When you’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you naturally don’t
want to put a price limit on the perfect ring for her. But your bank account might disagree. Engagement rings can be upwards of $10,000 or as affordable as $50, although $50 will buy you a cheap ring that certainly won’t last.
The average engagement ring costs about $6,351, according to research from The Knot. You could buy a decent used car or make a down payment on a home for that price. You want a ring that will let the world know she’s yours forever, but do you really need to spend that much money when you’re just starting out as a married couple?
Thankfully, there are ways to get a quality engagement ring on a shoestring budget. Here are some ideas.
1. Know What to Look For
If you’re trying to save money on your ring purchase, don’t sacrifice quality. It’s like purchasing a car. You wouldn’t walk onto a car lot and say, “Give me the cheapest car you have,” because you know that would be a recipe for disaster. If you want a ring that will last and won’t tarnish quickly, you must know what to look for.
Do some research on modern rings. Learn about diamond quality, which metals will last the longest, and other details that will help you choose the perfect ring. While you can research online, you’ll get the best answers by interviewing a local jeweler.
2. Shop Around
Engagement rings are competitively priced, but you might be surprised by price differences based on the stores you visit. Some will only use the highest quality materials with the highest-paid designers. If you’re looking for a budget engagement ring, these jewelers are not for you.
Instead, shop ring collections that use quality metals and stones, but not the highest quality on the market. Your fiancée probably won’t notice the difference, but you’ll start out your marriage with a considerably heavier wallet.
3. Consider a Pre-Owned Ring
Here’s an unfortunate fact of life: Ring owners will get divorced, pass away, and change their minds. When this happens, many people sell their rings rather than keeping them in a drawer. It might feel kind of funny to purchase a used ring, but when you’re strapped for cash, you’ll have to let your superstitions go and enjoy the savings this can yield.
Just be wary of scammers who will try to sell you a “white gold diamond ring” that’s really made from sterling silver and cubic zirconia. Ask for a letter of authenticity and consider getting the ring appraised before making the purchase.
If you keep an eye out and do your due diligence, you might just get lucky and purchase a ring that was never worn for hundreds less than its retail value!
4. Peruse Estate Sales
If you’re on the hunt for a good used ring, look at estate sales. This is especially smart if your fiancée likes vintage rings. You can find hundreds of incredible rings through estate sale websites.
For a variety of antique estate jewelry rings, consider visiting The Three Graces website, which features breathtaking, custom jewelry at an incredible price. The rings come with detailed appraisals, and they’ll ship free right to your door.
You might have an incredible idea for a custom engagement ring, but your bank account might disagree. Your fiancée won’t know the difference if you have to change some features in order to save a little on the design.
You might purchase a ready-made ring instead of a custom-made one, which will be much cheaper. You could also decrease the number of stones used or change the setting to one that costs less. There are plenty of ways to compromise so that you have an incredible ring without a ridiculous price tag.
6. Buy a Cheaper Stone
Many girls want diamonds; it’s the symbol of eternal love, after all. According to the American Gem Society, there are 4 C’s when it comes to a diamond’s craftsmanship: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat. The higher the ratings on each of these C’s means a higher quality diamond.
But a diamond is still a diamond, even if it has a few imperfections. You can save a lot on your purchase by investing in diamond stones that aren’t perfect. They will still last forever, but it won’t cost you thousands.
Diamonds aren’t the only stones used for engagement rings. There’s also amethyst, turquoise, sapphire, emerald, pearl, garnet, moissanite, morganite—the list goes on and on. These stones are beautiful, long-lasting, and significantly cheaper than diamonds. If you think your girl will appreciate something different than a traditional diamond ring, a diamond alternative is certainly worth it!