How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?

How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?
Photo: Antonioguillem / Adobe Stock
You don’t want to spend too little, you don’t want to need a loan just to propose to your partner, so what is the right amount to spend on an engagement ring? This is a difficult question, and it’s one that perplexes guys and girls all around the world. In the next in our series of helpful guides on the topic of diamonds and engagement rings, we’re going to try our best to answer this very question. By the end, you can walk away confident of making a good decision.

How Much Do Engagement Rings Cost?

Ultimately, the cost of an engagement ring will depend on a number of factors:

  • The quality of the ring
  • The quality of the main material (diamond and otherwise)
  • Material choices

Thankfully, we’re passing on everything we know about diamonds and engagement rings in a series of articles, and they’re all available for you to read now. As well as the four Cs with diamonds, we’ve gone through all sorts of other topics including band material and tips when buying a diamond ring.

You’ll find engagement rings for $1,000, and you’ll find engagement rings available for over $100,000. When buying a diamond, we highly recommend reading our guides on the four Cs because you’ll learn where you can and can’t sacrifice with color, clarity, cut, and carat. For example, an Excellent cut is near enough a necessity. On the other hand, you don’t need the highest grades for color and clarity because the blemishes and slight color differences are almost impossible to see with the naked eye.

Furthermore, you might be able to save some money by not choosing a complete carat figure. For instance, there’s often a discount on 1.02 and 0.99 carat rings compared to a 1 carat ring.

How Much is the Average Engagement Ring?

If you search for the average cost of an engagement ring, your eyes are likely to widen, and it might lead to panic. However, there’s no need to be nervous. These statistics are often skewed. For example, let’s say that nine people spend $1,000 on an engagement ring and one person spends $100,000. Even though 90% of people spent $1,000, the average still comes out at $10,900.

With this in mind, we don’t want you to immediately click away from the page in panic when you see that the average spent in the United States is currently around $6,200. When it comes to the cost of engagement rings, there’s something for everyone – so stick with us.

How Much Should I Spend on an Engagement Ring?

It’s strange, we seem happy to buy other products basing decisions solely on what we need, like, and can afford. Yet, with engagement rings, we feel the need to follow nonsense rules or ask others what is appropriate. Of course, this is an important decision, but this doesn’t mean the buying considerations are any different to any other purchase.

You may have seen that you need to spend two months of your salary on a ring, but did you know that this was actually started as an advertising campaign? With De Beers and other international diamond corporations, they decided in the 1980s that those planning to propose should spend two months’ pay on a ring. Unfortunately, the campaign was successful, and it has led to decades of insecurities and confusion ever since.

In our opinion, there are two main considerations when thinking about how much to spend on an engagement ring:

  • Your partner
  • Your finances

1) Your Partner

Love conquers all, right? For many people, the process of buying an engagement ring becomes one full of stress. They worry they aren’t spending enough money; they also worry people will judge the ring they buy and completely forget that an engagement ring is supposed to be a declaration of love. In our experience, a simple conversation with the partner is enough to ease these concerns.

Too often, we see people trying to guess what their partner will like. Why do this when you can actually just talk with them and ask? Let’s not forget, depending on their tradition, this is a ring they may wear for the rest of their life. We don’t think it’s necessary to take a risk when you can ask for their expectations. The conversation should cover:

  • Diamond shape
  • Jewelry setting
  • Material
  • Whether you need to incorporate family heirlooms
  • How frequently they plan to wear the ring (normally every day)

No matter how much you’re freaking out over this decision, take comfort in the knowledge that your partner is just as scared. For many women, they have been dreaming about receiving a big diamond ring for most of their life. This being said, they also appreciate the thought, love, and commitment that lies behind the gesture.

In summary, TALK to your partner. Most partners are reasonable and, once they have found their true love, being married and committed to this love is more important than any ring. If you both want to get married even though your finances are currently poor, she won’t be interested in bankrupting you just to get a pretty ring.

2) Your Finances

As we’ve just mentioned, the second consideration is your budget and financial situation. Once married, your finances merge, so your partner has a vested interest in this decision too. While we understand your desire to buy the ‘perfect’ engagement ring, you should never put your future financial position in doubt just to get it. Think about any potential debt (including student debt), think about your plans for the future, and make a sensible decision for not only now but for the years ahead too.


Don’t base your engagement ring spend on what you earn; this is an outdated line of thinking that was first put into the heads of men through a De Beers marketing campaign. Instead, consider your finances and talk to your partner. Knowing her expectations and your financial position, you should be able to get a ring that keeps her smiling for many years while reminding her of your love and the magical day!