For many individuals, an engagement ring is one of the single largest investments they'll ever make aside from real estate and vehicle purchases. When you shop for an engagement ring, you're looking for a special piece of jewelry that will last, physically and symbolically, for years to come.

Your first thought when you start the hunt for the ring that will have her saying yes may be to visit a local mall or jewelers. While you may be able to find what you're looking for a traditional retailers, a jeweler may not be your best option. In this blog, we list five reasons to look for an engagement ring at reputable pawn shop first.

1. A Diamond in the Rough

When you walk into a jeweler, you see rows of sparkling newly manufactured rings. But just because these rings look shinier doesn't necessarily mean that the stones or metal are of higher quality.

At a pawn shop, you may get a better deal on a ring because it's experienced some weathering. Additionally, many pawn shops that carry and sell jewelry can also change stone settings and thoroughly clean the jewelry so that you walk away with a statement piece as beautiful as those found in any showroom.

2. More Bang for Your Buck

Because the rings offered by a jeweler are brand new, these items come at a premium cost. Many individuals who shop for engagement rings in showrooms walk away with a smaller stone than they wanted or with a financing deal that will keep them in debt for several years.

When you go to a pawn shop, you don't have to settle for a disappointing stone or saddle yourself with excessive debt. Many fine jewelry pieces in pawn shops sell for about half of what they would cost if sold by a jeweler.

3. Something Old and Something New

Never-been-worn pieces are beautiful, but designs carried by major retailers can lack individuality and charm. Pawn shop inventory often includes well-loved pieces with distinct and attractive designs.

If your fiancée loves vintage styles, antique treasures, or intricate jewelry designs, a pawn shop will have a selection Old World pieces that fit her personality. If your fiancée loves all things chic and modern, a pawn shop employee can help you find a ring that's right on trend.

4. Start Sustainably

The creation of new jewelry pieces consumes large amounts of resources, especially precious metals and natural stones. Many of these resources are not responsibly mined and traded, which means that the social and environmental cost of a mainstream jeweler's inventory may be extremely high.

When you purchase a second hand ring from a pawnshop, you give new life to an existing piece of jewelry. If these pieces were not sold to pawn shops, they could have ended up being melted down or taken apart to make new jewelry—a process that can also consume high levels of energy, water, and other natural resources.

5. Unique As Your Relationship

Many of the older jewelry pieces found in pawn shops are no longer made. Some rings in pawn shop inventories even feature custom or one-of-a-kind designs. No matter your fiancée's style, you're sure to find a unique piece that she can wear with pride.

Pawn shops are particularly useful if you're looking for an engagement ring that has a stone other than a diamond. Give your love a pearl, sapphire, or citron instead for a bold, beautiful statement.

The best ring for you and your future spouse should fit your respective tastes and shared budget. Start your search out right by visiting a trusted pawn shop before going to a jeweler.