Life & Love

When Is The Best Time To Buy An Engagement Ring?

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Hand up close trying on engagement rings with a person holding a tray of rings in background.
Shopping for an engagement ring can be an exciting and emotional experience.
Image credit: Serhii Bobyk, Shutterstock

Are you ready to propose to that special someone? Congrats! This special moment is the start of an exciting journey for you and your sweetie, and I want to help you save as much money as possible. Engagement rings are not cheap! Of course, you can buy them at any time of year, but before you pop out your wallet and pop the question, find out the best time of year to buy an engagement ring so you can save thousands and maybe put the savings towards a fun honeymoon. I’ll explain a few basics, discuss the best time to buy, and cover the dos and don’ts of buying an engagement ring.

When Is “Engagement Season”?

First, what is engagement season anyway? Engagement season is the time of year when it seems like everyone and their dog is getting engaged. Ok, maybe not that many people, but it’s estimated that about a third of couples get engaged during this season of betrothal.

Engagement season is a peak time from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day, during which many proposals take place. This time frame also coincides with the major winter holidays. The demand for engagement rings is higher during this time, and jewelers take advantage by raising prices. Maybe it’s because of holiday sentiments or the time spent with family, or maybe it’s just the perfect time for a proposal, but this is the time of year when engagement rings are flying out of display cases.

You may think, “Wait, but jewelers always have those sales during the holidays, so aren’t the rings less expensive? Isn’t this the best time to buy diamonds?” I’m sorry to say this isn’t true. Although jewelers do have sales during betrothal season, they’ve hiked the prices up even more and then have a “sale” to make it seem like you’re getting a good deal. It’s an amazingly effective strategy. About 37% of couples get engaged between November and February every year.

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Buy An Engagement Ring?

Of course, a huge question when looking for proposal rings is when is the best time of year to buy one? It’s a question with a complicated answer. A few times a year, diamonds and betrothal rings may be a little less expensive than others. Many companies advertise sales during the engagement season, while others offer better deals during the off-season. Always be careful and research when buying a proposal ring, especially if it is marked on sale. Look around and see what other jewelers are charging for a similar piece, and try to check how prices have changed. Also, look at diamond prices, in general, to be sure you are being appropriately charged.

The best time to purchase engagement rings to get a deal is between June and August. Many couples get married during these summer months, also known as the wedding season. Summer is typically slow for selling proposal jewelry. There tends to be a high inventory and lower prices.

As traditional and online jewelers try to move their inventory, they will lower prices and have some outstanding sales during this time. Some jewelers also offer great deals just before the holiday season, around September and October. You may also find some deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. That said, you should also be careful with sales like this. These sales holidays are not always what they seem. While getting a deal on a blender is awesome, spending a huge chunk of change on a whim to buy a ring is never a good idea.

Be extremely cautious when getting your “best time to buy” information from a brand’s website. Many will direct you to buy a ring during the busiest times of year or proposal season. There is no right or wrong time to purchase your ring.

Did You Know?

The United States is the largest consumer of diamonds in the world, accounting for close to 53% of worldwide demand in 2022. Diamond engagement rings account for about 34% of total diamond sales. About 50% of the diamonds sold in the U.S. are bought as anniversary gifts, according to GITNUX Market Data Report.

Engagement Ring Shopping Dos & Don’ts

How you approach your proposal is up to you. Every couple is different and has a unique idea of what that “perfect proposal” is. However, when it comes to buying diamonds or other expensive jewelry, everyone should keep a few dos and don’ts in mind.

9 Engagement Ring Do’s

  1. Do some research ahead of time. Look at each jeweler’s website to determine what kind of sales they are having. These are usually available to preview in advance. You should also look at the price of diamonds at a few different places to get an idea of what you can expect to spend.
  2. Do learn the 4 Cs of diamonds – Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat.
  3. Do give yourself wiggle room and plenty of time to shop. You should also count on about six weeks or more for delivery. Be sure to pick a ring that will make it on time for your desired proposal date. If you’re being spontaneous, you will be better off purchasing in person. (I’ve been in the position of rings not arriving in time, and it is a huge damper on the big day, with no redo, so be sure to check those delivery dates.)
  4. Do get it in writing. Any diamond you buy that is over one carat should come with a diamond grading report. Look for those from independent gemological associations like the American Gem Society and the Gemological Institute Of America (GIA). Along with gemstone quality, there are different elements that can affect the value of a ring. This includes whether it is an antique or period piece or is made by a famous designer, handmade or custom-made.
  5. Do consider insurance to protect your investment. Things happen: rings go down the drain, kids take them to school, and sometimes they end up in the trash. Companies like State Farm and The Hartford offer coverage under homeowners and personal articles policies. You can also look into fine jewelry insurance independently. If you plan to travel for your wedding or honeymoon, look into traveler’s coverage for your ring. Learn more about travel insurance here, as well as event insurance to cover your big day.
  6. Do ask your friends and family for recommendations. Look for local jewelers, those that align with your lifestyle and jewelry taste, and those with accreditation from the GIA and Jewelers of America.
  7. Do ask about a return and refund policy just in case you need to exchange or return the ring.
  8. Do set a budget and save money ahead of time so you do not have to put the ring on credit or stretch your finances for a flashy purchase. There is no need for a $20,000 ring if you can’t afford it. You don’t want to start your new life together on the promise of debt, either. So, be smart about how much you spend.
  9. Do get measurements before buying. You don’t want to buy something that is not the right size. You may need to be a little crafty to sneak the right measurements, but a ring sizer can help.

5 Engagement Ring Don’ts

  1. Don’t spend everything you have on a ring. The idea that you should spend three month’s salary on a ring comes from an old advertising campaign by jewelry company De Beers, as does the idea that a diamond symbolizes everlasting love. This is not a rule. Spend what is appropriate for your budget.
  2. Don’t be afraid to go into a jewelry store to look at and try on rings in person. Even if you purchase online, looking at the rings in person can help you get a better idea of size, colors, clarity, and what the ring will look and feel like in real life.
  3. Don’t rush into anything. You don’t have to jump into a purchase just because there is a sale or it is labeled by the wedding and jewelry industry as a certain season.
  4. Don’t skip the fine print. Make sure you know the quality of the stone you are getting, any kind of warranty coverage, and when or if you can exchange the ring. Always look for a refund policy.
  5. Don’t get persuaded into anything that you don’t like or need. Remember, this is about you, your partner, and what you want.

Best Place To Buy Engagement Rings

There are tons of places to find the perfect betrothal ring, both online and in person. Avoid big-name brands and places that mark prices up and use aggressive sales tactics. Below are a couple of brands to consider.

James Allen

Jmes Allen engagement ring website screenshot.
James Allen offers a seamless shopping experience, high-quality rings, and a great selection of diamonds.

Visit Website

James Allen offers top-quality, certified diamonds to meet every budget. They are easy to work with and provide innovative designs. The craftsmanship is impressive, and the company is dedicated to helping you find the perfect ring or set. You can customize the design and build your own.

Our Personal Experience With James Allen

Kimberly's engagement rings stacked on hear hand up close.
Kimberly’s lovely ring stack, with an engagement ring and wedding band from James Allen.
Photo by Kimberly Alt for, © Cover Story Media, Inc. 2024.

My husband bought my engagement ring from James Allen, and we were so pleased we also purchased our wedding bands from them. Their customer service was extremely helpful in helping us select the perfect stones and band to fit our budget and desired look. A few years later, he gifted me with two bands to add to my stack. The customer service team used some stock rings to help him visualize how my ring stack would look.

I love the versatility in my rings, as I opted not to have them soldered together. When traveling, I can wear my wedding band, so I don’t risk losing a ring. I can remove a band in the summer, so the rings fit more comfortably since my fingers expand a little in the heat. James Allen’s pricing is much lower than traditional big-name brick-and-mortar jewelry stores, and their ring selection is comprehensive. My husband has had a wonderful experience each time he’s purchased from them.

Kimberly Alt, Jewelry-holic & Writer for Safe Smart Living


Mejuri engagement ring website screenshot.
Mejuri offers sustainable jewelry with incredibly creative designs.

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Mejuri is a brand that uses partly recycled metals in its designs. It is a very ethical brand and uses 100% traceable gold. Mejuri is committed to sustainability while making gorgeous jewelry for every occasion and every couple.

Clean Origin

Clean Origin engagement ring website screenshot.
Clean Origin is dedicated to style, quality, and sustainability.

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Clean Origin does not use mined gemstones. They use only lab-grown diamonds and offer both ready-made and build-your-own ring options. They also offer free shipping and 100-day returns.

Need More Explanation?

Check out this video from a top wedding website, The Knot, for more engagement ring shopping tips.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a few often-asked questions about buying engagement rings. Let me know in the comment section if I missed yours.

When’s the best time to buy diamonds?

Look for deals on diamonds all year, but especially during the summer months, also referred to as wedding season.

What’s the difference between natural and lab-grown diamonds?

Lab-grown and natural diamonds are both real diamonds. They have the same chemical, physical, and optical properties. The main difference is that natural diamonds have been formed on the earth for over billions of years. Lab-grown diamonds are grown in the lab for over a few months.

Natural VS Lab-Grown Diamonds

Natural diamonds have high value, but lab-grown ones are beautiful and much less expensive. They are also far better for the environment. We cover this in more detail in our guide on lab-grown diamonds.

Do I have to buy a diamond engagement ring?

No, of course not. You can buy a ring with any stone you like or not buy a diamond at all. Many couples prefer birthstones, favorite gemstones, or alternative stones like turquoise and opal. There is no rule that a diamond must be part of it. Of course, you must consider your partner’s tastes and expectations.

What’s a good budget for an engagement ring?

Expect to spend between $500 and $1,000 on a good-quality ring. Of course, you can spend less or more according to your wants and budget.

When’s the best time to buy a wedding ring?

Wedding ring pricing often follows that of engagement rings. That means you can find some great prices in the spring and summer months, which are also close to the wedding season.

Did You Know?

The United States is the largest consumer of diamonds in the world, accounting for close to 53% of worldwide demand in 2022. Diamond engagement rings account for about 34% of total diamond sales. About 50% of the diamonds sold in the U.S. are bought as anniversary gifts, according to GITNUX Market Data Report.

5 Marriage Proposal Fun Facts

  1. Christmas Eve is an incredibly popular day for proposals, closely followed by Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.
  2. In Ireland and Scotland, it is a centuries-old tradition for women to propose marriage to men on February 29th, or Leap Day.
  3. Paris is one of the world’s most popular proposal places. Las Vegas, Nevada. Rome, New York, Greece, Florida, the beach, and the mountains are also popular locations.
  4. According to Guinness World Records, the longest engagement ever recorded stretched a whopping 67 years. Mexican couple Octavio Guillan and Adriana Martinez got engaged in 1902 but didn’t tie the knot until 1969, when they were both 82 years old.
  5. On average, about 2.8 million couples get engaged in the United States a year.

What’s The Difference Between An Engagement Ring And A Wedding Ring?

While the proposal ring is a promise to marry, the wedding band represents forever. In our recent guide, we explain the difference between wedding bands and engagement rings and share where these customs started. Engagement rings represent love for everyone and are not just for women anymore. We also examine the options for engagement rings for men and queer-friendly jewelry brands.

So, are you ready to propose? Do you have any proposal or engagement advice to share? Let us know in the comments.

Why Trust Safe Smart Living?

Danielle is a big supporter of love and a fan of all things sparkly. She has a deep appreciation for jewelry and enjoys making her own. She has never met a diamond she didn’t like. Danielle has been a professional writer for many years and uses her skills to help others share their stories. Her passion is connecting people with useful information and helping others find their voice. Danielle has researched and covered a wide range of subjects, from eco-friendly living and burial to healthy living, technology, education, science, small business, and more. Danielle spends countless hours researching to provide the most relevant and accurate information for our readers.

Danielle DeGroot

Danielle has been a professional writer for many years, working with companies and brands all over the world. She holds a BS in Communication and Marketing from Colorado State University Global and uses her skills to help others share their voices. She has researched and covered a wide range of subjects, from eco-friendly living and burial to healthy living, technology, education, science, small business, and more. Her passion is connecting people with useful information and helping others find their voice. Prior to starting her writing career, Danielle worked in public education, where she worked to support and educate children with disabilities. She works hard to stay on top of the latest changes in safety, technology, and living, which allows her to continue researching and sharing pertinent information to better others’ lives.

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