How Much To Spend On An Engagement Ring

  • Publication date: 05/03/2023
  • Updated: 05/03/2023

Getting engaged is a big step in any relationship, and one of the most traditional ways to symbolize this commitment is by giving an engagement ring. However, with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know how much to spend on such a significant purchase. There are various factors to consider when buying an engagement ring, including the cut, color, clarity, and carat weight of the diamond, as well as the metal and setting style.

In this article, we will explore the average cost of an engagement ring, along with a list of some of the most expensive rings ever sold. We'll also offer some tips on how to choose the perfect engagement ring without breaking the bank. Whether you're a traditionalist looking to spend a significant amount of money or someone who wants to be practical with your budget, this article will provide you with valuable insights to help you make an informed decision.

How Much Money Should You Really Spend On A Wedding Ring

Bianka Tang
Photo by Bianka Tang

Ah, the wedding ring - the ultimate symbol of love and commitment. It's the one piece of jewelry that you'll wear every day for the rest of your life, so it's important to get it right. But how much to spend on an engagement ring?

Well, let us start by saying that there's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It really depends on your personal preferences, your budget, and what you value most in a ring. Some people might think that spending three months' salary on a ring is the way to go, while others might be perfectly happy with a simple band. The only thing we can tell you for sure is that this ring should be something special. It should be a reflection of your love and your commitment to each other. But don't break the bank! You don't want to start your marriage off in debt just because you wanted to impress your partner with a fancy ring. Remember, the most important thing is the love and commitment you share, not the size of the rock on your finger.

If you're on a tight budget, don't worry! There are plenty of options out there that won't cost you an arm and a leg. You could opt for a simple band, or choose a less expensive gemstone instead of a diamond. And who knows, maybe you can upgrade your ring down the line when you're both in a better financial position. Ultimately, the amount you spend on a wedding ring is up to you. It's a personal decision that should take into account your financial situation, your values, and your partner's preferences.

Average Engagement Ring Cost

Chris Faith
Photo by Chris Faith

The cost of an engagement ring can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the type of metal, the size and quality of the diamond, and where you purchase it. According to some surveys, the average cost of an engagement ring in the United States is around $5,500. But that's just an average, and the cost can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands. Let's break it down a bit further. Here are some examples of engagement rings at different price points:

  1. $500-$1,000: For this price range, you can get a simple yet elegant solitaire ring with a small diamond or other gemstones. You can also find vintage or antique rings at this price point.
  2. $1,000-$3,000: In this range, you can get a higher quality diamond or a ring with multiple smaller diamonds. You may also be able to afford a ring with a unique setting or a colored gemstone.
  3. $3,000-$5,000: With this budget, you can get a larger diamond with higher quality or a ring with a more intricate setting. You can also find rings with alternative gemstones like sapphires or emeralds.
  4. $5,000 and up: If you're looking to go all out, this is the range for you. You can find rings with large, high-quality diamonds or unique and custom-designed settings. You can also opt for a designer ring from a luxury brand like Tiffany & Co.

Now, just because the average cost of an engagement ring is $5,500, it doesn't mean you have to spend that much. It's important to consider your own financial situation and what you can comfortably afford. 

So, what's a reasonable engagement ring price? As we already mentioned, it depends. For example, you can find simple and elegant solitaire rings for under $1,000. If you're willing to spend a bit more, you can get a higher-quality diamond or a ring with a more intricate setting for around $3,000-$5,000. You can also consider vintage or antique rings, which can be both affordable and unique.

Do’s And Don’ts In Setting Your Engagement Ring Budget

Photo by Volodymyr Ivash

Before you start shopping for that perfect engagement ring, it's important to set a budget. Here are some tips to help you set a budget that works for you.

DO: Take a look at your finances. It's important to assess your current financial situation and figure out how much you can realistically afford to spend on an engagement ring. Don't let the pressure to impress or the desire for a flashy ring cloud your judgment.

DON'T: Break the bank. It's not worth going into debt or sacrificing your financial stability for a ring. Trust us, your partner will appreciate your responsible decision-making and financial savvy more than a flashy ring.

DO: Consider alternative options. There are plenty of alternative options to diamonds that are just as beautiful and meaningful but won't cost you an arm and a leg. Read on, we’ll tell you about them a bit later.

DON'T: Get caught up in the hype. It's easy to get caught up in the idea that a bigger or more expensive ring is better, but that's simply not true. The ring should be a reflection of your love and commitment to each other, not a competition to see who can spend the most money.

DO: Be creative. There are plenty of ways to make an engagement special without spending a fortune on a ring. Consider proposing with a sentimental item, like a family heirloom or a custom-made piece of jewelry. You can also plan a unique and memorable proposal that your partner will never forget.

Engagement Rings Rule Of Thumb: Explained

Photo by Jennifer Conti

The "rule of thumb" for engagement rings is a longstanding tradition that suggests a person should spend about two months' salary on an engagement ring. This "rule" has been around for decades and is still widely believed and followed by many people today. 

But does the rule of thumb really work? Well, that's up for debate. While it may have worked for some people in the past, the reality is that everyone's financial situation is different. Spending two months' salary on a ring may be feasible for some, but for others, it may not be a realistic option.

Engagement Ring Prices: Diamonds And Other Gemstones

Nadine Nasby
Photo by Nadine Nasby

When it comes to engagement rings, diamonds are often seen as the ultimate choice. But let's be real, diamonds can be crazy expensive, and not everyone wants to empty their wallet for a piece of jewelry. So, what are some other options?

First, let's talk about diamond ring prices. The average cost of a real diamond ring, as we stated above, is $5,500. But here's the thing: diamonds aren't the only beautiful gemstones out there. In fact, there are plenty of other gems that are just as stunning and special as diamonds. And the best part? They're often much more affordable.

Take moissanite, for example. This gemstone is often used as a diamond alternative and is known for its brilliance and fire. It's also much less expensive than a diamond, making it a great option for those on a budget. A 2-carat moissanite engagement ring will typically cost around $1,200, while a 3-carat is $3,000.

Another option is sapphire. This gemstone comes in a range of colors, from classic blue to pink, yellow, and even black. It's also a durable stone, making it a great choice for everyday wear. Sapphires are often less expensive than diamonds, with prices ranging from $500 to $2,000 per carat.

If you're looking for something a little more unique, consider morganite. This peach-colored gemstone is becoming increasingly popular in engagement rings and is known for its soft, romantic look. Morganite prices range from $80 to $450 per carat, depending on the quality of the gemstone.

And let's not forget about emeralds, rubies, and even pearls! Each of these gemstones has its own unique beauty and can make for a stunning and meaningful engagement ring.

Now, we know what you're thinking. "But wait, aren't diamonds supposed to be the most valuable gemstone?" Well, that's not necessarily true. The value of a gemstone depends on a number of factors, including its rarity, color, clarity, and cut. So, if you're considering an engagement ring but don't want to spend a fortune on a diamond, don't worry! There are plenty of other options out there that are just as beautiful and special. And who knows, you might just fall in love with a gemstone you never even considered before.

The Most Expensive Engagement Rings In History

Alright, let's talk about expensive engagement rings. The kind of rings that make you wonder, "Who in their right mind would spend that much money on a piece of jewelry?" Well, apparently, some people would.

Let's start with the most expensive engagement ring ever sold. It's the Pink Star diamond ring, which sold for a whopping $71.2 million at auction in 2017. The ring features a 59.60-carat pink diamond and was purchased by Hong Kong-based jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook.

But that's not the only insanely expensive engagement ring out there. Take the Blue Moon of Josephine, for example. This ring features a 12.03-carat blue diamond and was sold for $48.5 million in 2015. It was named after the daughter of King Rama IX of Thailand and was purchased by Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau as a gift for her.

Then there's Oppenheimer Blue, which sold for $50.6 million in 2016. This ring features a 14.62-carat blue diamond and was named after its former owner, Sir Philip Oppenheimer, a member of the Oppenheimer family that controlled De Beers, the world's largest diamond producer.

But, let's be honest, you don't have to spend a fortune on an engagement ring to make it memorable. In fact, some of the most meaningful rings are the ones that have sentimental value, like a family heirloom or a ring that was custom-designed for your partner.

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Natali Grace Levine Editor-in-Chief

Manages The Wezoree's content strategy
Writes and edits articles for the Inspiration Blog