How to Get the Best Deal for Your Engagement Ring
Getting the right engagement ring is one of the most crucial steps of a proposal. You have to find the ring style, gemstone, and band that perfectly fits your partner’s personality (and their left ring finger), all within your price range. But how much exactly should you spend for an engagement ring? Don’t believe anyone who says three month’s worth of salary. While you shouldn’t be stingy, you should consider spending more on valuable experiences (e.g., a unforgettable, romantic honeymoon). Read further to learn how to get the best deal for an engagement ring.
Set a budget
Determine the scope of your limitations before you start shopping for a ring. Do you have the finances to buy one? How much are you willing to spend for the engagement ring? While you shouldn’t scrimp on buying your partner’s engagement ring, you still need to consider other expenses for your proposal. Setting a budget will help you find the perfect ring within your price range.
Consider the 4Cs
The value of a diamond depends on its four C grade—the cut, color, clarity, and carat.
The first step of choosing a diamond engagement ring is to select the shape you think your partner will like. There are eleven popular shapes to choose from:
If your partner is into big, sparkly jewelry, go for a round cut diamond. It has a wider diameter than other cuts, making it appear larger. It’s also the cut with the most symmetry and facets so it reflects more light and creates more sparkle.
Cut grades range from Excellent to Poor. For a limited budget, go for something in between or a Good cut. It gives off an above average brilliance and gives you the most value with lesser cost.
Next on the list is the color. Get a diamond in the G or H grade. Diamonds in that grade range contain a hint of color, which is barely noticeable. They’re the closest to colorless diamonds, the highest color grade.
The diamond’s clarity determines the flawlessness of the gemstone. Clarity grades range from Flawless to Included. For high-quality diamonds, choose something from the Very Slight Included (VS1–VS2) range. Their inclusions or blemishes are invisible to the naked eye, so they appear nearly flawless to nonexperts.
Diamond weight is measured by carat. The larger the carat the more expensive the diamond. Instead of getting a one carat, choose a .97 or .98 carat one. They’re usually sold at a discounted rate because they don’t reach the ideal weight.
Aside from the gemstone, you also have to look into the band of the engagement ring.
Search for discount jewelry
On average, a one carat engagement ring can cost about $6,000 or more in the United States. Some retailers charge steeper prices. Fortunately, you can now buy discount jewelry. You can get as much as 50 to 70 percent savings on engagement rings when you buy in clearance sales. Try shopping in wholesale stores too. Wholesalers are able to sell their products at a cheaper price because they get discounts from distributors for buying in bulk. While it may not sound glamorous, it’s well worth the savings.
Don’t delay your proposal just because you can’t afford a more expensive ring. It’s not about the price tag but the symbol of the ring.
Unlike physical stores, online shops don’t have to pay much for upkeep and manpower. Most of them deal directly with jewelry manufacturer so they save on several expenses, which allows them to sell their wares for a lesser price.
You can take advantage of the discounts and promos that online shops offer all year round. If that’s not enough, they also give out discount and freebie coupons that anyone can use. Membership discounts are also a thing.
When shopping online, search for a reputable jeweler, with reviews from past buyers, necessary certifications, and expertise in the industry. Ask about where their products come from, why their price are low, their return policies, the coverage of their warranties, and other important questions.
Ditch the diamond
Diamond is the most popular choice for an engagement ring, but it’s hardly the only choice. In the recent years, more and more people are other more affordable gemstones for jewelry in general. For example, moissanite are just as beautiful as a diamond but with greater brilliance.
Though moissanites are mostly lab grown, it originates from a rare mineral that was discovered near a meteor crater. A Gemological Institute of America-certified moissanite can cause about $4,000 per carat; non-certified gemstones are priced at $1,000 or less. Colored gemstones, like sapphire, emerald, ruby, and aquamarine, are also excellent choices.
An engagement ring is an expensive and invaluable investment. However, it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to get one that’s perfect and meaningful for your partner. Do your research and get the best value for your money. Look for discount jewelry and places where you can get the best deals for an engagement ring. Moreover, don’t limit yourself to the most common choices. Just think of what you’re partner will like, and you’re set.