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How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring in 2023?

by Lucy Coleman
Last updated on August 21, 2023
how much should you spend on an engagement ring

If you are wondering how much should you spend on an engagement ring, you are sure to have come across the age-old myth that suggests spending three months’ salary on an engagement ring for proposing.

While it may have been relevant in the past, the standard rules around how much to spend on engagement rings are slowly becoming a thing of the past. Today, couples make their own choices about how much they wish to spend on engagement rings.

How Much Should an Engagement Ring Cost?

Couples generally spend about $5,000 on a one carat engagement ring. However, many couples pay over $6,000. That cost is based on natural diamonds. Lab grown diamonds will cost anywhere from 30-50% less.

Factors That Determine Diamond Prices

Experts evaluate diamond quality according to their cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. It’s best to learn these 4Cs to understand what you’re buying. This way, you can get the best value for a diamond.

Carat Weight

The carat weight of a diamond simply means how much it weighs. And in traditional diamond sales, diamond price is based on a its carat weight. This means the price is stated per carat or as a total price. It’s important to remember that the diamond’s quality can affect the price per carat. Additionally, larger diamonds tend to be more expensive due to their rarity. It’s important to note that a single diamond of a certain carat weight will typically be more expensive than two smaller diamonds that total the same carat weight. This means that choosing a two stone engagement ring could potentially be less expensive, depending on the qualities of the diamonds you choose for it.


When searching for a high-quality diamond, it’s ideal to look for one that’s colorless and has a brilliant shine and sparkle.

Although some diamonds may have a slight yellow or brown tint, which can lower their overall value, it’s not always noticeable to the naked eye. Opting for a diamond with a subtle tint that’s undetectable without magnification can be a smart way to save money without sacrificing quality.


Diamond clarity is all about the presence of physical imperfections or flaws. Although flawless diamonds are the most costly, those with minor inclusions that are not noticeable can still make excellent choices for an engagement ring.


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A diamond’s cut is a crucial factor. It refers to how well the jeweler cut and polished the diamond.

A diamond with a brilliant cut will reflect light beautifully, giving it that sought-after sparkle. On the other hand, a poorly cut diamond will lack that luster and shine. Therefore, it’s crucial to prioritize the cut when shopping for diamonds to ensure you get the best quality possible.

The Traditional Rule: 2-3 Month’s Salary

The Two Month's Salary Rule is Outdated. How much should you spend on an engagement ring.
The Two Month’s Salary Rule is Outdated

There has long been a rule that states one should spend 2-3 months’ salary on the ring. This rule has been around for decades. It’s ingrained in many people’s minds as the standard for purchasing an engagement ring.

However, there has been a shift towards more personalized and practical approaches to ring shopping in recent years.

Many people now forego the traditional rule. Instead, they opt for a ring that fits their budget and reflects their style. Some may spend more or less than the 2-3 month salary guideline based on their financial situation and priorities.

Ultimately, the most important thing is finding a ring that symbolizes the love and commitment shared between two people rather than adhering to a rigid financial guideline.

How Much People Actually Spend on Diamond Engagement Rings

It’s important to remember that many people spend more or less on engagement rings based on their personal preferences and financial situations. Don’t let others’ spending habits dictate your budget.

Experiences have recently become more valuable than material possessions, especially after the pandemic. As a result, many millennial couples, often saddled with student loan debt, opt to save money on their engagement rings and spend more on their wedding or honeymoon.

You’ll likely want separate wedding rings to wear daily and exchange at the altar. Some women prefer to wear only their wedding ring after the big day, while others wear their engagement ring daily. You can even find beautiful bridal sets with two rings that complement each other.

It’s essential to factor in the cost of your wedding ring when determining how much to spend on your engagement ring. On average, wedding bands can cost a couple of thousand dollars, so it’s wise to budget accordingly.

Consider These Things When Deciding an Engagement Ring Budget

Sylvie Ring

Deciding on an engagement ring budget can be a complex task that requires considering multiple factors. Although there is no universal answer to the ideal amount to spend on an engagement ring, reflecting on a few essential aspects can assist you in setting a budget that suits you and your partner.

Personal Budget

If you want to show your partner a grand gesture, being mindful of your finances is important. Starting your engagement with debt or financial stress is not ideal. So, when setting a budget for the engagement ring, take a realistic look at your finances.

Your income, expenses, and other financial obligations, such as student loans or car payments, should be considered. Remember that there are beautiful rings available at various price points. You don’t need to spend a fortune to find a ring your partner will adore.

Personal Preferences

Personal preferences are also important. A personalized ring in yellow gold or other materials can make it even more special. Additionally, there are budget-friendly alternatives to traditional diamonds, which can be just as stunning.

Insurance Costs

You will want to have your ring insured in case it is lost, damaged, or stolen. Is insurance necessary? No. But if you’re spending a good chunk of money on it, you will have peace of mind knowing your ring is covered if something happens to it.

You Can Always Upgrade Later On

If you’re working with a limited budget, stick with a find that falls within your means. You always have the option of upgrading the ring later on if you choose.

In the future you can keep the setting and get a larger diamond, or you can even add diamonds or other gemstones to it. You have plenty of options so don’t feel pressured into buying an engagement ring that falls outside of your budget.

Lab Grown Diamonds: A Budget-Friendly Alternative to Traditional Diamonds

Lab Grown Diamonds Are an Affordable Alternative to Mined Diamonds
Lab Grown Diamonds Are an Affordable Alternative to Mined Diamonds

Are you wondering about natural diamond alternatives? Have you heard of lab grown diamonds? They are exactly what they sound like – diamonds grown in a lab instead of mined from the earth. The process of growing these diamonds is quite remarkable, and they are just as beautiful as natural diamonds.

The best part about lab created diamonds is that they offer numerous benefits. The most significant advantage is that lab diamonds help cut engagement ring costs. For instance, a one-carat mined diamond can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $18,000, whereas a one-carat lab-grown diamond only costs between $1,300 and $4,000.

With the money saved, you can buy a larger center stone or a more expensive band or even opt for a flawless, colorless lab grown diamond. Lab grown diamonds are your best friend if you want the look of a large engagement ring without the hefty price tag.

Engagement Ring Shopping Tips

To find your perfect engagement ring, browse various styles online to get an idea of what suits you best. It’s important to determine which center diamond shape and band you prefer since there are countless combinations available. Having a clear idea of what you’re looking for can help prevent feeling overwhelmed by the options.

When selecting a band, there are several metal options to choose from. Yellow and white gold are the most common, but platinum and rose gold are gaining in popularity. Additionally, various band styles are available, ranging from simple to intricate designs.

While seeking advice from friends and family can be helpful, be sure to keep your search for the perfect ring hidden to maintain the element of surprise for your partner.

Shop Online for the Perfect Diamond Ring

Exploring a physical jewelry store can be a fantastic way to inspect pieces in person, but shopping online has numerous benefits if you know how to do it right.

By filtering results, you can quickly narrow your search and even find styles you like before visiting a local jeweler to try them on. However, it’s crucial to research the legitimacy and values of an online retailer before investing in a diamond engagement ring.

To ensure a clear conscience, consider buying from Clean Origin. We are devoted to providing ethical and responsibly sourced jewelry. Make sure to review our shipping, return, and resizing policies before purchasing online to avoid unwanted surprises.

The Bottom Line

Tamsyn Ring. How much should you spend on an engagement ring.

Buying an engagement ring is a personal decision that affects both you and your partner. You don’t have to follow the national average or spend one to three months’ salary on the ring.

With knowledge of what others spend and how engagement rings are priced, you can make your own informed decision on how much to spend.

We want your shopping experience to be enjoyable and stress-free. If you need extra assistance, schedule a virtual appointment with our knowledgeable jewelry experts. They can answer your questions and offer guidance. If you prefer a brick-and-mortar store, visit one of our showrooms today!