How to Find the Perfect Engagement Ring Without Breaking the Bank

by Sharon Lehew

The holidays are quickly approaching, which also means proposal season is right around the corner. It’s likely that you’ve heard the commonly-stated guideline that your budget for an engagement ring should equal two months salary; however, that’s not usually the case. Everyone’s budget is different regardless of salary, and there are many ways to score the ring of your partner’s dreams without breaking the bank.

Forget the two-months rule

The rule that mentions you must save at least two-months salary to purchase an engagement ring is a complete myth. Although this is a valuable investment, it’s imperative for you to stay friendly to your budget. Only you know what you can afford so don’t allow anyone to pressure you into spending more than you’re comfortable with.

Don’t skimp on the cut

As you ring shop, there are the four C’s in diamond shopping that you must keep in mind: cut, color, clarity and carat. As all four are important, but the cut is the most critical due to how it determines the diamond’s visual beauty. A well-cut diamond will have that intense sparkle and fire you are looking for, so make sure your decision is based on more than size alone.

Consider a non-traditional setting or shape

Brides who aren’t traditional and prefer a modern engagement ring may want something unique that speaks to their personality. Gemstones, bands with color, non-conventional shapes, etc. not only add character to a ring but can also reduce the cost compared to a traditional, diamond ring.

Don’t be afraid to downsize

Bigger is not always better in some cases. Buying a one-carat diamond is typically a standard for many couples; however, most people cannot tell the difference between a slightly smaller diamond. If you prefer a bigger look for less, explore the cluster and multi-top styles. For couples staying budget-friendly, these are both cost effective options worth considering.

Check the return policy

Whether you realize that you want to go with a different style or perhaps your partner just doesn’t love the ring, ensure that you have options. The good news is a reputable jeweler will have a return or exchange policy, so be sure you fully understand these policies before making your purchase.

About the Author

Sharon Lehew is the General Sales Manager of Robbins Brothers, The Engagement Ring Store in Scottsdale, which specializes in proprietary and designer engagement ring settings and loose diamonds. The company also carries an extensive selection of wedding bands, promise rings, anniversary bands, three-stone and stacked rings, earrings, pendants, and bracelets. To learn more about Robbins Brothers, please visit

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