Conventional wedding wisdom, dictated by the diamond industry no doubt, says that a man should spend one or two months' paychecks or more on an engagement ring to surprise his bride-to-be. In today's economy, that kind of extravagance is just not possible for many couples, especially with a wedding to fund.
It really isn't necessary to spend that much. With the Internet, we have an excellent means for comparison shopping and bargain hunting right at our fingertips, without the need to even set foot into a single chain jewelry store populated with pushy salespeople. Here are easy ways to buy wedding jewelry on a budget.
If you purchase an engagement or wedding ring from a reputable online jeweler, you may save money. Since online jewelers do not have the overhead costs necessary to run a brick-and-mortar store, they are likely to offer better deals to customers trying to save money. They also don't have salespeople persuading you to exceed your budget.
Buy in Bulk
These days, many jewelers sell coordinating trio wedding-ring sets. Such a set contains an engagement ring in addition to a man's and a woman's wedding band. Typically, all three rings coordinate with each other, saving you time and hassle in addition to money. Since these rings are manufactured, packaged, marketed and shipped together, it saves the jeweler money. You benefit from savings, too. Many companies even offer trio wedding-ring sets for less than the cost of a single diamond engagement ring.
Many women prefer an old-fashioned ring, which might be found at an antique store, a consignment store or perhaps on eBay. If you have any diamond jewelry in the family, you could also ask a jeweler to resize or redesign an existing family heirloom for less than the cost of a new ring.
Other women like the idea of new rings made from recycled gemstones and precious metals. Sometimes a recycled engagement ring can be less expensive than a ring straight from a traditional jewelry store, and it is better for the planet, too. You can save even more money if you are willing to forego the diamond in favor of another gemstone.
Buy in Clusters
If you are willing to deviate slightly from the typical diamond solitaire ring so many women wear these days, you can save significantly. Larger diamonds are more rare, so they are more expensive. Many jewelers today are appealing to the budget-minded consumer with diamond cluster rings, lovely rings crafted from real gold and diamonds, but with smaller diamonds clustered together for a visual impact similar to that of a ring with a single larger diamond.
Buy on Sale and Local
If you prefer to purchase a typical diamond in person from a jewelry store, ask your favorite local jeweler when his sales typically occur or whether a certain ring style might be discontinued any time in the near future. Christmas and Valentine's Day are both big jewelry holidays, so those are often times for good sales that will help save you some of that hard-earned cash for the wedding.