An engagement ring is a major investment. The average cost of an engagement ring in the United States is $5,680 and this number is only expected to grow.
But how many among us know what we are getting for that price, or even if the engagement ring is a good deal at that price? Moreover, since about half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, what options are available for paying for an engagement ring? Here are five considerations in selecting and purchasing an engagement ring:
Engagement Rings Are Special
An engagement ring is a unique gift. Most people only hope to marry once. For marriages that see many more gifts for anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and other occasions, an engagement ring is still only given one time. Luckily, jewelry is durable; even more durable than cars and furniture, which will be replaced many times during marriage. Engagement rings are so durable that they are often passed from generation to generation. When you invest in a piece of jewelry that lasts for a long time, you want to ensure that you pick something special for your partner.
Many factors go into the value of the diamond but, unfortunately, there is no standard for pricing diamonds. In theory, the price of diamonds is dictated by market forces, with rarity determining the price. In practice, however, prices can vary widely, with some online retailers selling the same diamond engagement ring for 40-50% less than jewelry stores.
Traditionally, the factors that go into the price of a diamond are the four Cs: carat, clarity, color, and cut. Carat refers to the weight of the diamond, with larger diamonds costing more than smaller diamonds. Clarity refers to the number of imperfections or flaws that may appear inside the diamond. Color refers to whether the diamond is colorless or tinged with yellow. Cut refers to the shape and facets cut into the diamond with certain cuts reflecting more light, thereby creating a more brilliant diamond than other cuts.
The band of engagement rings can be made from many different metals. Gold, whether yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold, is the traditional option. Silver is typically less expensive than gold. However, silver can scratch and tarnish over time if it is not plated with rhodium to protect it. Platinum is a rare metal that is very hard and will retain its shine forever, making it more expensive than gold. Palladium has many of the benefits of platinum, but is more affordable than platinum in most cases. Other less common ring metals include titanium, zirconium, tungsten, and steel. Depending on your price and your partner’s preference, any number of these rings can look beautiful for years to come.
Many “rules” have grown up around how much a man should spend on an engagement ring. Interestingly, many of these rules were marketing drives designed to get people, particularly men, to spend more and more on engagement rings. Before World War II, diamond engagement rings were not even common, let alone the standard.
Within 60 years, however, 80% of engagement rings contained a diamond. The marketing drive also told men how much they should spend on an engagement ring. In the 1930s, the advertisements suggested one month’s salary; by the 1980s, the advertisements suggested two months’ salary. Financial advisers now suggest that the salary suggestions be ignored. However, with the average person spending over $5,000 on an engagement ring, they’re typically spending over one month’s salary on an engagement ring.
How to Pay
Given that the average ring costs more than one month’s salary, most prospective fiances are faced with either saving up or seeking out engagement ring financing. But love strikes at unexpected times and remembering to squirrel away money for a proposal is easily looked over by most people.
It’s far more feasible for a person to look into personal loans or lease-purchase programs. Assuming a personal loan is not possible and that the prospective fiance has poor credit, engagement ring financing may be the only option to pay for the engagement ring while rebuilding credit. No credit needed financing, such as engagement ring financing, gives a person with bad credit financing options. But this is a great option for people who like the convenience of small monthly payments instead of a lump sum option. That way the prospective groom can propose and move forward to a new and exciting stage of life without skimping on the engagement ring.
Are you interested in engagement ring financing options? Don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at Okinus to discuss your wedding options today.