While wedding traditions change over time, one is still a symbol of a union and a promise—the engagement ring.
The funds to buy an engagement ring could be an issue for college students. Christie’s Jewelry and Watch Repair and Paper Bear can accommodate college sweethearts intending to pop the question.
Christie’s sales associate Sarah Clark said the average 14 karat diamond ring can range from $800 to $10,000 in store. There are several options to bring the price down. A prospective fiance could opt for sterling silver instead of gold or platinum, significantly lowering the price.
Clark said Christie’s is used to working with students on a budget.
“Most of our engagement rings do go to students, graduate students or those about to graduate and wanting to take the next step,” Clark said. “We usually offer a little bit of a discount depending on the situation of the person.”
Clark’s best tip for students would be to custom order, which she said is far less expensive than purchasing an engagement ring already in its setting. Clark said Christie’s offers free sizing, stone tightening and cleanings for life.
Christie’s meets the needs of those seeking a traditional engagement ring. In addition, they offer the increasingly popular Irish wedding rings, claddaghs. These rings are customizable and vary widely in price range, similar to a traditional diamond setting, Clark said.
The Irish rings are far more affordable. Even stores like Paper Bear offer them for around $50 in sterling silver.
Andrea Villalobos, Paper Bear jewelry clerk, said the Irish ring can be used as a substitute for when someone’s original ring is being cleaned or has been misplaced or broken. It is good for students who still want something to wear while saving up, Villalobos said.
Paper Bear currently advertises in the Texas State coupon book and rewards its Facebook followers with occasional discounts.