back to Engagement

How Much to Spend on an Engagement Ring

by Caroline Clark
Last updated on November 17, 2021

Picking out the perfect engagement ring for your fiancée-to-be is definitely one of the most exciting purchases you can make. From figuring out what style of setting she wants, to the perfect diamond shape, you want to make all the right choices so that she will scream, “I DO!” the moment you open the box! After all, buying an engagement ring should be an enjoyable experience. However, one major (and not so exciting) factor that you must remember is budget. Every ring buyer has one, and oftentimes it can cause major stress when it comes to making this monumental purchase. 

You’ll see all over the internet rules of thumb and “ring calculators” to help you figure out how much to spend on an engagement ring as if there is some magic number out there on Google. We wouldn’t recommend relying on those to give you the perfect answer on price. We will, however, give you the knowledge you need to make an educated and informed decision about how much to spend on an engagement ring so that you are getting the best possible ring for your price range. 

The 2-3 Month Rule

Back in the 1930s, De Beers, one of the largest diamond mining and retail corporations, created a campaign that would change the world of engagement rings forever, by linking diamonds and engagement together. During this time, diamonds were not commonly used on engagement rings. But by the end of the 20th century, 80% of engagement rings would include diamonds. Their campaign also urged people to believe that one month’s salary was what one should spend on an engagement ring. As time went on, this grew to two or even three month’s salary. This is a BAD idea — plain and simple. This would mean that your engagement ring is equivalent to 1/3rd of your salary. There is no reason why you should ever follow this rule unless this is a price you want and feel comfortable spending. We don’t recommend using the 2-3 month rule when deciding how much to spend on an engagement ring. Budgets are different for everyone, and only you know how much to spend on an engagement ring based on the limits you’ve set. 

Most importantly, do not feel pressured into purchasing a diamond ring that is out of your budget. Dealing with pushy salespeople can be extremely uncomfortable and leave a bad impression during a time that is supposed to be extremely special for you! At Clean Origin, we always want you to find the ring that is right for you and will respect the guidelines you give when beginning your search.

Lab-Grown vs. Mined Diamond

While there are many benefits to owning a lab-grown diamond (conflict-free, eco-conscious, etc.), one of the most amazing perks is the price. The cost of a lab-created diamond tends to be less than mined diamonds — around 20-40% less in fact. This does not mean that a lab-diamond is somehow less desirable than a mined diamond; the price difference simply has to do with the supply chain. Mined diamonds have a very long supply chain. To get a diamond from its raw form to retail-ready requires miners, distributors, cutters, polishers, jewelry manufacturers, and retailers. With lab-grown diamonds, the supply chain becomes much shorter by skipping the mining process. Fewer hands touch a lab-grown diamond, making it less expensive.

What does this mean for you? By buying a lab-grown diamond you are able to get a larger carat size or better quality diamond for less. This means how much you spend on an engagement ring will either go down in dollar amount or you’ll be able to get a bigger/better diamond that fits in your budget.

Clean Origin offers 10 different diamond shapes for your dream engagement ring. The most popular diamond shape is the round diamond. When comparing our lab-grown diamonds to competitors’ mined diamonds, our 1ct round diamond, with a G color, very good cut, and VS1 clarity is around $2,800.00-$3,100.00. Compared to a mined diamond of equal quality, it is around $4,300.00- $6,000.00+. A 2ct round diamond, with a G color, very good cut, and VS2 clarity is $8,071.00. Compared to a mined diamond of equal qualities, it is around $18,00.00. Now, this is where you need to do your research. Depending on what factors or shape you want, cost will differ. But as you can see, there is a wide range in price, especially when you compare lab vs mined.

Receiving the same size diamond and same quality, the only difference is the origin of the diamond. Mined diamonds come from the earth, and lab-grown are created in a controlled lab. A man-made diamond is chemically, physically, and optically the same as those grown beneath the Earth’s surface. Ultimately, there is no “better” diamond. You may feel that a mined diamond holds a certain significance, or you may be drawn to a lab-created diamond and its progression of technology. Either way, both are real and both represent love.

What Is the Average Price?

When buying an engagement ring, there is a huge range in cost due to the many different factors involved, especially if you’re looking at lab-grown vs mined. Depending on the type of diamond, the 4 C’s of the diamond, the setting, and metal you choose can greatly affect how much you end up paying. It’s important to figure out what factors are most important to your future fiance, and from there see how you can work her dream ring to fit your budget. There is no right or wrong price when it comes to how much you spend on an engagement ring, that should be clear.

Engagement Ring Metals

There is also a range in price when you are looking at different metals. Our rings come in 14k white, yellow, and rose gold, and 18k white, and yellow gold. And our platinum is created with 90% pure platinum. The only difference between 14k and 18k gold is how much true gold is present. Now you might be asking yourself, “isn’t the whole ring gold?”, but that’s not quite the case. 24k = 100% gold, so 18k = 75% gold, and 14k = 58.3% gold. To achieve other colors, pure gold is mixed with other metals and thus creates white, yellow, rose gold, or platinum. Gold is a very soft metal, and thus the more gold you have, the softer it is. For that reason, 24k gold is very soft and not a metal we recommend using for your fiancé’s engagement ring. 14k gold is the most durable option. The price difference between 14k gold and 18k gold is a few hundred dollars, whereas platinum is 40-50% more expensive than white gold but extremely durable. If you are wondering how much to spend on an engagement ring, make sure you remember to take metal choice into consideration when you’re assembling your budget, as it is often the last choice to make.

Setting Style

The type of setting you to choose will also greatly affect how much you spend on an engagement ring. Solitaire settings are typically the least expensive option as they do not feature any additional diamonds. Without any additional pave or halo band to amplify the center stone, you’ll have to remember to purchase a better quality diamond, as it will be the center of attention. Although a very simple style, the solitaire setting can cause you to spend more on the main attraction — the diamond — because there are no other surrounding diamonds. On the opposite end, halo settings are sometimes the setting with the most bling and seem to cost a little more for the setting. However, halo settings are an excellent setting choice if you are looking to purchase a smaller diamond, which could save you money. The smaller diamonds encircle the larger diamond making the center stone look bigger. From vintage and intricate, to sleek and modern, we’ve got a fantastic collection of halo settings that range in price.

The Best Ways to Save Money on an Engagement Ring

From the stone quality to the setting style, there are a lot of ways to save money on an engagement ring. It’s important to take into consideration what your partner wants, while also keeping the budget in check. Remember that there are many ways to create a stunning ring without spending too much. How much to spend on an engagement ring should be a question for you and your fiance — not Google. So, talk to your significant other, figure out what you both want and can afford, and find a ring the two of you can enjoy for the rest of your lives.