What’s Your Engagement Ring Budget?
How Much Should I Really Spend for an Engagement Ring?
If you are already shopping for an engagement ring, you’ve no doubt encountered the old “guideline” that recommends you invest the equivalent of two months’ salary on the cost of the ring. And it’s probably no surprise to you that the diamond and jewelry industry came up with that recommendation. Forget about that amount, because people who benefit financially from a sale, and don’t have a clue about your budget, have no business dictating the amount of your purchase. A better question is: How much can you spend on an engagement ring without going into debt or wrecking your budget?
- Can you pay for the ring with cash? Will spending the cash put you in a bind with ongoing and known future expenses?
- If you finance the ring, will your monthly payments be affordable? Is the amount of interest you’ll be charged for the loan reasonable, or will it escalate the true price of the ring so much that it will take forever to pay it off?
How much do you want to spend on an engagement ring?
- Would purchasing a cheaper engagement ring allow you and your fiance to buy a home or other things you need, or take a trip that you couldn’t otherwise afford?
- Does your fiance want an engagement ring? Some women prefer to wear a wedding band, and if she likes sparkle, a band encircled with diamonds or other gemstones could be an affordable alternative to an engagement ring.
Cheap Engagement Ring Choices
It is possible to buy an affordable engagement ring or alternative. Explore the following pages to find an option that matches your needs.
Solitaire Engagement Rings on a Budget
Inexpensive Solitaire Engagement Rings
The solitaire engagement rings illustrated on this page range in cost from $620 to $999, and diamonds are all set in 14K gold. The Princess cut diamond on the left, and round cut diamond in the center each weigh about 1/3 carat. The diamond on the right weighs in at 1/2 carat — more expensive of the three and held in place with six prongs instead of the more typical four.
Any of these rings would be easy to match with an economical wedding band.
Making Solitaire Engagement Rings More Affordable
Diamond prices increase with carat size. Look for a ring set with a stone that weights slightly less than the next even weight, such as a .8 or .9 carat instead of one carat, or a .4 carat diamond rather than a .5 carat stone. You’re the only one who’ll know the difference.
Choosing a Metal
Platinum is much harder and more durable than gold — and more expensive because of its scarcity. A 14K gold ring in white or yellow gold is more affordable than platinum and will endure constant use just fine. Monitor its prongs for wear as you would any fine ring.
Explore the Rings
The engagement rings illustrated may no longer be available, but let’s look at other rings:
- Build your own engagement ring
Make a Splash with Lots of Diamonds
Consider buying a ring designed with lots of small diamonds, since smaller gems are more plentiful (and cheaper) than large stones. Buying the same total carat weight in a single stone is nearly always more expensive than a flurry of smaller diamonds. Both of the rings on this page are priced under $650. Maybe they don’t fit your pre-conceived definition of an engagement ring, but your fiance might love to wear either one on her finger.
Multi-Stone Ring Option
Vintage rings are often designed with multiple diamonds. Explore estate sales and antique stores to see if you can find that “perfect” engagement ring. Watch for markings inside the rings that reveal the type of metal used. If possible, ask a jeweler to take a look at the ring you select to help verify that the diamonds or other gemstones in it are genuine.
Try an Affordable Eternity Ring
Diamond bands are an excellent alternative to an engagement ring and are especially good for a woman who doesn’t like the fuss of a solitaire that catches on her clothing or bumps into everything she touches. Several of the diamond eternity rings in this collection are priced under $1,000, and many are under $500. Some rings include sapphires.
Forget the Diamonds
This lovely ring has diamond accents, but it’s the large blue sapphire that takes center stage.
Synthetic sapphires may not be “natural,” but they are every bit as genuine as gemstones that came out of the earth (not to mention cheaper, and with better clarity).
Durable sapphires are popular engagement ring choices, with or without diamonds. And blue isn’t the only color choice — pink is popular, too.
More Ways to Save Money on an Engagement Ring
A Few More Tips to Help You find an Inexpensive Engagement Ring
- Local jewelry stores and department stores often have excellent sales on engagement rings.
- Do you have access to a family ring? How about a loose diamond that can be placed into a new setting? Or the reverse, a vintage setting that could accept a new diamond or other gemstones?
- Online auctions are a potential source of affordable engagement rings. Read the descriptions carefully and research each seller’s feedback before you bid.
- Consider a trip to a few pawn shops. If you or your fiance have an issue with “used” rings, remember that diamonds and other gemstones have been on this earth for eons — they’re timeless. Move an affordable gem into a new setting to freshen it up.