How much should I spend on an engagement ring?
This is a common question that we frequently get from our customers and something that we feel really passionate about.
When you first start looking, it can feel like there’s a lot of secrecy around the pricing of engagement rings, but it doesn’t have to be that way. When we price an engagement ring, we break down the cost for you going into as much or as little detail as you want. This process helps educate our customer and also allows them to make an educated decision when they’re choosing between our quotes.
Before having a consultation, though, knowing the basics can help you understand how much rings cost and get a general idea of what you’re willing to spend.
Keep scrolling to read our full guide, and before you know it you’ll be a ring-pricing pro.
What's the average price of an engagement ring?
On average, Australians spend about $5,000 - $6,000 on engagement rings, according to Jewel Cover.
Depending on your income, budget, and other factors, though that price can vary drastically from one couple to the next.
While you can use this figure as a benchmark, other considerations will impact the final cost of the engagement ring. Depending on the style, stone size, and quality engagement rings usually range anywhere from $2,000 - over $10,000.
When budgeting for an engagement ring, don’t forget to consider wedding bands. It’s really wonderful to invest in a beautiful engagement piece, but if you have expectations of what you also want your wedding bands to look like, we suggest you think of that as a suite of designs rather than just putting all the money into the engagement ring piece.
If you have absolutely no idea where to start or you’re not sure what your money is going to get you, just come and chat with us. We can talk you through budgeting and different price points, working together to figure out where to spend and save money if you need to.
How much should you spend on an Engagement ring?
Once upon a time, the rule-of-thumb engagement ring formula said that the amount you spend on an engagement ring should be equivalent to two months’ salary. However, that formula is generally considered to be outdated, given the amount people now make compared to the average cost of an engagement ring.
By considering your 2-3 months’ salary, as well as the average cost of an engagement ring, you can start to get an idea of pricing. However, this figure isn’t the end-all-be-all. While using these formulas can give you a general idea of what you may want to spend, these figures don’t take other things into account: Lifestyle, spending habits, and taste.
To get a better idea of what you should actually spend, factor in other questions before coming to “the number.” Things like pre-existing debt, holiday habits, and your salary can all be considered together to help you get a better grasp of what you can responsibly put towards a ring.
There are a few engagement ring budget calculators online which can take the guesswork out of it, considering these factors for you. Try it yourself, and get a better understanding of what you want to spend:
Engagement Ring Budget Calculators
- Estate Diamond Jewelry Engagement Ring Calculator
- Diamonds Factory Engagement Ring Calculator
- Credit Donkey Engagement Ring Budget Calculator
Expert Tips on How to Save Money on an Engagement Ring
Knowing what you want will help you decide how much to spend on an engagement ring.
If you’re still figuring out the basics, have a look at our guide for choosing your engagement ring.
Understanding the key aspects which affect the price of an engagement ring will help you now upfront about how much your budget will be. Figuring out your non-negotiables early on in the process can help you discover areas in which you will be able to save.
Knowing that the average engagement ring is about $5,000 - $6,000, you can work from there to make some swaps to bring that figure down. A few easy changes which can help you save money on an engagement ring include:
- Opting for lab grown diamonds
- Choosing a less expensive style
- Playing with the 4 Cs of Diamond quality
- Remodelling or Remaking old jewellery
Deciding how much to spend on an engagement ring is a really personal question, and we want to ensure that each customer gets what they want within a set budget. We are never going to try and talk you into spending more than you want to, and figure out ways to make your budget work.
Custom designs start around $2,000, and we can then work with you to figure out a price range that you can afford. By setting a budget window, we work with our customers to provide a range of options at different price points around their ideal budget.
Opt for lab grown diamonds
Opting for lab grown diamonds is one of the smartest (and most sustainable ways) to save money on an engagement ring.
Chemically identical to “regular” diamonds, the only difference is that lab-grown diamonds are created in a lab, rather than grown in nature and subsequently mined.
Because lab-grown diamonds cut out labour processes including mining, transport, and shipping, the pricepoint is lower — a similar-sized lab-grown diamond typically costs 30% less than a natural one.
Despite costing less, lab grown diamonds are identical to their natural counterparts. Being chemically identical, it’s impossible to know by look whether a diamond is natural or lab grown. If anything, lab grown diamonds are purer than natural ones, as they are created in a cleaner, sterile environment.
While man-made diamonds may at first seem like a strange concept, remember that there is a lot of human intervention which goes into sourcing natural diamonds too — and it’s not always ethical, either.
If you’re not completely dedicated to diamonds, there is also a range of other less-expensive gems to choose from which are equally as beautiful.
Get familiar with your engagement ring styles and settings
Understanding engagement ring styles and settings can help you understand how much you should expect to spend.
Not all styles are created equally, and different shapes and styles will influence the price.
Because we understand that everyone has different preferences and budgets, our collection of engagement rings includes several styles which can be easily adapted to suit your personal style.
A few typical styles and types of engagement rings to consider based on your budget include:
- Halo Engagement Rings: Because halo engagement rings include diamonds encircling the stone or band, they can add up to cost quite a bit more. Even though these accent diamonds are small, the price tag can add up quickly.
- Antique engagement rings: While you may think that antique engagement rings would be cheaper, this isn't always the case. Even though they’re older, antique rings may involve more craftsmanship or finer stones.
- 3 stone engagement rings: Naturally, the more diamonds the higher the cost. This makes 3 stone engagement rings more expensive than a solo stone. If you love the look but don’t have the budget right now, keep in mind that you can always start off with a solitaire ring and add complementary stones over the years.
- Simple Engagement Rings: One way to keep the price down when engagement ring shopping is by opting for simple styles. The more intricate a ring is, the more it will cost. As a bonus, keep in mind that simple styles will remain classic over time, whereas more trendy designs may go in and out of fashion.
- Dainty engagement rings: It’s easy to associate ring price with diamond size, but another factor to consider is the metal. While thicker, heavier bands will cost more, dainty styles will lower the price. Choosing thin bands, and delicate designs can help keep the price point low.
- Solitaire engagement rings: Solitaire engagement rings are the typical “classic” engagement ring. Because they comprise one central stone, this style is typically cheaper than more embellished alternatives.
- Stacked engagement rings: If you don’t have the budget for a large stone but still want some bling, consider stacked engagement rings. By paring your engagement ring and wedding band, you can choose a stack that has more, smaller diamonds but an equally shimmering appeal.
- Minimalist engagement rings: Not only is minimalism trending right now, but it’s also a great way to keep ring prices down. By opting for simple, clean designs you can save on embellishments and adornments.
Play around with the 4Cs of diamond quality
While size does play a role, it’s important to consider the other factors that impact diamond quality. One standard way of deciphering quality is by referring to the 4C’s, different factors which impact the stone.
The 4 Cs of Diamonds include:
- Carat Weight: How much a diamond weighs.
- Colour Grade: How much colour a diamond has is measured on a scale of D - Z, with D being “colourless” and Z being high coloured. The closer to D, the higher the colour quality.
- Clarity Grade: Clarity is a measure of how many imperfections a stone contains. Most diamonds are graded on an 11-point scale ranging from “flawless” - “included”, meaning that imperfections are visible with the naked eye.
- Cut Grade: This is the most difficult of the 4Cs to measure, and while we often think of cut as the diamond’s shape, it actually refers to the craftsmanship of the diamond cut. The better the cut, the more brilliant the diamond will look. There are 5 grades of cut, ranging from “excellent” - “poor” which take into account factors like symmetry, quality of polish, and weight relative to diameter.
By playing around with the 4Cs, you can save in certain areas to reduce the overall cost of your engagement ring. By choosing a more coloured diamond, or one with visible imperfections, you can spend less overall. By considering this in advance, you can incorporate these aspects into your ring, making it a design choice that can also contribute to a lower cost.
Remodel or remake an old piece of jewellery
One way to save money when buying an engagement ring is by remodelling or remaking old jewellery. Recycling golds and stones is a wonderful way to reduce the cost.
If you have an old heirloom that you want to re-make, it’s possible to reuse and recycle the gold and gems.
We offer a buyback program in-house where we can take your unwanted gold and use that as credit towards a new piece.
When considering vintage stones or reworking gold that you have, it’s important to keep in mind that it can sometimes result in an equal or higher price point than using new gold and new stones.
If you’re looking to save money the best way is for us to refine that gold and then purchase new gold on your behalf. We are really proud that up to 70% of the gold that we buy is already recycled from other customers around Australia and that’s a decision that we made when we chose our bullion in Sydney. We’re really thrilled to be able to offer that as an environmentally friendly option for our customers which can save you money as well.