How to buy a diamond

What Goes Into Engagement Rings Prices?

by Clean Origin
Posted May 20, 2022
diamond engagement ring

Preparing for a proposal can be stressful, but buying an engagement ring shouldn’t be. When planning for such a life-changing event, the question of “How much should I pay for a ring?” is likely to come up. This article will give you insights into purchasing a ring and what goes into engagement rings prices.

In This Article:

  • Average Engagement Rings Prices
  • “Rules” for Engagement Rings Prices
  • The Four C’s of a Diamond
  • Ways to Save on Diamond Engagement Rings Prices
  • How to purchase an engagement ring: Online vs. In-store

Average Engagement Rings Prices

Engagement rings prices vary greatly
Diamond Engagement Rings

The average engagement ring price in the U.S. was $6,000 in 2021. Even with the average price being $6,000, you don’t need to spend that amount. Many people choose to spend less on engagement rings, and some choose to spend more. The tastes of your future spouse will also play a part in the price of the engagement ring you choose to purchase.

The most important item to consider when looking at engagement ring cost is your financial situation. 

“Rules” for Engagement Rings Prices

Researching diamond engagement rings prices.
Engagement Ring Budgeting

The first thing you need to realize is there are no official rules regarding the cost of fine jewelry. How much you spend on an engagement ring depends on many factors. So, before spending money beyond your budget, consider the following when you weigh your options.

Three-Months Salary Rule

One of the most popular “rules” is the three-months salary rule. This means the price of the engagement ring you purchase should be around three months’ worth of your salary. This is designed to boost the confidence of a future spouse by showing you can purchase the ring in full.

Engagement Rings Prices Calculators

Some engagement ring calculators may also be helpful when deciding how much to spend on an engagement ring. The calculator considers information such as income, lifestyle, and current debt. Then it produces an estimated budget for your purchase of an engagement ring. 

It’s important to remember that the size of the diamond in an engagement ring is not the only factor that equals the ring’s value. An engagement ring should also speak to the personality of your future spouse. Some couples may choose to use a family heirloom as their engagement ring. At the same time, others can lean toward a nontraditional ring that excludes diamonds altogether. 

The Four C’s of a Diamond

Diamond Tennis Bracelets and Engagement Ring
Diamond Tennis Bracelets, Ring & Hoop Earrings

When looking at diamonds for an engagement ring, there are four elements that can affect the overall price of the ring: cut, color, clarity, and carat. It is once again important to note that the Four C’s provide a guideline. They do not determine whether a diamond is “good” or “bad.” What matters most is how you feel about the diamond.


Diamond Cut

Cut refers to the quality of a diamond’s cut. To begin with, the cut of a diamond is not based on size, shape, or color. The cut will affect how the light reflects through a diamond. It can also affect how a diamond will be set into a band and how it should be polished. If you are interested in the ring’s look, the cut of the diamond would be the first factor to consider. Cut can determine the other elements in the Four C’s.

Diamond Color

Diamond color is on a letter scale of D-Z. D means that a diamond is completely colorless, and completely colorless diamonds are the most expensive. A standard diamond will often fall between D-J. The shape of a diamond can be used to hide what little color may be in a diamond. Round diamonds can hide color easily. Diamond color does not affect the quality of a diamond. Color is a personal preference. 

Diamond Clarity

Clarity refers to the number of natural imperfections found within a diamond. These imperfections are called inclusions. A stone does not need to be flawless to look perfect and free from inclusions. Slightly included diamonds often appear visually flawless to the naked eye. Choosing a slightly included diamond can save you thousands of dollars when picking out a ring. 

Diamond Carat Weight

Carat refers to the weight of a diamond. One carat will weigh around the same as a paper clip: the larger the carat weight, the more expensive the diamond. No two diamonds are the same; because of this, diamonds may be the same weight but two different sizes.

When looking for a larger diamond, try finding one that weighs less but looks larger. You will be purchasing a diamond that appears to weigh more but will save you the cost from the extra carat weight. 

Ways to Save on Diamond Engagement Rings Prices

Reduce engagement rings prices by choosing slightly smaller diamonds.
Different Sizes of Diamonds

Before you are ready to purchase your engagement ring, here are some ways to cut engagement ring costs but not affect the overall visual quality of the ring. 

Reduce Carat Weight by Only a Fraction

Purchasing an under-sized diamond can significantly reduce the ring price. Instead of purchasing a 1-carat diamond center stone, go for a 0.97 carat one. It will look like a 1 carat diamond to the naked eye but have a smaller price tag attached. 

Consider a Lab Grown Diamond

A lab grown diamond visually looks the same as a naturally mined one. Physically and chemically, a lab grown diamond doesn’t differ. The only difference is the origin. This means you can still have the cut and carat of your choice.

A lab grown diamond’s price is 30-40% cheaper than a natural diamond. Therefore, a ring made with a lab created diamond cuts the average engagement ring cost considerably.

Lower Color and Clarity

Using a lower color and clarity diamond center stone will have almost no effect on the visual of an engagement ring. Especially when paired with a quality cut. If you are looking to purchase a larger diamond, consider lowering other aspects of the Four C’s.

Choose a Fancy Shaped Diamond or Gemstone

Many people tend to go with a classic round diamond center stone. This is one of the most expensive cuts for a diamond. Fancier cuts tend to be priced lower and create a unique engagement ring. 

Consider the Metal for Your Engagement Ring Setting

Whether you prefer yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, or even platinum, engagement ring prices will increase or decrease based on the metal you choose. This is because the gold used for engagement rings is rarely ever 100% gold.

The most expensive gold is 24k because it is 100% pure gold–and it’s rare. Other golds, like 18k or 14k, are bonded with metals, including nickel, silver, zinc, or copper. When choosing gold for your engagement ring setting, 14k is a good option because it is durable. It is also less expensive than 18k gold, which means you could potentially save hundreds of dollars on your ring by choosing a 14k gold setting.

How to Purchase an Engagement Ring: Online vs. In-Store

Petite Floating Ring Gem

Online Engagement Rings Prices

It is entirely possible to purchase an engagement ring online. The average cost of an online purchase is also lower than visiting a physical store. Almost 30% of newly engaged couples purchase their ring online. It is important to note that there are risks associated with online engagement ring shopping.

There are many fraudulent diamond websites. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. The key is to look for reviews from other real customers and do research into the company.

When researching online companies, make sure you understand their policies. Especially their shipping and return policies. These will be the most valuable to you. Certifying a vendor will protect you from any scamming that is likely to occur. Look for the use of GIA or AGS grading systems.

Take your time when you buy online. One of the benefits of purchasing an engagement ring online is you won’t be rushed. When looking for a ring online, don’t be afraid to reach out to an expert for help. 

In-store Engagement Rings Prices

If you are unsure of what you are looking for in your engagement ring, shopping in-store is most likely the best option–although it can be pricier. Find a diamond dealer that you trust. This will make all the difference in your confidence when purchasing an engagement ring.

There are experts to assist you in getting the right ring for you. Experts will often provide you with insights and recommendations that you may not have considered.

Other benefits of purchasing in-store are resizing and maintenance. Any store that is selling you a ring should provide services like resizing the ring and even returning or exchanging if the ring doesn’t quite fit the personality of your fiancé. Find a dealer that will continue to care for your ring.

You want your engagement ring to be cherished. A good dealer will clean, maintain, and repair your ring as needed.

Clean Origin Is Here to Help

Halo diamond engagement ring with gold band.
Halo Diamond Engagement Ring

Purchasing an engagement ring can be life-changing. There is much to consider when looking at engagement ring prices. There are no set rules to purchasing an engagement ring, and buying your dream ring doesn’t have to mean breaking your budget. Most importantly, you don’t have to do it alone.

Still, Need Help Finding the Best Engagement Rings Prices?

We are here to help you with anything you need. For more information, contact our Diamond Experts today!