Buying an Ethical Engagement or Wedding Ring on a Budget

Published by Claire Gould on

It’s a common misconception that buying an engagement or wedding ring on a budget means you can’t buy sustainably and ethically. English Wedding members Jacqueline & Edward are here to bust that myth and show you how you how you can buy affordably without compromising on quality or your eco values.

How to Buy an Affordable Engagement Ring

A grandmotherly wedding guest is inspecting a bride's ring at close quarters while other guests peer over her shoulder to see.

Photograph by Piccolino Weddings

Buying an Ethical Engagement or Wedding Ring on a Budget, by Jacqueline & Edward

Here’s our guide on how to get an affordable yet beautiful, ethical, made to order engagement ring… 

  1. Use a stand-in gemstone (for example, cubic zirconia or Moissanite) with the option to replace it with a diamond of the same size when you are ready.
  1. Try our Proposal Ring – this is a stand-in ring you can use to propose with and costs just £200. We have three package options to choose from and the great thing about the Proposal Ring is, you can then trade it in and get £200 off either one of our made to order engagement rings or a bespoke engagement ring.

The Proposal Ring still uses ethical metal and you can re-use some of the ring in your final forever ring if you want to, capturing that perfect moment forever.

  1. Consider lab grown diamonds or moissanite as an alternative to natural diamonds – they have a lower price point, are visually almost identical and provide an interesting ethical alternative.  For example, moissanite is intrinsically linked to space, the natural form of which was first identified in association with a meteorite impact crater.
  1. When it comes to metals, they aren’t all equal! Yellow Gold is the least expensive option. The carat of the gold also makes a difference to price but all our rings are made from 18ct gold.
  1. Having gemstones in the shoulders of the ring adds expense but these can be added at a later date – maybe as an alternative to an eternity ring to mark your one-year anniversary.  Just tell Jacqueline & Edward if this is something you’d like to do and we will make your engagement ring with this in mind.
  1. Uncertified diamonds and salt and pepper diamonds are a more affordable way to incorporate natural diamonds into your ring.  Uncertified diamonds are simply diamonds that haven’t been certified by an independent body such as GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or IGI (International Gemological Institute).  They are graded by the supplier of the diamond therefore saving the cost of being sent off to be officially graded and the associated uplift in price. We also double check this grading ourselves.  

Salt and pepper diamonds are all unique in relation to their internal colours and patterns, making them an intriguing alternative.

  1. If you don’t want diamonds in your engagement ring but prefer rubies or emeralds, consider lab grown rubies or emeralds instead. They tend to be more vivid, and typically have higher clarity than natural rubies. For more affordable coloured gemstones, lab grown is the way to go and from an ethical perspective, they are conflict free, having not been mined.
  1. If you’re a sentimentalist, you can use family gold, for example, heirloom jewellery, to either create your engagement ring, or just to offset the cost and recycle (we will recycle the gold). This keeps your metal costs lower and you’ll get to treasure some truly recycled, ethical, and sentimental jewellery.
  1. You can spread the cost of your ring with us either using Klarna (three equal payments) or we can split the cost of your engagement ring into two equal instalments, free of charge, and with no interest applied – just email Jacqueline & Edward to ask!
  1. Buying an ethical engagement ring doesn’t have to cost thousands, take a look at our beautiful range of classic, elegant rings for less than £1,000:

silver wedding or engagement ring by ethical UK jewellers Jacqueline and Edward

The Almond: Recycled 18ct Yellow Gold Engagement Ring with Moissanite Stone – £881

The Bohaun: Recycled 18ct Yellow Gold Engagement Ring with Moissanite Stone – £478

The Keltie: 18ct Yellow Gold Engagement Ring with Moissanite Stone – £835

The Kinglass: 18ct Yellow Gold Ring with Moissanite Stone – £415

Shop the full range of engagement rings here

Choosing Affordable Wedding Rings 

So you’re engaged! Now comes the excitement of organising a wedding. To help you find the perfect, ethical wedding ring at an affordable price, consider these helpful tips…

Wedding ring in a handmade wooden box by Jacqueline and Edward

  1. Go traditional! Intricate inlays and skillful Mokume Gane rings are unique and eye-catching, but traditionally designed wedding rings hold an ancient and timeless appeal as well as being less expensive. 

slimline ethical white gold wedding ring by Jacqueline and Edward made in the UK

A perfect example is The Devon, one of our traditional court rings. If you’d like something more intricate like an inlay adding a later date let us know and we can incorporate your preferences and future-proof your rings. 

  1. Try a narrower width for your ring. This could reduce materials and the cost of your ring by up to £200. Widths start at 1.5mm. 
  1. You can consider having your wedding bands in 9ct or 14ct gold. 9ct gold has 50% less gold than 18ct gold and can therefore reduce cost. All the rings we make use 18ct gold but you can email us to get a quote for rings of your choice in 9ct or 14ct gold – all our rings are made to order so we are able to offer this unique service.  Furthermore, we even create a lot of our gold alloys ourselves in-house.
  1. Choose a ‘classic’ instead of ‘heavy’ depth for your ring design. We already make our standard ‘classic’ depth to the same thickness as some jewellers ‘heavy’ rings – make sure you’re comparing apples with apples. Our classic depth is suitable and durable enough for all lifestyles.  
  1. If you want your wedding rings engraving but don’t want the added cost we can do this at any point in the future for you, so there’s no rush.
  1. You can contribute family gold to create your wedding rings too – either to offset costs or to directly recycle and reuse the metal. Jacqueline & Edward will keep your jewellery material costs lower and you’ll get to treasure some truly recycled, ethical, and sentimental wedding rings.  

Take a look at some of our ethical wedding rings (handmade made from recycled 18ct gold). All our rings are made to order and you’ll be surprised how affordable and competitively priced they are.

The Newlands: 18ct Yellow Gold Wedding Ring with Matt finish – £420

The Finglen: 18ct White Gold Wedding Ring with Honeycomb finish – £377

The Crossaig: 18ct Yellow Gold Channel Cut Wedding Ring with Etched finish – £400

channel cut ethical wedding ring by Jacqueline and Edward

Shop the full range of wedding rings

Spread the Cost

Look at spreading the cost of your rings to make payment more manageable and affordable. You can spread the cost of your ring with Jacqueline & Edward either using Klarna (three equal payments) or we can split the cost of your engagement ring into two equal instalments, free of charge, and with no interest applied – just email us to ask!

A Unique Touch 

All our rings are made with a small piece of river gold melted into the recycled metals. You get to choose the provenance of this gold, whether that be from the Scottish Highlands, Wales, Devon – anywhere has meaning for you. This small piece of gold is gifted to you from us and helps to make your ring truly special and unique.

So there you have it. You can have an ethical, artisan engagement or wedding ring on a budget!


Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.


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