Buying an engagement ring can be a nerve-wracking and confusing process. Not only are you most likely spending more on any one item that’s not a house or a car (the average couple spent close to $6,000 on an engagement ring this year) but trying to figure out the best diamond to buy for the price can make you feel like you’re in Geometry class. And you hate Math.
Whether you’re buying an engagement ring for your future spouse or are involved in the process together, you want to invest in a piece of jewelry that not only symbolizes the next chapter of your life together, but that also looks gorgeous and MIGHT make a few friends jealous. (I mean, we’re being honest here). But how do you get both without feeling like you’re going into debt as soon as you say “I Do?”
Invest in Technology
Lab-grown diamonds have been in the news since the 1950s, however it wasn’t until recently that major scientific breakthroughs have catapulted them into the spotlight (literally and figuratively). Cutting-edge technology utilized by companies such as Clean Origin are now producing lab-grown diamonds that are matching mined diamonds in cut, clarity, color, and carat, the infamous 4 C’s that diamonds are graded on. In other words, they are allowing couples to purchase the same quality diamond at a price that’s 20-40% lower than mined diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are also an ethical and eco-friendly alternative to traditional mined diamonds, of which a large percentage still come from war-torn areas in Africa.
In terms of WHY lab-grown diamonds are less expensive, it’s not necessarily what you think. Lab-grown diamonds have many of the same costs as mined diamonds, especially when it comes to cutting and processing. But because man-made diamonds skip the mining process, the prices tend to be dramatically lower for the same quality diamond because the supply chain is much shorter (and conflict-free). For instance, a 2.34 carat, D color, VS2 lab-grown diamond from Clean Origin is priced at $11,350, while an almost identical mined diamond from a very reputable retailer was priced at $20,000. That’s a huge savings.
Yes. Buying a big purchase online, especially an engagement ring, is scary. You’re not able to see it in person and you have no idea if it will even fit (though the same is true if you’re buying a ring from a jewelry store). But if you do your research and go with a trusted online retailer, more often than not you are going to end up saving money (sometimes up to 50%). When online retailers cut out the middle man, they have less overhead and more flexibility when it comes to giving you a great deal. Our tip? Go with an established company that has a generous return policy.
For instance, Clean Origin, whose founder is a third-generation jeweler, offers phone and e-mail support for any questions you might have (including sizing), in addition to a 100-day money-back guarantee. Every ring is made to order and put through an extensive inspection process, then shipped to you within 7-10 days. The package is also 100% insured, meaning you won’t have to sweat waiting for it to arrive at your home or office.
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Set a Budget
When it comes to shopping for an engagement ring, there are no rules as to how much you should spend. The “2-3 months of your salary” saying was made up by the traditional diamond industry decades ago, and should in no way factor into your decision. Once you begin looking at engagement ring prices and you get a sense for how much they cost, figure out what you’re comfortable spending and stick to it. The last thing you want to do is start your marriage with a giant credit card bill. Weddings are expensive enough!
Talk About It Together
While studies show that only 1 in 3 partners shop for rings together, it turns out most women wish they were more involved in the process. If you’re talking openly about the possibility of marriage, ask your partner if they want to be surprised by the engagement ring, or included in the process. In my case, I knew that I wanted to have some say in my engagement ring, so my now-husband coordinated with my mom and we looked at styles together that she then shared with him. Even though I essentially picked out my engagement ring, when the proposal happened it still felt like a complete surprise, and I ended up with a ring I love.
If you’re both open to talking about the process, you can determine styles and sizes so everybody is on the same page. Maybe there is an heirloom setting that your partner wants to use, in which case purchasing a loose diamond might make the most sense. Or perhaps your partner really wants a 14kt gold setting while you’re thinking platinum. This is an exciting purchase that doesn’t have to be shrouded in mystery! The more you know from your partner, the more clarity you can have when shopping for engagement rings, which will end up saving you time AND money.
And don’t worry! If you or your partner doesn’t want it to be a topic of conversation, (or you’re not up for that), no problem! Consulting with a diamond expert, like those available free of charge at Clean Origin, will help you buy an engagement ring that you can not only afford, but that you can feel 100% confident knowing your partner will fall in love with.
We’re super proud to have Clean Origin be part of the Woman Getting Married Guest List! Our Guest List is a paid sponsorship program that only features vendors we love. Visit CleanOrigin.com to shop their amazing collection of certified, lab-grown diamonds and settings.