Thursday, June 5, 2008

6 Ways to Save - How to Buy Wedding and Engagement Rings For Less

wedding bandsWedding and Engagement Ring. When it comes to buying an engagement ring, the two-months salary convention is a common starting point. In reality, however, the ring's cost should be what the couple can afford without going into major debt. Cost varies for a lot of reasons - especially when diamonds are involved. Carat size is just one factor. In fact, a one carat center stone can cost anywhere from $1000 to $20000. Choice of metal also affects the bottom line; there's a significant cost difference between a setting of sterling silver and one of platinum - anywhere from a few hundred to over a thousand. With that said, the average cost of an engagement ring in the U.S. is between $3,500 and $4,000. (according to About.com), while the average cost of a diamond wedding band is about $1000.

If you're on a budget - but don't want to necessarily purchase a "budget" wedding ring - these useful tips will help you get costs down without sacrificing on style.

1) Lose the Embellishments

Plain and simple always costs less. Any embellishments increase the price.

2) Forego Platinum

If you're on a budget and want a silver hue, skip platinum and opt for white gold - it costs about 45% less.

3) Just Short of a Carat

For diamonds, always buy just short of the next carat level. So if you've got your eye on a two carat stone, swap it out with a 1.8 carat. You'll save almost 20%, and the size difference is negligible.

4) Get a Set

Buy a matching or coordinating set (engagement and wedding ring) - and you can save as much as 50%. You'll save even more if you buy a three piece set (engagement ring plus his and hers wedding rings)

5) Go Local

Good at haggling? Skip the national chains and test your bargaining skills at a local jeweler. You're more likely to successfully negotiate prices at a privately owned jewelry store.

6) Upgrade Later

If you've got your heart set on a ring that's out of your budget, consider purchasing a "starter ring," and upgrade on a future anniversary.

You can find even more advice on buying a wedding ring in this complete guide.

Cori Russell is editor for Elegala.com and Gala Weddings Magazine. Elegala.com is a comprehensive wedding planning resource with a national directory of wedding venues and services, along with articles, expert advice, checklists and photo galleries to lead brides through every step of the planning process.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Cori_Russell

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