Next March, my husband and I will be celebrating our tenth anniversary. We talked about upgrading my wedding ring but with baby #2 joining our family in January, a new sparkler isn’t at the top of our priorities list. Maybe it’s a discussion we can have for our twentieth anniversary and that will give me more than enough time to find the perfect addition or replacement, at a great price.
Choosing a ring, be it your first one or one you purchase to celebrate a milestone, should be a thought-out process. With some patience, you or your true love can get a great deal, too.
Saying ‘I Do’ To The Ring
September is one of the most popular wedding and engagement months. For grooms-to-be or future-focused couples, ring shopping can be an intimidating experience. One common mistake is overpaying for engagement rings. If you or your honey have a particular style or cut in mind, shop around. Jeweler’s inventory is constantly changing and sales are frequent in this industry. You may get a better deal on financing if you do some comparisons of the plans offered and manage your own negotiations.
Another option for ring shopping is to look online. You avoid overhead costs associated with a traditional jeweler but buying your jewelry online also means you forego benefits such as free cleanings or easy, local resizing. If you do opt to use the web to buy a ring, double check return policies and insurance options. http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0045-buying-jewelry#online
As Unique As You Are
Forget the old rules about spending two month’s worth of salary
and traditional designs or settings. Many modern brides and grooms are choosing their jewelry based on their personal tastes. Engagement rings set with sapphires; emeralds and rubies are more popular than ever. Colored diamonds (think pink, yellow and even black or grey) are also popular and available through most major jewelers. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27371208
Some brides prefer simply metal rings in white or yellow gold. Men’s wedding bands are just as varied and can be made out of almost any material, including tungsten, wood, antler and even meteorite! A unique ring that appeals to you (and your wallet) is all the more special. https://www.etsy.com/shop/jewelrybyjohan
With non-standard colored diamonds as well as metals, be sure to ask your jeweler about the quality of the piece. For example, tungsten has become a popular option for the groom’s ring due to its cool shading and low cost. However, it cannot be buffed or resized like white gold. While it might be cheaper now, you might be stuck buying another ring later because the ring doesn’t look as good years down the road.
The same can be said about colored diamonds. Make sure to compare the costs and clarity of these with a traditional diamond. Having a canary diamond with a big inclusion can run you the same cost as a clear diamond and not be nearly as flawless.
A Family Heirloom
When a couple decides to marry, they become their own little family. However, their extended families may be a smart resource for creating a new piece of jewelry with meaningful history. Using a vintage setting from a grandmother’s ring or a gemstone from an heirloom necklace or pin isn’t only a financially clever move, it’s a touching way to unite a bright future with beloved family history http://bit.ly/1w7BbDT.
No matter what way you choose, make sure you stick to your budget and don’t be swayed by jewelers trying to “upsell” their bling. Also, keep in mind you will have to budget for that everlasting wedding band after you pop the question.
Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little one, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens