If you’re a man, buying an engagement ring for the lady with whom you want to spend the rest of your life with should be a fun experience. Let’s think of it like purchasing a motorcycle, or a new surfboard, or the newest gaming console. You don’t just acquire those things by walking in the door and telling the store clerk, “Just give me whatever is cheapest.”
No, you look through several items, do test drives, calculate the cost, compare the pros and cons, and most important of all, try to figure out which item you’re most drawn to out of the bunch.
We’re humans, when given a line of similar items, something always draw our eyes to certain characteristics. When it comes to buying an engagement ring, that’s the same way you’re going to buy this ring. Buying an engagement ring is a huge step but can be fun too! We have come up with this guide to help you navigate this (maybe) new to you space!
Buying an Engagement Ring
Cost of Buying an Engagement Ring
First things first, what can you afford? Just because an engagement ring should say, “I love you and want to marry you” not “I’m going to lead us into crippling debt”. The old rule used to be that you should aim to spend between 2 and 3 months gross pay on this small treasure.
However, a better and more modern question is: What can you comfortably handle? Money is always a concern. Try to save as much cash as you can to put down a nice down payment, or, if you can manage it, enough to purchase the ring outright.
If you do decide to finance the ring, which is a fantastic option, and extremely common, make sure the monthly payments won’t bust your budget.
Payment Options for Buying an Engagement Ring
One thing to keep in mind with cost discussion – Do you and your fiancé share a bank account or do you have completely separate finances? We know if you’re shopping engagement rings then you haven’t yet proposed so there is a good chance you do have separate finances at this stage in life but no two couples have their lives set up completely the same.
You’ll need to be a little sneaky during this time if you do share a bank account and/or finances but she will definitely notice if you have large sums of money disappearing (savings) or going unaccounted for randomly!
Pro tip – If you do share a bank account, you could always have your employer set up a direct deposit for a small portion of your check to go to another account, this other/new account will be used for the ring fund and depending on the allotted amount withdrawn from your check, it might not be too notable.
Keep in mind, there is nothing wrong with going the credit card route when buying an engagement ring. You can always aim to find a card with a promotional rate, 0% apr if you’re lucky.
This new card will potentially allow you to purchase the entire price of the ring in one go, allowing you to pay it over the next 12-18 months, before the promotional period ends to save on interest charges. It also is a completely separate payment method, meaning she will likely never see what is actually being purchased on it!
Researching Engagement Rings
Next, educate yourself. We provide lots of useful information on this website that will guide you through your diamond engagement ring purchase. Understand what the Diamond 4Cs mean and how they come into play with diamond quality and diamond pricing.
Check out our Engagement Ring Cuts guide to learn about the different cuts that you will come across while shopping.
Online shopping for an engagement ring can be a great place to find an affordable ring of high quality. You can find rings up to 50% off so it’s worth a look. Reputable online jewelry store sources such as James Allen will recommend diamonds certified by GIA and AGS since those labs are an indication that you’ll be getting your money’s worth.
Also, online stores with Diamond Display Technology allows you to view the diamond with all its inclusions before buying. What’s an inclusion? That’s why we study.
Back to the 4Cs of diamonds
Cut is the most important of the 4Cs because it has the most influence on the way a diamond sparkles. The highest clarity and color grading won’t be worth much if a poor cut makes your stone appear dull.
Color refers to a diamond’s lack of color. The more colorless it appears, the higher the grade. You can save money on the color because there are some grades, like H or I, which have a tinge of yellow so light that it won’t be noticed, but it makes the diamond less expensive.
Clarity refers to the tiny imperfections all diamonds have and are referred to as inclusions. (They’re they are!) As most inclusions are microscopic they don’t affect the diamond’s appearance in any way.
Carat is the diamond’s weight, not size. Consider cut and clarity working with it in concert. You take a high carat stone with a bad cut grade and that alone can make your diamond look smaller. But take a small diamond, put your money into a good cut, and you will have a larger-looking diamond.
Carat can also help save you money via buying down just a bit. Purchasing the next carat down can save you between 20 and 30% on your ring.
Few Other Ideas When Buying an Engagement Ring
We’ve barely touched on the many other points which can make your engagement ring shopping affordable and fantastic. For example, if you take a small diamond, give it a halo setting where several tiny diamonds surround the jewel, you’ll have a sparkling piece of bling any lady would find dazzling!
There are many other things to explore including the shape of the diamond and the metal for the ring itself. You’re on a real adventure for the one you love.
Enjoy the journey! Buying an engagement ring should be a fun experience where you get to learn about something new.
Please feel free contact us with any questions you may have when engagement ring shopping. We are here to help and can help you find the perfect ring within your budget!