Engagement Ring Options
Engagement Ring Options
There are plenty of options available to you when considering the purchase of an engagement ring. The first way to say money on an engagement ring is perhaps the most obvious, don’t buy one. If you like the symbolism or idea of a wedding ring then not buying one isn’t really an option. Don’t worry, there are still plenty of options for saving money. One of these options include buying a cubic zirconia (CZ) ring. These are not diamonds, but rather an imitation; however, you will get almost as much “fire” (inner sparkle) from a CZ and most people can’t tell the difference. You also get more bang for the buck. CZ’s are usually around 1/10th to 1/15th the price of a diamond depending on where you buy them.
Another option is a plain band with no stones. This can be gold, silver or platinum. Platinum is the most durable of the three and has a slightly duller finish than the others, but is also the most expensive. Silver, which reflects 95% of light, is the flashiest (shiniest), and the least expensive. Gold is somewhere in the middle where prices are concerned, but has the most variety. Gold basically comes in four colors (in jewelry stores). The four basic colors are yellow gold, white gold, rose gold and green gold. The green and rose gold are usually associated with Black Hills Gold designs, but you can find it in other designs if you look hard enough. Yellow gold is the most common and the most widely available (*note – since writing this article white gold has become a common choice as well). Gold also comes in different combinations where it is mixed with another metal. There are combinations like 10 kt.(carat) which contain 10 parts gold and 14 parts of another metal, 14 kt.=14 parts gold, 14 parts another metal, and so on. The most durable of these is 10 kt. gold, and the least durable gold is 24 kt., which is pure gold. The reason is that gold is a soft metal. Therefore, pure gold is less durable than gold with added metals.
Yet another is to buy a ring with a stone in it other than a diamond. One way to do this and still have the symbolism of something special for your engagement ring is to use your birthstone. I’ve drawn a chart to help you figure out what your birthstone is:
- January: Garnet
- February: Amethyst
- March: Aquamarine
- April: Diamond
- May: Emerald
- June: Pearl
- July: Ruby
- August: Peridot
- September: Saphire
- October: Opal
- November: Citrine
- December: Turquoise
Some months also have alternative birthstones, which can be a wonderful choice if your birthstone doesn’t appeal to you. The alternative stones are as follows:
- March: Bloodstone
- April: Cubic Zirconia or White Zircon
- June: Moonstone or Alexandrite
- August: Sardonyx
- October: Tourmaline
- November: Topaz
- December: Zircon or Blue Topaz
If your birthstone doesn’t appeal to you or if the price is still prohibitive, such as is usually the case with good diamonds and good emeralds, a nice idea might be to get your partner’s birthstone in your ring. You could even say that it’s symbolic of two lives coming together as one. If you don’t like your partner’s birthstone, you always have the choice of wearing whichever stone that you like best.
Finally, here are a few more ideas regarding the engagement ring. You can find antique or older engagement rings through antique dealers, flea markets, antique shops, and if you are lucky, through a family member. I would like to point out that if you do get an antique ring from antique dealers, flea markets, etc…you need to do a few things in order to protect yourself from fraud. First and foremost, get a receipt. If they don’t want to give you a receipt, go elsewhere. On your receipt have them write down any pertinent information about the ring including approximate date, type of stone and/or type of metal. Finally have them sign and date the receipt, and if possible get their name and number on it as well. Your next step is to take the ring to a GIA certified appraiser and have it appraised. If you find out that the ring is not what it was said to be and end up having to go court, you have the receipt as proof. It’s almost always more frugal to be cautious rather than to be blind to the possibility of dishonest people.
The last option is to get wedding jewelry rather than a wedding ring. You get the same symbolism (of the un-broken circle of love) with a bracelet or necklace with no clasp.