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Average Engagement Ring Cost: Get a Ring at The Right Price

by Clean Origin
July 23, 2021

Is the big question on your mind? We’ve compiled some information about the average engagement ring cost, how to buy an engagement ring and even some thoughts on ring budgeting!

If you’re thinking about shopping for an engagement ring sometime soon, you are likely also worrying over costs and combing through diamonds sites trying to find great value. You are likely wondering, “How much should I spend on an engagement ring?”

Suppose you’re trying to save three months’ salary and balance student loans or another tricky financial situation. In that case, you might want to consider how to decrease the price tag, as well as know precisely what you’re buying when you invest in engagement jewelry like a wedding band or ring. We at Clean Origin have you covered. 

How Much Should You Spend On An Engagement Ring?

As you investigate the right diamond ring price, make sure you separate myth from tradition. There are plenty of ways to estimate your ring budget, and the proper method for you depends on a few personal things. 

First, what are you comfortable spending personally? Some people use the three-months of salary rule. Alternatively, some people only use a month’s salary, and some people see a wedding ring or engagement ring as worth as many dollars as it takes to be perfect. 

These are all personal opinions that you’ll need to sort through. Do not let yourself get bullied into choosing one method over the other out of a sense of tradition! If you decide to scale your budget to the three-month salary rule, make sure it is because that is what you want. What matters is your partner and your comfort.

Questions You Should Ask

Which comes to the second thing to consider, what does your partner want ring-wise? How much money would they like to spend on their ring? This is an essential discussion because some people feel that the amount spent on their ring denotes devotion and willingness to sacrifice for happiness together. Some people would be horrified if their ring cost even a month’s salary.

While considering these things, it may be nice to have a general average engagement ring cost to compare. The Knot in 2020 noted that the national average engagement ring cost was $5,500.

Breakdown of How Much an Engagement Ring Costs

While a ring budget is nice, you may not be wondering how much you should spend, but really how much you will spend. This is where we give you the tools to buy precisely what you want and know what to expect on the price tag.

Before we get into the details of engagement ring cost, it is worth mentioning that at Clean Origin, our Create Your Own rings start at $792, with settings as low as $485. Our collection rings run similarly because we believe each diamond and each setting should be made perfect just for you. Our wedding bands start at $255 as well.

What Most Affects the Price of an Engagement Ring?

The most challenging part of selecting in an engagement ring is also the most expensive. Whether it is a diamond engagement ring or a different type of stone, the center gem of a ring has the heftiest price tag when jewelry shopping. Knowing what you are buying and how to shop is incredibly vital in making changes to the price of your engagement ring, as well as can help you find the best quality options. Whether you look online or in-store, know your diamonds.

Specifically, the main diamond is where the bulk of your budget is spent with a diamond engagement ring. In most rings, the central diamond is around 80% of your engagement ring’s cost.

Lab-Grown Diamonds

The diamond industry has a habit of maintaining high prices, with little need to justify them. If you’re looking to spend on an engagement ring, but you want the best quality as well as to save money, definitely look into lab-grown diamonds.

Lab-grown diamonds are up to 40% cheaper than a mined diamond and are physically, aesthetically, and molecularly the same. Many people prefer them because they are a more sustainable option. They let consumers opt-out of mined diamond practices, which pollute the water, create arid and toxic soil conditions, and even rely on unfair labor practices. The human eye can’t see a difference between lab-grown and mined diamonds, and neither can gemologists.

Why Go With Lab-Grown?

When you buy an engagement ring, consider going lab-grown with companies like Clean Origin, so you can feel good about where your diamond engagement ring came from. On top of feeling good, you can spend the average cost of an engagement ring and get something extraordinary for the price. 

Because lab-grown diamonds are cheaper, you can get a much larger carat diamond for a similar price, and the quality of your center diamond may be higher when you budget for lab-grown rather than mined. For example, a 1CT round lab-created diamond is an ideal cut, VVS2 clarity, and F color is $2,342.00 with Clean Origin. A mined diamond of those exact same qualities can range from $8,579 to $12,532 on RareCarat.

Be sure to check in on where your diamond comes from; it can lower the average cost and raise your environmental standards. Plus, you can do it all online if you want! Visit our online site for a virtual appointment, or peruse on your own to find quality options.

How Do I Decide What Carat Weight To Buy?

First off, carat refers to the weight of the diamond, not size, so be aware of that when you shop for an engagement ring. Exactly 0.2 grams of diamond is one carat. So depending on the quality of the diamond, you can price out the cost of an engagement ring with specific diamond qualities per carat.

Deciding how much to spend on an engagement ring is a big part of how you determine what carat weight to go for. The cost of an engagement ring, as previously mentioned, is primarily due to the center diamond’s price. 

If you go with a smaller diamond, or you are willing to sacrifice in clarity, cut, or color, you will have more room in your budget for a heavier gem. If you focus on quality rather than quantity, you may want to scale down on carat weight so that you can go higher quality.

Saving money on an engagement ring is not everyone’s first priority. Therefore, if you have a large budget and can afford to shoot for the moon, use your budget and go big on the diamond weight. 

Also, talk lightly with your partner about diamond qualities that they are most excited about. They may surprise you and want an understated solitaire. Worst comes to worst; you can always stick to the three-month salary rule as an arbitrary measure.

How Can I Ensure My Ring Looks Great, Regardless of My Center Stone’s Carat Weight?

If you are sticking to your budget or prefer a smaller carat diamond, there are plenty of ways to accent your diamond! Do not worry. We at Clean Origin have you covered. Remember that your personal style matters most and that you may only need one or two of these design tips to round out your gorgeous engagement ring or wedding ring.

Fancy Shape Center Stones

Are you nervous about the considerable expense of an engagement ring? But you want a larger size gem for a reasonable price? You may want to consider a fancy shape center stone. You will often get a larger carat diamond if you go for a pear or marquis diamond cut for your engagement ring. In doing so, you’ll be able to beat the average cost of a round-cut diamond center stone. 

Since round-cut diamonds are so popular, they tend to be more expensive per carat. It pays to consider thinking outside the box with your diamond. 

Please take a look online and compare some of our fancy cuts to round cuts to see how the price difference would affect your budget. You’ll have access to some larger diamond options, and you may even find you like a princess cut diamond or pear-cut diamond more! You will be giving your partner a beautiful piece of jewelry that is special and unique. 

Halo Set Engagement Rings

Shopping for engagement rings can be challenging when you’re trying to bolster a smaller stone with little to no insider knowledge. One of the best tips of the trade to make a center stone look larger without massively increasing the spend on an engagement ring is to use a halo style setting. A great example of a halo-style setting is our Wilshire Halo Ring.

Our Wilshire Halo Ring features several fancy shape options and yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, and platinum metal options. It is the perfect example of a halo-style engagement ring. The diamond studding around the center stone is what determines something as a halo setting, and many people favor this engagement ring style because of its high glamor.

Fancy Colored Diamonds

Fancy color diamonds in an engagement ring are a great way to direct attention to the center stone without adding diamond weight. Wedding rings and engagement rings with fancy color diamonds are a unique choice that can increase your average spend because fancy color diamonds are rare and highly valued. 

Specific colors will be more expensive than others, such as pink and red diamonds being on the top end of spend. Only you can decide how much diamond you want, and if you’re someone who wants a smaller ring or less weight to carry around, fancy colored diamonds are a great option!

If you like the idea of a fancy-colored diamond in your engagement rings or wedding rings, definitely look into lab-grown options. Peruse our fancy colored diamond section online to see what they look like. You will also get an idea of the lab-grown pricing. 

You can get a higher carat stone or a better quality one for less money because of the on-demand lab process. Regardless of your financial situation, you will be able to afford a stunning diamond for your partner.

With Clean Origin’s fancy colored diamonds, you can get a pink diamond like the one pictured above for a fraction of the price, beating the national average cost and getting superior jewelry for the money spent.

Diamond Color Choices for Different Metals

Another pro-tip of the jewelry trade when buying an engagement ring is to check in about what type of metal your setting will be. If you are getting a yellow gold or rose gold setting, you may be able to drop your standards in terms of color grade.

Diamonds that are near colorless (G-J grade) have a lower value and therefore cost. When set in a warm-toned metal like yellow gold, their slight yellow tone is impossible to discern. So, if you are considering a warm-toned metal for your engagement ring, you may be able to save cost on stone color without really changing the look. This way, you can budget for a larger, heavier diamond or even just budget for your perfect wedding band. 

How much you spend on your engagement rings should be about necessity, and personal interest, not about getting mystified by jewelry terms.

Ranges of Mount Prices

When looking for your wedding ring, metal may be the most critical factor to consider The mount, or shape of the setting in terms of the metal, can largely affect the price and look of your ring. 

The rule of thumb here is to go with a thinner band or a setting that tapers thinner in some places so that you are overall using less metal. This trick will lessen the weight of your ring and, therefore, the price. It can also be quite fashionable! New York socialites have been opting for thin bands for the last few years in order to portray a more delicate look.

Three Stone Rings and Ratios of Center Stones to Side Diamonds

Three stone rings, also known as trilogies, are a popular style due to their glamour. Many think these rings are out of their price range because of the extra side stones. However, they often cost far less than the center diamond. 

As a rule, your central diamond should be the most expensive part of the ring, with the two side stones are smaller or less valuable to even out the ring’s price and amp up the center stone. Some say that trilogies represent your past, present, and future love, so it makes sense that the center diamond, the present, be the most lustrous.

Final Details

Different designs on the metal of your wedding rings, such as milgrain or filigree, are excellent. Do keep in mind that they can add some price. When balancing the budget, you can opt for a smaller diamond and feature some of these gorgeous details that look great online and even better in person to amp up the ring overall.

So What Do People Actually Choose When It Comes to Their Engagement Ring?

When people spend on an engagement ring, we see them make some particular choices more often than others. While engagement rings are a personal decision, the market shows certain ring styles as classic and specific ring styles as trendy. 

When looking for engagement rings, consider these popular choices to help guide you on how much to spend, what to buy, and what is unique versus what is popular.

Clarity

People popularly choose VS1-VS2 clarity diamonds, keeping toward the low end of imperfections within the stone. Look at some diamonds within this scale to get a better idea of just how clear you want your diamond. 

If someone claims their diamond is entirely flawless, don’t listen! Perfectly flawless diamonds are so incredibly rare, and it is normal for all diamonds to have imperfections. This measure is about whether or not the naked eye can see them, not whether they exist at all.

Cut

The most common cut in 2020 for engagement rings was the round cut. A round-cut diamond is an excellent option for sparkle, simplicity, and classic elegance! 

Many of our engagement rings come with multiple diamond-cut options, so you can choose something classic or more unique and even change it later with some of our peg head settings. A quick look online will help you decide what shape is for you. You don’t have to change your band or details with us if you want a particular stone shape.

Color

The average engagement ring diamond color is an F. The usual range spans F-G, with a D rating being absolutely colorless. It’s best to consider the setting color and see the diamond in person when considering color. 

You want to make sure it isn’t yellowed to the naked eye at the very least. Make sure not to try and judge a diamond that is on a brown velvet display. This misleading tactic is a common way of concealing just how yellow-toned a diamond may be. 

If you want to save some money by buying a larger or higher clarity diamond with some yellow to it, avoid white gold and platinum settings and stick to yellow gold. The warmth of the gold will conceal any yellow to the naked eye and make your diamond shine gorgeously.

Carat

In 2020, most brides in the United States received or purchased a 1-carat engagement ring. In Europe, this average is much smaller at about a 1/2 carat engagement ring. 

Carat size is one way to mitigate how much you spend on an engagement ring, but it will affect the look the most. Best to check in with your partner on their preferred carat size. That way, you can gauge how much to spend on the diamond in the ring versus the ring’s setting.

Setting Shape

Solitaire ring styles and delicate halo’s reigned supreme in 2020. However, engagement ring trends are ever-changing. 2021’s fashions may be much different. 

Rather than follow a trend on this one, make sure to discuss the ring setting shape with your partner. Alternatively, you can look at what kind of jewelry styles they currently enjoy. 

Halo’s can be more glitzy. Solitaires are more classic and understated—alternatively, three-stone rings or trilogies more romantic and boho-chic. 

The style of the setting combined with the metal type means you have endless combinations to choose from. It is unlikely anyone will have the same ring, even if you choose popular options. Endless options are available, and realistically, all of them will stay current if your partner enjoys them.

Metal

Yellow gold is the most common and classic choice of ring metals in this case, but you have options within gold. You can range up to 24k gold with the ring. However, this may inflate price but does add significant value to the ring. 

Unfortunately, the higher the gold amount in the alloy, the smaller the ring’s lifespan. Keep in mind that being more expensive does not always translate to the best option for you. 

You don’t need to devastate your finances for you to purchase a quality metal ring. If your partner prefers cooler-toned jewelry and you want to look into a more unique, durable option, we recommend looking into 14k and 18k white gold. Platinum can also give rings an extremely long lifetime.

Price

The average price of engagement rings in 2020 was $5,500. Rings can vary in pricing, though, so you can stay within your budget. Buyer beware some small jewelers may charge a much higher price for their boutique pieces, regardless of their inherent value. 

Remember that the average in jewelry costs is often tough to estimate. At the same time, many people may purchase their rings for about a month’s salary. In contrast, some buy a ring without any budget at all. 

All it takes is a few shopping trips with one larger-than-life purchase to skew these numbers. Try to balance the factors involved in your purchase with your spending comfort and financial future. Price is only one way to consider the value of this purchase.

How Do I Get the Best Value While Still Considering the Engagement Ring’s Cost?

If you’re looking for the best engagement ring, you can afford and expect value. You should consider lab-grown diamonds. Since the center diamond is the main cost of an engagement ring, you will get a better diamond for the price as compared to a mined piece. 

You can even spring for a three-stone setting or a pavé encrusted band for some extra bling factor! All that without pushing your engagement ring price point to the moon. 

What You Spend On An Engagement Ring Is Always Personal

It is a significant ring in a person’s life. What is essential when you decide how much to spend is that that amount reflects the traditions and styles voiced by your partner. Engagement rings are an expression of devotion within a partnership and require you to tune into your partner’s opinions when you shop for that ring. 

If the price doesn’t matter to them, the look of their engagement ring will matter most. It would be best if you tried to match their style as much as you can. That way, you will have maximized the value of your engagement ring, no matter what you spend on an engagement ring. 

A Ring That Signifies Your Love

Spending on an engagement ring is a matter of discussing the various jewelry factors involved and finding a way to agree or compromise with your partner. It is the first exercise of those to-be-married so that they can get a peek into married life. 

Finding a balance between all those factors and the perfect spending limit can be challenging. But a good rule is always to be willing to compromise with your partner. 

A wedding is a union and requires more than just a month’s salary and some proposed rules. It involves love, and trust, and faith in your partner. Trust your gut as you shop online, keep in mind the possibilities of your wedding, and let your excitement guide you!