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How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?

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how much should you spend on an engagement ring

Buying an engagement ring is a big decision. You might wonder, “How much should you spend on an engagement ring?” This question has many answers. It depends on your budget, preferences, and traditions. Some people say you should spend three months’ salary. Others believe it’s more personal. In this guide, we’ll help you find the right amount to spend. Here we’ll explore different factors to consider when setting a budget for an engagement ring. From traditional guidelines to modern perspectives, we’ll help you make an informed decision that feels right for you. By the end, you’ll feel confident in your choice. Buying an engagement ring should be a joyful experience. Let’s explore the best way to make it special without breaking the bank.

How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring

Deciding how much an engagement ring should cost is a personal choice. Traditional guidelines, like spending three months’ salary, are outdated for many people. Instead, focus on what feels right for your financial situation and personal preferences.

Start by setting a budget. Look at your income, savings, and monthly expenses. Consider how much you’re comfortable spending without straining your finances. Remember, the ring is a symbol of love, not a measure of your worth.

Understanding the 4 Cs—Cut, Clarity, Carat, and Color—can help you get the best value for your money. You don’t have to aim for perfection in all areas. Prioritize what’s most important to you and your partner. For instance, a well-cut diamond can look stunning even if it’s smaller or has minor inclusions.

Consider alternatives like lab-grown diamonds or gemstones, which can be more affordable and just as beautiful. Custom rings might offer unique options within your budget.

Don’t forget additional costs like insurance, resizing, and maintenance. Planning for these expenses ensures you’re prepared for the total cost of ownership.

Ultimately, the right amount to spend on an engagement ring is what feels comfortable for you. Make a choice that balances financial sense with emotional value.

What Is the Average Cost of an Engagement Ring?

Before getting into specific numbers, it’s important to recognize that everyone’s financial situation is different, and there’s no fixed amount that one should spend on an engagement ring. Kristina Buckley Kayel, managing director and CMO at the Natural Diamond Council, notes that the average price for engagement rings sold in 2021 and 2022 ranged from $6,500 to $7,000. This average, however, varies widely—some couples spend much less, while others invest a lot more.

The cost of an engagement ring can vary widely based on several factors. As you explore options, you’ll encounter a range of prices influenced by the 4Cs: cut, clarity, carat, and color. These elements greatly impact the final price of a natural diamond engagement ring. Tom Bergan, vice president of Grown Brilliance, notes that the amount you spend will also depend on your partner’s preferences.

Consider the desired size and style of the ring. Some may prefer a delicate design, while others might opt for a higher carat weight. The quality and size of the center stone, additional details like halos or stones in the band, and the type of metal chosen for the setting all contribute to the ring’s cost.

In summary, while the average cost of an engagement ring ranges from $6,500 to $7,000, the actual amount you spend should reflect your financial comfort and your partner’s preferences. By considering these factors, you can find a ring that is both meaningful and within your budget.

The Most Widely Held Myths About Engagement Ring Cost

When it comes to buying an engagement ring, several myths can cloud your judgment and make the process more stressful than it needs to be. Let’s debunk some of the most widely held myths about engagement ring costs.

Myth 1: You Must Spend Three Months’ Salary

One of the most persistent myths is that you should spend three months’ salary on an engagement ring. This guideline was popularized by marketing campaigns, not financial advisors. The amount you spend should reflect your financial situation and personal values, not an arbitrary rule.

Myth 2: Bigger Is Always Better

Another common misconception is that a larger diamond is always better. In reality, the quality of the diamond—its cut, clarity, and color—can have a greater impact on its beauty than its size. A well-cut diamond can appear more brilliant and impressive than a larger, poorly cut one.

Myth 3: Diamonds Are the Only Option

Many people believe that an engagement ring must feature a diamond. However, there are many beautiful alternatives, such as sapphires, emeralds, and even lab-grown diamonds, which can be more affordable and just as stunning.

Myth 4: You Have to Buy a Brand New Ring

Some think that an engagement ring must be brand new. Vintage or heirloom rings can be unique and carry sentimental value. Additionally, buying second-hand can offer significant savings without sacrificing quality.

Myth 5: Custom Rings Are Always More Expensive

While custom rings can be pricey, they are not always more expensive than off-the-shelf options. Customizing a ring allows you to control the budget and prioritize features that matter most to you, potentially saving money in the process.

Myth 6: More Details Mean Higher Costs

Intricate details like halos, pavé settings, or engraved bands do add to the cost, but they don’t necessarily have to break the bank. Smart choices in design and materials can give you the look you want without overspending.

Myth 7: You Must Shop at High-End Jewelers

High-end jewelers are known for their quality and service, but they are not the only places to find beautiful engagement rings. Online retailers, independent jewelers, and local boutiques can offer competitive prices and unique designs.


Determining how much to spend on an engagement ring is a personal decision that should reflect your financial situation, priorities, and the preferences of your partner. While traditional guidelines and averages can provide some direction, they are not set rules. Focus on what feels right for you and your significant other. Consider factors such as your budget, the 4 Cs, and potential alternatives like lab-grown diamonds or other gemstones. Remember to account for additional costs and plan accordingly. Ultimately, the most important aspect of an engagement ring is the love and commitment it symbolizes, not the price tag. Make a thoughtful choice that balances financial prudence with emotional value, ensuring a joyous start to your new chapter together.

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