Brecken HeadshotThis is an especially big time for bridal.

According to Wedding Wire, a software company that hosts a wedding destination site, 33 percent of all engagements happen between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. I imagine affording holiday gifts and travel on top of purchasing an engagement ring can be pretty tough at this time of year, which is why some couples are turning to pre-owned bridal jewelry.

Leslie Johnson, vice president of marketing at Have You Seen The Ring (HYSTR), said they have seen more and more people buying pre-owned rings on their site, with sales climbing from selling 30 rings per month in 2011, its first full year in business, to selling an average of 70 rings a month this year.

Their current average sale price is around $3,000, and Johnson notes that when it comes to trends, they’re seeing a resurgence in the popularity of round stones.

“Last year and the year before, cushion and princess(-cut) stones were very popular, but we’re seeing buyers move back to the circle shape,” she says. “We’re also seeing that halo styles continue to be popular.”

Have You Seen The Ring provides a marketplace for both buyers and sellers of pre-owned diamond engagement rings, as well as loose diamonds and new diamonds.

120913 Blog Tiffany Ring

This Tiffany & Co. platinum and diamond engagement ring with a bead-set band features a center stone of 1.4 carats and is  H color, VS1 clarity. It retails for $20,000 and sold on Have You Seen The Ring in August for $10,000, according to Johnson. (Photo courtesy of HYSTR)

HYSTR said it differentiates itself from sites like Craigslist and eBay by providing an extra safety measure to ensure buyers are getting the quality they were promised, working with two certified gemologists from the Gemological Institute of America. After a purchase, every ring is sent to HYSTR, which verifies it within 24 hours. The site also holds the buyer’s money so that no one is charged until it is verified.

When I really started thinking about the fact that more people are buying pre-owned I realized that, under the right circumstances, I actually wouldn’t mind receiving a pre-owned ring.

I think that there’s  a lot to be said for using these resources to find the ring you want that’s within budget, especially at a younger age. As long as the ring doesn’t have a shady past, and maybe even if there’s a cool history to it, I think it could be a great option.

120913 Blog Princess Engagement

This princess-cut engagement ring is currently for sale on HYSTR as of Monday morning, listed at $4,750. The center stone is 1.07 carats, I color, VS1 clarity, with 3.06 total carat weight. (Photo courtesy of HYSTR)

This seemed to be the consensus with a number of friends that I asked.

My best friend Katie, who prides herself on her ability to thrift, said that she would be proud of her fiancé for finding a good deal, as long as it doesn’t have a seedy past or come from a cheap pawn shop.

Another friend said that she’d be okay with it, if it came down to pre-owned being what they could afford. If she was to get engaged in the next few years, she understands that it could be a good option to help stay within budget, especially if it meant saving for additional details during the wedding.

My friends and I, just like many in our generation, graduated college and entered an economy that was seriously hurting. We fought for jobs and salaries, and really understand the value of saving, being frugal, and finding good deals, so I think it’ll be really interesting to see where this trend goes and if it picks up the pace, especially in regards to what role Millennials will play in it.

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