As Jewelry Shopping Guide editors, we write about things that we love and we think you’ll like too. We often have affiliate partnerships, and may generate some revenue from these links at no cost to you.
Buying an engagement ring is one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make. It is also often one of the most expensive, with the average American spends about $6000 on an engagement ring. So, it makes sense to consider how to get the best price on an engagement ring and if there’s a best time to snag a deal.
If you’re looking for an early takeaway, it’s that the best time often varies from person to person and each time of the year has its pros and cons.
While there may not be one ‘perfect’ time to buy an engagement ring, there are buying tips that you can utilize regardless of when you decide to purchase.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at choosing the best time to buy an engagement ring.
The Most Popular Season – Pros and Cons
The most popular season that people choose for their proposals is the holiday season, from around Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day, with Christmas Day being the favorite.
The Benefits of the Holiday Season
It is easy to see why many choose to pop the question around this time – most people are on holiday and friends and family are around to celebrate. It also gives you ample time to prepare for a peak season wedding, between the coveted May to October slot. As a result, the holiday season is when the most engagement rings are sold.
There’s no harm buying a ring around this time.
You might have heard that this is when engagement rings tend to be the most expensive but this isn’t necessarily true. Although the demand is high, the competition between retailers is also high around this time. As a result, jewelry retailers try to provide incentives to gain your business. So contrary to what most people believe, you might find good deals around this time.
Note, however, that the best diamonds never go on sale. And by best, I mean GIA or AGS certified high quality diamonds that are over .30 carats.
The Drawbacks of the Holiday Season
There are a couple of downsides to consider if you’re thinking about purchasing your diamond engagement ring during the holiday season.
Firstly, because of how busy and hectic it gets around this time, jewelers need to work very rapidly to keep up with demand and to meet deadlines. This can often result in mistakes being made on your order or unwittingly result in lower quality work.
Secondly, you won’t have as much time to leisurely select a ring of your specifications. The turnover of inventory is rather high around this time, so unless you get in and quickly snag the ring you’re after, chances are it won’t be there when next you check.
Thirdly, retailers may not have as much time to give you to help you find the perfect ring. This is only normal considering the huge influx of customers after engagement rings at this time.
So the bottom line?
While the holiday season is a great time to propose, it may not be the best time to buy. Beat the crowds and prepare early.
Before or After the Holiday Season
Let’s say you really want that Christmas proposal. In that case, it would be a good idea to get a head start on purchasing the ring. Just because you want to propose during that busy season doesn’t mean that you have to buy the ring then.
Rather than waiting until the hectic season hits, start searching 3 to 4 months before, around September or October. This is usually the slower season for engagement ring sales and many retailers offer discounts on selected products. Getting in early means that even if there is something wrong with the ring, you’ll have plenty of time to turn things around before the date of the proposal.
You can also consider buying an engagement ring just after the busy period. Think after Valentine’s Day, another very popular time for proposals.
During this time, with the crazy holiday season behind them, jewelry stores operate at a slower pace, you will have more time to search and possibly more attention from retailers and jewelers. This is a perfect time to purchase if you are planning for a summer proposal.
Don’t Let Sales Drive You
It’s never a good idea to buy simply because there’s a sale on. An engagement ring is a massive purchase and takes time and thought. Rushing in to purchase one if you aren’t ready can end in disaster. Instead of worrying about the money you might save, consider the fact that this is a piece of jewelry that will be worn for a lifetime.
You want it to be right.
It’s important to know exactly what you want and to go after your specifications, without letting the sales and savings be the driving force of the purchase.
Be Wary of Massive Discounts – They’re not all they’re cracked up to be
The thing about the best diamond retailers is that they very rarely run sales and when they do, the savings aren’t significant. This is because reputable retailers like James Allen, Blue Nile or Brian Gavin have very competitively priced diamonds to begin with, so heavily discounting their diamonds is not something that they do.
It is common around the holiday seasons to see huge signs announcing massive sales. It might be tempting to think that a diamond that’s 50% off is well worth the money, but this is where you need to have done your homework. In almost every single case like this, these diamonds are of lower quality to start with. They would have been priced disproportionally to their actual value.
So even at half price, you may still be overpaying or at the very least simply paying for its actual value. Those savings are often non-existent and the massive discount is a warning that the diamonds aren’t of good quality.
Taken this way, that 50% off that seemed so attractive a moment ago doesn’t seem that great now.
This is why retailers who sell high-quality diamonds hardly ever sell their diamonds at a discounted price. A diamond will not lose its value or go out of style. There is little reason for a trustworthy retailer to discount it.
You will often find sites like James Allen having sales on their settings or their diamond jewelry. Often times, even these sales come with various terms and conditions. Take a look at this sale that is currently running on James Allen. You are offered 25% off the price of the setting, only with their True Hearts diamonds.
This is a good deal, but you’ll agree that it totally depends on the type of setting you choose. If you opt for a cheaper setting, your savings might be negligible in the grand scheme of things.
However, let’s say you’ve decided to go for the ring setting below, which is very elaborate and very expensive. Then suddenly that 25% starts to mean something. You’ll be saving over $1300 with a 25% off setting discount for this specific setting.
See what I mean? Blindly going after a sale isn’t always the best idea. Check to see if that actually benefits you.
So, the takeaway?
Be wary of the huge diamond discounts that many brick and mortar stores have from time to time. These often signify low quality products as opposed to the ones you find at high quality stores that rarely discount their diamonds.
For information relating to sales and discounts from reputable online jewelry retailers, sign up for our newsletter and we’ll keep you in the loop.
The Right Time – It’s Different for Everybody
The best time for you to purchase your ring will depend on a number of factors that go beyond the price of the ring. Money isn’t everything and sometimes other things come into play.
These might include emotional or practical factors that may give you compelling reasons to propose right away. In these cases, there’s no time to wait around for discounts or the ‘best time’ to purchase your ring.
If this happens to you, there are always great places to buy engagement rings and by using common sense and a little bit of diamond knowledge, you will be able to save on your diamond.
Where to Buy My Engagement Ring for the Best Price?
In this day and age, the internet has become indispensable in all walks of life. And this is true of the engagement ring market as well.
While many people still balk at the idea of making such a massive purchase as an engagement ring over the internet, the truth is that the advantages of shopping online far outweigh that of shopping in store.
You’ll have access to great prices, a wide range of choice and excellent after sales and customer service as long as you purchase from a trustworthy vendor. Buying from a little-known or dodgy retailer is a recipe for disaster.
While shopping at the local store definitely has its benefits, we recommend taking your search online. Many online engagement ring retailers have fewer upkeep costs compared to physical stores, and different business models as well that allow them to cut back on costs which result in better prices for you as the consumer.
We recommend checking out Blue Nile, James Allen and Brian Gavin for high quality diamonds, settings and ready-made engagement rings at reasonable prices. Check out our reviews on the top online engagement ring retailers here to help you decide.
So to wrap things up…
There is a trade-off regardless of the season you choose to purchase your engagement ring. Each season brings with it its pros and cons. There are deals from different retailers at various times around the year, be it peak or off-peak season but if you’re going with a reputable retailer, these don’t always translate into huge savings (as the diamonds are already competitively priced).
While looking for a lower costing ring is always a good idea, we don’t think that it should be the deciding factor when purchasing your engagement ring.
Spend enough time to research and find the right ring to suit your other half. At the end of the day, the most important factor is to opt for a ring that they will fall in love with.