Are you looking for a unique way to propose to the love of your life? While diamond engagement rings are traditional, there are many reasons you may be hesitant to hit the nearest jewelry shop. Not only is it hard to know which cut, carat, color, and clarity to choose, but it’s also a significant investment. The average engagement ring cost around $6,500 in 2017, but it’s not uncommon for individuals to pay upwards of $10,000 or more. For some, it can take years to save enough money to purchase the perfect ring. Some jewelers offer financing options, but taking out a loan isn’t always a responsible decision, especially with the cost of a wedding looming in the future.
Additionally, are you 100 percent sure that your significant other actually wants a diamond engagement ring? Not everyone does, after all. Many couples opt to purchase an alternative ring or put the money toward something else. It may seem important to pop the question as a surprise, but it’s just as vital that you fully understand and honor your significant other’s wishes. The best way to do this is by openly talking with each other, even hypothetically, about your engagement preferences. If he/she wants a diamond ring, it’s best to honor this. If, however, he/she has expressed an interest in something else, work to provide it instead.
If after speaking with your future spouse and taking their opinions into account you feel a diamond engagement ring isn’t right, consider one of these great alternatives instead!
1. Another Beautiful Ring
Your engagement ring doesn’t have to be made with a diamond. There are hundreds of other options for you to consider, each of which is significantly cheaper. In fact, you could easily purchase earrings and/or a necklace to match! Some popular ring options include:
A Diamond Look-alike Ring
If your significant other wants a traditional diamond engagement ring but doesn’t want the associated price tag, choosing a ring with a lab created diamond or a gemstone that looks like a diamond (such as moissanite) may be the best bet. Depending on the quality of the lookalike, to the average person it can be almost impossible to tell what’s a real diamond and what’s not.
Gemstones also make beautiful and far less expensive engagement rings. Each is also believed to convey a specific sentiment, which can be particularly meaningful. Rose quartz, for example, is associated with gentle love, peace, and calm, while garnet is associated with passionate commitment and devotion.
Knotted rings are lovely, meaningful, and perfect for people who prefer simple jewelry. They make a great physical representation of “tying the knot” and are appropriate for both men and women.
Claddagh rings are characterized by two hands holding a heart with a crown. These features symbolize friendship, love, and loyalty. These rings have a long history of use during weddings, dating back as far as the Middle Ages. Opting for this choice is particularly fitting if one or both of you have Irish heritage.
Do you have a ring that’s been passed down in your family? Diamond or otherwise, giving an item like this to your significant other is extremely meaningful. Just make sure you have it resized as needed!
2. The Vacation of a Lifetime
If you’re looking for an alternative to giving your future spouse a ring, why not plan the vacation of a lifetime? The two of you can celebrate your engagement by taking a trip that the two of you will never forget. Tailor your location and activities to fit your personal preferences. With an average diamond engagement ring costing around $6,500, you could easily book a vacation anywhere with that same budget. Alternatively, consider putting the money toward an even more expensive honeymoon for after your wedding.
3. A Brand New Car
Another great option is to purchase your significant other a new car. Depending on the budget you set aside for your engagement ring, this could be a more expensive option. It is, however, a far more practical use of funds. An alternative may be to purchase a recreational vehicle, such as a motorcycle, four-wheeler, RV, or camper. This may be the perfect engagement gift if you’re an adventurous couple.
4. A House Down Payment
Some couples choose to put a down payment on a home rather than purchase a diamond engagement ring. This is yet another great way to invest in the future you are building together. If the two of you aren’t quite ready to become homeowners, put the money aside to use in the future. After you’re married and/or are trying to start a family, a bigger home that you own yourselves may be a necessity. Having a little bit of extra cash to help out with this endeavor is never a bad idea.