Her First Engagement Ring: Budget Now, Upgrade Later

You plan to give her a bigger engagement ring in the future, so how do you choose the right one for now?

Showing your commitment is the important thing.

You know you want to say "I do." And that's what matters. So think of your first engagement ring just as you would a "starter home": a place for wonderful memories as you begin your life together.

Later, you can move on. For example, your future ring could use the original ring's metal melted down, or its gems as side stones. Or you might add an anniversary band to create a bigger diamond look later. You might even find that she loves the original ring so much, she wouldn't dream of changing it in any way.

Spend your money wisely right now.

Consider these thoughts as you make your decisions about today's ring:
  • Prioritize your goals with the right jeweler. Look for a consultant, not a salesperson; someone who will spend time helping you select what's right for you and your budget.
  • Look at smaller stones. An exceptional smaller stone can dazzle more than a larger one, if it offers the best of the 4Cs. Ask about that as you look at diamonds.
  • Go for color. If your fiancée-to-be loves creating and following trends, you might do well with a diamond in black, brown, blue, green or yellow – or with a gemstone that could be less expensive than a diamond, like ruby, emerald, sapphire or tanzanite.
  • Multiply your options. Whatever main diamond you choose, you can surround it with other stones, as with a halo ring or narrow band set with pavé diamonds; these can be very sparkly and glamorous, as well as less expensive.

Remember, you don't need a big ring to be happy together. And beautiful rings come in every size. So get comfortable with your budget, and start looking!