An engagement ring is a symbol of unconditional love, devotion, and fidelity. Getting a good deal on one doesn’t mean you love your fiancé-to-be any less — it just means you’ll have more money to spend on other aspects of your upcoming nuptial, such as the wedding itself, or maybe a new home for the family you’ll raise together.
How to Save Money on an Engagement Ring
Follow these tips if you are looking to buy the perfect engagement ring for the love of your life, but at a price that won’t compromise your savings (or your relationship).
1. Set a budget for yourself
It’s easy to forget about your budget as soon as you walk through the pristine doors of a jewelry store. In between the sparkling displays, bright lights, and the convincing salesperson, your eye (and your credit card) may gravitate towards the biggest diamond, rather than the more modest and elegant one that your significant other has been giving you hints about.
To avoid overspending on an engagement ring, ensure to set a maximum budget you can spend realistically. If you’re scared of caving in the moment, look for engagement ring options online before committing to one. In addition, it may help to bring a good friend with you while shopping — someone who can help remind you of your budget.
2. Learn the four Cs of a diamond
Never buy a diamond without understanding its features. You’ll need to learn the four Cs, which stands for cut, color, clarity, and carat. Read How to Choose the Right Engagement Ring for an in-depth explanation of a diamond’s four Cs.
3. Compare the prices of different jewelry stores
After learning how to differentiate diamonds, the next step is to compare prices. Jessica Bishop, the founder of The Budget Savvy Bride — the #1 resource for brides who are planning a wedding on a budget — stresses the importance of conducting thorough research before buying a ring.
“Look at apples to apples,” says Bishop. “Obviously, each stone is technically unique in terms of its specifications, but you can compare the same cut, clarity, and carat size among different retailers to see which one is the best value.”
Moreover, keep in mind that the familiar jewelry chain in your local mall is not your only option. Consider locally owned jewelers, too. Many independent jewelers buy and sell estate diamonds in pristine or excellent condition.
4. Avoid buying an engagement ring during gift-giving holidays
The holiday season is one of the best times to propose. However, Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day may not be the best timeframe to buy an engagement ring — unless you’re one of the first in a league of lovers who want to buy one, too.
Diamond wholesalers do not necessarily raise their prices during the holidays. The problem is that more diamonds sell during this season, and the best bargain-priced engagement rings tend to sell first. If you don’t act fast, you may need to settle for a ring that breaks the bank.
5. Go for the magic number
Choose a diamond under a “magic number” to get a stunning ring for a lower price. For instance, picking a 2.47-carat diamond instead of a 2.50-carat one may save you as much as 15 percent.
6. Be skeptical of too-good-to-be-true prices
An incredibly low-priced diamond rarely exists, especially in jewelry stores. If a seller is offering an unbelievable bargain for, let’s say a “genuine” diamond engagement ring from Cartier or Harry Windston, then it is most likely a fake piece of jewelry.
Try these tips to help determine the credibility of a jeweler:
- Ask friends and family members about the store’s reputation.
- Check the store’s Reliability Rating with Better Business Bureau.
- Read the store’s reviews on Yelp or on other business review sites.
7. Consider other gemstones
Is a diamond out of your price range? Other gemstones, including aquamarines, peridots, opals, and morganites, may be more affordable. And, depending on your future spouse, a non-diamond engagement ring may be more in line with her style.
8. Inquire about the store’s return policy
Return and exchange policies matter. Having such guidelines not only improves a jewelry store’s credibility, but it also benefits customers in many ways. For example, a store’s policy may allow you to return or exchange an ill-conceived purchase. Engraved or customized jewelry, however, are usually non-refundable.
A word of advice: Be mindful of return policies when deciding on a proposal date. If you are past the return deadline when you pop the question, then you risk getting stuck with an engagement ring your fiance doesn’t like. Worst case scenario: She says “no” and the non-refundable ring on your nightstand will be a constant reminder of your heartbreak.
9. Get engagement ring insurance
No matter which ring or gemstone you pick, that shining, shimmering piece of jewelry on your bride-to-be’s hand is valuable. Therefore, it is in your best interest to insure the engagement ring. Check with your local insurance provider to see if it’s possible to add coverage for the ring onto your existing policy.
10. Maintenance is key to preserving your investment
Most luxury engagement ring brands will offer a warranty on your purchase. Some of the terms in warranties include free cleanings, or the need to bring the jewelry for inspection every six months. Keeping up with maintenance is key to preserving the luster and brilliance of a diamond or non-diamond engagement ring. If not, you may not be able to sell the ring for a competitive price once your wife is ready for an upgrade.
Wait, what if the jeweler you chose doesn’t offer standard warranty? The best course of action is to purchase a protection plan for the engagement ring. However, ensure to read the fine print to learn what is and isn’t covered since it varies by retailer.
Final thoughts before you buy that ring for her or him
Choosing a ring that won’t burn a hole in your pocket yet will still make your significant other swoon is a real challenge. Hopefully, reading this article helps you get the best value and beauty for an engagement ring. We wish you the best of luck!
If who you thought was the love of your life says “no” to your marriage proposal, Biltmore Loan can help you take the first step towards healing by buying it. Selling the engagement ring might be difficult at first, but doing so is a sign of moving forward. If you’re ready for a fresh start, fill up this online form to request a free engagement ring appraisal from our GIA-accredited experts in Phoenix, AZ.