How Much Should I Really Spend on an Engagement Ring?

Buying an engagement ring is a big step for a lot of reasons. 

It means you’re ready to settle down with that one person and start your life together as a married couple. And with buying a ring for your intended, it means you’re ready to spend a chunk of money on a piece of jewelry.

The old rule of thumb when purchasing an engagement ring was to dedicate three months’ salary to the purchase. However, that isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, and many couples are breaking with tradition and going either way below or way above this budget when selecting a ring.

So, how much should I really spend on an engagement ring?

Average Cost of Engagement Rings

Even though the market fluctuates, diamonds are still considered a pretty stable investment.

According to the Knot’s 2020 Jewelry and Engagement Study, the average cost of an engagement ring last year came in at $5,500. 

While that number was the average, the amount individual couples spent varied widely. That same survey found that 25 percent of respondents spent between $1,000 and $3,000 on a ring, with 11 percent of couples spending less than $1,000.

A number of factors go into determining just how much an individual spends on an engagement ring, including:

  • Region of the country
  • Type of stone
  • Type of metal
  • Style of ring
  • Size of stone
  • Pre-designed or custom-designed

Purchasing a diamond is going to cost more than many other stones, such as diamond simulants. Opting for a diamond alternative can decrease your total spend, as can swapping out the type of metal or decreasing the size of stone selected.

Setting a Ring Budget

The most important step toward determining how much you should spend on an engagement ring is figuring out how much you feel comfortable spending.

Based on your own personal financial position – your income, current financial obligations, and how much debt you’re comfortable taking on – you’ll want to figure out how much you’re comfortable spending. Do you plan to pay cash for the ring? Or are you OK making incremental payments toward it?

The old rule of thumb used to be to spend three months’ salary on an engagement ring, but that number has gone completely out the window.

Some people are comfortable spending a larger amount of money on a ring, while others would prefer to keep toward the lower end of the pricing spectrum. Figure out how much you want to spend and stick to that amount.

When you go into a jewelry store, speak with a sales associate about your budget and anything you know you want for the ring – stone type, size, or metal, for example – upfront. Letting them know how much you’re ready to spend can assist them in better guiding your choices, simplifying your ring shopping.

Some factors to consider when setting your engagement ring budget include:

  • Financial situation: Think carefully about how much you’re comfortable spending, especially if you plan on financing the ring. Don’t plan for what you want to spend, but rather what you can spend. Also, don’t forget to factor in other added costs that come with the ring, including any specialty wedding bands that may be required by the design of a ring or insurance that will need to be taken out on more expensive rings.
  • Partner’s expectation: The goal of purchasing an engagement ring isn’t just to show off how much you spent; it’s to find a ring they love. As you work up to purchasing a ring, have some conversations with your partner about what sort of ring they’d like, and even go window shopping together to get a better idea of their style and desires.
  • Meaning of the ring: Something that’s thoughtful and perfectly suited to your partner’s tastes will be much more meaningful in the long run than a big flashy piece that was purchased just because it was expensive. Understanding what your partner really wants, whether that’s an heirloom ring or to have something that doesn’t include a diamond, will go a long way toward finding a ring that’s meaningful as well as beautiful.

Engagement Rings in Frederick, MD

At Gold Thumb Jewelry, we understand just how big of a step purchasing an engagement ring really is. Whether you’re looking to find something you can take home today or you’d like to custom-design a piece, our team can help you find something that will suit your partner’s tastes while staying within your budget. Visit us today to take a look!

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