Don't go buying a gorgeous stunner unprepared! Here are some Tightwad tips to get the best for what you are prepared to spend.
Study up the Cs Cut, carat, color and clarity. Consult The Diamond Buying Guide for details and ask your significant other about personal preferences before taking the plunge - they'll be wearing it for a long time!
Set a budget The ring is important, but it's only a piece of the future that you will be committing to with your significant other. Keep a realistic figure in mind and stick to your budget. It's not that romantic, but neither is being broke before you say your "I do's".
Open a savings account Once you know your budget, start stashing cash away for the big purchase and don't get talked into a more expensive rock by even considering monthly payments - plus interest. Paying on the spot may give you negotiation leverage.
Buy off-season The jewelry industry struggles after peak buying seasons so after Valentine's Day and before the holidays are the best time to buy a diamond.
Don't let size fool you Though carat weight and stone size play a part in a diamond's price and beauty, the biggest determinant is the cut.
Shop wholesale Purchase a diamond wholesale and then allow your fiancée to select the desired setting. A win-win!
Keep it in the family Ask within your family about special family heirlooms before shopping for something new. You can always put the stone in a different setting.
Surf the web Engagement rings are increasingly finding a market on the Internet. There are a number of popular, credible sellers of customizable engagement rings, with detailed information on the diamond and ring setting. With a 30-day return policy and free overnight shipping, online sites are an excellent option.