Although a large and expensive engagement ring may be what many brides dream of, it’s not always realistic or desirable to spend a lot of money when starting off as a couple. The cost of the wedding and starting a new life together can be significant and cheap engagement rings are frequently necessary.

Just because a couple is on a tight budget doesn’t mean they can’t get a very nice engagement ring. Fortunately there are many tricks of the trade which you can utilize for big savings without sacrificing quality and beauty.

Cheap Engagement Rings: What Are the Options?

Even couples on a budget can find an excellent engagement ring without neglecting style.

Metal Choices

There are many different options for metal and a good portion of the engagement ring budget should go towards having the highest quality setting possible. Although 14K or 18K gold are the standard options, a good alternative is going down to 10K gold which can provide substantial savings. Gold plating is not recommended as it wears off, leaving a low quality look that is not desirable. As well, avoid thin bands with cheap prongs and make sure you thoroughly inspect the ring before buying. A high quality sterling silver engagement ring can look beautiful as well if the budget does not allow for gold.

Promise Rings

Promise rings are highly affordable (with many being less than $300) and offer quality and beautiful style. They can often look like engagement rings but simply on a smaller scale.

Purchasing Second Hand

Because the resale value of a diamond engagement ring is quite low, buying it from a second hand or consignment store can provide significant savings. This option enables the buyer to have a high quality ring without the retail price tag. Antique, consignment and traditional jewelry stores are good places to start. Another option is to look at Ex-Boyfriend Jewelry, online, or in your local classified ads.

Online Auctions

An interesting way to find a cheap engagement ring is through an online auction. Customers are able to see a large assortment of jewelry from across the United States and also around the world. There are generally large selections of rings with different levels of quality, and the price goes only as far as outbidding the next person. Shop only with reputable companies and obtain as many detailed pictures of the ring as possible. While most large online auction sites are excellent, beware of sellers with low or negative ratings and read the fine print to see what rights you have as a consumer.

Stones

A great way to maximize your budget is to find diamonds listed as just less than the next carat size. For example,  ask to see a 0.8 or 0.9 carat instead of a 1 carat diamond. Most people would not be able to notice the difference and the savings can be excellent. Alternately, you may want to opt for a diamond simulant or a colored gemstone as the center stone with natural diamonds on the sides.

Dress or Fashion Rings

Growing in popularity, these types of rings offer a very interesting and unique way to get cheap engagement rings but still remain big on style. If the ring has not been labeled and marketed specifically as an engagement ring, there can be  a significant difference in price. Dress or fashion rings have many different styles, colors, shapes and types of stones which appeal to many women because they are an excellent way to showcase unique femininity.

Additional Tips for Buying the Cheap Engagement Rings

To get the best ring for your money:

  • Concentrate on the highest quality setting you can afford and upgrade the diamond later on.
  • Use a family antique heirloom stone. Whether it be a diamond or a ruby, a stone set in a new setting enables the bride to add her own flair while keeping the stones in the family.
  • Think about purchasing a high quality diamond simulant as a placeholder stone until upgrading to a diamond later. New technology has created some very believable diamond alternatives with an affordable price tag.

No matter what the cost, a cheap engagement ring is still a piece of jewelry which symbolizes love, honor and commitment.

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