How to Save Money on Your Engagement Ring
There are so many factors to consider when buying an engagement ring—some are more important than others. It all depends on your priorities and choices.
For example, a gemstone’s cut, color, and clarity vary to some degree. For a buyer like you, one characteristic may be more important than the others. Of course, whatever direction you take will have an impact on the price tag. It can either bring it up or down.
Another thing is where you are going to buy it from. Not all stores, online or offline are made equal. Some may give you an offer you can’t refuse, while others will just rip you off.
So if you want to save money on your engagement ring, the first question to ask is, “how can I make my engagement ring more affordable?”
There is no fast and easy answer to this because “affordability” is dependent on your willingness to pay for a particular item. Which, in this case, is an engagement ring. Fortunately, these steps can help you find the right answer.
Set a Limit
The first step to saving money from your engagement ring is to set a limit. if you don’t it is easy to walk into a jewelry store and buy the first ring that catches your eye. Not only is this strategy costly in the first place, but you may also be buying something you will regret down the road.
The easiest way to do this is to set a budget and then imagine the kind of ring you would want to gift your loved one. Consider the metal setting, gem cut or shape (refer to the above chart), color, and carat size. You will be flying blind if you don’t have a good idea of the type of ring you want to buy.
When that is set, go over some jewelry websites and find the perfect match—your budget vis-a-vis your ideal engagement ring. Then explore if you can whittle a few bucks from the jewelry store’s selling price.
Can you get discounts engagement rings? Yes, if you buy them in September or October.
Buy in Cash
Buying an engagement ring is something that is planned for, not an impromptu affair.
A study conducted by The Knot shows that the average price of an engagement ring in the United States is $6,000.00. However, one-third of the respondents surveyed only spent between $1,000 to $4,000.00.
So, is $1000 good enough for an engagement ring? Yes, it is and you can save a few bucks if you buy it in cash, not on credit. if you charge it to your credit card, you will be facing interest charges of between 2.5% to 3.5% per month.
How long does it take to save for an engagement ring?
Now if your concern is your lack of savings for an engagement ring, think about this.
The average 2022 monthly income in the US is $ 4,496.00 The average monthly savings of Americans, on the other hand, is 5% of that. If you are shooting for a thousand-dollar engagement ring, you can buy it by saving for four months.
How to save for an engagement ring? That is entirely up to you.
Know the Return Policy
What if she does not like the ring or you broke up with her, can you return the ring?
Yes, you can. Most jewelers accept returned engagement rings within 30 days from the date of purchase. Should you do it, you must include the original ring documents including receipts, certificates, appraisals, and ring box—together with the ring, of course.
The jeweler you bought the engagement ring from may have different policies. So you must know them in detail. Failure to follow a jeweler’s return policy is good money gone to waste. You must remember when you bought it, and how and under what circumstances are you returning the ring. Failure to know these will, again, be like throwing away good money.
Buy From a Reputable Vendor
Most jewelers have online stores as well as mortar-and-brick operations. While they may offer similar products, they are not all created equal—in beauty and quality.
Knowing where to buy quality engagement rings, and save a few bucks at the same time is not an easy task. You can ask close friends and associates for recommendations or surf the Net. Credit Donkey has a list of reputable engagement ring vendors. Visit their websites and look around for your ideal ring. If they have a store near you, pay them a visit. Nothing beats first-hand experience.
To start you off, try James Allen. It offers:
- A wide selection of settings and styles
- Has incredible imagery for all diamonds
- Have great customer service.
Only Certified Diamonds
Check if the stone is certified to ensure you are not overpaying for your engagement ring. Certification is a document issued by independent laboratories that describe a diamond and all its characteristics like color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. In a sense, it is a guarantee of a diamond’s quality.
Diamond certification can be issued by any accredited laboratory like the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), AGS (American Gemological Society), IGI (International Gemological Institute), EGL (European Gemological Laboratories), GSI (Gemological Science Institute), or HRD (Hoge Raad Voor Diamant or Diamond High Council).
They grade diamonds differently and are significantly more reliable than others. By “reliability,” means consistency. In this aspect, the GIA and the AGS are tops. Their certification results are similar time and time again.
Another thing you may notice with certification is the difference in prices. For example, an H color in the EGL certification may be cheaper than in the GIA. This is because an H in the EGL is ranked I or J in the GIA.
The bottom line?
The bottom line is that when shopping for an engagement ring stick to those certified by the GIA or GIS because they have the same consistency and the same methods.
But aren’t certified diamonds more expensive than non-certified, you may ask? Maybe. But with certified diamonds, you know you are paying for the real thing.
Here’s a good tip to go by when shopping for diamonds: don’t spend too much effort and time looking for a perfectly clear stone. Settle for something that is eye-clean—no imperfections or blemishes can be seen by the naked eye.
Keep Your Eyes on Quality
What is referred to here is “cut quality.”
Of the 4Cs in diamonds, cut quality is the most important because it determines how a diamond looks, i.e., its glitter, brilliance, sparkle, and fire. In fact, when shopping for diamonds, you can sacrifice the other Cs, for cut quality.
Clarity and color are pretty obvious and carat weight can be determined using a scale. You can easily overpay for a diamond if you go for clarity because the clarity difference between one stone from the other is not so obvious to the naked eye.
Instead of laboring so much on clarity, settle for eye-clean diamonds—those with no imperfections visible to the unaided eye.
When you choose a diamond, online or in a store, you would naturally look for blemishes and inclusions. You could spend an entire day, yet not find one. To hasten the process, concentrate on VS1 and VS2 diamonds. These are generally eye-clean. To the naked eye, they will be as beautiful as a VVS-graded diamond but costs much less. If your budget is limited to small diamonds, an SI1 or SI2 will be just as good.
If your budget limits you to small diamonds, buy an ideal or excellent-cut diamond so it will look bigger.
Consider the Setting
Setting plays a crucial role in relation to the color of the diamond. If you are not careful with this. you might be overspending on your engagement ring but don’t get a corresponding advantage on its appearance.
Setting refers to how gemstones are set, or mounted, into a metal band. It is not just a means of attaching a gemstone onto a band but serves a nobler purpose of highlighting the beauty of an engagement center stone.
To illustrate the point, diamonds in the G to I color range will look just as white as those in the D to F range. A jeweler out to get a fast buck might convince you to buy a D to F diamond to make your ring look whiter. Don’t be suckered into doing it. A G or I diamond will look just as gorgeous if set on platinum or white (like the piece in this James Allen review). And you will be paying about 18% less.
Now, if your budget cannot go any higher than an I, J, or K-colored diamond, they can still look brilliant and sparkly if set on yellow gold. You will be saving a huge about of money if you take this route.
Remember that the goal is not to buy the best-looking engagement ring you can buy but to save a few bucks from the activity.
Gold Over Platinum
The most common metal used for engagement rings is gold—yellow, white, or rose gold. With the entry of platinum into the jewelry business, more and more people having been taking that route.
Platinum, a naturally-white metal with a cool luster, augments the brilliance and sparkle of diamonds. But there’s one catch—it is more expensive than gold. So if you want to save some money from your engagement ring, go for gold. You will be spending around $500 less for a gold engagement ring than platinum.
Not just any gold, however. Go for either the 14K, such as the one in this James Allen review, or 18K gold. While both have pure gold as base metal, 14k is 58.3% gold while 18K is 75%. The rest is composed of durable metals like nickel, zinc, and copper with a bit of rhodium plating. Both are durable and look elegant with any eye-clean diamond setting.
Big is Not Always Better
Most people buying diamonds are hung up on size. They think that the bigger the stone, the more brilliant and sparkling it is. Well, it is not necessarily so. For example, an excellent-cut 1.2-carat stone would look more stunning than a good-cut 2-carat. And it would be around 45% cheaper.
So when shopping for diamonds, focus on cut, not carat weight. You won’t save a cent if you go by this route.
Another thing to remember is that round-number carat weights, such as 1, 2, or 3 tend to be more expensive than 0.75, 1.5, or 2.5. Yet, nobody would notice the difference.
For example, the price of a 0.75-carat diamond is roughly $2,400, while a 1-carat is $4,280. But can you visually tell the difference in size between the two? Definitely not. And you save roughly $1,800 by opting for the smaller stone.
Go for a Halo Setting
A halo setting is a ring that has a large setting stone surrounded by a ring of smaller accent stones. In a halo setting the center stone can have the same shape as the placement of the accent stones or they can be different such as cushion or emerald-cut.
When you shop for engagement rings, you would naturally look for a ring that will appear bigger than what your budget can afford. Keep in mind that the value of the ring is in its appearance, not size. In this respect, nothing satisfies more than the halo setting.
The biggest appeal of the halo setting is that it complements the center stone well; it makes your ring appear larger. It is designed to accentuate the beauty of the center stone, making a smaller-carat diamond look bigger than it actually is. A halo setting allows you to save a few bucks from a diamond’s carat weight but still get the attention of your loved one.
But what if, after reviewing all these hacks, you find out that you still have no money for engagement ring? What then?
Ring or No Ring?
There is no rule in the book of life that says you cannot propose without an engagement ring. In fact, a lot of guys do. Engagement rings are spun by Hollywood movies, making them traditional over time. There was a story of a guy who proposed to his girlfriend by giving her not a ring but a flower pot of her favorite plant.
You can propose in any manner, any shape you believe in. As long as it is done with the sincerity that comes from the bottom of your heart.
Now that you know ways to save money on your engagement ring, you may well be interested on where to buy them. Read our article, “Find Your Favorite: 10 Best Places to Buy Diamond Engagement Rings.”