Tuesday, 27 March 2012

How to Buy Your Engagement Ring on a Budget

Have you chosen your engagement ring yet? Traditionally a man would present his future bride with an engagement ring as he proposed, but nowadays all that has changed, and most couples choose the ring together. This means it's just as much your responsibility to learn about jewellery as it is his, so get swotting! The good news is that with the right knowledge, you won't have to spend a fortune. Thanks to our fabulous new wedding jewellery expert, Savannah, you can make sure you get as much bang for your buck possible. Scroll on down for her Top 5 Tips on how to buy an engagement ring on a budget. P.S. If you've already bought your engagement ring, then a lot of these tips work for buying a wedding ring too!

{Photo Credit} We Heart Photography via Once Wed via Style Me Pretty

{Savannah1. First things first - unless you really like packaging, and have always wanted your proposal to come with a red {Cartier} or turquoise (Tiffany) box, then you shouldn't be buying from a big brand name. Boutique jewellery houses like mine {BL&T Fine Jewellery}, don't have a massive advertising budget or shops on Regent Street, so we avoid passing on those massive costs to the client. This is just one reason why our jewellery and engagement rings are much more affordable.

2. Do tonnes of window shopping before you take the plunge. This will give you an idea of what style you like, and the retail cost. Take a picture, or tear it out of a magazine, and take it along to a boutique jewellery company and ask them to make it up for you for much less. It's easier than you think - here at BL&T, we can create any design in our fantastic London-based workshop.

{Photo Credit} Stephanie Williams Photography via Once Wed via Style Me Pretty

If it's a diamond you're after, then considering compromising on certain aspects of the 4 C's to work with your budget. The 4 C's are diamond color, diamond cut, diamond clarity, and diamond carat weight. So if it's a humdinger of a rock you're after, then you should look to come down a clarity grade or two. In my opinion, with engagement rings, the colour is more important than the clarity, as no one is going to get close enough to see tiny internal flaws. They'll just see the light bouncing off your hand!

4. Think outside the box, especially if your budget is tight. There are tonnes of alternative gem stones and colours to explore – but you must know your girl first, because you don't want to be buying a red stone if she hates the colour. Sapphires come in a wide range of colours, from pink to yellow to green. Try a red spinel instead of a ruby. These fantastic and original options will turn out less costly than your classic diamonds.

5. Antique rings are a great way to buy your engagement ring on a budget, because you're not paying for the craftsmanship. However, make sure it's in good enough condition to wear every day. Look at the thickness of the hoop, as if it is very worn you will need to have it built up again. Also check the settings to make sure that the stones are set securely.

♥ Want more wedding jewellery ideas? ♥ Or how about vintage wedding ideas? ♥
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