How to Save Money on an Engagement Ring
It's a common misconception that a good engagement ring should cost at least three months' salary. While this sounds romantic and valiant, it just isn't that financially sound.
Yes, diamond engagement rings aren't cheap, but that doesn't mean you have to spend an arm and a leg for your dream engagement ring. Learning a few tricks on how to save money on an engagement ring will make buying an engagement ring less financially excruciating.
If you are thinking of popping the question, here are some ways you can buy a ring without maxing out your credit card.
Tips on How to Save Money on an Engagement Ring
There are two main strategies to save when buying a wedding ring: adjusting the ring itself, and financial management. Read on to learn what you need to keep in mind when you start engagement ring shopping!
Tip 1: Consider the Size and Shape
The ideal engagement ring has a round, brilliant-cut diamond. Like most gemstones, diamond rings are measured in carats. The bigger the stone, the larger the carat size, and the more expensive the ring.
One thing to note, though, is that a slight difference in size is hardly perceptible to the naked eye. For example, a 0.9-carat diamond ring will look quite similar to a 1-carat diamond ring once it's set. The smaller diamond is only slightly smaller, but the difference in price can be immense. You can easily save money by getting a smaller stone, provided the ring setting is impeccable.
Another practical trick is to change the diamond shape. You can choose to go with a shape like an oval or a princess ring. These rings have a larger surface area and smaller base, making them look larger than they appear.
Tip 2: Reconsider the Color and Clarity
Apart from the number of carats, diamonds are also judged by their color and clarity grade. D is colorless, while Z is faintly yellow and everything in between. Ring clarity can either be flawless (FL) or slightly included (SI), meaning that it has some internal markings that aren't exactly visible to the naked eye.
The price difference between these different grades is incredible and could offer you massive savings. If you buy a ring that is graded H in color and SI in clarity, you will have an engagement ring that is dazzling but quite affordable. The average eye will only see a perfect ring with a perfect diamond.
Tip 3: Go for More Diamonds
Yes, this does sound a bit counterintuitive, but you can actually save a lot of money by buying an engagement ring that has many tiny diamonds as opposed to a single fancy shaped diamond.
One of the best ways to get away with this is to buy a ring with a halo setting. This is where many small stones surround a center stone, making the ring seem much bigger than it actually is, yet costing you much less.
Tip 4: Set a Firm a Budget
Financial management is key when it comes to engagement rings. Diamond rings tend to be unbelievably gorgeous, making it almost too easy to fall in love with a "perfect ring" that is outside your engagement ring budget.
Start by planning on how much you can spend on the ring without going bankrupt and then start shopping for rings within that range. That way, when you walk into a jewelry store, you know not to look at the other stunning beauties outside of that range.
Tip 5: Go for Lab Grown Diamonds
One of the best ways to ensure that you aren't paying too much for the diamond you choose is to look for diamonds that are lab-grown. Lab grown diamonds are a great alternative to earth mined diamonds because they are a fraction of the price. They are made up of the same chemical characteristics as natural diamonds so they look identical.
Tip 6: Don't Buy a Diamond
If a diamond engagement ring purchase is totally out of the question, you can decide to skip the diamond craze altogether. There are many wonderfully unique gemstones out there that make a great diamond alternative, such as rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, that cost less but look beautiful. White gold is also a very popular choice. It's a strong and durable metal that isn't nearly as pricey as diamonds.