Simon G. company also features a collection of wedding bands. Or you can custom design your own ring with one of Simon G.'s expert jewelry designers.

  5. Tiffany & Co.

    Known for their iconic blue boxes with white bows, Tiffany & Co. has been designing expensive engagement rings for over 130 years. The original "Tiffany" setting, introduced in 1886, consists of a single diamond solitaire in a raised six prong setting, designed to enhance the brilliance of the stone. This classic style is still extremely popular today. Tiffany has designed the engagement rings of celebrities such as Ariana Grande, Jessica Simpson and Mila Kunis. The Tiffany style features large center stones available in white, yellow and pink and in a variety of shapes from oval to heart-shaped. Other popular Tiffany styles include their pave and three-stone settings.

    Tiffany prides itself on the fact that it rejects 99.6% of the world's gem-grade diamonds. Featuring hand-cut and polished stones, Tiffany diamonds are graded with a fifth element in addition to the 4Cs — presence. Tiffany's responsibly-sourced diamonds are available in sizes from 0.25 to 2.5 carats with prices for a Tiffany engagement ring ranging from about $12,400 for a 0.5-carat solitaire in rose gold to over $50,000 for a 2.5-carat sparkler in a platinum setting. You can also custom-design your engagement ring with the help of a Tiffany Diamond Expert. Additionally, Tiffany features wedding bands that match their engagement rings and matching couple's rings.

    Tiffany Quality Diamonds

  6. Cartier
    The Cartier jewelry company, founded in Paris in 1847, is world-renowned as one of the most expensive engagement ring brands. Worn by celebrities such as Grace Kelly, Nicole Kidman, Mary-Kate Olsen and Elizabeth Taylor, the Cartier name has become synonymous with luxury and extravagance. The Cartier company has been creating engagement rings since the company was founded and were the first to use platinum in their engagement rings. Some of the more well-known Cartier styles include the three-tone metal Trinity band and the 1895 solitaire setting which features a large center stone set in a four prong setting. Cartier rings feature graceful and classic styles, clean lines and elegant features such as pink gold and channel set diamonds.

    Cartier utilizes a design process that allows the diamond to look its best from all angles. The minimum size for a Cartier diamond engagement ring is 0.5 carats. Cartier also only uses diamonds that are graded as colorless and internally flawless, with the cost for such rare and perfect stones reflected in their retail prices. Although prices for Cartier engagement rings are only given upon customer request, the Cartier website lists their 1895 Solitaire, featuring a 2-carat princess-cut center stone set in a platinum band with pave diamonds at $58,500. Cartier also has a collection of beautiful wedding bands and offers a custom design service.

  7. Harry Winston
    Known as the Jeweler to the Stars for over seven decades, Harry Winston was one of the first designers whose diamonds appeared both on the red carpet and on the big screen. Harry Winston has designed the engagement rings of celebrities such as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Jennifer Lopez and Melania Trump. Curator of such rare and famous stones such as the Jonker and Hope Diamonds, Harry Winston is also known as the King of Diamonds. Harry Winston engagement rings feature brilliantly cut diamonds and colored stones such as yellow diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds. These stones come in many different shapes and sizes and are chosen for their fine quality.

    Harry Winston engagement rings feature top-quality and rare diamonds that are responsibly sourced. The company only uses diamonds from the top color and clarity grades. These exquisite stones are also exclusively set in platinum. Harry Winston engagement rings feature expertly-cut diamonds that are cut and polished to maximize their brilliance and beauty. Because of these features, prices for Harry Winston rings range from about $7,900 for a smaller stone to about $36,000 for larger and clearer stones and rings with more detailed settings. The brand also features a line of designer wedding bands. They can be purchased exclusively from Harry Winston salons throughout the world.


What Other Factors Make Engagement Rings Expensive

Aside from the designer's brand and reputation, several other factors contribute to the price of engagement rings. The size and quality of the diamonds used, the type of metal used for the setting and the level of customization used to design the ring are all factors that contribute to the price.

  1. The 4Cs
    There are four characteristics used to grade the quality of the diamond and ultimately set the price. The 4Cs stand for:
    • Carat Weight: This refers to the weight of the diamond. Carat weight alone doesn't make an engagement ring more expensive.
    • Color Grade: This actually refers to a diamond's lack of color — excluding fancy colored diamonds — and ranges from D for colorless to Z for a light yellow or brown. Diamonds that are in the D, E and F range cost the most.
    • Cut Grade: The cut of a diamond is what determines its brilliance and light reflection and refraction. Diamonds with a poor cut appear dull while those with an excellent or very good cut appear radiant and sparkly.
    • Clarity: This is used to grade the inclusions or blemishes on a diamond and ranges from Flawless to Included. Diamonds in the Flawless to Very Very Slightly Included categories cost more than those that are Included.

      Cut of Diamond
  2. The Type of Metal
    Common metals used for engagement and wedding band settings include:
    • Platinum: This natural white metal is the most durable and often the most expensive.
    • Yellow or White Gold: This naturally yellow gold is added to other metals to give it durability. White gold is yellow gold that has been coated with rhodium. Gold is more widely available and often less expensive than other metals.
    • Rose Gold: This pink metal gets its rosy tone from the addition of copper alloy. It is very durable and complements many different skin tones.
  3. CustomizationCustom details add to the price of an engagement ring. Customization options include:
    • Engraving
    • Adding extra or bigger stones
    • Working exclusively with a designer

Find Your Perfect Engagement Ring at Cornell's Jewelers

You can find the perfect luxury engagement and wedding rings at Cornell's Jewelers. We feature many designer brands such as Simon G., Forevermark and Tacori along with other reputable diamond brands such as Ritani, Jeff Coper and more. Our extensive collection of engagement ring styles and shapes has helped keep the romance alive over the last three decades. Visit our beautiful showroom in Rochester, N.Y., or contact us to start designing the engagement ring of her dreams.

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