Are you trying to decide "how much should I spend on an engagement ring" or "how much do engagement rings cost"? These are tricky question. First, engagement rings can cost any where from a nothing if you have a free family heirloom engagement ring to a multimillion dollar ring. Therefore, identifying what you can afford and what ring your fiancé wants are important first steps in shopping for the perfect ring.
In this blog I will help you learn to shop for the perfect engagement by discussing:
- How Do I Make An Engagement Ring Budget
- How Much Do Engagement Rings Cost
- How Do I Choose An Engagement Ring
- What Are The Pros and Cons of Engagement Ring Styles
- How Do I Buy A Diamond with Confidence
How Do I Make An Engagement Ring Budget
Have you heard of the One Month Rule, Two Month Rule, or the Three Month Rule? If so, don't do it because these are outdated standards that were promoted by marketing companies decades ago and they are no longer applicable! Today's couples face increasing debt from college education, rising costs of housing and transportation, and even the dreaded cell phone bill! These are all necessary evils that many young people face and need to be taken into consideration when deciding how much you can truly afford to spend on an engagement ring. Therefore, it is best to sit down and take a good look at your overall budget. How much are you taking in in income and how much are you putting out in bills. Beside monthly bills you will also want to take into account possible future expenses that you may also need to plan for such as major car repairs, replacing a car, increase in rent, buying a home, participating in a friends wedding, etc. This will give you an idea of how much income you can free up every month to save or pay off an engagement ring.
How Much Do Engagement Rings Cost
This is a very tricky questions because the answer could be anywhere from zero to millions of dollars. Perhaps you or your fiance has an heirloom ring with great sentimental value that would be the perfect engagement ring. In that case, the ring may be free, but you will want to have it freshened up by retipping prongs, adding new rhodium, giving it a fresh polish, and having any weakened or worn areas restored. On the higher end, the sky is the limit when it comes to diamonds and ring settings.
It is also important not to put too much thought into studies that tell you how much average engagement rings costs. Last year, TheKnot released their study on the cost of engagement rings and said the average 2016 engagement ring cost $6,163. However, another study, conducted at the same time, looking at the same time frame found that the average cost per engagement ring in 2016 was $3,407.
What we can learn from all this is that buying an engagement ring is a personal experience and what works one person may not work for another. Therefore, set your budget, explore what rings your fiance wants, and work with a trusted Bella's personal shopper to see how your engagement ring can become a reality.
How Do I Choose An Engagement Ring
What many people do not realize is that buying an engagement ring is two separate purchases: the diamond and the setting. You will need to set a hierarchy of what is most important and work from there. Therefore, if your main priority is a stunning diamond, you may want to shop for a simple engagement ring setting, such a solitaire, so you can dedicate the majority of your budget on the stone. Likewise, if you are shopping for a fancy halo setting, than you can buy a smaller diamond center stone and dedicate more of your budget to the setting.
Choosing an engagement ring is a balancing act. You need to have a clear budget and decide what is most important in your ring. This will make your engagement ring shopping simple and stress free.
What Are The Pros and Cons of Engagement Ring Settings
If your fiancé is hinting at a wide variety of engagement rings (Yes, hints...perhaps a Pinterest board left on open in the iPad, a magazine left bookmarked on the table, window shopping suggestions, etc.) than you need to do some light research and decide what ring will match, not only your budget but your lifestyle. Here are the most common engagement ring settings as well as their pros and cons:
Pros: Solitaire settings allows you to dedicate the majority of your budget to a beautiful diamond. Also, the styling is timeless and will never go out of style.
Cons: The focus will be on the diamond exclusively and many people feel pressured to buy a bigger diamond. Just be sure that you make sure that the color, cut, and clarity are also taken into consideration becuase they will be noticeable.
Pros: The halo of diamonds will allow you to buy a smaller diamond center stone since it will be somewhat camouflaged by the halo of diamonds surrounding it.
Cons: All those little diamonds add up, from the cost of the stones to the labor involved in perfectly setting every one of them. Therefore, expect to pay more for the setting than you would with a simple solitaire setting.
Antique/Vintage Engagement Ring
Pros: Authentic antique/vintage engagement rings are romantic, unique, and have an air of mystery and intrigue surrounding them.
Cons: In reality, true antique/vintage rings are used jewelry. They have already seen a lifetime of wear and will be highly susceptible to the damage caused by everyday wear and tear. You may want to consider a vintage style engagement ring that gives you the look and romance of an antique ring with the quality assurance of a new setting.
Pros: Diamond mountings come in a wide variety of diamond weights, styles, and settings. They range from simple settings with a few diamonds embellishments to diamond encrusted bands, and simple designs to ornate engraved mountings. There is a wide range of pricing and styling to choose from.
Cons: Extra diamonds and decorative elements means extra cost and labor in crafting these rings. It also means the more upkeep and routine maintenance that will be required to maintain the life of the ring.
Three Stone Ring
Pros: Three stone rings are symbolic representing your past, your present, and your future together. Yes, the symbolism was created by a marketing team years ago, but the meaning is beautiful...and so are the rings.
Cons: Three sizable stones mean three sizable purchases that can be difficult on a tight budget. Remember, while you can cut back on some quality, so long as a stone is eye clean, you don't want to sacrifice too much and be disappointed in your purchase.
Remember, buying an engagement ring is like a balancing act with your budget, making sure that every aspect of your ring is of the highest quality. If it all seems overwhelming, take some time to study up on the vocabulary, the 4C's of Diamonds, etc. Knowledge is power, so read up here!
How Do I Buy A Diamond with Confidence
Most importantly, when you are buying a diamond ask for certification from a respected gemological lab. At Bella's we sell GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certified diamonds because they have, and continue to be, the leader in gemological grading and education and are the most respected in the industry. If you need any more reason to trust GIA, they are the organization that created the 4C's of Diamonds which is now a world wide standard.
Contrary to popular belief, a diamond certificate has nothing to do with "conflict free" or "blood diamonds". To ensure that you are buying a stone that is conflict free the manufacturer of the ring must have a Kimberly Process statement. All Bella's jewelry is made by Kimberly Process compliant designers using only conflict free diamonds and we are happy to provide that documentation in support of the global movement.
So, what does a certificate do? It is a written guarantee that tells you exactly what you are buying including the color, carat, clarity, and cut of the diamond. For practical use when shopping online, it allows you to review a variety of diamonds with the same accuracy as if you were looking at them in hand. Upon purchase, it guarantees that the quality your were promised is the quality that you receive.
In short, always ask for a certificate.
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