It’s proposal season! For those on the hunt for inexpensive engagement rings, here are a slew of alternatives to walking into a big box store and paying whatever they tell you it costs. An engagement ring is undoubtedly a huge purchase, but there are ways you can save a ton of money so you don’t start your marriage off broke.
Inexpensive Engagement Rings? Try free!
Student Debt Survivor started a great discussion on engagement rings a while back. In her post, KK asked if it was frugal or tacky to purchase a used ring. While I was among the few who voted tacky, I mostly did so because I was afraid of the bad juju that could come from someone else’s broken dreams. There was nothing rational behind it.
The rational argument is that a ring is a ring, whether you buy it from a store at the mall or have it passed down to you from your mom after your parents divorced. If it’s pretty and she’ll like it, there’s no logical reason to not take the free ring. You can use the extra money you didn’t spend on a ring for the wedding or honeymoon, or throw it towards a down payment for a house.
Cluster Engagement Rings
Another way you can save on engagement ring is by buying a cluster ring. Instead of one large diamond in the center, there are several smaller ones. At first glance you wouldn’t necessarily notice, and you can get a lot more bling for your buck.
If you don’t want this kind of ring, be careful. The jeweler won’t necessarily warn you that it’s a cluster ring, and rings are usually advertised with the total carat weight. For example, “1 carat weight total” could be made up of four 1/4 carat weight diamonds. When you’re looking at inexpensive engagement rings, it’s smart to ask, “Is this one a cluster ring?”
Save Oodles By Buying Online
When I was buying my husband’s ring, I came across an awesome savings hack: buy online. When you buy direct from the jeweler, you save an incredible amount of money over the prices in a physical store. I was a little wary when I did this, but it couldn’t have turned out any better. If you pursue this route, there are a couple things you’ll want to take into consideration.
The first is that you want to have a good view of the ring. If the site doesn’t provide 3D imaging, you may want to find a site that does. To check out a great example of quality 3D imaging on engagement rings, check out James Allen. If you find yourself on a site that’s providing you with images inferior to theirs, I would stay away.
Another thing to stay away from is sites that have tight return policies. You have to order the ring, have it shipped to you, and then actually look at it to make sure you like it and that it’s legit. Tight return policies don’t allow you to do this. Make sure the return policy gives you enough time to go through all of these steps. Look for at least 30 days, and free shipping on returns.
My experience buying online couldn’t have been better. Purchasing this way saved me a lot of money, and I hit none of the snags I was fearful of. The ring was legit and beautiful, and arrived in plenty of time for the big day.
Buy in Pieces
My last tip for purchasing an inexpensive engagement ring is to buy the two pieces separately; buy the diamond direct from a diamond dealer/wholesaler, and then buy the ring from the jeweler and have them set it. Some cities even have a diamond district, most notably New York City. Using this strategy, you may be better going to a local jeweler than a big box store to have it set, but both should be able to handle it.
Some online stores allow you to use this method, too, so you could save even more money by going that route, matching the diamond with the setting while benefiting from the direct-from-jeweler pricing.
What are you opinions on the ring matter? How far would you go to save? Or did you splurge?
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