Getting engaged is one of the all-time highs of life. It is both a memorable moment and a commitment to forever. You want everything to be exactly right for that day.
That being said, of course you want to find the perfect ring – with an equally amazing deal to match. Staying on a budget at any point in time is a great idea, but especially during this season.
So, when is a good time to buy an engagement ring? When will you find sales? What times of year should be avoided? Which are there better months to go shopping?
Answers to these questions and more below.
Well, that depends on how flexible you are with your proposal date. If you are just dying to pop the question than it will not make sense for you to wait six months to do so just for a sale. So, we will take many factors into consideration.
But, as far as the date goes, we have all seen the commercials that come out right around Christmas time for engagement rings from every major retail store in America. This is a big indicator. Engagement season is November through February, for the obvious holidays that exist during this time frame.
There are multiple opportunities to propose when the family is all gathered for Thanksgiving or when on a Valentine’s date. This being the case, you will find this to be the most popular time to buy a ring. Retailers are smart about their tactics – they know what sells and how to take advantage of the situation.
If you really want to propose during this time of year, try planning ahead and getting the rock a few months before all the craziness and frenzy starts.
Based on experience, the best time to buy an engagement ring is about 2-3 months before you plan to propose. This will leave you with enough buffer time in case things don’t go smoothly.
Let me tell you the last thing you want is for an engagement ring production to be delayed (happens frequently during peak periods) and wreak havoc to your proposal timetable. And this isn’t something you want to experience when the proposal draws near.
If there’s one thing you need to learn from this article, it is that truly high quality diamonds NEVER go on sale.
The seasonal sales and promotions that you frequently see in stores aren’t applicable for high quality diamonds. And when I mean high quality diamonds, I am referring to engagement rings that consist of a center diamond larger than 0.30ct that comes with a reliable grading report from GIA/AGS.
Forget the signs that scream 50% OFF! or “MASSIVE SALE TODAY!” because you’ll only end up paying more for inferior quality when you buy a diamond ring on “sale”. That’s the cold hard truth behind the majority of “flash sales” or “promotions” in the jewelry industry.
Don’t believe me?
I challenge you to go out to the stores and start performing price comparisons of diamond jewelry with identical quality. Read every single word in this article on diamond pricing and use it as a benchmark to do your own comparisons.
Once you do this, you will realize that the majority of brick & mortar stores that offer these tricky promotions had already marked-up their prices excessively to begin with. You see that even the discounted prices would be higher than those offered by reliable vendors at their normal prices.
Yes there are but you will need to keep your expectations in check.
Reliable online vendors like BlueNile or JamesAllen do run seasonal promotions during Black Friday/Cyber Monday, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Here’s a screenshot of the latest promotion James Allen ran recently…
If you look at the fine print, you will realize that these discounts are not applicable towards the center stone of an engagement ring. (Remember I mentioned earlier that high quality diamonds NEVER go on sale?)
This is actually a typical promotion you can expect from vendors who already offer very competitive pricing on their diamond rings. Since their margins are already low to begin with (unlike what you see with the fake promotions run by many brick & mortar stores), they base their promotions on settings, preset jewelry and accessories like earrings/necklaces.
Seeing this, I know many people will assume the best time of the year to buy an engagement ring would be during the festive periods. After all, having some discount is better having no discount right?
Let’s do some math…
14K scallop style ring – $1,600
First of all, you need to understand that the savings made are usually insignificant since the bulk of an engagement ring’s cost comes from the center stone. If you are in the market for a simple solitaire setting (costs about $200), the 25% discount amounting to $50 is really nothing to be excited about.
That is unless you had your eyes set on a setting that costs in the range of $1,600. In this case, the dollar amount you can potentially save could be substantial (a 25% discount equates to roughly $400 saved) and would make sense now.
In my personal opinion, the downsides of timing your engagement ring purchase to seasonal “sales” far outweighs the upside of saving a few dollars. The fact that you are joining thousands of others in the same mad rush makes it harder for you to shop for something within your specifications.
If you are shopping for a diamond engagement ring during peak periods, you need to understand that the inventory moves at a very fast pace because of the sheer volume being sold. This means a diamond painstakingly found and shortlisted may just be sold by the next hour when you get back to it.
During this busy time frame, the bench jewelers and back-end manufacturers will also be under significant pressure to rush out completed jewelry for deadlines. From experience, I can tell you this is the time where things have the highest possibility to go wrong.
That happens. You just suddenly know that you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, but its smack dab in the middle of the proposal season. Don’t get too concerned, there are plenty of ways to score a deal, even during jewelry’s busy times.
Here’s a few options to point you in the right direction.
Consider an Antique From a Relative
Think of a non-invasive way to ask family members if they have a ring or gem they want to make a legacy of by passing it on to you and your beloved. If it’s a ring, all you will probably need to do is get it sized and appraised. If they want to give you a family diamond or other stone, you can find a setting. Either way, it’s a great deal and means a lot!
Buy From the Internet – Significantly Better Selections & Prices
The web is great for so many things, and one of those is ring shopping. If you hate the idea of spending hours in a physical store, opt for online shopping instead. You start by just googling and looking around, pricing things out. Take notes as you do this.
Then check out some reliable sites like James Allen or Blue Nile. Both have great reputations and selections. You won’t be able to physically see the stone before buying, but check out their return options. And James Allen will even let you see a 360-degree video of the ring before committing.
Although there are both “good” and “bad” times of the year to buy a wedding ring, really the best time is when you know you want to get married. Yes, getting an awesome buy has its place, but remember that you can find something within your price range at any time. It might require a lot more effort, but it is out there.
Shop around, take your time, and know what you are buying. An engagement ring is very important, and will be worn with pride for many years, so it is worth it to find a thing of true beauty. Best of luck!
The best times of the year seem to be September through November. I know I have looked for a few years and price them out all the time (Blue Nile and James Allen). There is a big difference if you buy them at the right time.