Are you ready to pop the question but still working on a ring? There are so many questions surrounding engagement ring shopping, like “How much do I spend?” or “What style is the best?”. or even "How can I stretch my budget?". Many shoppers are intimidated by the various “rules” they’ve heard over the years and others feel like the only way to get a quality ring is to spend big money. Here at SilverAndGold.com, we’d like to offer a little guidance for all those shopping for the perfect ring for the perfect person in their life.
How Much to Spend
According to The Knot’s 2017 Read Weddings Study, the average American spends $5,764 on an engagement ring! There are several different popular traditions and “rules” about how much to spend on an engagement ring in the United States. In the 1930s, DeBeers suggested the now popular “rule” to spend one month’s salary when purchasing an engagement ring, which has remained popular, even increasing sometimes to two or three months’ salary. In fact, the United States often spends more on engagement rings than other countries. According to an April 2018 article on www.independent.co.uk, the average man in the UK spends $1,877.27 on an engagement ring, much lower than what is spent here in the US.
So what does all this mean for you? The simple answer is nothing. It is entirely up to you how much to spend. You should consider your finances and what will make both you and your partner happy, set a realistic budget and stay within it. Planning a wedding and starting married life can be stressful; don’t add to the stress by putting yourself into debt buying an engagement ring!
Where to Start
So you’ve set your budget and now you’re ready to shop! It doesn’t take long before you realize there are thousands of engagement rings out there, all in different styles and designs, with different shape and size stones, and all sorts of other factors that instantly make the entire process seem intimidating.
But don’t panic! Start with the basics. Before you begin shopping, you need to know a few things.
- What size ring do you need? Knowing the size can help narrow down your selection significantly.
- What style does your partner like? Perhaps you’ve heard little hints about how much she likes cushion cut halo rings or noticed she always wears round solitaire style rings. Or maybe you’ve discussed it and know exactly what she dreams about. Knowing the design you’re looking for is key and again, can help narrow down the selection.
- What type of stone and precious metal are you looking for? Are you looking for a classic diamond or stunning sapphire or a different stone? Yellow gold, white gold, platinum, or silver for the setting?
Take a few minutes to sit and write down the answers to the above questions. Once you have a list in front of you, your mission will become clearer and you can shop with confidence and purpose!
Engagement Ring Tips
Here are a couple of tips to help you get the best ring for your budget!
- If your partner doesn’t have a specific setting in mind, a halo or cluster setting might just be the way to go. A halo ring has a center stone with small diamonds surrounding it, and a cluster ring has small diamonds clustered together. Both styles create the illusion of a larger stone! This is a great way to save a little money while still giving the appearance of a larger diamond ring.
- Same thing goes for shape. Often fancy shapes, such as the cushion, heart, and emerald, are less expensive than the brilliant round cut. Sometimes, choosing a diamond with these shapes can help the diamond seem even larger!
- Choose a diamond or gemstone weight that is just below 1 carat. Often a 0.85 – 0.95 carat diamond is much less expensive than a 1 carat diamond, but the size difference is virtually undetectable to the naked eye!
- Many inclusions in diamonds cannot be seen without magnification, so consider an average clarity grade. No one will know your diamond has inclusions unless you decide to show them under intense magnification! The same goes for diamond colors. Often a lower color grade isn’t visible to the naked eye but is considerably less expensive, so you can save a significant amount without sacrificing the overall look of your diamond.
- Consider a gemstone in place of a diamond. Gemstones are becoming very popular in engagement rings, especially sapphires and emeralds (but don't count out other stones!). These stones create a unique look that will remain timeless and classy throughout the years.
Ready to shop? Check out our selection of Engagement Rings here!