How Much Should I Spend on an Engagement Ring?

Getting engaged should be one of the most memorable and wonderful moments that a person goes through. While the answer is the moment that everyone remembers the most, that first moment when the ring comes out can be almost just as memorable.

Engagement rings are beautiful and a wonderful expression of people’s feelings and willingness to embrace commitment. Their sparkle puts a smile on people’s faces whenever they look, as they bring up the memory of that one wonderful moment. However, it’s well known that engagement rings are very expensive. A nice diamond is going to cost a fair bit of money. Diamond rings are often viewed as an investment by some people. But much much should I really be spending on a diamond engagement ring? 

Answer: Two months salary is an outdated notion. Each couple should work out a cost to fit their budget. 

When budgeting for a ring, it makes no sense to purchase one that can create financial trouble for the couple. The old adage passed down used to be that an engagement ring should cost “two months salary”, however who came up with that? Honestly, it was the producers of engagement rings. A diamond engagement ring should cost enough to truly show you care, but should still fit within the budgets. Crucially, it’s almost always better to save for the ring first, rather than purchase it on credit and then make payments. There should never be a risk that a financial downturn could see the ring disappear. 

So what goes into the cost of a ring? This is where the vaunted “Four C’s” of rings comes into play. Essentially, the better each of these criteria are, the more expensive the diamond is going to be. The first C stands for “Cut”. The second is “Color”. Next up is “Clarity”. The final C is “Carat”. Cut actually refers to light transfer and if the diamond will sparkle as light goes through it, not the shape the diamond ends up being cut in. Color runs from clear to extremely yellow. The more clear the diamond, the more expensive it’s going to be. The ratings go from D (perfectly clear) to Z (very yellow or brown). Clarity refers to potential blemishes or imperfections in the diamond itself. Diamonds are naturally created, so they are never quite perfect. Carat is the one most people consider the most important. This is how much the diamond in the engagement ring weighs. Each carat is actually only 0.20 grams. 

When you’re buying a ring, you should be aware of many things. First of all, the ring should fit! There’s nothing more anti climactic than hearing her say yes, followed by the ring not fitting on her finger. Sneak around and find the right size from another one of her rings and a ring guide, or check with some of her family members that can keep a secret. The style of the ring needs to fit her lifestyle and personal style as well. Women working with their hands may require rings that deal with additional physical stresses as it may be banged or pushed. Office jobs can perhaps allow for a bit more extravagance. 

Additional Resources

For such an expensive purchase, it’s natural to still have questions. No one wants to make a mistake when they are purchasing something so important and costly. These resources are a good place to start when looking for more information about diamond rings. 

  1. Ringspro - This article is specifically designed for beginners when it comes to knowledge about engagement rings. It runs through many different styles, settings, and provides more in-depth information on the 4 C’s. 
  2. Diamondere - This article functions as a diamond guide to assist with choosing the diamond for the ring in particular. Images of what color ratings really mean can assist people in understanding just what they are looking for in a diamond. 
  3. The Knot - There are many great wedding related websites full of information out there. This article from The Knot helps people who may be on a stricter budget find an engagement ring they love.

Questions to Consider