How to Shop for an Inexpensive Engagement Ring

If you are already shopping for an engagement ring, you’ve no doubt encountered the old “guideline” that recommends an investment that is equivalent to two months’ salary on the cost of the ring. And it’s probably no surprise that the diamond and jewelry industry came up with that recommendation.

A better formula is: How much can you spend on an engagement ring without going into serious debt?

  • Can you pay for the ring with cash?
  • If you finance the ring, will the monthly payments be affordable?
  • Is the amount of interest you’ll be charged for the loan reasonable, or will it escalate the true price of the ring so much that it will take forever to pay it off?
  • Would purchasing a less expensive engagement ring allow you and your fiancé to help save to buy a home, take the ideal honeymoon, or pay for a wedding you couldn’t otherwise afford?
  • Does your fiancé even want an engagement ring? Some women prefer to wear a wedding band, and if she likes sparkle, a band encircled with diamonds or other gemstones could be an affordable alternative to an engagement ring.

Take a moment or two to explore the following options; it will make the decision much simpler.

Making an Engagement Ring Affordable

The Stone

Diamond prices increase with carat size. Look for a ring set with a stone that weighs slightly less than the next even weight. For example: Look at .8 or .9 carats instead of 1-carat, or consider a .4 carat diamond rather than a .5 carat stone. You’re the only one who’ll know the difference.

The Metal

Platinum is much harder and more durable than gold, and more expensive because of its scarcity. A 14-karat ring in white or yellow gold is more affordable than platinum and will maintain its shine and value forever.

The Prong Setting

Less expensive prongs may be more susceptible to getting accidentally stretched. Double check the sturdiness of the prong setting to ensure the diamond never falls out.

Diamond Sparkles

Consider a simple band encircled with accent diamonds and don’t purchase a specific engagement ring. It will take the place of both and will be just as gorgeous.  Smaller stones are less expensive than their larger counterparts, plus the clarity of the diamonds becomes somewhat irrelevant.

Vintage Rings

Many vintage rings are exquisite without the high price tag. Explore estate sales and antique stores to see if you can find one that will make your mate’s heart sing. When possible, ask your jeweler to help verify that the diamond and metal used are genuine.

Eternity Rings

Precious metal bands are an excellent alternative for a woman who likes more simple and casual jewelry. However, if going that route, do take the time to select a more intricate or custom-made band.

Custom Rings

Believe it or not, having a ring custom-made does not always come with an astronomical price tag. There are excellent jewelers who specialize in making your vision a reality in an affordable way!

It’s okay to be practical. You can still make the engagement meaningful and romantic. There is nothing sexy about overspending on an engagement ring and putting yourself in deep debt.  Be smart and remember the importance of creating a life with financial stability that allows room for all of the upcoming adventures. Congratulations!

All Photo Credits: Krikawa.com

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