Yes, it’s a big investment, we’ll admit; according to industry experts, the average cost for an engagement topped the $6,000-mark last year, so it’s a considerable expense. You’ve probably heard the old rule which states that you should spend up to three month’s salary on an engagement ring. The math might make you (and your fiancé) gasp. Let’s be honest, that rule was a marketing ploy, created many years ago, to encourage higher spending, so let’s throw it out of the window from the get-go – and start from scratch.
Establish your budget
That’s based on what you can both feel comfortable spending, no matter who is footing the bill. (It’s also a great exercise for future budget discussions of all kinds!) Getting engaged is a meaningful step in your life, but your engagement ring choice does not necessarily have to be the biggest and the flashiest in the store. It’s up to you both to decide what’s important. If big and flashy is important, that’s perfectly fine. If you’re OK with paying off your ring for the next few years, that’s fine too. Bottom line is – the ring should be a meaningful expression of your love for each other and should fall within your agreed-upon budget. Period.
Establish your priorities
Is a top quality, flawless diamond a priority, or are you willing to comprise on clarity in favor of carat weight (aka size!)? You can cut back on one in favor of the other, if you so choose. Your budget will thank you! If you are in love with the traditional diamond solitaire look, as many brides are, then you can decide if you want a single large carat stone, or if the halo look – which is very much on trend these days – will be a good choice for you. A halo ring has smaller diamonds surrounding a center stone, enhancing its sparkle and visual size, so you can go with a smaller center diamond and still get the same effect. What about the band? If you’d like it to include diamonds too, it will eat up more of your overall budget. The metal you choose will also be part of the cost factor.
Useful purchase tips
Carat size a huge priority but you’re finding it too expensive? Here’s a tip. Choose a diamond which is slightly under the established carat weight. For example, a 1.80 to 1.90 carat diamond will look almost the same size as a 2.0 carat, but it will be kinder to your budget. If you are a student of the 4c’s (which we hope you are, by now!), you’ll know that diamond cut is critical to its sparkle, scintillation, and long-term value, so you probably won’t want to skimp on the cut. Better to sacrifice a little on clarity and color if you need to protect your wallet. There are many ways to save a little money here and there if affording your dream ring is a problem. It’s all about setting priorities.
Affording a diamond engagement ring is all about… well, establishing your bottom line, your budget and your priorities. It’s not about what anyone else is spending or their priorities. There’s no set-in-stone rule. It should cost what you both have decided you can afford.
The caring and expert designers and staff at Leeza Braun are able to help you pick the perfect diamond engagement ring that will bring you a lifetime of happiness. Please contact us to set up an appointment today!