It is certain that you feel the woman of your dreams is worth the very best, but often the guidelines of spending two month’s salary are unrealistic for men in today’s world. With rising rent, mortgage rates, insurance rates, car payments, and utilities, not every man can afford to shell out a full two months of his pay. This leaves men in a tricky situation. While they want to buy the largest and grandest engagement ring possible, often the expense outweighs the ultimate goal. Rather than letting guilt of buying a less expensive ring get to you, learn how to buy a ring that you can afford that will dazzle your girlfriend.
Traditionally, diamonds are considered the classic American gemstone for engagement rings. It’s rather unusual considering that colored gemstones are more prevalent in many European countries. Think back to the late Princess Diana’s engagement ring to Prince Charles. Her engagement ring was a large sapphire surrounded by diamonds. This is more typical of engagement rings overseas. Not all rings in your price range will obviously contain gemstones that large, but the general idea is to pick a gemstone that would appeal to your girlfriend. Diamonds are nice, but many women prefer a little color.
Start by asking your girlfriend, or her best friend if you want it to be a surprise, about her tastes in jewelry. You should find out if she prefers white gold or yellow gold and what carat she prefers. If you are asking a friend, she can give you a better idea of how important an expensive ring is to her. Ten carat is considered lower quality, but it doesn’t bend as easily making it a more popular choice with women who wear their rings day and night. You should be able to find out favorite gemstones or if she is more traditional and would prefer a diamond. Some women are just as happy with cubic zirconia or other stimulated stones because they do not like the expense involved with diamonds. Other women prefer to be in on the choice for engagement ring. You should be able to discuss the budget with your girlfriend. If you cannot talk finances before marriage, you may run into problems during marriage. Do not let that fear keep you from being honest about what you can afford at this stage.
Keeping this in mind, check out the online discount jewelers as they offer some amazing engagement rings with diamonds and with gemstones that come in ten, fourteen, or eighteen-carat gold. The rings are already sized for you, so the additional waiting time and expense of having a ring sized properly is eliminated. If you want to be traditional, diamonds at these online stores are high quality and all rings are guaranteed for life. Look for matching sets that contain the wedding band and engagement ring in one. This can save you money and your girlfriend will appreciate having a matched set.
Estate sales are often a great place to look for quality, inexpensive jewelry. You can find some incredible antique rings for half the price of a modern engagement ring. Again, make sure this is something she would appreciate first.
Otherwise, look into gemstones. You can choose an engagement ring that contains her birthstone or a gemstone that has meaning that is more significant. If you are attracted to her blue eyes, sapphire, blue topaz, and aquamarine may be suitable choices. You can usually find quality blue topaz solitaire rings for under $200. This is true of many gemstones, so don’t be afraid to look at something unique when it comes to an engagement ring.
Before spending your savings or maxing out credit accounts on the perfect ring, consider the following 10 ways to save money on an engagement ring purchase.
Online Discount Jewelry Retailers
The Internet makes it possible to purchase any item for up to 60% off the retail price. While the ideal of shopping online for an engagement ring or wedding band may sound unappealing, the savings are amazing. Besides, several online retailers purchase overstock merchandise from larger retailers. Due to low overhead, online retailers can sell the rings at a huge discount. Before buying, browse the ring selection offered by several online retailers and make price comparisons.
Buying a used engagement ring is the perfect solution for couples on a tight budget. A used ring does not necessarily mean cheap. People sell wedding jewelry for various reasons. If a divorce or break-up prompts the sell, you could possibly snag a great ring at a super low price. Frequently browse the classified section of the newspaper, and visit the local pawn shop. In many instances, individual sellers and pawn shops agree to appraisals. This way, you get a clear picture of the ring’s worth before buying.
A local estate sale is an additional great place to find an engagement ring. Estate jewelry is sold at unbelievable discounts. Search for estate sales in your area, or visit a retailer that specializes in estate merchandise.
Another approach to buying an inexpensive engagement ring is shopping abroad. The Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and Mexico have great deals on jewelry. Before buying in the States, consider a vacation or cruise to one of these destinations. Have your credit card or checkbook close at hand. On average, the overseas savings on jewelry is approximately 40% – 60%. With this said, you could save a fortune on the purchase of an engagement ring and wedding band.
Engagement rings and wedding bands are costly. For this matter, some financially savvy couples have chosen to delay the purchase of an expensive band, and use the money to payoff debts or purchase a home. There is a wide selection of believable, quality faux diamond rings. Choose a high-end cubic zirconia or moissanite diamond. Either ring is available for under $100.
Shape is Everything
To save money on engagement rings, the first thing you need to look for is the shape of the diamond, which will have an enormous impact on both the price and the appearance. Round stones and princess-cut diamonds, for example, are the most expensive, but neither one will appear nearly as large as they actually are. This is because the shape of the stone puts the carat weight at the bottom, making the stone appear smaller.
Instead, look for slightly oval-shaped diamonds to save money on engagement rings. This will bring the carat weight to the top and make the stone look larger, but they aren’t as popular and will be easier on your wallet. Pear-shaped stones are another good bet, and are sure to look lovely on your fiancé’s finger.
Steer Clear of Brands
Just like when you’re shopping for clothes or groceries, branded diamonds mean spending more money. If you want to save money on engagement rings, go generic with a stone that doesn’t have a name attached to it. Unfortunately, branded diamonds don’t stay “in style” forever, which means that “Leo” from Kay’s Jewelers might not seem like such a wonderful buy in ten years, even though you spent your life savings.
Buy Loose, Then Set
Divide and conquer, I always say, and the same thing goes for saving money on engagement rings. Buying a diamond and having it set in the same retailer will set you back thousands of dollars more than if you just purchase a loose stone from a reputable dealer, then have it set at your favorite jeweler’s. This might seem like a lot more work, but it won’t take long to drop off the diamond, then pick it up when it’s ready. Plus, your bride-to-be won’t know the difference.
Emphasize the Rock
When your fiancé sticks out her hand so that her friends can admire that beautiful new ring, they will be focused on the rock at its center and not the band that surrounds it. The setting can be the kicker when it comes to saving money on engagement rings, so consider a less-expensive setting so you can spend more on the diamond. White gold and platinum bands are actually quite popular, and cost much less.
Prepare to Haggle
You wouldn’t buy a brand-new Rav4 without giving the dealer a run for his money, so why should you pay “sticker price” for a diamond? Haggling is expected in the diamond industry, so put on your haggling gloves and set to work. In fact, according to SmartMoney.com, the mark-up on precious stones can be up to 200 percent in some retail stores. This gives you plenty of room to make a deal, so never walk out without a counter offer.