How much should you spend on an engagement ring? The answer is simple. You should spend as much as you want to, and more importantly, as much as you can afford. Maybe we should we end the feature there? Nah! Because when people ask about engagement ring costs, they usually mean, “How much am I expected to spend on an engagement ring?” which is another question altogether…
Aren’t You Supposed to Spend Three Month’s Salary on an Engagement Ring?
Three months’ salary? One month’s salary? No less than €1000? There are a lot of figures and guesstimates bandied around about how much you should spend on a ring, but the truth is there’s no fixed figure or etiquette to define it. And there really is no average cost to go by, because it varies so widely. The kind of ring you’re looking for, the budget you have, and where you’re buying it, all factor into how much it costs. And while some ladies might love the idea that a ring set you back a few months’ rent, the truth is, most don’t care in the slightest how much you’ve spent on the sparkler. It’s the ring itself, and the meaning behind it that counts. And we’ve got proof!
We asked our followers on Instagram if they thought their partner should spend three months’ salary on an engagement ring. And 63% said, ‘No Way’! One follower said she’d gone halves with her partner on her engagement ring. Another said she thought one month’s salary was more common, but again, this depends on how much you earn, and what you have to spare. One follower did say she was glad her husband went for a big ring – but it’s all about knowing your other half, their tastes, and expectations. If you think a big stone or a designer name is something they’d like, there are ways to make it happen – or you can just spend a little longer saving up! Which leads us nicely on to our next point…
How To Save Money on an Engagement Ring
You should never try to be ‘cheap’ when you’re buying an engagement ring, it’s not about cutting corners or scoring a deal, but it is about getting the most bang you can, for the bucks you have. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a few tips for saving money on an engagement ring!
1. Look at the Cost Factors in an Engagement Ring
How much an engagement ring costs is largely dependent on the four Cs – that’s carat, cut, colour, and clarity. You can save money on an engagement ring by only prioritising one or two of the Cs, say getting a clear, super sparkly diamond in a smaller size, or a larger stone that doesn’t have as much clarity. A lot of brides will already know what cut (shape of the stone) they have in mind, so that tends to be a good place to start. Your choice of metal may also play some part in the price of your ring – white, yellow and rose gold tends not to vary too much, but platinum or palladium rings will be a bit pricier.
2. Use the Setting to Amp Up a Smaller Stone
If you’re looking for a statement ring but can’t afford a large diamond, clusters or halo rings (a circle of stones around the main centre stone) make a perfect alternative, amplifying a smaller stone and giving it a lot more sparkle (for a lot less expense). Likewise pavé bands, (rings with diamonds or gemstones set into the band), while an added expense, can offset a reduction in sparkle from a smaller centre stone.
3. Look to Alternative Gemstones
Diamonds might be the traditional gemstone of engagements, but unless your future spouse has their heart set on some, there’s no reason why you can’t look elsewhere! White sapphires are almost as clear as diamonds, and just as durable and precious, but cost a fraction of the price. Moissanites are super sparkly lab-created gemstones that are becoming more and more popular for engagement rings. Both of these are perfect substitutes if you’re looking for a higher carat stone. Coloured gemstones are also having quite a moment right now, with morganite, emeralds, grey diamonds, garnets and blue sapphires all perfect engagement ring-worthy jewels.
4. Shop Around
While you may find similar rings vary widely in price from jeweller to jeweller, gemstones and precious metals are commodities (like petrol) so the core price for similar quality stones shouldn’t change too much. Sometimes you’re paying for the brand name or the box the ring comes in (particularly with big international brands) but often, a renowned jeweller means sustainably-sourced, quality diamonds, that are cut to perfection by skilled craftspeople. Shopping around can certainly pay off (as does looking online or at auction houses), but wherever you buy your ring, make sure you get certification for any gemstones you purchase, as proof of both source and quality.
5. Talk To Your Jeweller
Your jeweller is an expert, so avail of their know-how while you’re with them. Yes they are salespeople, but they also really know their stuff and want you to leave as a satisfied customer. Tell them your budget, and what you have in mind, and they’ll be able to work with you to find something both gorgeous and affordable.
6. Go Custom Made
While a custom-made engagement ring can be a lot more expensive, if you’re on a fixed budget and know exactly what you’re looking for you, you might be able to source it more affordably in a bespoke ring.
7. Go Small Now, Upgrade Later
This won’t be the solution for everyone, but if you’re eager to be engaged, but can’t quite afford your dream engagement ring just yet, you can always propose with a token ring, or with a ring with a less expensive, or substituted stone, and upgrade it for something more expensive at a later date.
You can apply for an AIB personal loan today and make your dreams become a reality. Head to the AIB App or check out the online loan calculator on the AIB website for more details.
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