If you’re dating the love of your life and feel like you’re ready to take your relationship to the next level, then congratulations! An engagement is one of the biggest and most memorable events in any couple’s journey. And planning a marriage proposal should be a joyous and exciting process. But before you can start scouting for the perfect spot or prepare your speech, your greatest responsibility is shopping for a unique engagement ring. To do that, you’ll first have to establish how much you should and can spend on a ring, which means you’ll have to draw up a reasonable budget. This is where our 123 of budgeting for a ring will come in handy – we’ll look at who you can ask (A) for input, how to work it all out (B) and the general cost (C) of engagement rings.
Don’t be afraid to ask your engaged or married friends for some tried and tested advice. Though not everyone will be comfortable sharing details like the exact amount they spent on a ring, you’ll most likely know which individuals you can approach with such a question.
You might be surprised at how much some of your friends know about engagement ring styles and diamond cuts! Hearing their stories of how and where they started ring shopping and having a few ballpark guidelines to work with will certainly put you at ease and help make a decision on the quality of the stone you select. That said, don’t get overwhelmed with technical details - and whatever you do, don’t Google ‘who has the most expensive engagement ring in the world’. Nobody needs that kind of pressure!
Remember that the purpose of an engagement ring is to symbolize your love, passion and commitment. It’s one of the most meaningful gifts you will ever give your significant other.
In order to draw up a reasonable plan of action, you will need to consider a few style and design aspects first, as these will have a significant impact on the cost of the ring.
A lot of women prefer to wear their engagement ring as their wedding ring too. If you haven’t discussed this yet, find out whether your partner prefers one or two rings. The biggest stylistic difference between an engagement ring and a wedding band is that the latter is often just a plain band, while engagement rings tend to be more extravagant. If you’ve decided on just one ring, it means you could spend a little more now as you won’t have to stump up for a wedding band too.
This is often confused with the shape of the diamond (like a square diamond engagement ring or an oval engagement ring), but it actually refers to how well the stone has been cut and polished. The more precise the cut, the more beautiful the diamond becomes, and of course this will influence the cost too. Visit your nearest Shimansky showroom to find out more about Shimansky’s Eight Hearts Diamond, a true hearts and arrows diamond, perfect for a special engagement ring.
Speaking about shapes, though: A solitaire diamond engagement ring, for example, is often more expensive than a ring with a center stone that’s not round. That’s because round diamonds produce more waste during their cutting process.
Though most diamonds appear to be colorless, they can actually range from clear to various shades of yellow. Naturally, the closer a diamond is to colorless, the more valuable it is. The colour is graded according to a D – Z scale, with D being absolutely colorless. Natural fancy colour diamonds fall outside of this white diamond colour range and are graded according to their intensity. Pink (Blake Lively’s engagement ring is one of our favorite pink diamond rings), yellow, black or blue diamonds are extremely rare and valuable, so keep that in mind if you were perhaps considering a blue or yellow diamond engagement ring.
Almost all diamonds have tiny ‘imperfections’ called inclusions which is caused during the natural forming process deep within the earth. Most of these inclusions are however not visible to the naked eye. A diamond’s clarity is determined by the amount, size and nature of these inclusions. So, a stone with a number of large imperfections will be less radiant than one with minor inclusions. The clarity is graded from flawless (F) to included (I), and the closer it gets to F, the more valuable the diamond is. Shimansky offers flawless (F) to slightly included (SI) diamonds – book a consultation with a Shimansky expert to discuss the best choice for you and your budget.
Diamonds are weighed in carats, and the higher the carat, the more valuable the stone. Although the size of a diamond will have the biggest impact on its cost, bigger is not necessarily better. A large stone with a poor cut and clarity will look less appealing than a smaller stone with a perfect cut and exquisite radiance.
The origin of a diamond is as important as the colour, clarity and other gradings. Shimansky sources their diamonds directly from South African mines that adhere to strict ethical mining practices, and you even get an Ethical Compliance Certificate with any original diamond jewelry purchase from Shimansky. A conflict-free engagement ring will give you that extra peace of mind.
Trilogy engagement rings, for example, can be more expensive because it consists of three diamonds at its center. It is said that the three stones represent a couple’s past, present and future. If you opt for this style, your fiancée will be in good company as Jessica Simpson’s engagement ring is currently one of the most Googled three-stone rings.
Here, your options include gold, white gold, rose gold and platinum. Though white gold and platinum certainly looks similar, white gold is less expensive because it’s not as rare as platinum. Platinum is also denser, which means more of it is needed in order to make a ring. It’s also a popular choice amongst celebrities – Mariah Carey’s engagement ring is a 35-carat platinum emerald-cut engagement ring, while Gisele Bündchen and Emily Blunt also chose platinum.
Yellow gold is the purest of all the golds and boasts that rich hue for which gold is known for. 18k yellow gold is in the same price range as white gold and a little more affordable than platinum. With gold being such a timeless choice, you definitely won’t go wrong with a gold engagement ring.
Rose gold engagement rings are becoming increasingly popular and a lot of people consider it to be the most romantic metal choice due to its rosy shade. Rose gold is comprised of gold, plus copper as the alloy that gives it that beautiful soft hue.
The traditional rule of thumb is that you should spend at least two months’ gross salary on an engagement ring. So, if you earn $100 000 per year, you should try to save up around $15 000. Like with consulting friends on how much they spent, this math here should be seen as a guideline and not necessarily a goal. And anyway, how do you put a price on love?
But once you’ve got an idea, start strategizing on how you are going to make the perfect engagement ring happen. If you have a date in mind for the big day, work out how much you want to spend and consider setting up a new bank account with a monthly debit order. This way you can put aside some of your salary every month for the ring and may even have some left over for the wedding or honeymoon.
And don’t forget to speak to your family to see if you haven’t overlooked any family heirlooms that can be redesigned or reset for the dream ring. Shimansky offers a custom design service and could design something around a stone you have had in the family for years – or even something from scratch.
Armed with our handy tips on how you should plan your finances, what you should look out for and how much you should spend on an engagement ring, you’re sure to end up with both a delighted fiancée and a healthy bank balance.
Choosing an engagement ring or wedding band for your loved one is truly a rewarding experience and a journey we’re delighted to guide you on. Shimansky has a magnificent range of diamond engagement rings and engagement and wedding ring sets that will help make choosing the perfect ring an unforgettable experience. We invite you to visit your nearest Shimansky showroom or book a consultation with a Shimansky expert.