It is engagement season!!! With 40% of couples getting engaged between December 20th and February 14th, it is time to seek out the best engagement ring advice. It is probably the most romantic gesture you will ever make, so here are my top tips for anyone looking for an engagement ring to propose to their loved one.
How much should I spend on an engagement ring?
Traditionally it is said that you should spend the equivalent of two months’ salary on an engagement ring. What a load of twaddle!
Remember that expensive does not mean thoughtful. The person you love would never expect you to get yourself into financial difficulties because of them.
I know that this is one purchase that is really, really important to get right so how about talking to your partner and finding out exactly what kind of rings they like (not everyone loves diamonds). Then work out what you can reasonably afford – and buy the best you can within your own budget. Common sense!
How do I know what makes a good engagement ring?
The best engagement ring is the one you like the most. If you are thinking of the ring as an investment opportunity then perhaps you are not going into this marriage proposal with the right idea! However, it is important to get value for money and you don’t want to be paying too much for your engagement ring. So what makes a good diamond for example?
The “C” word is important when buying diamonds: carat, clarity, cut and colour
Price varies from country to country but as a rule of thumb, half a carat is between €2000 to €2500 depending on the other characteristics of the stone.
But here is a top tip: you can buy fractions of a carat. In fact you can save up to a fifth of the price (20%) by buying just under a whole carat or a half carat.
You don’t need a big gem stone either. The setting is even more important and can turn an average ring into a really pretty, eye-catching ring. In fact, one of my favourite rings is just a teeny, tiny diamond chip, but the setting makes it so sparkly and different that I love it!
Where is the best place to buy an engagement ring?
As long as it’s not a surprise proposal, you can have lots of fun going out onto the high street together and trying on engagement rings to get your correct finger measurement and to get an idea of what you like – then look for deals online where you can often save a third on the high-street jeweller’s prices. There are huge savings to be made on the internet particularly outside of “engagement season”
Buying a surprise engagement ring
If you are buying a surprise engagement ring, before you hand over your hard earned cash make sure that the ring size can be adjusted. It is also wise to check the retailer’s returns policy… not because your proposal will be refused, but in case your loved one doesn’t like the engagement ring you have chosen! Many jewellers have a strict no-returns policy so beware.
How to save money on an engagement ring
The ring setting does not need to be platinum, gold or even silver. There are some really beautiful artisan rings made from stainless steel for example and as the name suggests, it never tarnishes!
When it comes to diamonds, buy just under a whole or a half carat. This will save you money and no one will notice the difference!
Buying an engagement ring out of season in mid summer is more likely to get you a discount than buying between Christmas and Valentine’s Day.
Surf the internet jewellery stores for the best deals – but check out the returns policy just in case.
Finally, why not consider that ring given to you by your old aunty or left to you by your grandmother. If you don’t like the design, have it melted down and made into a style you do like!
Whatever engagement ring you choose, congratulations!
And don’t forget to let me know when you are ready to celebrate your wedding with a Celebrant-led ceremony!