Guest Post by Kira Manning
Outdated traditions claim that a man should spend anywhere between one and three months’ salary on a rock to woo the girl of his dreams. But in this day and age, spending that kind of money can be rather unwise when you consider the budget required for the wedding and honeymoon to follow! Women will always adore expensive jewelry, but not at the expense of their partner’s personal finances – especially if they plan to combine their assets after the wedding. As the generations collectively outgrow conservative wedding trends in other areas of planning (including colored gowns, unique locations and wedding destinations, and whimsical ceremony signs and stationery), so, too, do we ditch the rule that says an engagement ring has to cost an arm and a leg. We’re trading in ritual, overpriced platinum-set diamonds for more unique and expressive options that come with an attractive price tag. If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly engagement ring, here are some great unique choices that won’t break the bank for under $1,000!
Go for Gold
Silver and platinum aren’t the only options for an elegant engagement band. In fact, many of the silver-toned rings you are perusing could very well be white gold! “Yellow gold” is the term used to describe the gilded hue most often associated with the color gold, and is a common alternative to its silver counterpart when it comes time to pop the question. At any rate, the metal boasts the same characteristics – its weight is measured in ounces, purity expressed in carats, and alloy means the metal was mixed with another component (typically palladium, copper or silver) to make it stronger.
This 14k ring is from ShopHQ’s gold jewelry collection, and utilizes the sweet pink and very popular morganite gemstone with a heart-shaped cut in place of a traditional diamond. If this gem doesn’t say “I love you,” I don’t know what will!
A true vintage engagement ring will really give you good value for your money, as it will only increase in worth over time, but this means that the piece may come at a hefty price. However, there are plenty of dazzling options for vintage-inspired engagement rings to give off that feeling of nostalgia and timelessness. Estate rings, such as this pick from Ross Simons, are a bit larger and more ostentatious in nature, making them a perfect selection to sate your partner’s “bigger is better” approach to lux jewelry. This ring is a retro selection circa the 1950’s, and has not one but three stones. The best thing about vintage and estate jewelry is that the pieces are highly unique (perhaps even one of a kind) which makes for a gift that’s much more special than some mass-produced engagement ring from your mall’s department store.
The reason folks spend so long shopping for the perfect engagement ring is not because they’re searching for the greatest value or perfect stone setting, but because the ring must be perfect for the person wearing it. They’re waiting for that “aha” moment to strike, that small indication which nudges, eyebrows wiggling, saying “That is so her”. And that instance can take a long time to find.
That’s why birthstone jewelry is such a fantastic option to have. Choosing a ring that features her birthday stone is an automatic win; not only because that gem is unique to her, but simply stated, there are a lot fewer engagement rings offered in amethyst than there are diamond. This little number from Allurez features delicate sapphire stones inlaid in a twisted infinity band, so not only is it highlighted with a special gemstone, but it also conveys the message of forever in a uniquely compelling design.
The infinity sign and heart-shaped ring above are perfect examples of another means to select an engagement ring that is unique and heartfelt. In lieu of a string of expensive jewels, use a symbol or theme to express the significance of your gift. The heart represents love; circle and infinity signs, forever. You may choose to celebrate her heritage with a Celtic knot, or religion with a cross design. You can even use the engagement ring to echo your wedding theme, if you’ve discussed ideas ahead of time, with a leaf, twigs or branches to replicate the fall/spring foliage. Max & Chloe’s diamond snowflake ring is ideal if you are proposing or getting married in the wintertime. This is a ring any woman would love to show off to friends and family!
These are just a few examples of truly unique and fabulous engagement rings that you can surprise your girl with, without going broke. It goes to show that you don’t have to trade off diamonds for cubic zirconia to save a little change and you don’t have to compare the size of the rock to everyone else’s and go with a basic and lackluster design. Hopefully these selections have inspired your thinking when it comes to shopping for the perfect ring to pop the question!