When you find the one and you’re ready to commit to forever, love can’t wait. You know you want to spend the rest of your lives together, and that’s what matters. But you may not have the budget just yet for the ring of your dreams. 


So how do you choose the right one for right now? Consider buying a simple engagement ring now — often referred to as a “starter ring” — and upgrading later. Much like a “starter home,” a starter ring can represent the beginning of your life together and be upgraded later, as you start a new chapter in your love story. 


Some things to think about as you look for the right ring for right now:  

  • Look at smaller stones. An exceptional smaller stone can dazzle more than a larger one if it offers the best of the 4Cs. Ask about that as you look at diamond cuts
  • Go for color. If your fiancée-to-be loves following (or setting) trends, you might do well with a diamond in black, brown, blue, green or yellow. A gemstone, such as a ruby, emerald, sapphire or tanzanite, can also be less expensive than a diamond. 
  • Multiply your options. A multi-stone engagement ring features multiple stones that shine together for major sparkle. Going with a multi-stone ring is the perfect way to maximize your budget, while getting a big, bold look they’ll love.  
  • Think about a promise ring. Sometimes, shopping for a promise ring will lead you to a simple diamond ring that will fit your purpose. A promise ring can be a simple diamond solitaire or can feature several diamonds on a small band. Promise rings come in all shapes and sizes. 


There’s no right or wrong time to upgrade your ring, but you may consider making a ring change for a special occasion. Some great opportunities include: 

  • A big anniversary such as 10, 20 or 25 years 
  • A milestone birthday for you or your spouse 
  • A special occasion like the birth of a child 
  • Wedding vow renewal ceremony 
  • Just an ordinary day — that may really catch your partner by surprise 
  • When you are ready to upgrade your ring, you have options

Add Diamonds: If your engagement ring is a solitaire, consider adding more diamonds for even more radiant sparkle. Smaller diamonds complementing the center stone will keep the focus on the main diamond and enhance its brilliance.  

Add Color: Sapphires, emeralds and rubies come in beautiful, vivid colors. You can have them added to your current diamond ring to represent new parts of your life, such as adding birthstones for your children’s birthdays. 

Change the Band: Another way to upgrade your engagement ring is to change the band. You can trade in a white gold diamond band for a trending yellow gold diamond band. Another option would be to add a band that is lined with diamonds.  

Add a Halo: Halo styles feature a ring of diamonds around the main center diamond. You can even add a second halo to your ring if your ring already has one. 

Upgrade to a New Stone: An obvious choice for upgrading your engagement ring is to upgrade the original stone. You can choose a larger diamond, or a different stone cut or style. A Virtual Jewelry Consultant will be happy to talk you through your options and make suggestions.   

Reuse Your Original Ring’s Stone(s): Retain your ring’s sentimental value by reusing the original stone in a different way. You can even have your original diamond placed in a necklace setting! Attend one of the KAY Custom Design and Restoration Events to have your jewelry remade into something new.  

Get a New Ring: If you’d rather upgrade to an entirely new ring, consider creating a custom ring with KAY. From having a one-of-a-kind design made from scratch to mixing and matching options online, there are many ways to create a ring that’s as unique as your love. 

Beautiful engagement rings come in every size, shape, color and material. However you decide to move forward, come back to The Union to share your story. Would you consider a starter ring? Sound off in the comments!