Tips for Buying Engagement Rings on a Budget
Jan 01, 2023
Engagement rings are meaningful pieces of jewelry that symbolize a start of a new chapter for a couple. It's become vital that people invest more time and money to get the perfect one.
Finding an engagement ring can be an overwhelming process. Shoppers have to worry about the various styles and sizes available. Plus, they must factor in the price and the continuous rise of today's living costs, making engagement ring shopping more daunting.
Read these tips below to purchase an engagement ring on a budget. We'll break down some of the best practices you can do to buy the perfect ring without breaking the bank too much.
Set a Budget and Stick With It
Establishing a budget before shopping for an engagement ring is vital to avoid overspending. There's an old belief in the industry that individuals must spend three months' worth of salary on an engagement ring. However, this idea may not be cost-efficient for many.
Shopping for engagement rings doesn't mean the more expensive, the better. Before looking for the perfect one, it's best to set a budget and be strict. Instead of adhering to the three-month rule, assess your financial capabilities and create a budget you can handle. Remember, after the engagement ring, you still have to save money for the wedding ceremony.
Learn the Basic 4Cs
The 4Cs refer to cut, carat, color, and clarity. Combining these attributes will significantly impact the price of the diamond. That's why understanding them is vital to help you identify the perfect ring matching your budget.
Below are some of the essential details regarding the 4Cs.
Cut means the precision and proportion of a diamond's surface, affecting its final form and sparkle. Some of the most famous engagement ring cuts include round, princess, cushion, emerald, and oval.
Carat refers to the diamond's weight. Some might think that the bigger or heavier the diamond is, the better. However, half-carat diamonds are already perfect options. If you're looking for the ideal size on a budget, you can go somewhere between 0.50 to one carat.
Meanwhile, color is graded based on its absence on a diamond. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA), one of the most highly-regarded gemology and jewelry arts institutions, has a D to Z color grading system. “D” represents an entirely colorless diamond, while “Z” indicates a lightly colored diamond.
Lastly, clarity refers to the purity and rarity of the stone and the presence of specific characteristics under magnification. Stones are graded flawless if they have no inclusions, internal flaws, visible blemishes, or external imperfections.
Consider Buying Lab-Grown
Lab-grown diamonds are becoming increasingly popular in the industry because of their chemical and physical similarities to natural ones. The good news is that the technology used for producing them is becoming more advanced and cost-effective, resulting in lower prices than mined diamonds.
Moreover, since lab-grown diamonds share the same properties as mined ones, you can get them in the same colors and shapes. So if you and your partner don't have a specific diamond origin preference, lab-grown ones are better as a budget-friendly alternative.
Choose Gold Instead of Platinum Bands
Many choose platinum because it's rarer and more durable than any other engagement ring band material. However, it's also more expensive than the choices available.
Gold has always been the traditional choice for making jewelry like engagement rings. They're timeless and elegant. Plus, you can get them in three different styles: white, yellow, and rose, meaning there's gold that suits your preference.
Moreover, gold is a more versatile option than platinum. Because it's more malleable, you can mold it into different shapes or add intricate details to the material.
The best part is that gold is a more affordable option than platinum. That means it's a budget-friendly choice with a flexible, high-quality finish.
Insure Your Rings
Something as valuable as a diamond ring must be protected from loss or damage. If you want to get your money's worth, you must get an insurance policy for your engagement ring to avoid the negative financial impact when either of the two happens.
Once you've purchased the perfect ring, find an affordable insurance policy. Once you've purchased the perfect ring, find an affordable insurance policy. You will need to provide some vital details, like jewelry appraisals and diamond certification results.
Consider Alternative Gemstones
Diamond engagement rings are the traditional choice in the market. However, gemstone rings are becoming increasingly popular as a beautiful alternative.
Gemstones offer a wide range of colors and styles. Plus, they have symbolic meanings or are associated with specific traits. That means there's a gemstone perfect for your partner's preference.
Furthermore, most gemstones are significantly less expensive than diamonds. That means they're a budget-friendly option that offers a meaningful finish. Some of the best gemstone options include sapphire, ruby, garnet, citrine, and amethyst.
Don't Skimp on Certification
Going back to diamond rings, you want to check their certification first to ensure you're paying the right price. Cheaper diamonds might be the better option, but they rank lower in various labs, meaning they'll likely have a poorer finish. Certified diamonds, on the other hand, guarantee quality.
Various labs offer diamond certifications. However, their grading significantly varies. Besides GIA, many also regard the American Gem Society (AGS) as one of the best options for diamond certification.
The only difference is how they measure a diamond's cut quality. AGS grades it on a scale of zero to ten with descriptive wordings. Zero means ideal, while eight to ten means poor. On the other hand, GIA includes the terms Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor.
Be a Smart and Savvy Engagement Ring Buyer
Buying an engagement ring on a budget requires some careful consideration and planning. However, finding a beautiful ring that fits your price range is possible.
By following these tips, you can decide on the best engagement ring for your budget. Remember, the ring's value lies not only in its price tag but also in the love and commitment it represents. So focus on finding a ring that suits your partner's taste and personality — you're sure to find the perfect ring without breaking the bank.