5 Tips for Engagement Ring Shopping on a Budget
So you’ve found that special person to join you indefinitely on this adventure of love. It’s as if all the stars have aligned, except one… you haven’t won the lottery! No need to stress—you can get the perfect ring and stay within your budget, too. We’ve compiled five pointers to help keep you on task.
1. You have to start somewhere. This is going to blow your mind, but here it goes: In order to stay within your budget, you have to set one. This is such an important step in the process. Without a budget, it’s easy to fall in love with something that will destroy your bank account. You may have heard that you need to spend two months’ salary, but the reality (and good news) is that recommendation was made up by the diamond industry—and no one follows it!
- Do some research on settings and diamond quality to get an idea of cost
- Know your 4 C’s so you understand why one diamond sparkles more than another.
- Is financing an option? Do you have a monthly payment that will work with your overall budget?
- If appropriate, discuss your budget with your partner so you’re both on the same page.
2. Can you handle the payments? One of the points above is based on knowing if financing is an option. This can be a major factor when it comes to staying within your budget. It’s important to remember that you bring your debt with you into the marriage, so make sure it’s something you—and your partner—are comfortable with. Many jewelers offer special financing, which allows you to make the payment over a longer period of time, or with deferred or even no interest! Be sure to ask for any special financing the jeweler is offering to see if it makes sense for you.
3. Perception is everything. What do you do when you want something that shouts your love, but your wallet is begging you to whisper? There are ways to make the jewelry work for you and give the perception of a much larger and more valuable ring.
- Every angel needs a halo. A halo is a circle of smaller diamonds that go around the center diamond and—here’s the fun part—make the diamond look larger. This gives a larger look to the ring overall.
- Is that one stone, or more? An amazing option to get a larger look is what we call a mosaic or multi-top. The concept here is simple: Combine multiple smaller stones and set them close together to achieve the look of one much larger center diamond. You get a very impressive look without the price tag.
- Color it in. Want an impressive look while being unique and on-trend? Consider a color gemstone in the center. You can do an impressive Chatham sapphire or ruby, or a more romantic and soft morganite. There’s an array of color options that can fit many personalities.
4. Which diamond rocks? The diamond is a big part of your budget, but there are many ways to use it to your advantage. When it comes to a diamond, you can raise and lower certain qualities to get what you want. Is a larger diamond more important? Just lower the clarity and/or color. Is quality more important? Lower your size and increase your clarity and/or color. It’s a fun little game that can get you exactly what you want!
5. Don’t get sold by the sale. Many jewelers have pretty impressive sales that they run to get you in the door. Seventy percent off? Really? No. They usually run that same sale every day of the week, and just mark up the rings to give the appearance of a sale. It’s important to find a reputable jeweler, with great customer reviews, that you can trust. Find one that is upfront with their pricing—that way, you will be able to get the best value for your budget. Trusted jewelers usually have the best guarantees and protection plans because they want to service you for a lifetime.
You may even consider a lab-grown diamond, which can be less expensive than a mined one, but that’s not its only selling point. The lab-grown diamond has the same exceptional color, clarity, beauty and brilliance as a mined diamond because it is identical in composition. Lab diamonds don’t require mining and are ethically grown with minimal impact on the environment. If you’re sensitive to how products you own are produced, this may be the perfect, affordable option for you.
Remember, you have options. With a little research and education, you will be getting engaged with the perfect symbol of your love before you know it. Your fiancé and your wallet will be ecstatic that you took the time to make them both happy.