There are two pieces of jewellery that are more important than any other: your engagement ring and wedding band. These two rings are both meaningful and symbolic. They tie you and your partner together and show the world you’re connected to one another. However, engagement rings and wedding bands share another fact in common – they’re often incredibly expensive.
An engagement ring and wedding band should be durable, timeless, and beautiful. Unfortunately, to purchase these rings, you’ll need to be prepared to spend thousands of pounds. The rising costs of wedding bands is causing couples to look for ways to lower costs. Sometimes, that means many are sacrificing quality for an affordable price.
You shouldn’t have to choose between important jewellery or your finances. If you know how to shop for affordable options, you can find the engagement ring and wedding bands you’ve always dreamed of.
Whether you’re searching for something simple or more ornate rings, here’s how you can find accessible and affordable options.
Know Average Costs Before You Shop
Engagement rings and wedding bands come in so many different styles, materials, and precious stones. Every couple wants to choose rings that represent their relationship and their love, but that’s no easy task. It takes time, research, and plenty of price comparisons before you can choose the right pair for you and your love.
Plus, it’s become even more challenging to choose an engagement ring or wedding band today. Costs are rising, even though there are now more options available than ever before.
There’s an old saying that an engagement ring should cost two months’ salary. But are couples really following this advice? They might be. According to Hitachi Personal Finance, the average cost of an engagement ring in the UK is £1,483. However, the same survey found that only 24 percent of Brits expect their partner to purchase a ring that costs between £1,000 and £2,999. In fact, 50 percent of the couples surveyed actually wanted their partner to spend just £500.1
So, while £1,483 might be the average Brits spend on engagement rings, you shouldn’t feel pressured to do the same. After all, over £1,000 on a single purchase is a lot. Additionally, that price becomes even more expensive when you add the cost of wedding bands too.
How to Shop for Affordable Rings
Engagement rings and wedding bands are meant to last a lifetime. That means they’re worth taking the time to shop carefully for. It’s possible to get high-quality jewellery within your budget, but you’ll need to take the time to do your research first.
Here are a few tips you can use when you start the search for the right engagement ring and the perfect wedding bands.
Don’t Limit Yourself to Jewellery Stores
Jewellery shops are the most obvious place to shop for wedding rings. With plush carpeting, glass cases, and an array of glittering gemstones, they’re often quite inviting. Rarely, though, are jewellery stores the best or most affordable place to purchase engagement rings.
You pay a premium for choosing to shop at a jewellery store. While you might not ever think to consider their jewellery, other shops offer the same quality selections. You can often find lower prices if you shop for engagement rings and wedding bands at the following:
- Big Box Retailers: These shops offer selections of fine jewellery, including engagement rings and wedding bands. Moreover, they often have competitive pricing because they purchase their items in bulk.
- Department Stores: Department stores truly offer everything — and that includes jewellery. These retailers often have well-curated jewellery counters. Also, they offer a wider selection of styles than other retailers.
- Online Retailers: You can easily find all kinds of jewellery, including every possible type of engagement ring or wedding band, online. Just search to see thousands of online retailers offering everything from custom jewellery to lab-created engagement rings. With no overhead, this can be the most affordable option.
Consider a Family Heirloom
If your family has any heirloom jewellery put away, you may be able to eliminate the cost of an engagement ring altogether. Often, relatives will save jewellery as heirlooms that have been passed down from generation to generation. For a special moment like a marriage proposal, you may be able to use one of these heirlooms.
Even Kate Middleton received an heirloom when she became engaged. It could be the perfect, budget-friendly way to mark a new family of your very own.2
Consider More Affordable Alternatives
When you’re shopping for wedding bands, you’ll want to consider more affordable alternatives. You can customize rings in many ways, right down to the metal they’re made with. If gold and silver aren’t within your budget, ask about other options like titanium or stainless steel, or perhaps an alloy.
You can also consider alternatives to precious gemstones. While diamonds are the popular choice for engagement rings and wedding bands, you can choose a more affordable stone. Or, you can opt for a lab-grown diamond. Increasingly more shops, like Sacet, are offering these man-made diamonds that are just as beautiful yet more affordable.3
Once you’ve decided on the ring style, metal, and any gemstones you’d like, do some careful comparison shopping. Search for rings that meet your criteria, get pricing, and then compare your options from store to store or retailer to retailer.
Every jewellery shop wants to sell you a ring. After all, if you purchase an engagement ring or wedding band from them, they may have your business for many years to come.
However, you can take advantage of this to get a good deal. Utilise the competition among shops by checking prices online to see how low prices can be. You can then ask the shop if they will match the prices you find or they can offer any deals or discounts to make your purchase more affordable.