The average amount Brits spend on an engagement ring has gone down by 19% over the past decade. But, it can still feel impossible to save money on an engagement ring.
Claire Beatson, General Manager of independent and ethical jewellery brand, Nightingale explains the shift in consumer attitudes, “Today, couples are making financial decisions together. With the pandemic showing how fragile the economy can be, couples are choosing to be more cautious and savvy with their money pot. Saving for a first home as well as a pension is more likely to take precedence over a ten-thousand pound engagement ring.”
Claire reveals five money-saving tips which could reduce the price of your engagement ring, without compromising on the ‘wow’ factor.
Consider a lab diamond as your centre stone
Lab grown diamonds have seen a significant surge in popularity in recent years. Despite common misconceptions, they aren't diamond imitations. They are legitimate diamonds chemically indistinguishable from diamonds extracted from mines.
Claire says: “You’ll save around thirty to fifty percent on a lab grown diamond. In addition, you will have more financial freedom to go with higher quality for the same price.”
Plan for longer term maintenance costs
Many buyers tend to overlook the fact that with such a precious piece of jewellery comes many longer term costs. For example, regular ring cleaning and stone replacements.
Claire advises: “When choosing a ring metal, it’s wise to plan for the long term maintenance costs alongside your initial budget. Platinum is the most expensive metal choice for rings, however it requires very little maintenance.
Remember, it's not all about size
Some buyers can have a tendency to fixate on the carat size of the diamond they’re buying. And whilst carat size is important, it’s not the only element that makes a beautiful diamond.
Claire says: “A higher clarity diamond sparkles more, which can help not only increase the perceived size, but also lessen the effects of a lower colour grade.”
Consider yellow gold or lower carat gold
Yellow gold has become a more popular choice recently amongst younger generations. Before, gold was seen as too blingy and almost like costume jewellery. But now, it’s adorned for its timeless and classic look.
Claire explains: “Yellow gold is generally cheaper than other metals. If you are using yellow gold you can compromise on the colour of your diamond more so than you can with other metals as there will already be an element of yellow reflection in the diamond.”
Use a non-diamond alternative like moissanite
Moissanites and diamonds share many similar qualities. However, they are two completely different materials with some small, noticeable differences.
Naturally occurring moissanite is one of the rarest minerals on earth, with only a handful of deposits being found throughout history. The knowledge to synthesise moissanite was uncovered over 100 years ago and as such, all moissanite sold today has synthetic origins, therefore making it a more eco-friendly and budget-friendly centre stone.