Now people will usually pick a single, large diamond for their ring. If you're looking for the most sparkle for your dollar, it's usually a far better idea to buy several small diamonds to encrust your ring with. You could make sure that they are inexpensive diamonds of the pavé variety, and you wouldn't even spend much on it.
The best way to save on the price of jewelry is always to stay away from the namebrand jewelers. A diamond after all, is a diamond, whether it's branded or not. It's a natural formation. As long as it's a diamond and it's from a reasonably reputable jeweler there is very little that can go wrong. And not to mention, you're going to be able to negotiate (haggle would be a more suitable term what you hope to do) when you go to a smalltime jeweler.
There are all kinds of tricks that you can take advantage of when you go to a smalltime jeweler. For instance, did you know that a 2 carat diamond is visually indistinguishable from a 1.9 carat diamond, but that it's significantly more expensive? A 2 carat diamond is a set size. People go for that. A 1.9 carat diamond on the other hand is a nonstandard size and isn't as much in demand. To you though, it's all the same. You can save lots of money and it's going to look exactly the same.
There are other places where you can go with alternatives. For instance, who says that you have to use platinum? Platinum and palladium are expensive. White gold, on the other hand, is much less so. Just as long as you are willing to do the re-plating that's necessary every year, you'll be fine. You don't even have to go with a diamond, either. These days, people are returning to tradition and going with sapphires, rubies and emeralds instead of diamonds.
You're probably surprised here – why would buying one of these other stones be considered returning to tradition?
The thing is, diamonds never were considered wedding ring tradition. If it was only until 50 years ago or so that the diamond cartels of the world managed to turn public sentiment toward the diamond through constant advertising. You don't have to buy