The engagement ring is an essential part of a classic marriage proposal, because what would the big moment be without falling to your knees with a beautifully sparkling diamond ring. Today, the choice is greater than ever, which does not always make the task of finding the ideal ring for your partner easier. Our experts have put together some recommendations for you to help you choose and buy your dream ring as cheaply as possible.
Engagement ring rule 1: The taste of your partner decides
If you want to propose, you may already have a ring in mind that you particularly like. However, the ring will not be worn on your finger but by your sweetheart. Of course, your own taste also plays a role, but be sure to get to know what kind of jewellery your better half likes to wear.
In case of doubt, it always helps to look at the favourite pieces of jewellery, together with which the engagement ring will be worn later. Are they rather flashy or plain, finely crafted or striking? What material are they made of, platinum, white gold, yellow gold or rose gold? Is the design playful and elaborate or minimalist and modern? With answers to these questions, you can already narrow down the selection of engagement rings a bit and have a better overview of which rings come up.
It can also be helpful to discreetly involve the close friends or family of your partner and let them advise you on your choice. A second opinion is never wrong, especially from people who have known your future fiancée or soon-to-be fiancé forever.
Engagement ring rule 2: comparison pays off
You have found a beautiful ring at the local jeweller and would like to buy it immediately? If you spontaneously fall in love with an engagement ring, there is nothing wrong with buying it, however, you may pay more than necessary. When buying engagement rings, it almost always pays to compare offers from different retailers and manufacturers. The time invested can save you a lot of money.
Especially online, you often pay considerably less for an equivalent engagement ring, as online jewellers such as BAUNAT from Antwerp in Belgium calculate with much tighter margins than the traditional local jeweller. No large retail spaces in premium locations, less manpower required, sourcing diamonds directly from the source instead of through wholesalers and middlemen, without all of these costs you can get a high quality engagement ring for far less. Without compromising on what really counts: The quality of the jewellery and the processed diamond(s).
Engagement ring rule 3: Know your budget
An engagement ring is a piece of jewellery that you buy only once in a lifetime, and then it will grace the hand of your future wife or husband for decades to come. Be generous, but stay within your means.
From the USA comes the often quoted rule that an engagement ring should cost at least two, or better yet three net monthly salaries. There, the engagement ring is considered a status symbol. The larger the diamond, the better. In Europe, however, this view has never prevailed, at least not to the same extent. Buying a particularly cheap engagement ring of dubious quality is certainly not the way to go, but taking out a loan and saddling yourself with financial burdens is also not very advisable. After all, you’ll soon want to host your dream wedding, combined with the purchase of a beautiful pair of wedding rings.
Set a budget that you are comfortable with and still have room for other expenses. The most beautiful engagement ring is not automatically the most expensive and, for example, to renounce the subsequent honeymoon because the engagement ring a year earlier has comprehensively blown their budget is not in the spirit of the inventor.
Engagement ring rule 4: Buy the ring in time
Are you planning a lavish engagement, perhaps combined with a trip to a particularly romantic place? Wonderful! When planning, you should think about the ring in time. A last minute purchase usually becomes unnecessarily expensive, because you no longer have time for relaxed research and comparisons.
Pre-made engagement rings are delivered quickly or can be taken directly to the store. However, if you prefer to have a ring custom-made or personalized, it may take a little more time.
Buy the ring before you plan the actual marriage proposal, then you have a very central part of their proposal already prepared and can fully concentrate on the organization.
Engagement ring rule 5: Pay attention to quality
No matter what type of engagement ring you want to buy, as a layman it is not easy to assess the objective quality of a piece of jewellery, but there are two criteria you can pay attention to: The quality of the precious metal and the quality of the diamond(s) in the ring.
For precious metals, the exact proportion of pure precious metal in the alloy must always be specified. Either in thousandths or in carats. In the case of gold, for example, this ranges from inexpensive 333 gold (8 carat) with a gold content of only one third to high-quality 750 gold (18 carat), which consists of three quarters fine gold and is therefore not only more beautiful but also more durable.
In diamonds, there are four characteristics that describe the quality. The weight in carats, the colour, the clarity and the cut. In English Carat, Colour, Clarity and Cut, which is why these characteristics are also called the 4C for short. Carat describes how big and heavy a diamond is, which does not yet offer any idea as to the quality. The color ranges from D, a pure white, to Z, a strong yellow tone. The whiter a diamond is, the lower the yellow tint, the rarer and more valuable it is. The clarity shows if and to what extent the diamond has inclusions, tiny cavities and discolorations. Here, the scale ranges from flawless (FL and IF) to I1-I3 or PI1-PI3, diamonds with very strong, dark inclusions that significantly impair the optics. Last but not least, the cut, or more precisely the quality of the cut. This is independent of the shape of the diamond (e.g. round brilliant, square princess diamond) and shows how accurately the cut was made, how good the proportions are.
The best price-quality ratio for an engagement ring can be found with diamonds in colours G and H, clarity VS2 or SI1 with very good cut. These are considerably cheaper than completely perfect diamonds in D-E, FL/IF and excellent cut, but optically can only be distinguished from them by a professional with a diamond loupe. On the other hand, they are much nicer than cheap goods with a perceptible yellow tint and extensive inclusions. Premium quality, for which you still pay far less than for the ideal stone.