If you’re hoping to propose, you might be worried that you can’t afford the kind of engagement ring you want. After all, this is a special moment and your girlfriend is a special person, so it makes sense that you want to get her a great engagement ring.
The good news is that you can buy a great ring on nearly any budget. While a lot of amazing rings are quite expensive, you don’t necessarily have to break the bank in order to afford a beautiful ring.
Here are some tips for setting your budget and for finding a great engagement ring to match it.
Setting your Budget
You’ve likely heard that you should spend two (or maybe three) months’ salary on an engagement ring. That is a ballpark measurement and not something that is firm and final. Everyone has a different financial situation and you need to keep this in mind when you’re creating your budget. If you have the money to spend, and you want to spend it, that’s fine. But you shouldn’t be hurting your overall financial situation to buy a ring.
You’ll want to set your budget before you start looking at rings. This will help you narrow down the selection and prevent you from spending time looking at rings that you can’t afford or aren’t interested in.
Choose a Great Cut
If you’re on a budget, you may have to sacrifice some of the 4 Cs in order to fit a ring in your price range. This is understandable. However, when you’re looking at rings, you’ll want to make sure that you prioritize the cut of the diamond.
The cut is a defining factor of the diamond’s sparkle and has the biggest impact on the appearance of the stone. A well-cut stone will look much more brilliant than a stone with a worse cut, even if that stone has a better clarity and color.
You will want to focus on getting the best cut that you can afford.
About Color and Clarity
Color obviously refers to the color of a diamond. The least amount of color is preferable, but also rarer and costlier. Color is graded by letter, starting with D at the high end and going all the way to Z. D is fully colorless, but most people cannot tell the difference between diamond graded between D and G, so you might be able to save some money buying a diamond that is nearly colorless rather than completely colorless.
When it comes to clarity, it’s important to note that nearly all diamonds contain small imperfections, but that some of them are only visible under magnification. While not technically flawless, diamonds that are free of imperfections that can be seen by the naked eye are less costly than those that are flawless.
A diamond with very slight inclusions (VS1 or VS2) will still look beautiful to the naked eye and will be less expensive than one that is graded as very very slight inclusions (VVS1 or VVS2), internally flawless (IF), or flawless (F).
A heavier diamond will have a higher carat weight and will be more expensive. Carat weights that are round numbers (for example 1 carat or 2 carats) are often more expensive that those that are just shy of perfect weights. For example, a stone that is .97 carats will be less expensive than one that is 1 carat, but you won’t be able to notice the difference with the naked eye.
Buying Diamonds Online
You can often save money on an engagement ring by buying your engagement ring online. However, before you do this, you’ll want to do some research. Just like you wouldn’t buy a diamond ring from anyone on the street, you won’t want to buy one from anyone on the internet.
Trust experienced online jewelers who have a good reputation and positive reviews on Google and other review websites. Find out more tips for buying diamonds online and the biggest diamond stores in Canada in our post on the subject. By doing your research, you can find the right online jeweler for you and likely save some money on your ring.