Finance

Money-Saving Tips for Buying the Most Stunning Engagement Ring

By RL - June 01, 2020

Is it possible to snag a stunning, praise-worthy engagement ring without break the bank? Interested in hearing plenty of “oohs” and “aahs” from your significant other and ring admirers without feeling a pang of debt anxiety each time? We’ve researched some of the smartest ways to save money when shopping for the perfect ring for popping that timeless question. Here are money-saving tips that will save you time, money, and a headache.

According to The Knot’s 2019 study, brides or grooms were spending $5,871 on average for an engagement ring. With that much money at stake, how can you get the best bang for your buck?

First off, saving money over a longer period of time in smaller amounts can add up quicker than you think. Set a strict budget then stick to it. A budget will help you stay focused on your priorities when shopping for a ring and will help you stay away from being sweet-talked into a more expensive option. 80% of proposers set a budget, according to The Knot’s 2019 Jewelry and Engagement Study Real Weddings Study, with 20% of them deciding on a budget with their partner. 70% of proposers actually end up sticking to their budget.

Diamonds: they may be our best friends, but they don’t necessarily have to leave us in financial ruin. There’s a good reason why diamonds are by far the top choice for engagement rings. These gems are Earth’s hardest naturally occurring substance known. If your heart’s set on a diamond, then consider the stone’s four qualities, otherwise known as the 4 Cs: cut, color, clarity, carat. Any variation of these affects the price of a diamond, potentially costing vastly more or much less. How do you know which of these four elements to prioritize?

For starters, know that industry experts do not consider clarity to be the most important. Instead, focus on the cut of the diamond. Repeat after us: don’t skimp on the cut.

A focus on quality will pay off in the long run. When considering the cut, keep in mind that cutting a diamond at certain angles affects how the light appears to shine through the stone. The bigger the stone and the better the cut, the more expensive a diamond is. However, if you prioritize the cut of your diamond over how large it is, you could get a smaller stone with the highest quality cut and hit a home run. A ring that fits this description could still offer more pizzazz and show-stopping stamina compared to a ring with a larger yet less well-cut stone.

Another one of the four Cs, color, is of the utmost importance to consider if you’re looking to get the best deal on the best ring. The color rating is based partially on how white the diamond appears. D grade is the whitest while Z grade is entirely yellow. But between these two ratings, there are tons of variations, and those need to be considered. The difference between a D grade in color and an H grade, for example, is almost imperceptible to the naked eye. Therefore, it might not be that important for you to snag the highest color rating. Avoid spending your money on something that won’t be noticed.

Vogue suggests opting for a timeless and classic look instead of solely following the most recent diamond trends. Looking at what your partner already wears or styles that he or she comments on is a great place to start.

Size really only matters if it matters to you or your partner. The average size of most diamonds used in engagement rings is between half of a carat and one full carat. You can choose to prioritize size, or you can prioritize color and cut. But if you’re looking to save money, you can’t really prioritize everything simultaneously. Instead of focusing on the biggest and blingiest, buy the best ring for your partner while managing to stay out of tremendous debt. You can save money by going down just a few points in carats. For example, 1.8 carats versus 2 carats will save you plenty of cash but won’t be very noticeable, if at all, to the naked eye.

Another way to save big is to consider other gemstones besides diamonds. Rubies & sapphires are also quite durable and affordable options.

Finally, shopping during the low season can help you score a better deal on rings. Traditionally, the busiest months run from before Christmas and straight on through Valentine’s Day. Aim for August and you may be able to negotiate the price a bit, depending on where you choose to shop. Consider alternatives other than buying from a jeweler. Antique, or vintage, stores may yield surprising finds. Do your research into the gem you find, and it might be most cost-efficient to get a vintage ring resized rather than purchase a brand new one.

Conduct thorough online research, keep in mind what to look for, and enjoy following these guidelines while shopping to satisfy your partner’s engagement ring preferences.