There’s a few different schools of thought about how much to spend on an engagement ring. Some people advise three months’ salary, while others recommend a more modest one month. Setting a fixed price this way was the invention of De Beers, the Diamond cartel. So what should you spend? And what should you do if you just don’t have a lot to spend at all? Find out what you can buy for less than $350 with Gemporia.
It’s often said that money can’t buy love. Well, we agree with that. Although an engagement ring is an important piece of jewelry, we really don’t think you need to be spending thousands. It isn’t clear how much is spent on engagement rings on average, but we’ve seen anywhere from $650 to $2600 quoted. We would say that you don’t need to spend anywhere near that much. In fact, some of the most unusual, quirky or vintage styled rings can be found at the lower end of the scale. So if you’re planning to propose and you’re on a budget, how can you find a cheap engagement ring that’s beautiful and will last a lifetime?
1. ABANDON GOLD AND PLATINUM
Gold and platinum are costly. The price of gold has been rising at record-breaking levels in recent years. One very easy way to keep the cost of an engagement ring down is to use Sterling Silver instead. This is ideal if your partner prefers the look of white gold or platinum – silver looks virtually identical at a fraction of the cost. If your partner prefers the look of yellow or rose gold, look into plated silver. Silver is the most reflective metal, so will be eye-catching! Silver plating may need re-plating in the future and silver needs cleaning a little more regularly than other metals, but you will still make a huge saving!
This beautiful halo engagement ring in sterling silver comes in at under $250. With an Edwardian-inspired look, this vintage ring is sure to sparkle.
2. TRY A DIAMOND DOWNGRADE
Diamonds are some of the most overpriced commodities on the planet. A heavily controlled market and over-stringent grading mean that what is actually not a very rare gemstone (after all, how many people do you know who owns one?) is given the 'appearance of rarity'. If you’re sure your S.O. would only be happy with a Diamond, try a lower grade of Diamond. By definition, the top Diamond grades look identical to the naked eye, so unless you’re planning on giving your fiancée a loupe to go with the ring, you can easily pick a lower grade, or smaller stones and save a huge amount.
We love this half eternity band as an engagement ring. Many women prefer to wear comfy rings that won’t catch on everything, particularly if they have a manual job. This ring is ideal – practical, unusual, but absolutely beautiful (and a snip at less than $200!).
3. TRY A DIFFERENT STONE
We’ve already mentioned that Diamonds aren’t that rare and are overpriced. Emeralds, Rubies and Sapphires are all rarer and, perhaps surprisingly, cheaper. Before the Second World War, only 10% of engagement rings contained Diamonds. Today, that figure is 80% or more, but we think that diversity makes the world a more beautiful place. Colored gemstones are rare, fascinating and truly unique. Perhaps the most famous engagement ring in the world is a Sapphire. The ring worn by Princess Catherine was formerly owned by the late Princess Diana and is a beautiful Ceylon Sapphire.
This Kate Middleton style engagement ring features a beautiful Sapphire in sterling silver and with classic good looks, is guaranteed not to go out of style. Fit for a princess and under $100!
4. AVOID ROUND CUT SOLITAIRES
Round Brilliant is the most popular cut for engagement gemstones. This means that they come at a premium. Many other cuts are available, from romantic heart cuts, to beautiful pear shapes, to sophisticated squares. Most of these will prove cheaper than the round alternative. Oval cuts are well known for looking larger for their weight than round cuts, so will give a bigger look.
This Zambian Emerald trilogy ring in 10K gold is simply stunning and frankly a bargain at less than $200. Three stone engagement rings are doubly romantic – the three gems are said to represent a past, present and future together: “I love you more today than I did yesterday, but not as much as I will tomorrow.”
5. DON’T BUY AN ENGAGEMENT RING
We don’t mean don’t propose! You may have seen advice on wedding blogs recommending that you don’t tell your florist and other vendors that any quotes are for a wedding. We’re going to say the same thing – don’t specifically look for an ‘engagement’ ring. These days, anything goes when it comes to engagement rings. More and more often, people are looking for rings that really represent individuality and quirkiness. Eternity bands, trilogies, clusters, floral designs, unusual gemstones and unusual cuts, nothing is off the table. You can save yourself a huge amount by looking in a store’s other ring collections and steering clear of a traditional and classical (usually Diamond) ring.
This crossover duo ring is elegant and contemporary. With stunning pear shaped Tanzanite locked in an embrace, like a pair of leaves entwining, this modern ring in solid gold comes in at under $250.
Find your engagement ring under $350 with Gemporia here.