I have a fun post to share with you today, from Alastair, the founder of Ringspo.com! Who doesn't love learning a little more about bling? Hope you enjoy this post and the fun stats he's gathered, as well as his expert engagement ring shopping tips! xoxo, Jessica
While most readers of The Budget Savvy Bride will have their engagement ring firmly fixed on their finger, there is a portion who are still on the hunt for their perfect piece of betrothment bling.
Engagement ring guidance website Ringspo recently conducted a survey of over 2,000 recently engaged couples in the US. In this post, we’ll share a selection of the stats and what a budget savvy bride-to-be can learn from them!
Diamonds are still the most popular center stone
While diamonds certainly aren’t the only game in town and it’s now pretty well known that their ubiquity stems from a De Beers advertising campaign in the 1940s, their hardness means that they make a beautifully practical choice for a ring that is going to be subjected to the rigors of everyday life. Plus, their sparkle and brilliance blended with hardness and resilience is a great metaphor for marriage.
Budget Savvy Tip:
A smart diamond buyer can get much more value by choosing the right combinations of the 4Cs. (Cut, Carat, Clarity and Color, for those who may not know!) Optimizing these choices ensures that you won't pay for factors which can’t be seen. My tip? Don’t go overboard on clarity – an ‘eye clean’ SI1 will look just as good as an ‘Internally Flawless’ stone unless examined under a microscope. Also, a G or H color diamond is impossible to tell from a D color, especially once set in a ring setting.
Solitaire settings are the most popular style
Solitaire settings are an excellent choice for an engagement ring – they’re beautifully simple and this simplicity keeps the cost of the ring setting down. However, it does mean that the center stone needs to do all of the impressing on its own – it doesn’t have any wingmen to add extra sparkle or size.
Budget Savvy Tips:
Choosing a setting with supporting diamonds may increase the cost of the setting itself, but it does mean that you can be smarter about the center stone, which is where the majority of the cost of most rings lie.
A halo setting means that a significantly lower carat weight center stone can be used, without losing any size or impressiveness, while a three stone ring is a nice way to take advantage of the fact that three smaller diamonds are much less expensive than one, single large one.
Average cost of engagement ring was $4,325
While the average cost of an engagement ring was $4,325, the wide range of budgets showed that there is no typical cost. The ‘mean’ average cost was dragged up by a relatively small number of super expensive rings. As with everything else when it comes to weddings, there’s definitely no ‘right amount’ to spend on an engagement ring. The ‘three month’s salary’ rule is another De Beers deception which has been thoroughly debunked.
Budget Savvy Tip:
Ignore the rules about what you “should” spend. The budget that is right for you and your partner is one that fits within your financial means. Your personal circumstances determine what is the right amount to spend on an engagement ring.
Over a quarter of ring buyers bought from the first place they visited
This one hurts! Over 25% of engagement ring buyers purchased from the first retailer that they visited. This means that they did no comparison shopping at all!
Engagement rings are complicated. It’s not unknown for some jewelers to mark up the diamonds and other precious stones way higher than they should. They often rely on the fact that buyers aren’t well informed and can be blinded by bright lights and a flashy sales pitch. Mall jewelers are amongst the worst offenders of this, with some offering diamonds for twice the price of an identical stone at a family jeweler or the price it can be found online.
Budget Savvy Tip:
Shop around. Even if you have a jeweler who you have used for years and trust, you should still shop around. It’s always worth finding a ring with similar specs to compare, ensuring that you are being offered a good value. Ringspo has a list of recommended retailers to help with your comparison. Visit the site to browse hundreds of thousands of rings and stones available to find your perfect match!
The overwhelming majority of recipients loved their ring
Probably my favorite statistic from the survey is that an overwhelming majority of recipients loved their ring. Some of the replies to this question shared that while the ring they received maybe wasn’t the style, stone, or size they would've chosen for themselves, they still loved their ring. Many emphasized the importance of the thought that was put into choosing it, who it came from and what it represented as reasons they loved their engagement ring.
Buying an engagement ring can be challenging. Many people feel obligated to adhere to societal expectations or ‘traditions’, but this doesn’t have to be the case. If you want to get the most beautiful ring for your budget, my overwhelming advice is to do your research. Make an effort to learn as much as possible before making a decision. Compare prices, look outside the usual avenues and, above all, choose the ring that is right for you!
If you've yet to buy your bling, I hope these engagement ring shopping tips are helpful to you!