How to Upgrade Your Engagement Ring With No Regrets

Just like your relationship changes over time, you may have considered changing that much-loved engagement ring on your finger as well. If upgrading your engagement ring is something that appeals to you, there are a few things to know before jumping in. After all, this ring holds immense sentimental value and is a symbol of your union, so it’s important that you love the newly designed ring just as much. But it can be a tricky process, so we’ve pulled together our best advice to make it a choice you won’t regret.

Decide On Your Vision

If you’re considering an upgrade to your engagement ring, you likely already have ideas about what you’d like to change about it. To make the process easier, do some thinking about what’s most important for you to change. Would you like a larger or differently shaped center stone? Perhaps a more elaborate setting or band design?

Narrowing in on exactly what you’d like your ultimate vision to be will allow your jeweler to advise you on how you’d best be able to accomplish your goal. Doing this will also confirm that upgrading your ring is the right step for you, and not something you still need to think about.

3 Steps Before Consulting a Jeweler

Once you know you want to upgrade your engagement ring, there are three very important steps to take before you ever visit a jeweler. By getting these pieces nailed down, you can approach the process with all the vital information you’ll need.

  • Step 1: Appraise Your Current Ring

By having your current ring appraised by a reputable and knowledgeable source, you’ll know the exact value of each component to work with towards your new ring.

  • Step 2: Get a Sense of Your Budget

Decide how much money you’re willing to spend to revitalize your ring. This will alleviate the decision-making process of too many questions or options.

  • Step 3: Involve Your Partner

Your ring was purchased with love and thoughtfulness. Involve your partner in the upgrade to insure those feelings reflect in your new ring as well.

If you love the style of your ring, the perfect upgrade could simply be a larger center stone. With most jewelers, this is a very straightforward change, and most already have a process to do this. We offer a trade-in for center stones purchased from Ken & Dana Design that are natural diamonds where the new stone will be at least 1.5x in value compared to the old stone that’s in good condition. But you also always have the option of selling the center stone on your own and choosing a new one outright.

Aside from upgrading to a larger size center stone, you could also opt for a better quality center stone. If your budget now allows for better color or clarity, this is a fantastic option to add extra value to your ring and increase its beauty.

You can also always think about a different shape or cut for your center stone. Perhaps an emerald cut or pear shaped is more to your liking now than the round diamond you initially loved. Just keep in mind that the current shape and size of your center stone will dictate what shape changes you can make without having to create a completely new ring.

For example, with certain simple rings like our Molly or Ivy, we are able to simply remove the center stone basket and create a bigger basket to fit the new larger or differently shaped center stone, keeping the same band the whole time. This does not apply to more complicated rings such as our Shanel or Rachael. In those instances, we would need to create a completely new ring and would scrap the old one, using the value of its parts to contribute towards the cost of the new ring.

0.70 carat round diamond

1.00 carat round diamond ring

1.5 carat round diamond ring

Upgrade Your Band or Setting

For a more dramatic change, consider upgrading the band or the setting of your engagement ring. You can swap metals, going from a classic platinum to a more alluring rose gold. Perhaps you go from a thin band to one that is thicker, or maybe a double pavé band. And if you would like a bigger look to your ring without going with a larger stone, consider accent diamonds.

Smaller accent diamonds could enhance the shine and sparkle of your ring, and will give an overall more substantial look to the ring. This could mean adding a halo of diamonds around your center stone. And if your ring already has a halo, consider adding a second halo. The effect of the double halo can be seen in our Verity ring that a client recently upgraded.

Accent diamonds could also be in the form of side stones. If you have a solitaire diamond engagement ring, adding two side stones to change it into a three-stone ring would be a significant transformation. Side stones can be added with many types of settings, and can add some different shape and dimension to the overall look of the ring.

Completely changing your band is another way to go to achieve a significant change to your engagement ring. There are so many options with a band change, so it’s important to really hone in on your vision before considering this one. This will also feel like a huge adjustment if you’re going from a simple metal or pavé band, so make sure you’re comfortable with that large of a shift. This can be a fantastic way to embrace new styles, be it organic forms as with our nature-inspired Emery, or vintage looks as with our Fiona.

Understand the Costs

Cost really varies from project to project, and how big the upgrade is to reach the final result. If you assume that the average brand new setting costs $2,650, and assume again that you’re able to get back $650 from scrapping the old ring, then you’re looking at $2,000 before the cost of the new center stone.    

On the lower end of the spectrum, if you’re preserving the band and all that you’re doing is creating a new and larger basket, and setting this onto the old band, then this work would cost about $500 before the cost of the center stone.

So it becomes important as to how much of a visual change to your ring you really want to achieve. Altering your band will provide the most change to the look, and is a great choice if you want to keep your current center stone. If you love the look of your ring, investing in a larger center stone is likely the perfect way to go.

In the end, this is not a decision to rush. And just as with your initial hunt for your engagement ring, trying on different rings and gaining the advice of a professional jeweler is always helpful to the process.

Have questions? We're happy to help.