It won’t come as a surprise that engagement and wedding rings are expensive. But no need to stress as we can help you find one that’s suited to your needs – and your fiancé’s budget! If he lets you pick your own ring, here are some tips to make your purchasing those special bands a lot easier.
1 It’s best to do you
For some people, the size of the ring matters (a lot), while others are after a designer name – think Cartier or Chopard. Then there are those who couldn’t care less and are more focused on the symbolism and meaning behind the ring. Decide upfront what’s most important to you.
2 Get a referral
Whether it’s an exclusive design or not, choosing where to purchase your ring is important. Ask friends and family where they’ve had positive experiences or head to Facebook for recommendations.
3 Remember the four C’s
A diamond’s cost is based on cut, colour, clarity and carat weight. The metal options for the band will also influence the final price so be sure to chat to your jeweller about ring styles, size and different stone options.
4 Have a budget…
Traditionally, the rule of thumb was to use three times the amount of your monthly salary on an engagement ring. However, with escalating living expenses, the weakening rand and the different values people place on engagement rings, it’s near impossible to hold to this rule. Speak to your jeweller about your budget and the options available to you, and ensure the quality of the stone is good.
5 But keep your personality in mind
No matter the budget, your personal style and preference should still be considered; after all, you are going to be wearing your rings every day for years to come. If you want a lot of detail on a custom ring, it could push up the price so shop around for vintage-inspired designs instead. For more minimalist designs, boutiques and chain retailers offer the best value for money.
6 Plan an upgrade
When you start planning your ring budget, consider that certain designs can be changed or upgraded at a later stage. If you can’t afford the exact ring you’d like now, choose a design that will lend itself to becoming what you envision. For a ring with a large stone surrounded by smaller ones, opt for a large cubic zirconia or semi-precious stone enclosed in small diamonds. The centre stone can then be replaced with a real diamond on your anniversary. When designing your ring, remember that if you’re planning on replacing an affordable stone with a diamond later, make sure the size of the stone is not too large or it will be expensive to replace.
Erika is the founder of V’DODILI, an online jewellery boutique that specialises in custom-made and personalised jewellery. “My designs are made to express individuality and to tell stories,” she says. Find out more at www.vdodili.co.za.