All Things Wedding, Ring Ideas

How Much Money Should You Spend on a Wedding Ring in 2021?

by Clean Origin
September 4, 2021
Lab-Grown Diamond Bridal Set

Shopping for a wedding or engagement ring can be expensive, time-consuming, and stressful. The whole process prompts questions like: how much money should you spend on a wedding ring? What’s the average wedding ring cost? Isn’t there some kind of engagement ring calculator that could make this all so much easier?

Thankfully, you don’t have to look far to gain answers to these questions! Here, we give you a tool to calculate engagement ring cost. Additionally, we’ll walk you through the average cost of a wedding ring in 2021, and we’ll provide some other tips and tricks for finding the perfect wedding ring without breaking the bank!

Engagement Ring Calculator 

Beautiful Lab-Grown Diamond Rings
Alternative cuts make lovely solitaires!

How Much Does the Average Person Spend on a Wedding Ring?

In 2020, the average spend a couple made on a wedding or engagement ring was $3,756. Compared to the average of $7,829 in 2018, there has been a significant decrease in the average spend on wedding rings and engagement rings. Learn more about the average engagement ring cost.

However, these are simply averages. Some couples tend to spend a lot less, while others spend quite a bit more. You need to decide how much you want to spend by conferring with your partner.

Remember this is the start of your life together, and these rings should show your love and commitment. A simple gold band may be more meaningful to you than a band encrusted with diamonds at a higher price tag.

How Much Money Should You Spend on a Wedding Ring?

How much to spend on an engagement ring or wedding ring is a personal decision and should reflect your values. It is good to consider the average engagement ring cost. Traditionally, engagement ring cost is three months salary, but that figure has come down significantly in recent years.

Ultimately, the best way to know how much to spend on a wedding ring or engagement ring is to know your ring budget. There is no reason to go into debt when there are size, style, and complexity options to suit everyone’s ring budget.

Shop for Simple Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands

simple solitaire engagement ring
Stunning simple solitaire.

A simple classic solitaire diamond ring is always in style. Beautiful simple gold bands will signify your love forever. If your soon-to-be spouse wants something minimal, it’s easy to keep the cost low. But, even large stones and complicated designs can work with a tight budget.

Setting a Budget

After you shop around and determine how much you want to spend, setting a budget will help you find the perfect ring for your financial situation. Know your ring budget, but also know your options! Shop around, and you will get a good feel for how much to spend on a diamond engagement ring or wedding band.

When it comes to the overall cost, it is not only the size of the center stone that plays a significant role. Also, the quality of the diamond, detailing around the gem (like a halo or other smaller stones included in the design). 

Additionally, consider the type of metal you choose for the band of the ring. Even considerations such as the brand of the ring can all play a role in the overall wedding ring or engagement ring cost.

Spending Myths

Still wondering, “How Much Should You Spend?” Here we will discuss some common myths surrounding buying an engagement ring or wedding band. For example, the old “3-month salary rule” that traditionally surrounded purchasing a diamond ring. 

The good news for all those soon to be wed! The average cost of buying an engagement ring has come down significantly and no longer requires you to save months’ salary.

The ‘One, Two or Three Months of Salary’ Rule

The most popular wedding or engagement ring myth is the X number of months salary rule. It has become common to calculate the “best” cost for a ring based on one, two, or even three months’ worth of salary! 

Nowadays, this could lead to quite an expensive ring. If you intend to follow this tradition and are in the market for a lab-grown diamond, you will get an impressive diamond. 

For example, say you make $5,000 per month. According to the months ‘ salary rule, the best price of a ring for your sweetheart is $5,000 by the one-month standard, $10,000 by the two-month standard, and so on. 

Where Did These Months of Salary Rule Come From?

It is believed the one-month rule surfaced during the early 1940s as a way for diamond sellers to make more significant profits on their jewelry sales. The months’ salary rules are even sometimes referred to as the De Beers myth

Eventually, it grew into the two and three-month salary rules. However, there is no set rule on how much you should spend on a wedding ring. Feel free to ignore this outdated rule and, instead, listen to your personal budget. 

Average Diamond Size for Engagement Rings

Lab-Grown Diamond with a Halo Setting
Halo settings can accentuate the center stone, and make it look larger.

Another common ring budgeting myth centers around the size of the diamond. Some believe when buying an engagement ring that calculating their budget based on the desired carat diamond. They think this will get them] better quality for the money they spend on an engagement ring.

Although this approach might make it easier to stick to a budget, it falls short in its lack of consideration for color, cut, and clarity. These neglected factors play a significant role in the quality of a diamond. Many customers are dissatisfied if their budget is based on the diamond’s size alone.

Consider Types of Metal for Your Wedding Rings

So, make sure you include all of these factors in the calculation in your budget to avoid disappointment. Additionally, you will want to consider what type of metal you want for your wedding bands. 

Yellow gold and white gold are both trendy, while rose gold has been the rising star in recent years. If you are looking at platinum engagement rings, know they are sturdier but with a higher price tag.

Save Money By Shopping for Your Wedding Ring Online

The last, but certainly not least, myth to debunk is the one that claims” “You can’t find beautiful diamonds by shopping online.” 

Shopping for diamonds online can be difficult because diamonds of a lower price usually have an element of lesser quality but are harder to recognize for the untrained eye.

Ask for Help

That’s why involving a professional is essential! Professionals make it easier to find the perfect ring in-person or online without settling for a lower quality diamond—especially with the many remote consultation options (like these virtual appointment options with Clean Origin) available.

Bottom line: don’t sacrifice quality for price when shopping online without professional help. A professional can help you get the perfect wedding rings for the right price tag.

What to Consider When Buying a Ring

Pear Shaped Halo featuring Lab-Grown Diamonds.
Fancy Shape + Halo Setting = Stunning!

We’ve talked about the technical things to consider when buying a ring—clarity, size, cut, color, metal type, brand—but what about the fundamental factors to consider when buying a ring? 

Assessing expectations and priorities will guide your budgeting decisions and make it easier to be on the same page as your soon-to-be spouse. 

Here are some valuable factors to consider when deciding how much money you should spend on a wedding ring:

The Finances

It’s essential to get on the same page about your financial situation before starting the ring buying process. Talk about a comfortable price range and assess your financial situation to calculate what you can afford. 

When setting a budget, there are many things to consider, like student loans, spending money, and savings. As you embark on this life together, you must work together to determine how much is appropriate to spend on wedding bands. Working together will give you the perfect ring budget.

Your Significant Other’s Expectations

Finding the perfect ring is almost impossible if you don’t know what your partner is expecting! Do they want a simple design? How many stones would they like on the band? What kind of metal do they want the band made out of? And, what color?

The best way to answer these questions and get an idea of your partner’s thoughts on buying an engagement ring or wedding ring dreams is to go “window shopping” together. If you want to surprise them with the ring, consider their style and talk to family and close friends to gain some insight to guide you. 

The Ring’s Meaning Over Its Size

Remember, the meaning behind the ring means much more than any other factor. Diamonds are tradition, but the best ring is the one that captures your partner’s individuality and your love together. 

How Can I Save Money on a Wedding Ring?

Sticking to a budget is essential, but don’t let that dash your hopes on finding the perfect ring for your sweetheart! There are countless options for every budget type. Here are our three tips to save some money on your wedding or engagement ring.

Buy a Lab-Grown Diamond

Bridal set featuring lab0grown diamonds.
Save money with a bridal set, buy your engagement ring and wedding ring as a matching set.

One of the easiest ways to cut costs on your ring is to use a lab-grown diamond as the center stone. Not only are they 20-40% less expensive, but they are just as durable as minded diamonds for day-to-day wear and growing in popularity. 

Lab-grown diamonds have helped to lower the average engagement ring cost significantly.

Get the Perfect Setting for Your Budget

Setting a budget has helped you plan how to spend money on wedding bands on an engagement ring or wedding ring. The setting style you choose for the gems of your ring can play an unexpected role in the overall cost of your ring. If your fiancè is in love with a specific setting, it’s essential to know how it can spike prices.

When in Doubt, Go With a Solitaire

This classic setting is always a hit, and never goes out of style!

A great way to cut costs with the setting is to choose the solitaire option (learn how to select the best setting option here) and concentrate most of your budget on the ring’s diamond or center stone of choice. Going for a simpler setting may allow you to afford a larger diamond engagement ring.

Exploiting Color and Clarity 

Our last tip is one of the most effective for significantly reducing ring costs—go for lower clarity and color while sticking with an excellent cut.

Shopping around on color and clarity is a perfect way to lower your engagement ring cost. Shopping around allows you to stay within a budget without sacrificing quality, especially if you want a large center stone. 

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the essential part of your wedding or engagement ring purchase is that it represents your personal love story and the future you are creating with your special someone. 

No diamond size, brand, or metal type matters more than celebrating your love and commitment. Buying an engagement ring or wedding band is stressful. Hopefully, you now feel better equipped to make this decision.