"It’s better to stay within your budget when purchasing an engagement ring," Amanda Trevizo, a jewelry expert and buyer at Shane Co. tells PEOPLE
Shopping for engagement rings can come at a price – and often a hefty one.
According to The Knot's 2023 Jewelry and Engagement Study, the average cost of an engagement ring is currently about $5,500. Now, Amanda Trevizo, a jewelry expert and buyer at Shane Co., is dishing out the inside scoop to help you navigate expensive ring prices and land the ring of your dreams at a reasonable price.
"It’s common to hear that you should save at least two months of your paycheck or a certain percentage of your annual income before purchasing an engagement ring, but we all have unexpected expenses or life changes that may impact that goal," Trevizo, who's been in the wedding ring space for five years, tells PEOPLE.
When looking at the price of engagement rings and starting to budget for the purchase she shares with us five key aspects that can guide your pricing decisions and help you find a ring that fits your price range.
Do your research
Trevizo's number one piece of advice? Do your research.
"Make sure you understand the 'Four C’s' before you start shopping — cut, color, clarity and carats," she says. "All of these factors play into a stone’s cost and can be helpful to determine ahead of time which variations fit within your budget."
"At Shane Co., we sell our diamonds loose because we want to give our customers a full understanding of the diamonds they’re purchasing and how they fit into the overall price of the ring," she continues.
Explore financing options
"Most jewelers offer financing options that allow you to pay for your dream ring gradually," the jewelry buyer also shares. "At Shane Co., for example, we offer lots of monthly financing options with our Shane Co. Credit Card."
Another option to save money is purchasing a ring made with a lab-grown diamond.
"Lab-grown diamonds are a great option to get a larger diamond and bigger look for your budget," Trevizo says. "Lab-grown and natural diamonds look the same to the naked eye. However, lab-grown diamonds tend to come at a lower price point than natural diamonds because they are less rare. For example, the Woodland Wedding Set is an option with a lab-grown center stone."
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Look into other gems
While diamonds are a classic engagement ring staple, Trevizo says alternative gemstones like sapphires can offer the same amount of brilliance and beauty at a more accessible price.
She explains: "They are also a great option for the unique bride-to-be, who may want to show off more of her personal style in her engagement ring – for example, the Showstopper Engagement Ring for 1 ct Pear.
Upgrade your ring later on
If your dream ring doesn't fit within your budget, Trevizo explains how you can always upgrade your ring later on.
"It’s better to stay within your budget when purchasing an engagement ring rather than splurging right out of the gate," she says. "As the years go by, you can then save up to one day upgrade to your dream ring. Whether you’re celebrating a milestone or just wanting to change things up, an engagement ring is worn every day so there’s nothing wrong or unusual about wanting something new."
Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to check the warranty
"Most jewelers offer a limited warranty or one that you have to pay for," Trevizo says. "Shane Co. offers a free, lifetime warranty that covers cleanings, maintenance, polishing, unlimited resizing and the center stone. And make sure to insure your ring after your purchase for total theft or loss."
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Read the original article on People.