How to Get the Best Deal Possible on an Engagement Ring

Not everybody has the means to spend a ton of money on an engagement ring. With all the expenses that come with a wedding, saving on an engagement ring is essential if you don’t want to break the bank. Fortunately, there are many ways you can save on engagement rings if you know how to go about it. Here are a few tips on how to get the best deal possible on an engagement ring – none of them involving checking out potential scammers on Craigslist.

Understand Expectations

Diamond sellers created the myth that you have to give someone a ring worth three months of your salary. The engagement ring was originally used to signal that the woman was promised to be married to someone and act as a type of dower. However, the cost of the average ring and similar gifts were closer to one month’s income by the man, more to demonstrate his ability to provide for her than a down payment on the woman herself.

Understand your partner’s expectations before you buy the engagement ring. If your partner would be offended if you spent less than three months of pay, you may want to save up longer for the ring, or you need to have a serious discussion with your partner about your financial situation. You may need to negotiate the cost of the ring against the cost of the wedding itself or the money you’ll have leftover for setting up a household. If your partner would be happy simply to receive a more affordable wedding ring, your next consideration is the size, style and type that your partner would like that still fits your budget. However, you should not set your jewelry budget based on the expectations of future in-laws or cultural norms set by companies that want you to spend as much as possible.

Buy the Right Size

Carat weight and diamond size are critical thresholds when determining the price of the ring. So, buy the diamond that is just under a full carat to save money while having a gem large enough to be appreciated by all. A 1.95 carat diamond is much cheaper than the 2 carat diamond, but only the experts in the jewelry shop will know the difference.

Buying non-traditional shapes will also save you money. Jewelers charge more for perfectly round diamonds and square diamonds, whereas ovals and other shapes cost less. So, you could save quite a bit of money if you buy an oval or rectangular gem.

You also want to make sure you buy the right size of engagement ring, since you may have to pay for the ring to be resized if it isn’t the right size for your intended.

As far as the size of the stone goes, you’d be better off going for a smaller stone with a higher quality cut than a bigger stone with a poor cut. As a matter of fact, a smaller diamond with a better cut will actually appear bigger than a poorly cut bigger diamond. The cut of the diamond is what gives it much of its shine, so out of the four c’s (cut, clarity, color and carat) cut is the one factor you should never skimp on.

Shop for the Ring at the Right Place

We’re not going to recommend that you go shopping for an engagement ring at a pawn shop unless you have a good friend who is also a jeweler. Instead, shop at off brand jewelers. For example, Costco offers good quality jewelry for a fraction of the price you’d pay at Tiffany Company or Jared’s Jewelers. Likewise, avoid name-brand jewelry. You’ll pay hundreds to thousands of dollars more for a jewelry brand that plays enough commercials to have brand recognition, and frankly, most people seeing the ring will be more impressed by the appearance of the ring or the fact she finally received one than the maker of it.

You should also consider online retailers when buying an engagement ring. While many people may be wary of online retailers, most have very safe payment options and their reputation is easily verifiable. Also, while a big brand diamond retailer might buy a piece for $1000 and resell it for double the price, an online retailer may sell the same piece for $1300.

However, if you’re willing to buy a pre-owned piece of jewelry like a ring sold to the jeweler by someone going through a divorce, you’ll save a significant amount of money on the ring. There are websites that promise to link willing buyers with eager sellers, but this requires more than a little research on your part before you try to order an engagement ring online.

Buy at the Right Time

You’ll pay more for engagement and wedding rings if you are buying them in the spring. June through August is wedding season, but engagement rings cost more between January and March because so many people propose around Valentine’s Day or as a run-up to the June wedding rush. Summer is actually a good time to buy an engagement ring since it is slow for jewelers. Conversely, buying a ring at the end of December lets you save even more money because jewelers want to reduce their taxable inventory and make quota before the end of the year.

Buy in Bulk

In the case of engagement rings, bulk means buying your wedding rings at the same time as the engagement ring. You can save a lot of money on diamond eternity rings if you buy matching rings for him and her, where she’ll add a gold ring on her wedding day and he’ll wear the matching diamond band. Or you could buy a set of interlocking engagement-wedding rings for her so that she can wear the engagement ring now, while the wedding ring will be added to it on her wedding day.

Buy a Non-Traditional Engagement Ring

One way to save on the cost of your engagement ring is to buy a lab-created diamond. These gems have excellent quality and a lower cost than natural diamonds, and no one but a professional with the right equipment can tell the difference. Or you can consider gems other than diamonds for use in the engagement ring. If you’re a traditionalist on a budget, buy an engagement ring with a centrally placed diamond surrounded by complimentary, lower cost stones. For example, an Asian couple could buy an engagement ring featuring both diamond and jade.

If you are on a tight budget, stones similar to diamonds, but not actually diamonds are an option; jewelers call these “diamond-esque”. If you are afraid of being criticized for not giving her real diamonds on her engagement ring, select a ring with an array of very small stones set in a beautiful pattern.

Some people will be satisfied with the gesture, especially if they know you’re on a small budget. You could also buy a diamond equivalent piece for the engagement ring and go for a real or synthetic diamond for the wedding ring. There are many options on the market that offer the same level of brilliance as real diamonds, but are cheap. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that these options aren’t always as durable as real diamonds and it’s really easy to get scammed, so tread lightly.

Accepting gems with lower color and clarity will help you save money on the engagement ring. You can mitigate this issue by choosing a ring with a stunning clear white diamond surrounded by more affordable gems. Or you could decide to go for other gemstones such as white sapphire, for instance.

Pick the Right Metal

Don’t go with the modern trend to give someone an engagement ring made of trendy (and costly) platinum. And skip the white gold rings that may not retain their value. Instead, give a traditional gold ring. Yellow gold has a long track record of retained value, and it will still be appreciated by your great-grandchildren. If cost is a major consideration, ask about diamond eternity rings made from 14K gold instead of 18K gold.

Another option to look into is rose gold. Rose gold is rising in popularity at the moment because of its high durability and lower price compared to traditional gold. Rose gold rings are also much more distinctive and will give you a wider range of gem arrangements to choose from.


If you follow the tips in this article, you should be able to cut the price you’ll pay for your engagement ring significantly. Select more affordable diamonds to save on the cost of the ring, whether smaller, less clear or less desirable cuts. If you are going to buy other rings, buy them at the same time as the engagement ring. Buy the engagement ring in the summer or winter, not the spring. Lab made diamonds or gems other than diamonds are a less expensive option. Select the right type of metal. Skip the name brand rings, and find gems right below the threshold for the next price bracket to save the most money.

About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

Catch me on G+.

Speak Your Mind