How Much to Spend on an Engagement Ring? (See Our Chart)

Once you decide to purchase an engagement ring, it is necessary to do in-depth research on time. Believe it or not, the highest ring prices are between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day since approximately 40% of Americans decide to propose to their girlfriends in that period.

The next thing to do is to determine how much to spend on an engagement ring. More than 50% of Americans believe that spending up to $3,000 is acceptable. On the other hand, about 30% don’t want to buy a more expensive ring than $1,000. What do you think?

The Average Price of an Engagement Ring

The Average Price of an Engagement Ring
Image: Something Borrowed

Most of you have heard about the two-months’ salary rule when it comes to the engagement ring. Some men believe that they shouldn’t distort the tradition, but modern young people increasingly disregard this custom.

The fact is that a diamond company DeBeers made up this ‘rule’ to get people to spend more bucks on the ring. Basically, there are only two crucial things you should consider before going to the jewelry store:

Your girlfriend’s expectations

You know your girlfriend the best, and you probably have an idea of the engagement ring type she prefers. Your primary goal is to buy a ring she will love and feel proud of, no matter how much money you have spent on it.

My advice is to never speculate about the precious metal for the desired ring, the type of setting, and the diamond’s shape. Always try to be sure! You should also need to check if there is a family heirloom or planned diamond to incorporate in the chosen ring. In the end, don’t forget your Lady’s personality.

Some girls appreciate the heirloom ring and the symbolic connection with your family. On the other hand, some of them want to break with tradition and get a new ring. Not to mention that modern girls often don’t want a diamond ring at all.

There are two options if you need help with the final decision. You can ask your future bride what she wants or make a surprise after consultations with her friends and reliable relatives. Therefore, it is not surprising that almost half of the grooms choose a fully or partially customized ring.

Your budget and current financial situation

The first thing you should think about is your current financial situation and how balanced your income and bills are. It would help if you also kept in mind whether either will change in the next year. The best decision is to buy the ring you can fully repay in a couple of months.

Your goal is to find a balance and buy the ring to make both happy and content. Nowadays, you can consult an engagement ring calculator to make a better view of the situation.

Min and max price of an engagement ring by States

$3,000+

$9,000+$10,000+
UtahNorth Carolina

California

Vermont

The current national average engagement ring’s cost is about $6,000. However, its price varies significantly depending on the state where the future newlyweds live.

While the price is more or less uniform in most US states, the grooms from North Carolina and California need to spend much more. On the other hand, guys from Utah and Vermont only need to pay about $3,000 for a similar model.

The average price of an engagement ring by States

$4,000+

$5,000+$6,000+$7,000+$8,000+
MississippiKentuckyAlaskaAlabama

Delaware

Nevada

MarylandArizonaConnecticutFlorida
New HampshireMinnesotaArkansasGeorgia

Illinois

South Dakota

NebraskaColoradoHawaiiIowa
West VirginiaNew MexicoIdahoIndiana

Massachusetts

North Dakota

KansasMichiganNew York
LouisianaMissouri

South Carolina

MaineMontanaTexas
New JerseyWashington

Washington, DC

Ohio

WyomingWisconsin
Oklahoma

Oregon
Pennsylvania

Rhode Island
Tennessee

Virginia

Most men choose a 1,2-carat diamond ring with a center stone. They usually spend 3,5 months looking for the right model, and almost 30% of them spend more money than they planned. Luckily, statistics show that 90% of future brides are pleased with the ring price.

Things That Affect the Price of an Engagement Ring

Things That Affect the Price of an Engagement Ring
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Believe it or not, the primary element that affects an engagement ring price is the type of gem it features. According to expert estimates, the stone value makes up 80% of the total ring price. Therefore, the overall cost will depend on the gem type you choose, its color, cut, size, and quality.

For example, the diamond value will depend on its carat, which refers to the gemstone weight. So, 1 carat equates to 0.2 g of your gem. Pay attention to the price difference between 1- and 2-carat diamond. It is enormous, isn’t it? So, be smart and do the precise math before going shopping!

GIA certified diamonds

Carat

Cost per caratCost per diamond
0,5$1,100 to $7,700

$550 to $4,000

0,75

$1,800 to $8,800$1,300 to $6,600
1$1,900 to $15,600

$1,900 to $15,600

1,5

$3,000 to $22,300$4,500 to $33,500
2$4,000 to $42,200

$8,000 to $84,300

3

$6,200 to $50,000$18,600 to $150,200
4$7,500 to $68,100

$30,300 to $270,500

5

$8,500 to $70,400

$42,100 to $350,800

At least 10% of the price includes precious metal (gold, silver, platinum) weight, and another 10% applies to finishing touches, such as engraving and millgrain.

Get an Excellent Engagement Ring for Less Money

Get an Excellent Engagement Ring for Less Money
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The price of the engagement ring with a certified diamond is almost unchanged. However, there is a way to purchase it at half price with little adjustment.

Be aware that a dozen different attributes affect the diamond value. Very often, only professionals can differentiate two similar gems, which price varies in hundreds of dollars. So, the only thing you should do is refuse to pay for something no one can actually see.

Carat

For example, never buy a 0,5-, 1- or 2-carat diamond ring since 0,45- 0,95- and 1,90-carat are many times cheaper. Plus, no one can see the difference except top professionals. Not to mention that even they need a magnifying glass for something like that.

Remember that the price per rounded carat value increases double as the gem weight goes up. Simply put, a quality 1-carat diamond costs approximately $6,000, while you should pay only $4,000 for almost the same gem weighing 0,90 or 0,95 carats.

Color

The diamond color shows the level of its colorless. The perfect, high-grading diamond color is marked with D, while the Z signifies the lowest color quality. Each gemstone above the mark I is colorless. Bellow it, the diamond becomes yellowish.

However, the difference between a D, F, and even G color diamond is not visible to the naked eye. So, you can save 15% for something no one will notice.

Clarity

There are only a few perfect diamonds in the world. The clarity of others depends on the existing inclusions, including tiny fractures or black traces. Logically, the most expensive are flawless diamonds without visible imperfections.

However, you can freely purchase an SI1 clarity diamond that doesn’t have inclusions visible without a magnifying loupe. Compared to a flawless diamond, you can save a lot. Let me show how.

If you know that the price of the 1-carat round flawless gem is $12,500 to $17,000, you can quickly calculate the advantage of minor imperfection.

For example, excellently cut round SI1 diamonds of the same carat cost about $6,000. However, you can save even more when picking out another gem cut.

Shape

I am not sure why, but round diamonds are the most expensive. So, you can pick out any other shape, including oval, princess, or highly popular cushion cut instead and save some money.

For example, the same quality diamond can cost $6,300 if it is round, but only $3,500 when you choose a cushion cut.

Cut

There is a limit to the economizing! The cut is something you shouldn’t skimp on because you want to buy a cut gem that sparkles the way every woman adores.

The Most Popular Engagement Rings

The Most Popular Engagement Rings
Image: Something Borrowed

Some studies suggest that 85% of proposers purchase new rings, and 45% of future grooms choose a custom design. Even though traditional brides prefer emeralds and sapphires, 83% of future grooms pick out a diamond for a center stone.

However, some alternative gems are also a popular option, including moissanite, a new fashionable choice starting from 2017. As for the diamond, approximately 50% of engagement rings feature a 1- to 2-carat, round or cushion-cut gemstone.

Currently, the most popular ring is made of white gold, and 54% of future grooms choose models made of this precious metal. About 14% pick out rose gold, while others prefer other metals, including silver, yellow gold, and platinum.

Summary

An average engagement ring costs $5,000 to $6,000, and most future grooms won’t spend more than $8,000 on it. Remember that this price depends mostly on the quality, carat, and size of the embedded diamond, the precious metal the ring is made of, and the required finishing touches.

Plus, you need to pay more or less for the same ring, depending on the state where you live.

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