There used to be an unwritten rule that a man should spend 2 months’ salary on an engagement ring. There’s no such guideline anymore. It’s more important to buy a ring that you can realistically afford than it is to follow any arbitrary guideline such as that. But engagement rings are expensive, right? How can you buy an expensive piece of jewelry on a budget? By being strategic. Here, we’ll offer some tips to help you purchase that most important piece of jewelry on a budget.
Featured Meghan Markle Engagement Ring Photo from ElleUK
Choose the right setting
Even if your wallet won’t let you buy the biggest diamond in the store, you can get the illusion of a larger stone by choosing the right setting. For example, if you choose a setting that features a ring of smaller diamonds around the centre stone, for example, it will give the illusion of a larger stone, but with a lower price tag.
Go for pavé diamonds
Pave diamonds can make any ring look more expensive. They offer the look of crushed ice, consisting of many small diamonds grouped together. This produces a dazzling, high-end look at a lower price point.
Be aware of size
The price of a diamond goes up exponentially at certain size points. For every carat and half-carat size increase, there is typically a jump in the price, too. One way to sae a few dollars is to do what experts call “buying shy.” Using this technique, look for a diamond that is a little shy of the one-carat or half-carat mark (1.7 carats, for example, as opposed to an even 2) can save you a significant amount of money and you won’t even notice the differential in size.
Opt for gold
Platinum has become a trendy wedding band choice because it has many great attributes, but those advantages also come with a higher price tag. Opting for the more classic gold option will save you a few dollars. If you still want the look of platinum without the high price, choose white gold. White gold isn’t as durable as platinum, but it is strong, resistant to rust and tarnish, and very beautiful!
Pay attention to the cut
Certain cuts of diamonds will cost more than others. Knowing which are the most budget-friendly will go a long way toward saving you some money. An emerald cut, for example, will look bigger than the carat weight suggests.
Buy a set
This can be a challenge if you are trying to surprise your soon-to-be fiancé with a ring, but if you can, buy the engagement ring and the matching wedding band together. By making the purchase in a set like that, you’ll likely get a better deal than if you buy the engagement right now and the wedding band later. Of course, this may not always be possible, but if you can (such as if you are picking out your rings together) this can be a way to save some money.
At the end of the day, choosing the right engagement ring doesn’t have to mean going for broke. There are lots of beautiful and meaningful options at every price point, so there’s no need to spend more than you need to get a special ring for your special someone. Using these tricks, you can find the perfect ring for your partner without spending more than you can afford. Spend as much as you comfortably can, and not a penny more. Your soon-to-be fiancé wouldn’t want you to start out your new life together deeply in debt just so you can buy a bigger, flashier ring.