A dazzling engagement ring doesn’t have to empty your bank account if you learn some clever tricks…
Getting engaged is a big deal, both emotionally and financially. It’s an agreement to spend the rest of your life with one person, and an engagement ring to mark that commitment costs a lot of money. If your budget is somewhat stretched or if you can’t resist getting thrifty, then here are some tips for saving a chunk of dough on that rock.
Choose an Uneven Carat Weight
People tend to perceive rounded carat weights like 1 carat, 1.5 carats, 2 carats, and so on as more desirable than others. Why? Who knows. But for that reason, jewellers often hike up the price tags of these gems. To the naked, non-expert eye however there’s little difference between a 1 carat diamond and 0.8 carat one, or a 0.5 and a 0.35 carat diamond – especially at a glance. And because these slightly smaller weights aren’t as desirable, they’re often cheaper. Perhaps not by much… but every little helps.
Opt for Cluster Rings
Want a big centre stone but can’t afford the cost? We have a solution; cluster rings! Instead of a large round diamond, choose several very small diamonds ‘clustered’ together to form a rounded shape. You still get the look and feel of a large stone, but at significantly lower cost. Cluster rings also offer a great chance to get creative with your designs, because any shape is possible; flowers, hearts, and whatever else your imagination can dream up!
Buy Lab Diamonds
Let’s bust some myths before we go any further; lab grown diamonds are not ‘fake’. They are created using the same conditions as ‘natural’ diamonds and have the same chemical composition; they only difference is that they’re grown within weeks in a lab instead of over millions of years in the ground. Oh, and that they’re a LOT cheaper. Mining natural diamonds is expensive business and can cause significant damage to the earth; growing them in a lab is the opposite. There’s big savings to be had if choose this option.
If you do your research carefully and thoroughly, choose a reputable retailer and read the fine print in detail, then buying an engagement ring online could save you as much as 30% of the cost of a similar ring from a physical jewellery store. Online jewellers have much lower overhead costs, so their prices are automatically lower. There’s also much more choice online, which means there’s much more competition. But we can’t stress this enough; research, be smart, and don’t make any rash decisions or it could come back to bite you!
Strategise the 4Cs
Anyone who starts researching engagement rings will come across the 4Cs within seconds. They are the four criteria by which diamond or gemstone quality is judged; carat weight, colour, clarity and cut. Choosing gems with the best of all four will jack up the cost of your engagement ring; but if you put your most important ‘C’ first, savings can be made. For example if you want a large but affordable diamond, look for stones with lesser quality colour, clarity and cut. If your main priority is dazzling sparkle, prioritise cut and clarity and don’t focus on carat size or colour.
Good news for vintage loving brides; antique or vintage engagement rings are sometimes cheaper than brand spanking new ones. However, it comes at a cost. Older rings require more maintenance to keep them in good condition, and if they become damaged are more difficult to repair perfectly. They’re also more susceptible to damage and may not withstand everyday wear and tear as well as a new ring. It depends on the particular ring of course, but just something to keep in mind.