Purchasing an engagement ring can be a stressful and perplexing experience. Not only are you likely to spend more on any single item that isn't a house or a car (the average couple spent close to $6,000 on an engagement ring this year), but determining the best diamond to buy for the price can make you feel like you're in Geometry class. And you despise math.
Whether you're purchasing an engagement ring for your future spouse or are involved in the process together, you want to invest in a piece of jewelry that not only represents the next chapter of your life together, but also looks stunning and MAY make a few friends jealous. (I mean, let's be honest here.) But how do you get both without feeling obligated to go into debt the moment you say "I Do?" ”
Invest in Technology
Although lab-grown diamonds have been in the news since the 1950s, it wasn't until recently that significant scientific breakthroughs catapulted them into the spotlight (literally and figuratively). Cutting-edge technology, such as that used by Clean Origin, is now producing lab-grown diamonds that match mined diamonds in cut, clarity, color, and carat, the infamous 4 C's that diamonds are graded on. In other words, they're allowing couples to buy the same quality diamond for 20-40% less than mined diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are also a more ethical and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional mined diamonds, the majority of which still come from war-torn areas in Africa.
It's not what you think when it comes to WHY lab-grown diamonds are less expensive. Many of the costs associated with lab-grown diamonds are the same as those associated with mined diamonds, particularly when it comes to cutting and processing. However, because man-made diamonds bypass the mining process, prices for the same quality diamond tend to be significantly lower because the supply chain is much shorter (and conflict-free). For example, a 2.34 carat, D color, VS2 lab-grown diamond from Clean Origin costs $11,350, while an almost identical mined diamond from a well-known retailer costs $20,000. That's a significant savings.
Yes. Buying a large item online, especially an engagement ring, can be intimidating. You can't see it in person, and you don't know if it will even fit (though the same is true if you buy a ring from a jewelry store). However, if you do your research and choose a reputable online retailer, you will almost always end up saving money (sometimes up to 50%). When online retailers eliminate the middleman, they have lower overhead and greater flexibility in providing you with a great deal. Our advice? Choose a reputable company with a generous return policy.
Discuss It Together
While studies show that only one in every three couples shop for rings together, most women wish they were more involved in the process. If you're openly discussing marriage, ask your partner if they want to be surprised by the engagement ring or be included in the process. In my case, I knew I wanted some say in the design of my engagement ring, so my now-husband worked with my mother and we looked at styles together, which she then shared with him. Even though I had essentially chosen my engagement ring, the proposal still felt completely unexpected, and I ended up with a ring that I adore.
Make a Budget
There are no rules about how much you should spend when shopping for an engagement ring. The phrase "2-3 months of your salary" was coined by the traditional diamond industry decades ago and should have no bearing on your decision. When you start looking at engagement ring prices and get a sense of how much they cost, decide how much you're willing to spend and stick to it. You don't want to start your marriage with a massive credit card bill. Weddings are already prohibitively expensive!
If you're both open to discussing the process, you can decide on styles and sizes so that everyone is on the same page. Perhaps your partner wants to use an heirloom setting, in which case buying a loose diamond makes the most sense. Perhaps your partner prefers a 14kt gold setting while you prefer platinum. This is an exciting purchase that does not need to be hidden! The more information you have about your partner, the more clarity you will have when shopping for engagement rings, which will save you both time and money.
And don't be concerned! No problem if you or your partner do not want it to be a topic of conversation (or if you are not interested in doing so). Consulting with a diamond expert will assist you in purchasing an engagement ring that you can not only afford, but also know your partner will fall in love with.
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