Choosing a Wedding Ring on a Budget
Finding the perfect engagement ring on a budget is one of the biggest challenges facing people who are thinking about engagement. While rules about spending one, two, or even three months of your salary on a ring have been floating around for decades, they're often unrealistic for people trying to marry the love of their lives without breaking the bank.
Fortunately, there are several ways to keep the cost of a ring low while still getting a premium piece of jewelry. Here's what you need to know if you're going engagement ring shopping on a tight budget.
How Much Should You Expect to Spend?
On average, couples in the United States spend about $5,500 on an engagement ring. Because of the huge range of ring prices, that average is far from the complete picture. Around 25 percent of buyers spend between $1,000 and $3,000, while 11% spend $1,000 or less.
Although a higher budget will certainly give you more options, these numbers prove that you can find a good engagement ring at just about any price range. You can even find wedding rings under $500 that still fit what you’re looking for in quality and appearance.
What Factors Affect Ring Price?
If you're going engagement ring shopping on a budget, it pays to know the major factors that go into the price of a ring. Here are some factors to consider:
For a diamond, the cut, color, and clarity, as well as the stone's weight in carats, will make the biggest impact on the price. We created a handy diamond guide that gives helpful advice on the components of a perfect diamond ring that can help steer you in the right direction.
If you’re open to something non-traditional, using a center stone other than diamond can give you the size you want at a price you can more reasonably afford. If you're going engagement ring shopping on a budget, one of the best alternatives to diamond for your center stone is morganite.
Morganite is a pinkish member of the beryl gemstone family, which also includes emerald and aquamarine. While it isn't as hard as a diamond, morganite is an extremely attractive stone for engagement rings. When it comes to price, morganite is surprisingly affordable. The gemstone averages around $300 per carat, compared to about $3,250 for diamond.
Band material is also extremely important. Certain metals, particularly platinum, offer superior durability but cost more than traditional gold.
Selecting a rose gold band can also help with price, since rose gold is an alloy of gold and inexpensive copper. Coincidentally, rose gold has become one of the most popular choices when it comes to jewelry metal, making it a trendy and budget-friendly option.
The Style and Setting
Design factors can also affect the price. The setting, which is the addition of smaller stones around the center stone, can mean a more glamorous ring, but will often raise the price.
Cathedral and bezel settings can both make a small diamond look larger, allowing you to pay less. Even though they'll cost a bit to put on, you can also use small accent stones to get away with a smaller, less expensive center stone. Diamonds cut in non-round shapes tend to run a bit cheaper than the very popular round cuts.
We Can Help Find the Right Ring at the Right Price
No matter what your budget is, you can find an attractive ring that will mean the world to you and your fiance. By doing the research to choose the right stone, metal and design, you can find the perfect ring at a price you can afford.Ready to find your perfect ring? Look at our catalog of beautiful engagement rings, or contact us so we can answer any questions.