Are you thinking about popping the big question to your partner? Marriage is one of life’s greatest commitments. You’ll need to care for your partner for the rest of your lives together and work through your problems as a team.
The engagement ring is a symbol of your commitment to one another. It’s a time-honored tradition that’s the precursor to marriage, and your choice of engagement ring says plenty about how you view your relationship. Legend suggests that you spend as much as you can afford on the ring, which is usually around three-months’ salary.
Selecting the perfect ring for your partner can be both an exciting and frustrating experience. Everyone wants to get the best deal and save themselves a few hundred dollars that they can put toward the wedding costs. As a result of your frugal behavior, you run the risk of dealing with unethical individuals that might rip you off, leaving you with a worthless piece of costume jewelry.
There are so many considerations to take into account when buying your partner their ring. Do you want gold or silver, or how about platinum for the setting? Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and you’ll need to ensure the ring design has a few carats to impress your partner.
We put together this guide to help you save money when purchasing your engagement ring.
Follow these tips, and you’ll get the best piece you can afford, and you can be sure that it’s an authentic stone and setting when making your purchase.
1. Deal with a Reputable Jeweler
When you want to buy that new pair of sneakers, an online vendor is your best bet. Retail giants like Amazon, offer us the convenience of shopping at home, along with the best prices in a competitive marketplace.
If you are shopping online for a ring it’s important to do your research and only purchase from a reputable company. While it’s easy to discern between a fake pair of Jordan’s and the real article, you have no way of doing this with an online jewelry vendor.
You’ll hate yourself forever if you end up with a cheap piece of costume jewelry, instead of the $10,000 ring that was in the product description.
Therefore, it’s vital that you only shop for your partner’s engagement ring with a reputable jeweler.
To do it right, you’ll have to visit a brick-and-mortar jeweler that has rings on display. A professional jeweler can show you the differences between rings, giving you an understanding of the best stones and settings on offer to meet your budget.
After you have visited jewelry store in person and have an idea of what you would like to purchase then it’s possible to shop online for it. There are a number of online retailers which offer engagement rings and the savings can be big.
Advice from an experienced and professional jeweler can make all the difference when choosing the ideal engagement ring.
2. Clarity is the Top Concern for Diamond Shopping
In some cases, men may want to purchase a diamond and setting separately, and then have a jeweler set the stone in the ring. When selecting the perfect diamond for your partner’s engagement ring, you’ll need to pay attention to the “Four C’s.” The four Cs are; Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carats.
Every diamond receives a grading based on its representation of the four C’s. Clarity is the first factor to consider when selecting your diamond, and stones come in various gradings for this factor. A flawless diamond has the best clarity, while other stones may have minor flaws that are undetectable to the untrained eye.
Therefore, we suggest that you look to find a diamond that is “eye-clean.” Stones with this kind of clarity look fantastic in a setting, but they may have one or two flaws that are undetectable without specialized knowledge and testing equipment. Flawless diamonds cost a fortune, but eye-clean diamonds look just as good, and they retail for a substantial discount.
When shopping for the ideal eye-clean grading, we suggest you look for stones that have a VS1 or VS2 grading. As a result of making this choice, you’ll have a diamond that sparkles and looks fantastic in a setting, without the higher costs associated with diamonds that have a VVS or flawless grading.
3. Choose a White Diamond
After finding a diamond that meets your clarity requirements, the next important factor of the four C’s is color. Diamonds come in various colors, from pink to yellow, or white. White diamonds are the most popular for engagement ring settings, and you’ll need to opt for a stone that ranges between G to I on the color grading scale.
As with clarity, it’s possible to overpay for the color grading of the diamond. Fortunately, you can select something more affordable, and still get the same visual impact as a premium colored stone.
Choosing between a stone that has a color grading of G to I, and you’ll make a saving of around 20-percent compared to stone with higher color grading’s. The diamond also has almost no noticeable difference at eye-level either.
To ensure that your diamond is as white as possible, place it next to your setting and compare the color differences. If you’re going to settle on a platinum or white gold setting, then you’ll need to stick to color grading’s between G and I.
However, if you decide on a rose gold or yellow gold setting, you can get away with a stone that has a color grading between I and K. This color gradings won’t lose any visual impact when set against colored materials in the setting.
4. Go with Gold Instead of Platinum
For the last few decades, platinum is the choice of wealthy individuals looking to buy their partner an engagement ring. However, it’s surprising since this material is in less demand in the jewelry world. Platinum gets it outrageous pricing as a precious metal, from its use in the automotive industry.
Car manufacturers use platinum in catalytic converters found in the exhaust system. The platinum helps to purify the exhaust fumes, reducing the amount of air pollution coming out of the tailpipe. The auto industry accounts for almost 60-percent of demand in 2019.
However, with the introduction of electric vehicles, we expect platinum demand to fall in the coming decade, reducing its price to less than that of gold. Platinum has a sparkling silver hue, but we think gold or white gold offers you better value for your money.
A platinum setting could cost you as much as 50-percent more on your ring purchase than if you use white gold. Only jewelers will be able to tell the difference between materials, so its pointless spending the extra money on a platinum setting.
Rose gold is a popular material for a ring setting, and it’s far more affordable than platinum. Manufactures make rose gold by mixing 24-karat gold with copper. As a result, the gold turns a gorgeous rosy color that looks fantastic in an engagement ring setting.
If you are wondering about the difference between 24-karat, 18-karat and 14-karat gold is the amount of base metal smelted into the gold. 18-karat contains 75-percent gold, and 14-karat is 58.3-percent gold content. 24-karat gold is soft and malleable, and it doesn’t suit jewelry pieces. It’s easy to scratch or damage 24-karat jewelry, which is why most jewelers prefer working with 14-karat or 18-karat settings instead.
5. Choosing Your Cut and Carats
The final two, “C’s,” carat and cut are also an essential factor when choosing the right size stone for your partner’s engagement ring setting. Diamonds are available in carats and “points.” For example, you don’t have to go with a one or 2-carat stone; you could easily find a 1.2-carat stone or a .6-carat diamond with dealers.
The cut is far more critical than carat size, and the right cut can make your diamond more visually appealing. For example, a 2-carat diamond, with a very-good cut grading, might not look as visually stunning as an excellent-cut 1.2-carat diamond. However, there’s a difference of nearly $10,000 in price when selecting between the two stones.
When you’re selecting the ideal diamond for your partner’s engagement ring, it’s essential that you remain flexible with your options. Choosing the larger stone may cost you more, but it might not have the same visual impact as a smaller stone with a better cut.
6. Go with GIA or PCGS Certification for Your Diamonds
Diamonds receive a grading before dealers sell them to the public. The grading of the stone has a significant impact on the cost, and the best diamonds receive the best grading. Diamonds receive an assessment by an independent laboratory that examines the stones in comparison to the guidelines of the 4 C’s.
After completing the assessment, the lab places the stone in a case and issues a certification of the diamonds grading. The certification comes in the form of a sticker on the exterior of the case that specifies the diamond’s carat and grading.
Numerous labs are offering to grade diamonds, but only a few that have international recognition for being the benchmark for diamond quality. We recommend that you only invest your money into diamonds that have a grading by the GIA or EGL. These two grading authorities offer the best consistency for your stones, and you’ll know that they meet international grading standards for the four Cs.
Choosing diamonds from other independent testing authority may not have the same grading result as a stone examined by GIA or EGL. The Gemological Institute of America, (GIA,) offer the best grading services, and jewelers and investor recommend this grading’s as the best available in the industry.
If you decide to go with a diamond certified by one of the lesser authorities in the industry, you could end up purchasing a ringer. Grading is not consistent between companies. If you select one of the other authorities for your certification, then you could end up with a diamond that does not meet international grading standards.
7. Go with Gemstones If You Are On a Budget
If you’re on a budget, and can’t afford to buy your partner a diamond, then gemstones are an attractive alternative for your partner’s engagement ring. Gems are not cheap, and you can expect to pay a decent sum for a good looking ring.
For example, a 1.57-carat emerald set in white gold can still set you back around $6,300.
However, gems are considerably more affordable than diamonds, and stones like tanzanite, sapphire, and ruby can save you thousands of dollars on your engagement ring costs.
A 4-carat tanzanite ring set in rose gold looks spectacular, and you can expect to pay less than $4,000 for this type of arrangement.
In Closing – Put Your Savings to Good Use
By now, you should have a clear indication of what you’re looking for when you head out to the jewelry store to buy your partner’s engagement ring. Remember to shop around, and never settle on the first price a jeweler gives you for a ring.
Ask them to “sharpen their pencil,” and give you some form of a discount on the purchase. Dealers often charge markups on rings that can be upwards of 300-percent, so there’s plenty of room to negotiate.
After making your purchase, and saving a significant amount of money, put the rest of your ring budget aside for other marriage expenses. Weddings are not cheap, and your honeymoon will probably cost almost as much as your ring if you’re planning on visiting a tropical location like Tahiti.
All that’s left for you to do is pop the question to your partner. How will you give her or him the news? Will you choose to ask them to marry you in a crowded room, or will you prefer a more intimate setting? There are as many ways to ask for your partner’s hand in marriage, as there are ring designs. Choose carefully, and good luck in your new life together!