Engagement Rings or Less

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Buying an Engagement Ring

Shopping for Jewelry

Cheap Engagement Rings: Almost Engaged

I found out via a friend that my boyfriend wants to get engaged but has no extra money for a ring. Does anyone have any frugal tips for him? We have been together for three years I am ready for the next step.

During college he ruined his credit so that avenue is out. I am not looking for a large ring but something would be nice. Thanks for your help.
Michelle K.

editor's note: always be careful when you're buying something expensive from an unknown dealer. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it might be a scam.

Think Old

My (now) husband and I were in a similar pickle almost exactly 3 years ago. We solved the issue by shopping antique shops. He bought be a beautiful engagement ring from the 1940s -- one of the ones with the large setting and tiny diamond that young men would buy for their gals before they went off to war. Not only is it beautiful and sentimental to me, it was sentimental to someone else before me. It cost $180. A year after our engagement, we went back to the same shop and bought a tiny coordinating wedding band for $100. My husband uses a family ring as his wedding ring.
Stephanie M.

Cheap Engagement Rings: No One Will Know

I just recently heard of a girl whose father was of a prominent profession and her husband to be was going through college (with no money) when they got engaged. Because of her family's social status, a nice ring was expected. The fiance purchased a cubic zirconia and 10 years later when they were both done with school and successful in their careers, the hubby bought her a "real" ring that matched the setting of the original. Of course, no one ever suspected.
Lots of people today are going with less traditional rings and purchasing gemstones like a sapphire or something like that instead of a diamond.

Another story is that of a friend who got married quickly due unexpected circumstances. Now after 13 years and 3 beautiful children, her husband bought her a "beautiful" ring that was well worth the wait and all the more cherished.
Do either of you have any family rings available? A friend of mine whose father had passed away used her mother's engagement ring. Her fiance privately asked the mother and had it resized and reset. Now the ring has added sentimental value to her.

My favorite engagement story is that of my grandparents. It has been rumored that my grandfather was "almost" married or engaged to several women. But when he met my grandma, he knew she was "the one", because she was the only girl who didn't ask for a ring when he asked her to marry him. He bought her one anyway, but it's the point that she said yes to the marriage request, regardless of the ring. After all, it's all about love, not the material things.

Simple Solution

How about just the wedding band? And when you get married, start saving slowly for a lovely diamond to pick out together. Good luck to you both!

Cheap Engagement Rings: Auctions

Look around on ebay.com -- they have lots of jewelry. Set a budget and look for items with no reserve listed. Most sellers accept money orders. For example, ebay currently has a 3-piece 14k wedding set (women's engagement and wedding bands + a man's band) currently at $30 (valued at $300). Check out garage sales. Some folks sell old jewelry. Most of it is fake/decorative, but you may find a style you like.


Is there a jewel in the family? My husband asked his Mom and she gave him a tack pin with a diamond that we brought to a jeweler to have a ring made. If you are really lucky, maybe there is even a ring in waiting. My sister-in-law wears my grandmother's old wedding rings.

Cheap Engagement Rings: A Diamond in the Rough

Try the pawn shop route. Often you can find an inexpensive diamond or gem in a setting that you like or you can get the ring and have the diamond reset.

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