How Much Should You Pay For An Engagement Ring?

How Much Should You Pay For An Engagement Ring?

It is such a thrill when you find "the one," so you want the magical moment of the proposal to be exquisite. The engagement ring is the centerpiece of the event. It is more than a symbol of your commitment and fidelity-the perfect ring will show that you listen and care about your partner’s desires.

You are probably wondering how much to spend on an engagement ring. The answer is as special and unique as your love.

The Month’s Salary Myth

How many months’ salary for an engagement ring? You’ve probably seen the commercials, advising you that you should spend one, two, even three months’ salary on an engagement ring. This is not a societal etiquette idea. It was a marketing ploy starting around the time of WWII, driven by diamond marketers—the sellers of the gems themselves. Your engagement ring budget should not be dictated by your monthly income.

The Evolution of the Engagement Ring

If you look at the trends of engagement rings over the last 100 years, the rings reflect the economy and history of the time. During the Depression in the 1930s, fewer rings incorporated gems but rather used decorative metal detailing.

Before the ’40s, platinum was commonly used for engagement rings because of its durability, but WWII changed that. Platinum was needed in the war effort, so gold became more popular.

The colored gems of English royalty like the oval Ceylon sapphire for Princess Diana—later given by William to Kate—inspired a trend of alternate stones for engagement rings. The 2020s are seeing a seemingly minimalist following with super-skinny bands, but they also provide stackability of multiple rings.

Engagement Rings by the Numbers

When it comes to purchasing the perfect engagement ring, there is a dizzying amount of numbers to consider. According to the wedding planning website The Knot, the average cost of an engagement ring is about $5,900.

The average amount spent is rather regional. Couples in the eastern states like New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Vermont spent around $7,000. On the West Coast, they spend about $5,5,00, and in the flyover land of the Midwest, they spend approximately $5,300.

One-third of the respondents to an engagement ring survey conducted by The Knot said they spent between $1,000-3,000.

Another important number is “4,” for the 4 Cs: 

  • Carat
  • Cut
  • Clarity
  • Color

Carat, Cut, Clarity, Color

By playing with the 4 Cs a bit, you can easily find an engagement ring to fit your budget.


Technically, carat is a measurement of weight, but what comes to mind in a discussion of diamond rings is size. Has she always wanted a large diamond, or would she prefer something small and more understated?


For some, this is the most important element of their desired engagement ring. As a little girl, she dreamed of a princess cut, or perhaps she likes the elegance of a marquis. Some other traditional cuts are:

  • Round
  • Cushion
  • Emerald
  • Radiant
  • Oval
  • Pear
  • Heart


Clarity describes the quality of the gem, but often the blemishes are only visual to an expert jeweler using their loupe. This is an area where you may be able to save a little when determining how much to spend on an engagement ring.


White diamonds are still the industry standard. There is a purity and brilliance to diamonds that definitely proclaim love. When buying a white diamond, you don’t want to see a yellow hue, but buying a yellow diamond can be exquisitely beautiful. Pink diamonds surrounded by a halo of baguette or cluster-cut diamonds are simply radiant.

Styles & Settings

The engagement ring style and the setting she longs for will also help you determine your engagement ring budget. You can stay simple and timeless with a solitaire ring, or go big and bold with a 1-carat center stone in a halo setting.

Some couples do not get both engagement and wedding rings, but rather go with just the engagement ring for her and a wedding band for him. Others choose a trio set - a female engagement ring and wedding band, and a male wedding band. They are gorgeously matched and have precision fit.

How Much Should I Spend On An Engagement Ring?

The answer is there is no set answer! Of course, you want to get a ring she will love for all-time, that’s a given, and there are a lot of affordable engagement ring options. But this is a new beginning for the two of you, and you don’t want to start your life as husband and wife with overwhelming diamond debt.

There is more to deciding how much to spend on an engagement ring than just your monthly income and current budget. What are your plans for the future? Do you want to buy a house? Do you want to have children, and if so, how soon? Perhaps you are a couple who would rather spend more on travel and adventure and activity than on your engagement and wedding rings. These are important questions to ask yourself.

Is it OK to Buy on Credit?

If you are working with a credit jeweler, buying on credit can be quite advantageous. Not only will they work with you to set up a manageable monthly payment, as a young couple you can benefit from buying on credit, particularly if you have little or no credit.

Other benefits of using credit to buy jewelry include:

  • Getting that engagement underway
  • Time-specific no-interest financing
  • Using more of your money for other wedding plans


Apply Today!

Are you ready to make all of your dreams come true, but don’t have quite enough saved yet? That’s OK! Apply with Daniel’s Jewelers, and you may see amazing benefits with a preferred account. Let us surprise you with amazing offers so you can surprise her with a ring of grace and elegance.

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