Beautiful, Ethical Engagement Rings Under $2,000

By Jamera McNeil on October 24, 2018 at 9:36 am

There’s a unique engagement ring for every budget. Whether you’re not sure what an engagement ring should cost (hint: we think that’s up to you!), or you know the exact amount you want to spend, Bario Neal’s handcrafted ethical engagement rings are ready for your proposal. Nervous about such a big special purchase? We make ring shopping totally painless. Even better, we make it fun. Our welcoming showrooms in Philadelphia and New York City are stress free. Budget talk with clients is friendly and down to earth.

Collage of rose gold rings under $2,000
L to R: Nikko Pear White Sapphire Ring and Myrtle Blue-Green Sapphire Ring

Still think a trip to a jewelry store might be akin to sweating a final exam or being trapped in a Darren Aronofsky movie? We have plenty of advice “” and plenty of engagement rings under $2,000 “” for the budget-conscious shopper. Plus, there are four ideas for engagement ring + wedding band for under $3,000.

  1. Your love is NOT measured by how much you’re willing to spend on an engagement ring.

Ask us how much you should spend on an engagement ring, and we’ll say, “Tell us about your partner.” “I tell people it’s important to find a ring that will symbolize your sentiment, and that often means a design that speaks to their partner’s personality,” says Sarah Rachel Brown, a Sales Assistant at Bario Neal. In the 10 years since Bario Neal started, we’ve loved seeing attitudes shift when it comes to how much “should” be spent on an engagement ring. More and more clients scoff at the notion that how big a ring is, or how expensive a ring looks matters. They care instead about the story of the ring. Our Aira Oko Morganite Ring ($560) erases the notion that you need to pay a staggering ring price for a happy-ever-after tale.

  1. You don’t have to talk price right away to find an engagement ring that fits your budget.

The Bario Neal team doesn’t typically zero in on prices first thing. “It’s not that we’re not conscious of a client’s budget, but we don’t want it to be the only focus of the discussion immediately,” Sarah says. “We naturally navigate our way there.” If you or your partner starts to fall in love with a ring during an appointment, for example, Sarah might give a broad range of possible cost. An engagement ring price will go up or down depending on the metals or stones you choose. If you want to get a sense of how that works, check out any engagement ring on our site, go to “Build Ring” and play with the different options in the dropdown menus. You or your partner might be drawn to a diamond alternative, like the white sapphire in our Nikko Pear White Sapphire Ring ($1,360). A colorful gemstone like the one in our Myrtle Blue-Green Sapphire Ring ($1,920) might fit your style and budget perfectly.

  1. It’s totally fine to walk into our showrooms or email to tell us: “I want to spend $1,000 and no more.”

First, know that at Bario Neal, under $1,000 doesn’t mean you won’t have plenty of engagement rings to choose from. Our sunny Cluster Opal Ring ($875) taps into the current cluster craze and has two pretty stones, an opal and a sapphire. Second, we’re happy to hear upfront what you have to work with on spending. “I just worked with a client over email, and she really wanted a ruby ring, and she had $1,500 to spend, which isn’t realistic for a ruby ring. So we went with a lab-grown ruby, which is a great option when you have a modest budget,” Sarah says. If you’re visiting with your partner but don’t want to get into money during the engagement ring appointment, let us know your budget in advance by email or phone. “I won’t steer your partner to a ring that doesn’t fit your price range,” Sarah says. “And if someone falls in love with a ring, we will work with clients and find a way to make it work.”

 

Photo of Nikko Engagement Ring

  1. Buying an engagement ring shouldn’t come with sales pressure, awkwardness, or anything uncomfortable.

So many clients pay the Bario Neal team the best compliment by telling us how enjoyable “” and easy! “” we make the whole engagement ring buying process. Our sales associates don’t work on commission, and they’re completely committed to making every single visitor, every single couple, feel welcome regardless of budget. “We get clients who have had experiences at jewelry stores that are not ideal, and they come to us, and they just breathe a sigh of relief,” Sarah says. “When we’re working with clients, it’s not about how much we can get them to spend. It’s wanting them to find the right ring that’s going to make them happy.” Sarah has so much fun with clients, her love for stacking rings proves contagious. One of her “perfect” engagement rings is actually two rings: She stacks our Baguette Solitaire Diamond Ring (starts at $525) and Nikko Morganite Ring (starts at $630). Together, they’re $1,155. “Not everyone wants one big ring,” Sarah says. “Many clients with demanding jobs don’t want a giant ring on their hand all day. And they don’t want a ring that they can’t actually wear.”

  1. You don’t have to pay 100% of the cost of an engagement ring upon ordering.

You can make full payment right away, but a 50% deposit is fine at Bario Neal. You’ll pay the balance when you pick up the ring, which is usually four to six weeks from ordering “” a bit of a breather.

  1. You shouldn’t have to spend a lot to get a high-quality engagement ring.

“At the heart of our collection is really great design,” Sarah says. “With the Bario Neal aesthetic, you can often get a really beautiful ring for a price that will surprise you.” You also have the assurance of knowing that Bario Neal works with recycled metals and ethically sourced stones to create your ethical engagement ring. Plus, we’re a small company so your made-to-order engagement ring isn’t being robotically manufactured with 15 other rings that look exactly like it. Instead, it will be handcrafted right in our workshop by skilled jewelers who make sure every aspect is executed precisely.I do the final quality check on all engagement rings,” Sarah says. “I take them under magnification and I’m looking for every little thing on the ring to be perfect. There are multiple steps along the way where we’re ensuring that our rings are being made with attention to detail.”

Gold Rings Under $2,000
L to R: Cluster Garnet Ring and Fishtail Band
  1. Yep, you can do engagement ring + wedding band for under $3,000.

No magic number of rings makes you married. If you’re a couple looking for a pair of simple gold bands, we’ve got you. If you want an engagement ring and wedding band, and need to make sure the final total is under a certain amount, the Bario Neal team can suggest wedding bands that work with our engagement rings to fit your budget, like our Cluster Garnet Ring ($950) and Fishtail Band ($415), which tally to $1,365, or any of the ideas pictured here.

  1. The experience of buying an engagement ring together can mean so much more than a price tag.

Sarah has worked with clients who have planned a surprise engagement ring shopping day that becomes a lasting memory. “They might not have a huge budget, but they’ll create this day,” she says. “They’ll take their partner out for lunch and a walk, and then ‘end up’ at Bario Neal, and the partner is surprised with an appointment.” For one full hour, your partner gets the full Bario Neal treatment and attention. We walk you through our collections and talk about what your partner really wants in a ring. You get all the credit for showing your partner you really care that he or she gets a ring to love. “It really takes the attention off of how big a ring is or how expensive it was,” Sarah says. “The memory is this experience they had.”

As a designer of ethical engagement rings, we don’t just consider how our jewelry is made. We also value every client, and want you to feel fairly treated. “Caring doesn’t cost anything,” says Sarah. Shopping for engagement rings shouldn’t be intimidating. We use a jewelry handcrafting process from start to finish that we feel good about, and our clients do too. That meaningful story has more value than anyone can count.

All You Need to Know About Pulling Off a Holiday Proposal

By Jamera McNeil on September 19, 2018 at 9:02 am

Photograph of a man holding a jewelry box with an engagement ring inside

 

Marriage proposals can make even the most stiff-upper-lipped among us get a little teary any time of year. The holiday proposal is special because December’s a time when many families gather and celebrate with traditions. After Australians’ historic vote last year to legalize gay marriage, the prime minister set an “enact before Christmas!” deadline. Plus, who can resist twinkling lights, sugar cookies, and a Cluster Diamond Ring? There are a few things to know about shopping for an engagement ring and popping the question at that time of the year, but with our holiday proposal guide, you’ll be able to come through on one of the eight days of Hanukkah or secure a permanent spot on Santa’s Nice List.

  1. Finding the Right Engagement Ring

If you’ve been talking marriage, your partner has probably dropped a few hints about favorite ring designs or shared preferences with someone close to you both. (Check out our   advice on buying a perfect engagement ring without your partner knowing.) Ask around””or just ask your partner directly. That’s totally fine! The proposal itself can still be a meaningful surprise if you’d like.

Before you visit a Bario Neal showroom, try to get a sense of what ring styles and metal and gemstones your partner likes. Many clients fall in love with our classic solitaire Avens Princess Diamond Ring, but not everyone dreams of a white diamond engagement ring. Ask your partner about ring size so you’ll be able to slip the engagement ring on with the “Will you marry me?”””and keep it there. The closer you get to a perfect fit, the better. If you do need a resize, it will take a couple weeks (and sizing down more than one size may    require extra time). Certain rings can’t be resized; see our lists here and here or ask us during your appointment.

  1. Proposing With THE Engagement Ring

If you have a good idea of what your partner wants in an engagement ring and want to pull off a holiday proposal, get in touch with us ASAP. We can work with you to make it special and advise you on lead times and planning. The run-up to the December holidays is one of our busiest times of year, and Bario Neal engagement rings are handcrafted to order. Typical turnaround times for our collection rings are on our website. Go to a specific ring, and click on “Lead Time & Returns” for details. Our Nikko Diamond Ring, for example, takes about six weeks. Custom rings, like this Custom 1 carat Cushion Cut Diamond Cluster Ring, take a minimum of eight weeks, and have no set lead time as we craft a one-of-a-kind ring just for your love. Rush orders are possible on collection items, for an additional fee, but if you’re custom-designing a one-of-a-kind engagement ring with us and won’t hit your   deadline, you can always propose with a temporary ring! Read on for how to make that work in No. 3 below.

Photograph of a man placing an engagement ring on a woman's finger

  1. Proposing Without THE Engagement Ring

If you’ve worked with us to sketch out the perfect personalized engagement ring””but you didn’t leave enough time before the holidays for your custom order, that doesn’t mean coal in your stocking. We have pretty, simple in-stock rings you can get in a week or less to use as a placeholder for the proposal. Our Ready Ring can be picked up from our Philadelphia location same day, or ordered online with shipping in two days. You can even return the Ready Ring with zero fees when your personalized ring is complete. The romantic Knottedrush Ring and delicate Milla Ultra Thin Band have very short lead times too, and can work as stand in’s while we finish your final ring.

  1. Planning a Romantic Surprise Engagement Ring Appointment

If you’re thinking, “Buying an engagement ring is a huge decision so why wouldn’t I want my partner there with me?” you aren’t alone. Many of our clients choose to go engagement ring shopping together. Teamwork is romantic. There are still plenty of ways to elevate the outing above a Saturday to-do list and make the day extra special. Plan a day (here are tons of suggestions if you’re visiting our Philadelphia showroom) with a great meal before or after an appointment. For a surprise: Get your partner to our neighborhood in NYC or Philly, and then pop the question outside of our showroom””and let them know now’s the time for engagement ring shopping. We’ll be ready inside to make the visit fun and memorable for you both, just give us a heads up when you make the appointment!

  1. Wrapping an Engagement Ring

Even if you don’t plan to get down on one knee and slowly open a box for a big engagement ring reveal, Bario Neal’s handcrafted porcelain jewelry boxes are a beautiful way to make a holiday proposal more special. We designed these exclusive boxes ourselves, and they are hand cast by a small studio in Portland, Oregon. You’ll get extra credit for giving your partner a pretty place to store the engagement ring when necessary in the future. Remember: If you’re a planner who gets the ring well before the proposal, you’ll have to find a good, safe hiding place if you’re going for surprise.

Whatever the date on your calendar, if you’re thinking proposal, get in touch with us today to get all the details about our engagement rings. We’re happy to talk about lead times and guide you through what you’ll need to know, particularly for planning a holiday proposal. Advance planners and last-minute shoppers alike can make the upcoming (really, it’s right around the corner!) season extra romantic this year.

Photo of couple of hands embracing in the background with a porcelain ring box in the foreground