Monthly Archives: April 2014

  • Tips for Saving Money on Engagement Rings

    If you're thinking about tying the knot soon, you're going to have to save up a lot of money if you want to have a traditional wedding. It isn't a secret that weddings can be expensive, but some people can really underestimate just how much everything costs. The Association of Bridal Consultants did a survey about the average costs of a wedding, and your ceremony can cost you a little more than $28,000 – and that's the average!
    The vast majority of the price is made up of venue costs, catering, clothing, and other essentials, but a surprisingly large part of it can be the engagement ring. The study found that the engagement ring often costs significantly more than the actual wedding band. On average, people would spend $1,862 on the wedding bands, but $3,995 on their engagement ring. The high price is probably due to the fact that people want to make a statement, but you don't have to break the bank to propose with a beautiful and memorable ring. If you want to wow the love of your life without going into crippling debt forever, follow these tips when you look for an engagement ring.
    Look at it as a major purchase
    An engagement ring is one of the most important items you'll ever buy, but not for the reasons that most people think. You obviously want the person you're planning to marry to like the ring, but this is something that they will have for the rest of their lives. That ring is more than just a symbol of your love; it's a ring that could be passed down to your children and to your children's children. Your engagement ring will outlast any major appliance, car, or computer you'll have, so you should treat this engagement ring like any other major purchase you'd make. Do your research, don't be afraid to be very specific about what you want, and you'll be happy with what you have.
    Know your four Cs (with a focus on color)
    If you're thinking about buying a diamond engagement ring, keep the four Cs of diamond buying in mind: carat, color, clarity, and cut. Now, if you really want to save money without having to sacrifice the beauty of your ring, focus on diamonds that strike the right balance of the four Cs within your budget. Diamonds graded to a GIA standard "SI2 clarity" will be eye clean (i.e. no dark spots visible to the naked eye). Diamonds graded to a GIA standard "I color" are still in the sweet spot of near colorless, while a diamond with a "very good" cut GIA grading will still have substantial fire and brilliance. If you then work backward, you can figure out pretty quickly what size of diamond will work best for you without breaking the bank.
    While we're on the topic of diamonds, we should mention that you don't have to get the traditional big diamond to have a beautiful ring. In fact, if you really want to save money on your engagement ring you should…
    Go the non-traditional route

    If you want a statement-making ring that doesn't cost a lot of money, take a trip down the off-beat engagement ring path and find something different. Instead of spending money on one large diamond, get a ring with a few small diamonds that will look just as striking. There are many unique styles that will stand out among traditional diamond rings. If you want a non-traditional piece, look for used engagement rings. You can find a variety of previously-owned diamond rings, but there are also many that feature rubies, sapphires, and other gems as their primary stone.

  • Why You Should Consider a Used Engagement Ring

    You’ve made the decision. You’re ready (or as ready as you’ll ever be) to pop the big question. The time has come to make an investment in a beautiful engagement ring to mark the occasion and seal the deal. Some couples will decide to secure a loan in order to afford a particular ring, while others will decide that they don’t want to immediately take on debt as part of their new life together. Some of these couples will choose to look into used engagement rings.
    These rings are just as beautiful and express just as much sentiment as new rings, but often come with much smaller price tags. And, unlike other merchandise that can be bought used, diamonds are almost impervious to being chipped or scratched. So a diamond that was cut, set, and sold a hundred years ago will look just as beautiful as one that was cut yesterday. 
    Some families will keep a lovely ring or two as heirlooms to pass down to new generations. A legacy gem with this kind of history behind it is absolutely priceless, and many couples are delighted by the prospect of using a ring that already has years of experience as a symbol of lasting love between those close to them.
    If you don’t have a ring like this in your family, remember that when shopping for a pre-owned engagement ring, you won’t necessarily know why the pieces are on the market. It’s always best to take your business to a reputable vendor who will offer authenticated merchandise. How awful would it be to purchase a diamond ring from a shady merchant, only to have it appraised later and learn that the ring was misrepresented? It may not be a real diamond, or be made using a real precious metal. If you always work with vendors who authenticate their jewelry, you will always know exactly what you’re getting.
    Saving money and getting a top-quality ring for a small price are not the only reasons to choose a pre-owned ring. Used engagement rings are a better choice for the environment than new rings, since their gems have already been mined. Many women (and men) favor vintage styles over new ones, and pre-owned rings can be a great way to express that every day.
    Pre-owned rings offer many advantages, and no disadvantages. They are an ideal option when you’re choosing something as important as a symbol of love to be worn every day.

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