Online jewelers are able to offer quality engagement rings for less expense because they do not need to maintain store facilities or large numbers of employees. While you may not be able to customize the ring as much as you could with a traditional jeweler, you can find many classic, elegant designs for significantly less than many stores.
Online Purchase Risks
Purchasing an engagement ring online is risky because you cannot physically inspect the ring before you buy it. In order to protect yourself, it is important to consider the following questions.
- Is this business recognized by the Better Business Bureau, and how does it rate?
- Is the website secure to protect your privacy and the transaction?
- What are the return, warrantee, and guarantee policies for this particular vendor?
- Will this vendor offer the proper documentation, including an accurate appraisal and a certificate stating that the diamond you are purchasing has not been treated?
If you do purchase an online ring and decide it doesn’t meet your expectations, be sure to insure it properly before returning it to avoid postal loss or damage that the vendor will not cover.
Choice of Metals
Another way to cut corners for cheap engagement rings is to consider the type of metal for the ring. Platinum engagement rings are the most expensive, but you won’t be sacrificing quality or style if you stick to silver or white or yellow gold. Lower karat values are also less expensive, such as a 12- or 14-karat ring instead of an eighteen carat ring. Generally, two-tone rings and those with extensive filigree patterns or etching on the metal are also more expensive.
Choice of Stone
If you prefer a diamond engagement ring, be sure you understand the four Cs: cut, clarity, color, and carat. Judging diamond quality can be tricky because each of these factors greatly influences the price, but selecting a less-than-perfect stone does not mean it is inferior. Most diamonds are graded on elaborate scales, and dropping a grade or two can reduce the price without being immediately visible to the casual observer.
Engagement rings do not have to be diamonds, however. Many brides enjoy breaking away from the classic diamond ring, choosing instead to wear emeralds, amethyst, rubies, or other semi-precious stones. While a high quality colored gemstone may be more expensive than a low quality diamond, in general gemstones are a bit cheaper.
You may also want to consider synthetic stones. While not “real” as in formed through geology, these stones are far less expensive and just as beautiful as natural diamonds. A word of warning, however: do not try to fool your fianc? by passing off an imitation stone as real. That dishonesty and deception is not the foundation on which you want to build a life together. For many budget-conscious women, however, the ring is a symbol, and the dollar value or quality of the stone is not as important a factor in their feelings as the thought behind it and the relationship it represents.
Cheap Engagement Rings at Estate Sales
If your sweetheart is more interested in a one-of-a-kind diamond, you may be able to find the deal of a lifetime with estate engagement rings at auctions or estate sales. The problem with this, however, is you may not be able to ascertain the exact worth of the antique or vintage ring that you want to purchase.
Be sure you purchase a ring from an established and reputable dealer. If possible, inspect the ring before the auction begins, and ask to see a current appraisal. Always investigate return options as well, in case the ring does not meet your expectations if you have it appraised immediately after purchasing it.
It is possible to buy a quality engagement ring without going broke. Cheap engagement rings do not cheapen the love or relationships they represent – instead, they highlight the financial responsibility of the couple and their fiscal sense as they plan their life together. When paired with cheap wedding rings for even more savings, the couple is sure to enjoy financial freedom throughout their marriage.