How to save thousands on an engagement ring

Hey, we’re celebrating ten years of marriage! What better topic than how I got a sweet deal on my wife’s engagement ring.

You can save big bucks on an engagement ring by following these simple tips.

1. Pick the imperfect diamond

In the jewelry showroom, all of the lighting and cases have been optimized to show the inventory in the perfect settings.

You will never see your ring under these conditions again ever.

You will never use a magnifying glass to look at your diamond again ever.

What you should do is ask to take the ring outside in the sunlight and see what it looks like on your hand.

Guess what?

You won’t be able to see that tiny black spot the size of a pin head in the sunlight without a magnifying glass.

If you can save $500 (or more) by going with a lesser quality diamond and it still looks good under the sun – you’ve saved money.

2. Buy loose diamonds from Costco

You won’t find a better deal on loose diamonds than from Costco. Order online ( and have it shipped right to your door. Then you take the stone and have a jeweler design a setting for you or choose an existing setting for your loose stone.

Note: The least expensive diamond I found on Costco when doing this research was $3,000. But if that’s in your price range seriously consider Costco as an option.

3. Pick a less expensive metal

White gold and platinum look exactly the same to the naked eye. Choose whichever one will cost less. Nobody is going to know the difference, and they are both very fine choices.

4. Replace smaller diamonds with birthstones

You can buy a ring that has 5, 10, 20 or more smaller diamonds in the setting.

My wife’s ring has two large green emeralds surrounding the main diamond. She gets compliments on her ring all the time.

Instead of paying for higher priced diamonds, consider adding other precious stones to the setting instead. Don’t go crazy! You don’t want the ring to look gaudy.

5. Get a custom setting made

When I asked my wife for some ideas on what she might like for a ring she replied:

Here are some pictures, don’t ever speak of this again.

I guess I should have asked her girlfriends to figure out what type of ring she wanted.

One of the pictures was for a name-brand, high-end jewelry maker. When I went into a jewelry store, I asked to see the ring.

The price tag blew my socks off!

I went to a smaller jeweler, showed them the picture, and asked ‘do you have something like this?’.

They said no but they could make one that looks exactly like it.

The price? 1/3 the cost of the name-brand.

That’s a deal.

6. Do not shop at the mall

Chain stores located in malls have high-priced rent to pay.

Guess who pays that rent? You.

Buy jewelry at the mall and you will overpay significantly.

7. Pay with cash, and negotiate

Paying with cash will get you a better deal, especially if you shop at a small mom-and-pop jewelry store.

First, the jeweler doesn’t have to pay the 2% credit card transaction fees. They should be willing to pass that savings along to you. If they aren’t willing – leave.

Second, ask for a lower price than what you are quoted. Try this exact script:

‘I’m paying with cash, what’s the best price you can give me?’.

Simple, huh?

When I bought my engagement ring, I was a little more specific. You can try asking for a specific amount less than the quoted price and see what you get as a response. Start with a price 10% less and see what they come back with.

If you are considering a $2,000 ring, try this script:

‘I’m paying with cash, can I get this for $1,800 including tax?’

Don’t forget to say ‘including tax’. Otherwise, your price is going to be $1,800 + tax, which is a lot more than $1,800.

I guarantee you will be offered a better price.

8. Forget the three-month salary rule

The 3-month salary rule was created by some brilliant marketers in the diamond industry.

Don’t fall for it.

Buy a ring that fits your budget, not a ring that puts you in debt. Start your marriage off right financially.

If you spend one or two month’s salary on an engagement ring vs. three, you’ve immediately saved yourself thousands of dollars.

When we celebrated our first wedding anniversary, my wife inquired about a diamond upgrade at the ten-year mark. Do you know what? She’s worth it.

We saved money when we were getting started, and now we can afford the bigger rock. Pretty soon we’re going to have to hit the diamond trail and look for a deal.

I just wish I had been the one to find that 8.5 carrot diamond mentioned in the news the other day.

Follow any or all of these tips and you will get a great engagement ring while saving money. You’ll have a beautiful ring to show off for years to come.

Question: Got a tip to save money on an engagement ring? Please leave a comment on Facebook or Twitter

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