Diamonds are a girl’s best friend but they can also be your wallet’s worst enemy. If you’re shopping with a limited budget, consider alternative gemstones like sapphire, which makes just as bold of a statement and is less expensive than a natural diamond.
Evaluate your financial situation to determine what you can comfortably afford, and take into consideration your partner’s expectations as well.
Affordable Engagement Rings
An engagement ring is one of the most significant purchases you’ll ever make, but that doesn’t mean it has to break the bank. With endless diamond shapes and metal options to choose from, it’s possible to find a ring you love that fits within your budget. With the right research and shopping strategies, you can find an affordable engagement ring that you know your partner will adore.
The first step in finding an affordable engagement ring is setting a budget. Creating a spending limit will ensure you don’t overspend or end up with a ring you don’t really love. Once you have your budget in place, the next step is to compare prices across retailers to see where you can get the best value. Keep in mind that the price of a ring is based on its size, origin, and quality. Purchasing your ring from a retailer that offers discounts or clearances can help you save big.
If you’re looking to buy a ring on a tight budget, consider going with a chain jewelry store like Kay or Zales. These retailers carry an impressive selection of rings for every style, center stone shape, and budget, so you can be sure you’ll be able to find something you’ll love. Plus, they often offer perks like free shipping and returns.
Similarly, department stores such as Macy’s and Fred Meyer also have an array of affordable options to browse. In addition to a wide selection of diamond (and gemstone) styles and settings, these retailers also have sales, coupons, or discount codes that can help you save on your purchase.
Another way to keep your costs down is to opt for a diamond alternative like cubic zirconia or moissanite. These stones can be just as beautiful as genuine diamonds, but they come at a fraction of the cost. Additionally, many of these rings are crafted from recycled materials, making them a great choice for eco-friendly shoppers.
If you’re searching for a unique, alternative engagement ring, look no further than Etsy. This online marketplace is home to an extensive collection of handmade and preowned pieces that are as stunning as they are affordable. From vintage-inspired morganite rings to classic oval solitaires, there are plenty of options to explore. Just be sure to read the shop’s policies carefully before you commit to a purchase.
Mid-Budget Engagement Rings
The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank for a great-looking engagement ring. The key to finding a good one within your budget is to be open to alternative center stone options and shop with a jeweler that offers plenty of design choices.
It’s also helpful to look for a retailer that has a solid reputation for quality and for backing their jewelry with certification, a reliable warranty, and long-term care and cleaning services. If you’re able to shop in-person, it can help to avoid being pushed into a higher price point by salespeople who want to boost revenue.
Once you’ve set a clear budget, start looking at rings. If you’re shopping alone, try on a few different styles and make note of your favorite. If you’re with someone, ask them for their opinion on what they think is the most beautiful ring for your budget. They may surprise you with a more creative iteration of the ring you thought you wanted, or they might help you narrow your search to the best options for your style and price range.
A few tips for finding a good deal on an engagement ring include shopping during the summer when diamond prices are typically lower, and waiting for a sale at your local jeweler or department store. You can often save up to 50% off during clearance events, according to CNBC, and many retailers have an online sale section where they mark down their inventory.
Moissanite rings are a popular choice for those who are not interested in the price of a natural diamond. The ring looks similar to a diamond, but is more durable and eco-friendly. If you’re considering moissanite, it’s a good idea to shop with Charles & Covard, as they are the best source for the mineral and offer wholesale pricing.
Being open to non-diamond center stones and ring settings can also reduce your ring cost significantly. For example, a sapphire ring can provide a similar vibrance to a diamond and is a great alternative for those who aren’t a fan of the high maintenance associated with a diamond ring.
High-End Engagement Rings
If your budget allows it, there are plenty of high-end engagement rings available. These are the rings that typically feature an expertly designed diamond and a luxurious metal. You can find these rings at luxury jewelry stores and from designers with a reputation for excellence. However, these designer rings are often more expensive than those from less-known designers.
Many online retailers specialize in offering a wide range of designs to suit any taste and price point. These sites allow you to browse a variety of styles and then customize your selection using a ring-builder. This tool lets you specify a setting, center stone (either natural or lab-created) and other details such as the style of hand-engraving, milgrain or other decorative features. The resulting ring design is uniquely yours and perfect for expressing your personal style. To get started, click here and scroll through Kush Diamonds’ impressive selection of rings.
Another way to add a sense of high-end design to your engagement ring is to opt for a colored gemstone. Sapphires are a popular choice and can be even more affordable than larger diamonds. They also come in a variety of beautiful hues, from deep blue to pale yellow and pink. Choose a sapphire for the center stone of your ring and then pair it with accent diamonds to create an eye-catching design.
James Allen offers a collection of pre-designed engagement rings for you to shop from, as well as a custom ring builder where you can select the settings, diamond type and other features. The site is known for its excellent customer service and the ability to show you a video of the actual ring you’re purchasing.
While Blue Nile is best known for its in-store sales and services, it’s also a top option for online shopping for a luxury engagement ring. The retailer focuses on ethically-sourced diamonds and offers a price match guarantee as well as a ring upgrade program.
This family-owned company has a minimalist design aesthetic and specializes in recycled precious metals and ethically-sourced gems. The site also offers a unique try on at home option where you’ll receive two 3D-printed rings to slip on for free before making your final purchase.
Custom Engagement Rings
There’s nothing quite like a one-of-a-kind engagement ring. For couples who are able to make the financial commitment, custom rings can be made to fit any budget. It’s important to work with a jeweler who offers a wide range of styles and materials, but also has extensive experience designing custom pieces. You’ll want to take your time when selecting a jeweler, and choose one who will respect your budget and tell you what is and isn’t possible.
If you’re interested in creating a custom ring, start by compiling a dream board of rings that catch your eye. Note what elements you love about each piece, and use these details to guide your design process. A great place to find inspiration is the jewelry section of a fashion magazine, or maybe even a celebrity’s wedding band!
Once you’ve determined what style of ring you want, it’s time to think about what kind of center stone and setting you’d like. Many people find themselves drawn to certain shapes or sizes of diamonds, but if you can’t find a combination that tickles your fancy, consider going beyond traditional diamonds and working with other gemstones like moissanite or emerald.
You can also go the direct-to-consumer route by working with a jeweler that specializes in custom design. Gemist is a new player in this space, and the company’s app and website allow you to browse designs and try them on at home. You can also book a 15- to 30-minute phone call with a stylist to receive expert guidance. Then, when you’re ready to make your purchase, the rings will be delivered directly to your home along with a FedEx return label for any unwanted items.
Kay knows that the engagement ring buying process is an emotional one, and they’re committed to making it as easy and stress-free as possible for their customers. That’s why the retailer has a dedicated team to help you find the perfect ring and an extensive collection of bridal sets, vintage-inspired pieces, and engravable options. With their free shipping, a hassle-free ring sizing service, and 24/7 online concierge, it’s no wonder that Kay is known as “the diamond store.”