About two weeks ago, I said in my Round Table post that I had some news to share. I ended up getting engaged! Yup, I decided to take the plunge. I never shopped for a diamond before, so when I first stepped into a jewelry store it was a little overwhelming. I ended up doing a lot of research online and ended up getting a great deal. Here are some tips I am passing on to anyone looking to get engaged.
Engagement Ring Buying Tips
Know What She Wants
I’m not saying to go shopping together and pick out the engagement ring then and there. But at least know what she wants. In my case, my girlfriend went out with her sister and took some pictures of rings she liked. This was great for me because the style she likes (and ended up getting) is nowhere near what I would have bought. In fact, I would have never even considered it! Remember guys, she is the one wearing it, so buy something she likes.
Have a Budget
I didn’t follow any of the old standbys of “x months’ worth of salary” for an engagement ring. I just decided on what I could afford and went from there. You will find that some jewelers will try to talk your price point up while others will work with you and tell you in order to get an engagement ring at that price point, you are going to have to sacrifice this or that.
Be Smart When Choosing a Stone
When it comes to a diamond, you always hear about the “4 C’s”, cut, color, clarity, and carat. By being smart about these, you can save a good deal on money. First off is clarity. You go from flawless (big price tag) all the way down to flawed diamonds where the imperfections are visible to the naked eye. To save money, don’t buy a flawless diamond. In fact, you can move pretty far down the line, to S1 diamonds and still have the diamond be flawless looking to the naked eye. The price you pay for a flawless or near flawless diamond is pointless, unless you plan to walk around with a jeweler’s loupe all day.
From there, we move on to color. Again, you pay more for colorless diamonds, but that colorless isn’t really detectable to the naked eye. By purchasing a diamond on the “H-J” color scale you will save money and won’t notice the hint of color.
Next, we move on to carat. The biggest tip is this: Don’t buy a carat that is a common number. This means if you want a 1 carat diamond, buy a 0.91 carat. You will not notice the difference in size and will save a ton of money. Also, if you are choosing a setting with smaller diamonds around the main stone, you can go even smaller with the diamond. The smaller stones will accentuate the diamond, making it look bigger than it actually is. Even if you aren’t going this route, pick a stone with an odd size, like mentioned above. If you are worried about the size, ask to see a 1 carat next to the stone you are looking at. When I did this, I couldn’t tell the difference in size.
There is no reason to go into debt before you even get married when buying the engagement ring, so make sure you have a budget in mind and stick to it. Be sure to shop around as well. After a few trips to various jewelers, you will get a feeling when the jeweler is being real with you and when they are just trying to get you to buy something. Lastly, use the tricks I laid out above so that you get the most bang for your buck as they say. For me, there was no point in paying more for things that no one would notice.
Readers, anyone want to come to a wedding? Hurry spots are filling up fast!!
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