Getting The Most From Your Engagement Ring Budget

You’ve found the one you want to spend the rest of your life with. Now, it is time for the ring. After careful consideration, you’ve decided on the amount you want to spend on an engagement ring. Once you have established a budget, take the time to explore all the engagement ring options that may be available in your price range.

There are different ways to take your engagement ring dollars further and still find a beautiful ring. Here are some simple choices you can make to maximize your engagement ring budget.

Choose Gold Over Platinum

Platinum has been the traditional metal for engagement and wedding rings for a long time – and for good reason. It’s beautiful, it's durable and it's relatively rare. It’s also expensive. You can take your engagement ring dollars further by choosing a gold ring.

Gold is available in 10K, 14K and 18K, with 14K being the most popular choice. And, unlike platinum, gold is available in a selection of colors designed to complement the diamond and the bride’s personal preference. White gold is a favorite choice for an engagement ring. Its bright white color offers the look of platinum and makes any diamond appear brighter.

Compared to platinum, white gold is an elegant and affordable engagement ring option. Yellow gold is the classic choice for an engagement ring. If your diamond has a little color to it, yellow gold makes it appear brighter.

Additionally, gold is naturally yellow, so these styles will never need replating. Rose gold is a trendier choice made from yellow gold alloyed with copper, creating a lovely blush-pink hue. Rose gold is romantic, elegant and perfect for use in a vintage-inspired ring design.

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Choose a Ring Style That Adds Sparkle

A solitaire ring style is lovely and traditional; however, it can be expensive. One affordable option for an engagement ring is a style that adds smaller diamonds into the mix. For instance:

  • A halo ring style features a frame of smaller accent diamonds that surround the center stone, making it appear larger.
  • A composite ring features a selection of smaller diamonds set close together, giving the appearance of a larger center stone.
  • Side accent diamonds or a diamond-lined twist or split shank draws the eye to the entire ring, not just the center stone. Remember that diamond prices increase with the size of the stone. Adding multiple smaller stones to the engagement ring style increases sparkle and may lower the overall cost.

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Choose a Fancy-Shaped Diamond Center Stone

More than 75% of all engagement ring purchases feature a round diamond center stone. A fancy-shaped diamond can cost 20-40% less than an ideal-cut round diamond. Look at rings with unique cuts such as cushion, oval or marquise. Aside from being uniquely shaped, these diamond cuts may just be a better fit for your fiancé(e)-to-be's personality!

Additionally, like round diamonds, fancy-shaped stones may be set in halos or composites, further maximizing your engagement ring dollars.

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Choose a Colored Gemstone Center Stone

An engagement ring is personal, sentimental and meaningful for both the giver and recipient. There are many women who would prefer a colorful gemstone over a traditional diamond engagement ring. The gemstone bridal trend continues to be popular today, and these stylish gemstones may be the reason why.

Sapphire engagement rings have been popular since Princess Diana wore one as her ring. Sapphires are hard and durable as well as available in a rainbow of colors, so they are perfect for engagement rings.

Blush-pink morganite is an up-and-coming gemstone that’s seen more and more often. This romantic colored gemstone is lovely when paired with diamonds and set in rose gold.

Exotic violet-blue tanzanite is another gemstone that’s perfect in engagement rings. A bit lighter than blue sapphire, this gemstone is both strong and elegant – especially when surrounded by a frame of accent diamonds.

Almost any gemstone can make a beautiful engagement ring. However, softer stones like opal and pearl should be avoided. They are easily scratched or injured. Does she love her birthstone? Birthstone gemstones, including ruby, emerald, aquamarine and citrine, make beautiful engagement rings and are generally affordable.

So, don’t feel that you have to purchase a diamond engagement ring. The meaning of the ring and your love are the most important things; the ring is merely a symbol. And a gemstone engagement ring is a fantastic way to extend your engagement ring dollars.

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Choose a Bridal Set

A bridal set is a beautiful and thoughtful way to both maximize your engagement ring budget and get a beautifully coordinated wedding ensemble. Instead of purchasing a diamond engagement ring and wedding band separately, a bridal set combines the two. Bridal sets range from simple and delicate styles to elaborate multi-carat designs that will truly take your partner’s breath away.

Bridal sets are a great advantage for those couples starting their lives together on a budget. Many bridal sets are available in sterling silver, which makes this choice even more affordable. However, rose, yellow and white gold styles are the traditional choice.

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Stretching Your Engagement Ring Budget

Whatever amount you decide to spend, our knowledgeable jewelry consultants can help you find the engagement ring perfect for the one you love. They will work with you to maximize your budget and help you get the most for your engagement ring dollars.

Don’t forget that you may qualify for special financing offers with the Zales Diamond Credit Card, as well! We invite you to stop by your local Zales Jewelers retail store and speak to a jewelry consultant about your engagement ring.