What to Consider if You’re Upgrading Your Engagement Ring

A young couple in a jewelry store as they're upgrading an engagement ring.

Whether you have been married for 10 or 30 years, you may have considered upgrading your engagement ring, either for a special occasion or a wedding anniversary. After all, even the most beautiful accessories can benefit from a little sprucing up.

That said, if you are completely dissatisfied with your engagement ring, it may be more logical to replace it entirely. Do not, however, take steps to do this without first discussing it with your spouse. While it’s unlikely he or she will have an issue, acting on this alone is not recommended. Your wedding and engagement rings are a physical representation of your marriage; decisions about them should be discussed openly and thoroughly before taking action.

Even small alterations on a wedding or engagement ring can make a big difference. Most people interested in upgrading their engagement rings pick one or two elements to focus on. Before scheduling an appointment at the jewelers, take some time to consider the following aspects of the ring you may want to change.

The Center Stone or Diamond

One of the most common engagement ring upgrades is replacing the center stone or diamond. If you want a larger or higher quality diamond, a jeweler can make this change quite easily. The most important factors to consider when picking a new stone are cut and clarity. A diamond’s cut dictates how much the stone will sparkle in the light, while clarity refers to the number of flaws it has. Stones with fewer flaws are significantly more expensive than stones with more flaws. Most imperfections, however, are not visible to the naked eye. You can save money by selecting a replacement diamond that has flaws only a professional jeweler can discern. Keep in mind that upgrading to a larger stone will likely require you to change your ring setting as well. More on this below!

The Shape or Cut of the Diamond

A jeweler holding a diamond as an upgrade to an engagement ring.

As you likely already know, diamonds are available in a wide variety of different shapes, otherwise known as cuts. Popular engagement ring cuts include the following:

  • Round Brilliant Cut
  • Princess Cut
  • Emerald Cut
  • Oval Cut
  • Baguette Cut
  • Pear Cut
  • Marquise Cut
  • Heart Cut
  • Radiant Cut
  • Cushion Cut
  • Trilliant Cut

Cut preferences vary greatly from person to person, so you will have to determine which suits your personal style best. If your current cut is not satisfactory, make sure to remember which shape you like most when selecting a new stone for your engagement ring upgrade. Again, changing the cut of your engagement ring will likely mean you will need to change your setting as well.

The Band’s Metal, Width, or Design

Another upgrade option for your engagement ring is replacing the band. There are a number of reasons people opt to do this, but a major one is the desire for a different metal. If your band is gold but you would really prefer platinum or silver, band replacement may be an ideal solution for you.

The metal is not the only thing you can change about your band, however. You may also want to consider getting a thinner or thicker band. This is an especially apt choice for individuals who find their current bands uncomfortable.

Band appearance is also important. Some bands have additional diamonds set into them or other unique designs. Depending on your personal style preferences, you may like or dislike these features. Fortunately, a jeweler will be able to make adjustments that specifically cater to you.

The Diamond or Stone’s Setting

A diamond engagement ring with a prong setting in a jewelry box.

The setting of the engagement ring is another element that many people consider upgrading. There are several different setting options to choose from:

  • Prong Setting
  • Tiffany Setting
  • Bezel Setting
  • Tension Setting
  • Channel Setting
  • Pave Setting
  • Halo Setting
  • Cathedral Setting
  • Bar setting
  • Composite Setting

The setting you choose drastically impacts the way your stone or diamond looks. By changing the setting, you can completely transform your engagement ring.

Additional Stones

Depending on the band you currently have or select, you may be able to add additional stones to the ring’s design. These smaller diamonds can either be inserted along the band or clustered around the main center stone. If your current ring has these extra stones already, you may want to consider replacing them with a different color. If your current ring does not have these extra stones, adding them will require that you also replace the band.

Additional Food for Thought

While there is nothing wrong with wanting to upgrade your engagement ring, there are a few aspects you should consider outside of the alterations. This may not be as big of a decision as deciding to agree to the engagement, but it still requires significant reflection.

Keep in mind that altering your engagement ring can be emotional. For some people, changing the ring can impact the memory attached to receiving it. Upgrades also cost quite a bit of money. Depending on which features you intend to change, the venture can be pricey. Additionally, upgrading a family heirloom is in bad taste, as the ring in its current state has been passed down through the generations.

An alternative may be replacing the entire engagement ring. Doing this means you still have the original ring (and memory). You will be able to wear either or both rings whenever you want.

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