You’re on a tight budget and have only $3000 saved up for an engagement ring. You probably already guessed that Kim Kardashian’s 20 carat diamond ring is a bit out of your price range. But is $3000 even enough for an engagement ring?
With a $3000 budget, you can buy a modest engagement ring. If you buy a lab-grown diamond online, you buy a good quality 1-carat diamond. You’ll even have enough money left in your budget for a selection of simple ring settings. In general, spend $2000 on the diamond, and $1000 on the ring setting.
We’ll get into how much an average engagement ring is, and show you where you should, and shouldn’t, compromise on cost. From lab-grown diamonds to purchasing online, we’ll show you how to save money. With these tips, you can get a stunning engagement ring for $3000.
What is the average cost of an engagement ring?
According to Business Insider, the average American spends $7000 on their engagement ring (https://www.businessinsider.com/engagement-ring-average-cost-by-state-2018-2). However, that average depends wildly on the state. South Dakotans average just $3005 spent on the ring.
What diamond grade is the best bang for your buck in the $3000 price range?
Perfect color, cut, and clarity come at a premium price. For a perfectly colorless and flawless diamond in your price range, you’ll be able to buy a small 0.25 – .044 carat diamond. If you are looking for a bigger diamond, you’ll have to make some sacrifices.
Luckily, minor flaws or imperfections are usually not visible to the human eye. The naked eye can’t distinguish a colorless D-F diamond from the near-colorless G-I diamond. A VS2 diamond (very slightly flawed) often has no visible imperfections to the naked eye. These are a couple of places where you can cut costs without sacrificing beauty.
However, when it comes to cut, this is what determines a diamond’s sparkle. I wouldn’t recommend making a sacrifice on this.
For an F color, VS1 clarity, and ideal cut, you can buy a 1.0 carat lab grown diamond for $2000. This will leave you with enough money for a simple ring setting. Opting for a 1-carat diamond will give you a bigger ring setting budget.
Knowing where to cut costs can leave you with an above-average diamond for a below-average cost.
Go Lab grown and get a Bigger diamond!
While earth-grown diamonds are found in nature, lab-grown diamonds are grown… in a lab. They are made using high temperature and high pressure inside chambers. Lab created diamonds and earth grown diamonds are chemically identical.
The difference? Lab grown diamonds are about 30%-50% cheaper! Considering even most diamond experts can’t tell the difference between the two, it’s a good place to cut cost.
Don’t forget about the cost of the ring setting in your budget.
For a slightly more dazzling ring setting, set aside at least $1000. I’d recommend looking at pave or tension ring settings if you’d like something a bit more eye-catching.
Buying online is another way to stretch your $3000 budget.
You can expect to save 30%-40% by buying engagement rings online compared to a brick and mortar store. But you’ll need to do your research on reputable brands. Brands like James Allen and Blue Nile are good places to start. Take a look at this article too for tips on where to buy an engagement ring online: Where is the Best Place to Buy Engagement Rings Online in 2020?
Alternatives to diamonds can make for an impressive engagement ring under $3000.
Who said your engagement ring has to have a diamond? According to The Knot, non-diamond engagement rings are more popular now than ever (https://www.theknot.com/content/non-diamond-engagement-rings). Even some celebrities are opting for this alternative. Remember Princess Diana and Kate Middleton’s stunning sapphire engagement rings?
Some of the most popular non-diamond stones are morganite, ruby, sapphire, emerald, pearl, and opal. Plus, in saving money on the stone, you can afford to splurge on a show-stopping ring setting.
To give you an idea of price, a 1-carat blue sapphire gemstone costs just over $300. A 1-carat red ruby is just over $350. Even a stunning 3-carat light blue sapphire gemstone is well within your budget.
Buy Small Now. Trade up later.
A popular option you may want to consider is to upgrade or trade-in an engagement ring. If you know the diamond of your dreams is out of your price range, you could opt for a smaller diamond right now. When you are able to afford a larger diamond, you can upgrade the diamond in the ring for a larger one.
The same goes for upgrading the ring setting. Or, if you’ve received a diamond ring from a relative you can also have it modified.
Go Buy your $3K Ring!
I hope these tips have shown you that you can find a beautiful engagement ring for $3000. While a stunning Kim K ring may have caught your eye, is it worth the debt? Starting married life without additional financial stress is a feeling that’s hard to put a price on.