Budgeting for your Dream Ring

“How much should I spend on an engagement ring?”  Every persons situation is different.  I am sure you heard the old school methodology of ‘two-months’ salary’ – don’t get hung up on that.  Instead, start with understanding your future fiancés expectations and then coupling that with a number you are comfortable with spending.  Your lady is not looking to bankrupt you, but this is going to be the most important piece of jewelry she will ever own and will be wearing it every day.  The sentimental value will always outweigh the financial value as long as you design and select a beautiful ring, she will love it for a lifetime. 

Once you’ve decided that you would like to pop the question, consider these factors; (1) what is my current financial situation (2) what do my expenses look like (food, lease payments, student loans, etc.) (3) are there things I can cut down on to save a little extra and allocate towards this purchase.  To be honest if you are not tracking these things already than this is a good time to start.  Set up an excel spreadsheet and monitor your income and expenses.  My fiancé, John, and I are both CPA’s so organizing this data comes easy to us – if you are not good with spreadsheets, ask a trusted friend to help set you up!  Most likely if you are looking to propose there are going to be other large expenses in the near future such as a wedding, a house and eventually a family – and they all seem to happen at once!  Knowing where you currently stand financially and where your earning potentials lie will assist you in navigating your future spend decisions with more ease. 

There should be a balance between expectations and a realistic budget.  Most people are not sure where to start – what does $5,000 vs. $10,000 get you? What if you jumped to $15,000?  Does paying all cash actually save me money?  Googling these questions and searching through online retailers can be helpful in getting a ballpark idea of where to start.  However, this can get confusing as there are many brands and prices can range quite drastically from retailer to retailer.  If a vendor tells you that “if you pay cash, you will save on tax” just remember that this is a common misconception – typically conducted on 47th Street.  By New York State law a vendor must pay sales tax on items sold in New York.  There is no way around it, cash or credit.  Chances are the vendor has marked up the piece enough that the tax is already built in whether you are paying cash or not.  Getting a one-on-one consultation with a trusted professional, receiving the necessary education and being able to see the difference in qualities and sizes vs. pricing is going to be most helpful.  Starting with a carat size in mind is a lot more challenging than starting with a dollar figure in mind.  For example, a 1.5ct round diamond can range anywhere from $9,000 to upwards of $40,000.  Starting with a number you are comfortable with and then working up from there would be most effective.

Typically, an engagement ring takes about 3-4 weeks from selection of the stone to the final finished piece.  My suggestion is to have an initial consultation whether over the phone or over a cup of coffee at your convenience with our CEO and Head Graduate Gemologist, Brianna.  During this meeting she will go over your budget and style preferences and learn more about you and your future fiancé.  Using the data she collects she will then sort through dozens of diamonds that fit your needs.  She never shows a diamond she wouldn’t accept for herself and that she does not feel proud showing.  I feel that this quality is so important - if we wouldn’t buy it, why would we try to sell it?  She will narrow down the best 5-6 options ranging in qualities and sizes that match your budget so that you get the overall perspective and can make the most informed and educated decision.  Once a diamond is selected our handmade jeweler located in NYC will craft your custom setting and finish your engagement ring.  Try and give yourself a few months from when you would like to propose to save and plan and the overall process will be less stressful and more enjoyable.  We look forward to hearing from you!

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