It’s finally happened: you’ve found “the one.” You’re madly in love with someone and you’re ready to spend the rest of your life by their side. Congratulations! Sounds like it’s time to head to your local jewelry store and pick out a diamond ring…or is it?
An engagement ring is often a significant expense, but there are ways to save some money and get an incredible piece of jewelry. It all comes down to timing. Here are a few tips to help you buy your sweetheart’s ring at the best, most cost-effective time.
Once You’ve Set a Budget
There are a lot of emotions tied to an engagement ring. This little piece of jewelry represents the love you have for your partner, the commitment you’re ready to make, and the beautiful future you hope to have together. And you know what? Jewelry stores know exactly how much this ring means to you, and they’ll use that to encourage you to spend.
While everyone would love to give their partner the wedding ring of their dreams, sometimes our pesky bank account balances stand in the way. But let us make this very clear: STICK TO YOUR BUDGET! Figure out what you can afford to spend on an engagement ring and get the best ring you can find within that budget.
Remember, an engagement ring is just the first step of your life with your partner. There is a wedding to pay for, a house to buy later in life, not to mention years and years of birthday, holiday, and anniversary gifts! Spending everything you have or going into debt to get an ultra-fancy ring will only start your marriage in a place of financial stress, and no one wants that.
Once You’ve Done Your Homework
Whether you’re looking for a flawless diamond that would make Elizabeth Taylor jealous or a simple gold band with a custom engraving, it’s important that you get as much information as possible before buying an engagement ring. After all, the average engagement ring in the United States costs over $5,000. With a price tag that high, you want to get the most for your money.
Make sure you study up on the intricacies of diamond shopping. Get to know a little bit about the 4 Cs of diamond quality (that’s color, cut, carat weight, and clarity for anyone who’s unfamiliar) and the Gemological Institute of America’s cut scale. Understanding how diamonds are “graded” will help you determine which stones are best within your price range. Don’t be afraid to shop around, either. Comparing prices is the only way to know if you’re getting the best possible deal.
It’s also important that you learn about your sweetheart’s style. Remember, she (or he) is the one who will be wearing this ring for the rest of their life. They’ve got to love it! Take a peek at their other jewelry to get a feel for the pieces they like best or ask some friends and relatives to help you determine their dream ring.
During Wedding Season
The summer months (more specifically, May through September) are commonly known as “wedding season.” The reason for this name is pretty self-explanatory: countless couples choose these sunny, temperate months to tie the knot. However, this time of year is not a popular season for proposals—which is exactly why it’s the perfect time to buy a ring.
Summer is a pretty slow business season for jewelers, and they are more likely to offer discounted prices on items like engagement rings. Conversely, engagement rings are in high demand between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day (when most proposals occur), which means you are much more likely to pay full price then. Even if you want to pop the question over the holidays, buying the ring in the summer and hanging on to it can be a huge financial advantage.
With these tips, you can get the love of your life the ring they deserve—and you don’t have to go broke to do it!