How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?
How much should you spend on an engagement ring? An average engagement ring cost is one thing, but your budget is another. Get our tips before breaking the bank.
By Stephanie Dore
Header photo by @samanthamphoto
We’d love to tell you money ain’t a thang, but the reality is, when it comes to getting engaged, it is. In fact, it’s a pretty big thing, and definitely something you’ve got to think about before you go into debt for your dream ring. Buy how much should you spend on an engagement ring? We’ve all heard the “2 months’ salary rule” but when it comes to dropping dollars, the only real rule is that there are none! There are, however, some important things to take into consideration when you’re dialing in your budget—especially if you want some cash left over for, say, a house, or a honeymoon, or a lifetime of lush brunch hangs.
Show Me The Money
Talking about money is hard, but ultimately necessary. Not only between you and your partner, but with us! We totally respect the many reasons why you might not want to share this info, but the reality is, it’s near impossible to find a diamond without one. Even a ballpark budget is better than no budget. We recommend setting your carat weight target, ideal and max budget, and using that as a framework to hone in on color and clarity.
A Diamond isn’t Everything
Sure, when it comes to buying an engagement ring, the diamond is typically going to be your biggest line item. But when thinking about how much should you spend on an engagement ring — don’t forget about the setting! And for that matter, the wedding bands. All in, these things start to add up. For a classic solitaire setting, we recommend budgeting about $1,000—but keep in mind that more ornate three-stone or diamond-forward setting styles can cost $2,500 or more. One way to cut costs? Choose lab created diamonds instead of natural mined diamonds and you’ll see major savings. When it comes to wedding bands, simple ones can start around $250, like our 1.8mm band, but can go up to around $1,000 for a skinny eternity band or $2,500 for a chunkier look like our XO band. And don’t forget about the dudes!
The Snowball Effect
Speaking of going all in, your budget might start with the engagement ring and wedding bands but just like love, marriage, and baby carriages…the list goes on. Don’t blow your full budget on the ring unless you want to skip the honeymoon or have someone else footing the bill when it comes to your future.
Better Safe Than Sorry
Garbage disposals, lost luggage, those luxe new marble countertops…there’s nothing more dangerous to your diamond jewelry than daily life. Hence, insurance. Our top reco? Get it. But don’t get blindsided. Jewelry insurance is all about how much it’ll cost to replace that rock—so the more expensive the ring, the more expensive the insurance. You can typically expect to pay 1.5% of the ring’s value annually for life. You can check out Jewelers Mutual to estimate potential premiums before you buy.
So How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?
- First, figure out if you are paying for it alone or splitting the bill
- If you are paying, are you going to pay upfront or finance?
- How much can you afford without overreaching?
- What are your shared expectations for the ring? Are they reasonable? If not, how can you adjust them to get to a place you both love?
Once You’ve Decided on a Budget How Do You Pay?
Like most places these days, you’ve got options when it comes to actually paying for the pretty. Credit cards might get you bonus points (remember the honeymoon we mentioned earlier), but 0% APR cards are a good hack for not losing, well, interest. Paying via bank transfer will get you a 1.5% discount. And since we’re big fans of taking the headache out of the heartfelt here, Frank Darling offers an interest-free layaway plan that’ll let you pay for your ring in three easy payments.
If You Ruled The World
We all know the struggle is real when it comes to money matters, but you also want to rock a dream ring. So when it comes to purchasing an engagement ring, ultimately, you have to do you. And that means throwing out the rules. Need a little help finding something that won’t bust your budget? Email us with what you’re looking for at email@example.com. We’ll curate a list of 5-7 exclusive stones that are just right for you, or book a virtual or offline appointment at our New York salon to view certified lab-grown and natural diamonds in person.