6 Ways to Buy a Great Engagement Ring on a Budget
Regardless of what you may have heard. You don't have to spend 3 months salary on an engagement ring, and you don't have to work a second job to afford one. We have dozens of engagement rings under $3000 in stock and have the ability to custom design a limitless number of possibilities.
We all have a budget, here are my 6 top tips for not busting yours.
Determine Your Budget Before You Get to the Jeweler (And Stick to It!)
Selecting an engagement ring is normally an emotional and exciting experience, it's easy to get caught up and spend more than you can afford.
Make sure you take some time before you get to the store to consider your finances and what makes sense for your budget. There are amazing looking engagement rings in every price range and there's no need to bust your budget.
Sticking to the budget you've set for yourself is definitely the hardest part of the equation. My recommendation is to be honest with your jeweler and be upfront about how much you have to spend and what you're looking to get.
The more information I have, the easier it will be to customize, make changes and get you the perfect ring that you can actually afford.
Select a Diamond Slightly Smaller Than the Most Popular Sizes
A diamonds price is a combination of rarity and demand. In diamond speak, we refer to certain weights as “magic numbers”. Meaning once a diamond hits a certain weight, 1ct, 2ct and 3ct in particular, you’ll see a jump in the per carat price.
The per carat price is basically the multiplier we use to determine the price of a diamond. So even though a .95ct diamond only weights slightly less than a 1.00ct diamond, it can be several hundred to one thousand dollars more expensive because of the jump in rarity, and particularly, demand.
There is a definite opportunity to save money by choosing a diamond just under these magic numbers. Look for a 2/3ct instead of a 3/4ct, a .90 instead of a 1ct or a 1.30 instead of a 1.5ct.
The best thing about this tip is there's very little to no visual difference between the two diamonds.
Consider Interest Free Financing Options and Layaway
Sometimes it's more about needing extra time to pay for a ring, than the cost of the ring itself. Using interest free financing is a great way to spread the cost of the ring out over 6 or 12 months without paying a lot of credit card interest or draining out your savings.
There are many different financing options available for all different credit scores. We’re also seeing a large trend towards alternative financing options that do not use your FICO score to determine credit eligibility. I currently have 6 different financing options available to help you regardless of your credit history, or ability to make a down payment.
If you have time between now and the proposal, you can also use layaway to spread out payments without incurring any debt. I often have customers use a combination of layaway and interest free financing as well.
There are so many potential options, just ask and we can discuss your specific situation.
Learn How to Hack the 4 C’s
Just like there are magic numbers with diamond weight, the other 3 C’s have tricks that can be used to save you money.
For clarity, SI2, SI3 or particularly an I1 rated diamond offer a tremendous value for money. Because diamonds are always graded for clarity under 10X magnification, there is sometimes a disconnect between the technical grade and what you can see with the naked eye. Most of the clients I work with are surprised at how little visible inclusion there is in an I1 graded diamond.
For some any visible inclusions are a dealbreaker, but it might be the perfect one for you and your budget.
With the color grade , D, E and F, colorless diamonds are certainly the top of the class. But there is another disconnect between the grading and the visual appearance when set, because diamonds are always color graded loose and upside-down. I see a lot of diamonds that have I or J color grades and look nice and white. They’ll never be confused with a totally colorless diamond, but considering the savings you can get, it might be a great compromise.
Choose a Ring with a Diamond Halo
In addition to being some of our most popular styles, halo diamond engagement rings are designed to compliment and enhance the size and appearance of the center diamond. Consider that a 1ct round diamond typically measures 6.5mm in diameter, and costs an average of $5000. If you were to combine a 1/2ct center diamond (which measures 5.0mm) and accent it with a 1.5mm diamond halo, you would achieve the same diameter. Since a 1/2ct diamond typically costs under $2000, you can easily save thousands of dollars with this one swap.
Halos have been popular for decades, and show no signs of slowing down. You’ll be amazed at how similar a look you can achieve by accenting the center diamond with a halo. Plus this trick works with almost any shape of diamond.
Choose an Estate Engagement Ring
Pre-Owned also know as estate rings are another great way to keep on your budget. Since these rings have been worn before, we price them 25% below what the same ring would cost brand new.
Estate is a broad category, spanning 100+ year old Edwardian or Art Deco designs, to more modern styles less than 5-10 years old. So it's possible to same money and get an incredibly unique design she’ll love.
Estate rings aren't for everyone, and you might want to discuss and make sure your girlfriend is comfortable with the idea of a pre-owned ring, but considering how much you can save it definitely makes our top 6 list.
The most important thing to remember is that we're here to help. I want to make certain that the ring you choose is perfect in everyway, and that includes you being able to actually afford it. That's how we turn first time customers into raving fans, and that's how we stay in business for 5 generations.
We're honored that Mullen Bros. Jewelers ranks #1 in overall customer ratings among all jewelry stores in Southeastern Massachusetts and we will continue to take care of our neighbors and friends, one jewel at a time.
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