If you are interested in asking your partner for their hand in marriage, selecting an engagement ring is probably on the top of your list of priorities. Selecting an engagement ring can quickly become an overwhelming experience, especially if you are strapped for cash. Here are some tips to help you pick out the perfect ring when you are on a tight budget.
Learn The Basics
Before you head out to a jeweler, learn about the different diamond types so you are more prepared when asked what you are looking for. There are four grading methods used to distinguish between different diamonds. These are often called the four "C's" and consist of the cut, the clarity, the color and the carat. If you are on a budget, you will not be buying top of the spectrum in any of these four factors. However, buying on the lower end for one of the four "C's" allows you to get higher-quality on one of the other four "C's".
For example, buying a smaller carat diamond will allow you to upgrade on the color or clarity. Buying a diamond with less clarity will allow you to buy a larger diamond. Decide which factor is most important to you and look a diamonds within the range you select for this factor.
Know When To Shop
Many jewelers will hold sales throughout the year. Take advantage of a sale to get the best possible price on an engagement ring, instead of going to the store on a whim. Look up sale information online for the jeweler you have in mind to see when sales were held in the past. Often, sales are held right before Christmas and in the days leading up to Valentine's Day, because they are holidays where engagements take place.
Stay Within Budget
Figure out how much you can comfortably afford for a ring before you start shopping. Stick with this predetermined number no matter what and take your time to find something under this price. Let salespeople know this number, and do not let them make you feel inferior because of the amount you are able to spend. If they start looking down on you because they want a larger sale, walk out of the store and move on to another. Consider looking in antique shops or jewelry stores going out of business, as they will have rings at substantially less than an established jewelry store.
Try Something Different
If your partner enjoys unique jewelry, consider selecting a stone other than a diamond. This non-traditional choice is becoming increasingly popular in engagement rings. You can still use the same type of setting and band, but have the stone swapped for an emerald, ruby or sapphire. If you want to stick with a diamond, consider getting a ring with a solitaire diamond. The carat would be all placed into the one diamond instead of a bunch of smaller ones, making the overall appearance of the stone much more impressive.
For more information about buying a ring, check out jewelers such as Rinehart Brothers Jewelers.