With so many ring designs and jewellery stores to choose from, figuring out how and where to buy the perfect engagement ring can seem overwhelming. After all, it’s one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, so you want to make sure you’re doing it right. Not only because there can be quite a considerable cost to accompany this purchase, but also because you want your partner to love it as much as you love them.
If you are starting to feel overwhelmed about embarking on your search for the ideal representation of your love and commitment, don’t worry. We’ve created a user-friendly shopping guide to take the stress out of the whole engagement ring search. Here’s everything you need to know to get the perfect ring your love will treasure forever.
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 the best time to snag a deal.
If you’re looking for an early takeaway, the best time often varies from person to person, and each time of the year has its pros and cons. Check out our store at Temple&Grace for our beautiful selection of engagement rings.
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.
When is the Best Time of the Year to Buy Engagement Rings?
Well, that depends on how flexible you are with your proposal date. If you are dying to pop the question, then it will not make sense for you to wait six months to do so just for 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 gathered for Thanksgiving or when on 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 want to propose this time of year, try planning 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 (frequently happens during peak periods) and wreak havoc to your proposal timetable. And this isn’t something you want to experience when the proposal draws near.
Engagement Ring Purchase Timing: January through March
Surely you’ll find some great deals once the holidays have snapped up many of the available engagement rings, right? While it usually follows that there are post-holiday bargains to be had for expensive goods, one jewellery-intense holiday looms large: Valentine’s Day. Time and time again, polls show that February 14th remains the most popular holiday for popping the question (just above Christmas Eve), which means jewellery stores are flooded with grooms-to-be in the month(s) prior.
In addition to engagement rings proper, many boyfriends and husbands also buy their partners diamond rings and jewellery as gifts during this time period. That means there is little to no incentive for jewellers to lower the cost of engagement rings or associated diamond jewellery in these months. On the other hand, online jewellers are able to cut costs because they don’t have to pay a middle man. That means you can get the lowest possible price, no matter the time of year.
Engagement Ring Purchase Timing: April through June
Once the jewellery-intensive rush of Valentine’s Day has ended, prices on engagement rings tend to come down to less feverish levels in the spring. That said, the warmer months aren’t without their jewellery gift-giving occasions, nor are they bare of hopeful men getting down on one knee at tropical beaches.
Mother’s Day isn’t a traditional occasion for gifting diamond solitaire rings, but a brisk holiday-related business in tangential jewellery can make stores reluctant to drive down prices very far. That said, the “big” cut stone engagement ring holidays are still very far down the road, and buying at the tail end of this time period will offer you plenty of buffer time if you want to make changes to the setting or there are any delays in the interim with your ring design.
Engagement Ring Purchase Timing: July through September
If you’re looking for the best array of setting, stone, and similar customization options (as well as fair prices), this is the scheduling sweet spot. The back-to-school season doesn’t afford many occasions to buy and gift jewellery, and stores may be anxious to clear out older styles to make room for their upcoming holiday inventory. While nothing is a sure bet with high-ticket items like engagement rings, this time period will offer you the most opportunities if they’re out there to be had.
However, be aware that the closer you get to September, the more you’ll risk prices creeping up in anticipation. That’s because Thanksgiving minus that previously-mentioned 2-3 month buffer puts an anxious buyer squarely in mid-September, and jewellery stores know it. So if you’re looking to buy one of the most popular engagement ring styles, this is good to take into consideration.
Engagement Ring Purchase Timing: October through December
This is it: the season where engagement ring purchases go through the roof. Everywhere you turn, you’ll start seeing flyers, commercials, and even radio spots encouraging men to visit various stores to get an engagement ring. Some larger “diamond warehouse” style stores have even resorted to giving away televisions or gaming consoles with purchases in recent years.
However, don’t be fooled: the “discounted” price of the ring has almost always been marked up to cover the cost of that giveaway – and then some. Unless you want to push your way to a counter with your elbows and your wallet, either secure your ring several months prior to this time period, shop online or wait it out until the spring. Or, another option is to wait for Black Friday engagement rings sales. You may win big with a great price on a beautiful ring.
Best Times Of The Year To Buy An Engagement Ring
While there is no ‘one magical time’ to buy a ring, you can find perks for shopping during certain seasons and holiday marketing. Shoppers often assume that prices will be higher when there’s more demand—like during the holiday season from November to February—but that’s not the case. Diamond vendors are eager for shoppers, so they offer discounts to encourage buyers to choose their company.
- Black Friday and Cyber Monday
- Before Christmas
- After Christmas, Before Valentine’s Day
- After Valentine’s Day, in the Spring
The typical seasonal promotions and sales in brick and mortar stores don’t apply to high-quality diamonds. Steer clear of signs that promote a massive sale or 25% or 50% off. These promotions are a red flag: they indicate that the diamond is of significantly lesser quality.
Before anything else, be sure to choose a reputable vendor for your ring—ensuring that you’re getting a great value to start with. We highly recommend Blue Nile, James Allen and Brian Gavin Diamonds. These are trustworthy vendors who offer excellent value for superior diamonds and settings. All of the diamonds from these vendors come with a reliable certificate from AGS or GIA.
That said, reputable vendors may offer slight discounts or seasonal promotions. The sales might save you a few per cent on your purchase. Below we outline the best times to buy a diamond ring.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Around the Thanksgiving holiday, many stores and websites offer deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With Christmas and New Year’s insight and Valentine’s Day not too far behind, purchasing an engagement ring during these sales might be an excellent time. Many people plan to propose during the holiday season from December to February because it’s easy to celebrate with family and friends. This special time of year becomes more special with an engagement.
Note that the discounts are minor for Black Friday and Cyber Monday if you’re buying from a company that offers good value, to begin with, like with James Allen and the Blue Nile. Their profit margins aren’t large, so there isn’t much room for serious discounts.
While you do save some money during the holiday season, it’s also the time when diamonds are flying off of the shelves. Many factors go into buying a diamond, and you want to ensure you’re making the right purchase. It’s possible that—during the holiday season—while contemplating which diamond to buy, the best choice will be gone and sold by the time you’ve decided.
Leading up to the holidays, most businesses post ads for sales and discounts. Stores are competitive with one another to snag customers, and it can be a great time to get a good deal. Because it’s likely that others will be looking to buy a ring at the same time, start your search early. You’ll have a larger selection and more time to think through your purchase.
Some shoppers prefer to avoid the holiday rush, as it can be harder to find a ring within your specifications. If you want to take your time looking at various prices and diamonds, you may not prefer the busy holiday season. The one you want might be gone by the time you come back to it.
After Christmas, Before Valentine’s Day
February 14th is another favourite day for proposals. Shopping for an engagement ring in late December and early January can be advantageous since you’ll likely beat the crowds.
Although you’ll see minimal percentages with high-quality vendors like James Allen and Brian Gavin Diamonds (because you’re getting a great price to begin with), some promotional sales will be happening.
After Valentine’s Day, in the Spring
Get ahead of other spring and summer proposals by shopping soon after Valentine’s Day and in early spring. You won’t feel pressured with holiday sales or large crowds. Jewellers and vendors will likely have more time to spend with you. Some spring promotions may be available but aren’t as frequent as during the holidays. You’ll have plenty of time to look for the right engagement ring.
Whether it’s on the beach or up in the mountains, the summer offers plenty of beautiful backdrops for a proposal. It’s also a season for romantic getaways and family gatherings.
Plan at least a month or two (or even three) in advance for your ring purchase, so you have it ready for that perfect location and timing. While occasional summer deals do exist for jewellery, the advantage of buying in the summer is that you don’t have the holiday rush. You can take your time in selecting a truly exceptional engagement ring.
September and October are often the best months to buy an engagement ring. These are often quieter times for the jewellery industry. Some diamond vendors will run promotions to encourage shoppers to buy during the fall season. You’ll also have the luxury of fewer shoppers vying for the engagement ring you want. If you’re planning for a holiday engagement, autumn is an excellent time to buy, if you’re able to shop in advance.
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 favourite.
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 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, jewellery retailers try to provide incentives to gain your business. So contrary to what most people believe, you might find good deals around this time.
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, jewellers need to work very rapidly to keep up with demand and 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 select a ring of your specifications leisurely. The inventory turnover 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 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 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, jewellery stores operate slower. You will have more time to search and possibly more attention from retailers and jewellers. This is a perfect time to purchase if you are planning for a summer proposal.
In a survey of over 100 diamond industry professionals asked this exact question, the vast majority answered the same way: there isn’t one. In essence, the price of high-quality centre stones for engagement rings seldom wavers by a meaningful amount; discounts and sales are only useful for moving the needle on settings and flanking stones. To put it another way, the best time to buy an engagement ring is when you’re ready to propose, both emotionally and financially. Once you’re sure of both of those facets, the rest of your proposal journey will fall fairly easily into place.
Even though an engagement is technically one partner asking another for their hand in marriage, a proposal also doesn’t necessarily have to be a surprise. Suppose you and your partner enjoy daydreaming about your wedding and talking about your life together. In that case, it might be a good idea to try talking openly and honestly about ring preferences. While this approach isn’t necessarily a good fit for every couple, for some, it can take the anxiety over choosing a cut or setting out of the equation, or feeling like you need to choose one of the top engagement rings of all time, and instead, make the experience one to bond over.