Every man wants to sweep his bride-to-be off her feet with the perfect ring. But, if you’ve only got a limited budget to work with, then finding ‘the one’ can be quite intimidating. And, given that the average cost of a wedding is at an all-time high (Hitched), you might be better off saving that money for the big day, instead.

But, there’s no need to let money stresses overshadow your big proposal. Even if your partner has her heart set on a particular style or gemstone, there are still plenty of ways to get the ideal ring for less. Here, we’ve shared our top tips to help you find the best sparkler for your budget, without compromising on style or quality. Just read on to learn more.

Work Out Her Priorities

Before you start shopping, it’s important to figure out what your partner wants from their engagement ring: do they have any ideas in mind, and how set are they on getting the materials they want? For instance, does it need to be a diamond, or are they open to a different gemstone? Do they have their heart set on a platinum band, or are they less concerned with a pricey band than a big diamond?

It’s likely that your intended will have a few ideas in mind — she’ll have to wear it for the rest of her life, after all. So, you’ll want to have a conversation with your partner about her preferences (or you could ask her friends, if you want the proposal to be a surprise). This will help you to work out which elements of the ring you need to spend a bit more money on, and which aspects you can compromise on. For example, a diamond set in a more affordable band could skim a few hundred pounds off the overall cost of your ring, so it’s well worth investigating which elements you could substitute for less pricey materials.

Find Pre-owned Styles

It’s still possible to get top-quality diamonds and designer rings without the hefty price tags. Pre-owned jewellery is often much cheaper than brand new designs, despite often being in top condition, and they’re often undistinguishable from new styles to the untrained eye. If your fiancé has a taste for more expensive materials, then this is a great way to get the real deal for a fraction of the cost. With so many high-quality styles on offer, chances are that no one — including your bride-to-be — will ever know the difference.

When shopping for pre-owned jewellery, look for specialists who carefully inspect their stock to make sure everything is genuine and in good condition. This selection of pre-owned engagement rings from Est.1897 includes rings which come with certificates of authenticity from an independent inspector, so you can be sure of their quality and value.

Keep It In The Family

Family heirlooms are a brilliant way to propose on a budget, so it’s definitely worth asking around to see if any of your female relatives have old rings they’d be willing to pass down. Not only can this mean you don’t have to buy a new ring, but it’s also a great way to make your fiancé feel welcomed into the family. And, as vintage styles are highly sought-after at the moment, it’s a great choice if your bride prefers retro rings to modern pieces.

If you’re planning to save up and buy a ring after the wedding, then a family antique is also a good placeholder, so you’ll still have something special to propose to your partner with. Don’t worry if your heirloom doesn’t fit your bride’s ring size, as you can most rings can be resized easily and affordably at any good jewellers.

Consider Alternative Gemstones And Materials

Unless your partner has heart set on the traditional diamond set engagement rings, then a ring featuring a more unusual stone could be a more affordable alternative. Amethyst, morganite, emerald and sapphire all tend to be more affordable than diamonds, but they’re still hardwearing, highly desirable gems.  If your bride likes to stand out from the crowd, then a unique, colourful sparkler is likely to go down a treat: try choosing one in her favourite colour for a more personal touch.

The band the gems are set in can also have a dramatic effect on the overall price, so see what you could save by opting for a less popular precious metal. While gold tends to be the most popular choice for an engagement ring, rose gold is currently a budget-friendly (and highly fashionable) alternative. If your partner would prefer a white metal, then avoid pricey platinum, and instead opt for more affordable metals such as palladium, titanium, and sterling silver.

Final Thoughts

Finding the right ring can be stressful at the best of times, but there’s no need to let money worries take the sparkle out of your proposal. As long as you learn about your partner’s priorities, and investigate all of your options thoroughly, then you should have no problem finding a swoon-worthy engagement ring that won’t break the bank.

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