When it comes to engagement rings, every man wants the best for his bride to be – and that doesn’t change when you’re shopping on a budget. With a little research, some careful planning and a willingness to shop around, you can get a dazzling diamond band that won’t cost the earth, but will still take her breath away.
The four C’s of diamond buying are carat (the weight of the stone), colour (its hue), clarity (any flaws or imperfections) and cut (the way the diamond has been crafted). However, cut tends to have the biggest impact on the appearance and quality of a diamond, because a well-cut stone can reflect light to improve colour and hide an issue with clarity. As a side note, round and princess cut diamonds tend to be the least expensive: more complex gems, like pear, marquise or asscher cuts, will cost more.
Consider her tastes
There’s no point splashing out on a massive rock if your bride to be isn’t really into bling. Look at her existing jewellery collection for the key details – does she prefer gold or silver? Sparkle or simplicity? Choosing a ring within your budget that reflects her style will require some research, so take the time to consider all of your options and choose a ring that suits your fiancée and your bank balance.
Choose your moment
It’s possible to get a great value engagement ring all year round, but many stores hold sales around popular times for proposals. From November through to early February (hitting those peak Christmas and Valentine’s Day periods), you might be able to buy a band that was previously out of your price range. Even if you don’t want to propose at that time, it makes sense to buy in advance.