Wedding “season” is fast approaching. According to The Knot, the most popular times to get married are June, August, September and October. That means lots of people are showing off their engagement rings. It also means that plenty of unengaged women start to have a little bit of engagement ring envy. It’s easy for this to happen when your well meaning friends show off their rings. I know it definitely happened to me.
How do you justify splurging on an engagement ring when you have other debts that need to be paid first? Should you? Is it worth it to splurge on an engagement ring?
The average American spends $4,000 on an engagement ring, with another $1,000 on the bride’s band and $500 on the groom’s. Does it really have to cost this much?
I don’t think so. Still, everyone has different opinions on this one. Here are 4 ways to save on an engagement ring that cater to everyone’s price range, while staying below the national average.
See if your family has any jewelry that they would like to pass on to you.
This is the option that Tom and I chose. We were young and poor, and couldn’t justify the cost of an engagement ring. Turns out having divorced parents makes it a little easier to get rings for free. We took my mom’s engagement ring from my parent’s marriage and my step-mom’s wedding band from her first marriage.
It can’t hurt to ask (politely) if there are any old rings that you can have. Even if you don’t get a diamond, you may be able to get a great setting or wedding band.
Buy a quality setting now, but use CZ until you are ready to pay for a diamond.
You can find CZ at almost any jewelry store. Sure they will try to upsell you to a real diamond, but if you don’t have the money, don’t let them bully you. Another option is to buy a nice band and use a cheapo ring from Target or Walmart. Personally, I like to have a cheap, fake engagement ring for travel anyway. No one will know yours isn’t real if you don’t tell them.
Design your own ring.
This is currently my favorite option because you can get the best of everything. Anjolee.com is a great site for designing your own engagement ring. My favorite thing about shopping through Anjolee is the variety of prices. You can design a quality ring for as low as $615 and go as high as you want. You get to pick out every aspect of the diamond, from cut and color to carat and clarity. Personally, I’m a fan of bigger diamonds that are lower quality. I feel like that gives me the best bang for my buck. But you might like higher quality diamonds that are smaller. Hell, who are we kidding. Don’t we all want large AND high quality diamonds? Of course we do! If your budget allows, Anjolee offers that as well.
I designed this ring for only $1,173.73. This is well below the national average. You can get the same ring for less if you design it with a smaller diamond and opt for yellow gold instead.
In preparation for this post, I looked at a variety of different engagement ring design websites and Anjolee offers the best prices and options for your one of a kind ring.
Get it used.
I prefer to use the term “vintage”. Who wouldn’t love to show off an antique diamond ring?
It’s so easy to find pre-loved diamonds. Many jewelers scout out diamond rings just like this for their stores and then mark them up once they label them antiques or vintage. Save some money and do it yourself by going to a pawn shop or an estate sale.
Of course, the only downfall with this option is that you need to do your homework. Make sure you know how to identify a real diamond and brush up on all the different terms. Here is a cheat sheet to help you get started on your diamond education.