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How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?

by Clean Origin
Last updated on December 2, 2022
how much should you spend on an engagement ring

Have you heard the old myth that you should spend at least three month’s salary on an engagement ring to propose? While relevant at one time, the traditional rules around the question “How much you should spend on an engagement ring?” are becoming a thing of the past.

Nowadays, couples are making their own choices on how much to spend on engagement rings

Average Engagement Ring Cost

In 2020, the national average engagement ring cost was around $3,750. In 2018, it was closer to $7,800.

These numbers are only averages. There are many people who spend way less and way more on engagement rings. You also shouldn’t change your budget based on how much others are spending.

As you can see in 2020, the national average cost of an engagement ring significantly declined. In current times and especially after the pandemic, people are valuing experiences over material goods more. Many couples opt to save money on the engagement ring and spend more on their wedding or honeymoon.

Also, remember that you’ll probably want separate wedding rings to exchange at the altar and wear every day. Some women wear their engagement ring every day after they get married; others wear only their wedding rings. You can even get stunning bridal sets in order to have two rings that complement each other.

Your wedding ring is another cost to factor in when you decide how much to spend on an engagement ring. The average wedding band can cost up to a couple of thousand dollars so this should definitely be part of the budget.

Diamond Engagement Rings

Art Deco-Inspired Rings. How much should you spend on an engagement ring.
Art Deco-inspired Rings

When people think of engagement rings, many think of a diamond engagement ring. Indeed, these are the most popular and most common rings bought for a marriage proposal.

Diamonds are truly a girl’s best friend. When shopping for a diamond engagement ring, you need to choose the perfect diamond that will look as stunning as your partner.

You don’t need a large engagement ring for it to be spectacular. A simple diamond can make the perfect ring.

Most Popular Diamonds for Engagement Rings

The round brilliant diamond is the most common center stone for an engagement ring. And in general, round diamonds are the most popular diamonds for jewelry–they are also the most expensive. If you want a traditional ring, a round diamond is the perfect choice.

You can find many engagement rings ideas by exploring diamond shapes. Both a pear-cut diamond and an emerald-cut diamond make stunning rings and may have lower prices. It’s worth it to look for a unique shape, especially if it matches your partner’s preferences and style

Diamond Quality

Round lab created diamond. How much should you spend on an engagement ring. .

Experts evaluate diamonds according to their cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. It’s best to learn these 4 C’s so you have a better understanding of what you’re buying. This way you can get the best value for a diamond.

Carat Weight

In traditional diamond sales, diamonds are priced per carat. So you’ll often see either a price per carat or a total price.

Keep in mind that the quality of the diamond will affect the price per carat, but larger diamonds will definitely be more expensive because they are more rare.


A desirable diamond is colorless, which means it has a brilliant shine and sparkle. Diamonds naturally can have a slight yellow or brown tint. This color lowers the quality of the diamond; however, it is not often noticeable in every diamond. Choosing a diamond with a slight tint invisible to the naked eye can save money on the overall diamond.


Clarity refers to the physical inclusions or blemishes in and on the diamond. Flawless diamonds are the most expensive, but diamonds with slight inclusions that aren’t visible are great options for an engagement ring.


Perhaps the most important feature of a diamond is the cut. This is how well the diamond was cut and polished by the jeweler who processed it. A brilliant cut will maximize the light the diamond reflects and makes it more shiny and sparkly. A poor cut will make the diamond lose its shimmer. This is something you don’t want to sacrifice when shopping for a diamond.

Diamond Prices

Diamond Prices Depend on Many Variables.
Diamond Prices Depend on Many Variables

Understanding diamond prices may take some time, but it is definitely worth it to invest some time into reviewing them so you can shop smart.

A one to two-carat diamond is the most common carat size for an engagement ring. The price ranges from around $1000 to up to $30,000 for a two-carat diamond. A three-carat diamond and up will be significantly more expensive.

Now that you know more about diamond quality, you can understand the huge difference in prices for a diamond. If you want a large, flawless, colorless diamond with an ideal cut, you’re going to be spending a lot of money.

Many people opt for diamonds in one or two lower grades for color and clarity because these differences can’t be seen with the naked eye.

Another option is to choose a lab grown diamond. With a lab grown diamond, you will save money as well as get an ethical diamond that will last for generations.

Tips for Buying an Engagement Ring–Other Than How Much To Spend

Diamond Solitaire Engagement Rings
Before Shopping, Have an Idea of What You Want

Start by browsing styles online to get an idea of what style you like. First, figure out what diamond shape and band you like. There are so many combinations of diamonds and bands. It’s important to have an idea of what you’re looking for so you don’t get overwhelmed by your choices.

When picking a band, you have some options for the metal. White gold and yellow gold are the most common, but platinum and rose gold are increasingly popular. There are also different band styles to choose from. You may want a simple one or one with intricate designs.

You can ask friends and family to get a sense of what style your partner will like, but make sure to keep it hidden.

Buying an Engagement Ring Online

While going to a physical jewelry store is also a good way to see your options in person, shopping online has many advantages. If you know how to shop, then you can make use of shopping both online and in-person.

You can filter results easily online to narrow down your search. Once you find a few styles you like, you can go to a local jeweler and ask to see rings in that style. That way you can tell if it is right for your partner.

Before buying from an online retailer, you should do your research on the legitimacy of the brand and their values. Since an engagement ring is an investment, you don’t want to buy from a company that doesn’t have the same values as you.

Clean Origin is committed to providing 100% ethical and responsibly sourced jewelry so you can feel good about the ring on your finger.

You also want to check shipping, return, and resizing policies. These policies are very important to know when shopping online so you don’t get surprised by anything.

Lab Grown Diamonds

Antique solitaire ring. How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring.

Lab grown diamonds are exactly what they sound like–diamonds grown in a lab! Diamonds naturally form deep underground and are mined before being sent for cutting and polishing.

Lab grown diamonds have enormous benefits to you and the Earth. Maybe the most important one is they save you money.

A one-carat mined diamond can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $18,000. A one-carat lab-grown diamond costs between $1,300 and $4,000.

You can either buy a flawless, colorless lab grown diamond or get a mined diamond with visible inclusions, a poor cut, and a lower color grade for the same price. Or you can get a bigger diamond or a more expensive band with the money you save. The possibilities are endless!

The Bottom Line on How Much To Spend on an Engagement Ring

Buying an engagement ring can be a very personal choice that affects both you and your partner. You don’t have to spend one to three months salary on the ring.

You also don’t have to follow what the national average is either. Now you have an idea of what others spend and why engagement rings are priced the way they are, you can make your own decision on how much to spend.

We hope you enjoy shopping and if you need extra help, schedule a virtual appointment with our jewelry experts to answer your questions and give you the guidance you need.