Ready to Propose? How to Save Money on an Engagement Ring
Getting engaged is one of the biggest moments of your life and if you're looking for a ring, you may wonder how to save money on an engagement ring.
If you think you’ve met the one, you’re probably wondering how to save money on an engagement ring — especially in the current economic climate. According to The Knot Jewelry & Engagement Study, the average cost of an engagement ring in 2022 was $6,000. Eek!
When it comes to purchasing an engagement ring, the old social conventions of spending three months’ salary on a ring no longer apply and your budget should be tailored to fit your current financial situation.
Luckily, you can cut costs and save money on an engagement ring in many ways.
10 ways to save money on an engagement ring
When you're on the market for a ring, you may look for ways to save money, but it's hard to know whether you've found a great deal or potentially getting scammed. Luckily, there are ways to cut costs without sacrificing the quality or beauty of a ring.
Here are 10 of our favorite ways to help you save money while shopping for an engagement ring.
1. Set a budget
Be sure to set a strict budget before you go shopping and have a number in mind that's the maximum price you'd be willing to spend on a ring. Do some research ahead of time so you have an idea of what you can get within your price range.
2. Choose a smaller carat
The cost of a diamond increases significantly along with size and there's a large price hike when you hit each full carat mark. You can save as much as 25 percent by staying right under a full carat mark by choosing a 2.99 carat versus a 3.0 carat.
3. Skip the micro-pavé
While micro-pavé — a special type of setting where tiny diamonds are set in the band — is very popular, it's also expensive and labor-intensive. Although smaller diamonds are cheaper than bigger ones, it still costs a lot more than a traditional band and could add at least $300 to the total price of the ring.
4. Avoid three-stone rings
Three-stone rings are beautiful, but since the side stones come in unique shapes, they can really add to the final price of a ring. If you stick with a solitaire, you can save anywhere between $1,500 and $5,000.
5. Bypass popular shapes
You can save money by avoiding the most popular diamond shapes like round and oval. Because they're the most in-demand designs, inventory is lower and prices continue to increase. If you choose less popular shapes, you can save at least 10 percent.
6. Consider a pre-owned ring
Secondhand rings can be slightly less expensive than brand new, and you may be able to score a unique, exquisite ring for a lot less than retail price. Whether you shop estate sales, designer resale shops, or secondhand sites, you may be able to find a literal diamond in the rough.
7. Pick a different stone
There isn't a rule that says an engagement ring needs to be a diamond. Skip the diamond and consider a colored stone like a sapphire (hello, Kate Middleton), ruby, or emerald. While they're gorgeous and unique, they can also save you a lot of money too!
8. Consider different metals
Platinum is the most expensive metal you can buy, but if you choose an alternative metal like white gold, sterling silver, or titanium, you can save money. Likewise, if she loves yellow gold, you can also save by going with 14k gold over 18k gold.
9. Reduce color and clarity
A diamond rated one step down on each of these scales can be a lot cheaper than the next rating up. Your future spouse won't be able to spot the difference and you can save about 18 percent by downgrading the color and clarity.
10. Consider a halo setting
If you're shopping for a ring on a budget, you may want to consider a halo setting. The tiny diamonds surrounding the center stone can make the diamond appear bigger, but also allows you to save on the diamond without detracting from the beauty and sparkle.