By Ashley Bailey
, Tuesday, February 17, 2009
With Valentine's Day finishing up, it's proposal season and many future grooms (or brides!) were wondering how to pop the question without blowing their bank account (especially since the average engagement rings costs $4,225).
Anja Winikka, editor at TheKnot.com, is here to show you some recession-friendly engagement ring trends-after all, you'll want to save that money for the Big Day.
• Platinum and gold are the go-to metals for wedding rings-but they come with a hefty price tag
• There are plenty of metals on the market that are still beautiful, elegant and less expensive
• Palladium is a growing trend that happens to have a similar look and feel to platinum, but can cost about 75% less
• If you're more of a traditionalist, choose white gold over platinum. White gold costs 45% less than platinum
• For the past couple of years there's been a trend towards micro-pave diamond bands, diamond halos, etc., which can all add to the overall cost of a ring
• These days, some brides-to-be are opting for a more simple, subtle and chic setting
• Diamond Solitaires are less expensive than embellished options, like three-stone diamond anniversary rings
• A simple, traditional prong setting or channel set band is also more cost-efficient than an elaborate tension or bezel setting
• Who says you have to have an engagement ring and a wedding band?
• One hot new trend is choosing a beautiful wide band with multiple rows of diamonds and making that your engagement ring and wedding band. Although the ring may cost more than a regular engagement ring, this double-duty ring can help you save more in the long run since you won't need to buy a wedding band too
- Eternal Daisy Chain 1.05 carat diamond ring in 18K white gold, $5690
- Wreath of diamonds 0.30ct diamonds in 18K gold, $4290
- This Art-deco harlequin pattern 0.50ct in diamonds in 18K gold, $4390
- Art-deco ring , 0.95ct in 18 K gold, $4,790
- 2708Y: This special design of interlocking "Circle's of Life." 0.60ct in in 18K gold, $5390
• Call it hue-love, but brides are branching out of diamonds! Colored stones like topazes, sapphires, emeralds and rubies are becoming increasingly popular
• Luckily for grooms, they can get a more impressive-sized rock for their money by choosing a gemstone instead of a diamond
• If your bride-to-be loves colored diamonds à la Heidi Klum's canary diamond then pop the question with a yellow sapphire. Or try a tourmaline if you're looking to replicate a pink diamond look.
Note: Interesting price comparison for gemstones vs. diamonds using the Emerald ring below: Of course, it's hard to compare a diamond to an emerald (like comparing apples to oranges), however A 1.59ct D IF emerald cut diamond sold on Whiteflash.com PLUS equivalent setting would be $19,500. VS. Emerald Engagement Ring - square halo diamond emerald (center stone)1.56 tcw with .79 Whiteflash A Cut Above carat total weight in diamonds that is $9,000.
Buy Shy and Save
Shop for diamonds that weigh just under certain weight thresholds. You won't even notice the difference in size• Buy a .90-carat diamond instead of a 1-carat diamond and save more than $1,000. Plus, the diameter of a 1-carat diamond is 6.5 millimeters, versus a .90-carat diamond's 6.3 millimeters.
• A 2-carat diamond will cost approx. $19,000 to $20,000+, whereas a "shy" 1.90 diamond of the same quality will cost you $15,000 to $16,000. That's at least $4,000 in savings!
Additional Money-Saving Tips
• Match Away: You'll spend half as much if you buy a matching or coordinating ring/band set, as opposed to choosing individual rings. You'll save even more if you buy a "trio" (engagement ring, and his/her band set)
• Negotiate: Many retailers dramatically inflate prices to make a higher margin-but there's always room for negotiation, so don't be afraid to go after a deal. Never settle on the sticker price unless you've shopped around and you know it's already a fair price.
For more budget-friendly engagement ideas, pick up a copy of the spring issue of The Knot Magazine of visit www.theknot.com.
Anja Winikka, editor at The Knot.com