6 Proven Ways To Get a Beautiful Engagement Ring on a Tight Budget

Author Brianna Walsh
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Date Nov 21, 2016

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I'm sure we're not the first ones to break it to you, but beautiful engagement rings come at a price. According to our research, the national average for a diamond engagement ring costs between $4,000-$6,000, which to most people is a large amount of money to spend on one purchase. It's often the first major purchase of a young man's or woman's life.

When it comes to popping the question you might be ready, but maybe your wallet isn't. Life can get in the way. Between monthly bills, paying back student loans and other important responsibilities, it's hard to save money. You are not alone in this, but we have some great news for you. We strongly believe that you can find a beautiful ring no matter what your budget is! We help our customers find stunning engagement rings for under $3,000 each and every day, so we know a thing or two about getting the most out of a budget.

You don't have to spend the national average or that silly two-month's salary rule to get her a ring she'll LOVE. If you are looking for a way to score a killer deal, here are some great ways to get the most for your bling:

#1: Add a diamond halo to create the illusion of a larger diamond

18K White Gold Diamond Halo Engagement Ring 18K White Gold Split Shank Diamond Halo Engagement Ring

Rings Featured: Henri Daussi 18K White Gold Diamond Halo Engagement Ring ($2,850), Henri Daussi White Gold Split Shank Diamond Halo Engagement Ring ($3,100)

Is your significant other is drawn to big engagement rings? If you want to make a big splash on a small budget, consider going with a diamond halo ring. The halo ring is a setting where diamonds encircle the center stone in a collection of smaller pave diamonds. The diamonds around bring attention back to the center stone enhancing the sparkle, and no matter the size of the diamond, it will always look larger than its actual size. It's one of the best ways to get a big diamond look if your budget constricts you to buying a smaller center stone.

Diamond halos have evolved over the years, and there are now double halos and even triple halos. The more "circles" around, the center stone will continue to look bigger and bigger. Now that is something no bride to be will complain about. So no matter what your budget is, a halo ring gives you a bigger bang for your buck!

#2. Cut back on diamonds in the band and focus on the center stone

Great Ways for Buying an Engagement Ring on a Tight Budget

One way to get the most for your money? Pour all your budget into the center stone by going with a plain metal ring setting. There is also no other ring setting that draws the viewer's eyes so much to the center stone - it's a win win. If you are worrying about putting half your budget into the band and the other half into the center, you can check that worry off your list by allocating almost all of your budget on the diamond.

Ring settings with diamonds in them can start to get pricey, even going as high as $5,000+. By having no diamonds around the band you are able to go for a larger carat size center diamond or one that is of higher quality, whether that be less perfections or more white color.

Plus, many people are going for a more minimalist look in their engagement ring today including celebrities. Fun fact: Amanda Seyfriend debuted her plain setting engagement ring back in September, and who wouldn't want to follow in her footsteps?

#3. Make it more unique with gemstones

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There is a world of beautiful gemstones out there that can replace the typical diamond center stone, and they all have traditional meaning as well. Sapphires are very popular alternatives to diamonds (e.g., Kate Middleton!), and rubies and emeralds give off an instant vintage vibe. Buying a gemstone ring is a perfect way to save money as they come at a much lower cost than most diamonds.

A lot of couples are turning to gemstone rings these days not just because they are cost effective, but also because they are super trendy. Having a gemstone can actually make the ring process more meaningful. You can chose a gemstone with special significance and that will make the ring both unique and have built in meaning to you and your partner.

#4. Go for a one-of-a-kind vintage ring

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If your soon-to-be-fiance is an old soul, they may love the idea of a vintage or estate ring. These rings often tell a story, use unique gemstones and offer settings that are not always available today. When choosing a vintage ring, you might not get the same experience as creating a new custom ring, but you get the experience of having a ring that could have been previously owed by another couple in love. That type of experience is so special, you are emerging two love stories into one ring. Since the majority of these rings are pre-owned the price gets discounted, which helps if you have a tight budget. This is a great option for a bride that wants to stand out and have a one-of-a-kind piece, and not to mention it being friendly on your wallet!

Explore our extensive vintage and estate engagement ring collection >>

#5. Consider an alternative ring metal choice

SOLITAIRE DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING WITH PAVÉ TULIP DETAIL Platnium VS. SOLITAIRE DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RING WITH PAVÉ TULIP DETAIL White Gold

Rings Featured: Ritani Round Cut Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring with Pave Tulip Detail in Platinum ($4,100), Ritani Round Cut Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring with Pave Tulip Detail in White Gold ($2,890)

In the above example, you can see how these two identical engagement ring settings have a $1,210 price difference? Why is that when they look virtually identical? The metal. Platinum rings will almost always be priced higher than white gold engagement rings. If you have a tight budget, opting for a white gold setting may be a good route to save some money, but just make sure you understand the major differences between these too metals.

There are plenty of pros when it comes to platinum. It is very durable, the color won't change or fade over the years, and it gives off a beautiful white shine and silky polish. The list goes on and on with why we highly recommend platinum for your band metal, but all those great qualities come with a price. Platinum is known to be more rare than gold which makes its price more expensive.

To get the same fashionable look as platinum, white gold is the best option with fewer benefits of course. White gold still looks pretty on the finger, and best of all, it's a lot easier on your wallet. The biggest con of white gold is it is actually yellow gold coated with rhodium to attain its silvery liquid coloring; and, over time, the coating will wear away, meaning it must be re-dipped or coated every couple years or so to ensure it stays looking its brilliant white best. Over the years this can add up. But if you are coming down to the dollar amount, then white gold is the choice for you.

#6. Incorporate a family diamond

Family comes first, so its worth seeing or asking if there are any heirlooms that could work as an engagement ring for you. Not only does this option save you serious cash, but pieces with history connected with loved ones are much more meaningful. Talk to your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to see if they have anything to pass down, tell them your intentions and they will be more than happy to help. This can also be a great way for your family members to bond with not only you but the new member joining their family. Remember, incorporating a family diamond does not mean it needs to be the center featured diamond, you can find a special place to put it too.

Ready to see rings in person and find one that fits your budget? Make an appointment with any of our diamond specialists, or visit any of our five New England store locations.

Engagement Rings - Browse the Collection

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