How Much Should an Engagement Ring Cost?

You’ve found your special someone and are looking to put a ring on it. Like most people, money is one of the biggest considerations in the process.

If you’re wondering how much to spend on an engagement ring, you’re not alone. We’re here to clear up the jewelry purchase myths and provide tips on  purchasing the best engagement ring.

How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?

The majority of people spend between $500 and $2,500 on an engagement ring.

As important as this piece of jewelry is, you shouldn’t take on substantial debt to pay for it. Every couple has a different budget – and every bride-to-be has their own preference. Remember: You can always upgrade a simple engagement ring later, especially if you invest in quality materials.

What’s the Average Cost of an Engagement Ring?

While it’s easy to scroll through celebrity engagement rings for inspiration, only 7% of purchasers go over a 6-figure price tag. That isn’t logical or feasible for most couples’ budgets.

According to a 2022 poll, the average engagement ring cost $5,225. Looking closer at the numbers, approximately 20% of purchases were $1,000 or less.

Should I Spend 3 Months’ Salary on an Engagement Ring?

It’s a commonly-held myth that an engagement ring price works out to three months of your salary. Statistics show a much different story.

According to the New York Times, the average person earning $23,000 (or less) per year spends approximately two months of their income on a ring. But earners above that tax bracket are a different story: around 4-5% of their annual income paid for an engagement ring. That works out to about two weeks’ annual salary.

Where Did This Trend Come from?

Until the Great Depression, the majority of engagement and wedding rings were simple bands.

When jewelry sales were down during the 1930s, DeBeers’ successful marketing campaign pushed the idea that men needed to spend a full month’s salary on his wife’s diamond ring. When current inflation has been factored in, that sum eventually climbed to three months.

SImply put: This engagement ring price rule was made to sell diamonds.

The Easiest Way to Save Money on an Engagement Ring

Though they’re the most popular cut for engagement rings, round-cut diamonds are one of the most expensive stones out there. Their price is driven by the cutting process, where a large proportion of these stones are lost.

Consider a more affordable engagement ring stone:


A cushion-cut diamond is known more for fire than brilliance. Therefore, if brilliance is what you’re looking for, we recommend a square cushion over a rectangle shape. This shape offers a traditional aesthetic and costs between 25-50% of a round-cut diamond of the same weight and clarity.


Recently, the oval engagement ring trend has increased in popularity, with celebrities (like Kourtney Kardashian and Ariana Grande) which has driven up prices. However, ovals are still about 10% cheaper than round-cut diamonds.

Note: Oval gemstones are one of the most universally flattering engagement ring settings.


Where princess cuts are square, radiant-cut diamonds can be square or rectangular stones which have 8 distinct beveled edges. Radiant diamonds were developed to concentrate color, making them ideal for yellow gold settings. On average, a radiant diamond can be up to 40% less expensive than a round gemstone of similar qualities.


A round-cut diamond does a solid job of camouflaging imperfections – but so do princess-cut diamonds. Optically, a princess-cut diamond appears larger due to their surface size. If you’re looking for a larger diamond at a good price, you can expect to save up to 20% with these square-shaped gemstones.


A unique, teardrop-shaped diamond is both fashionable and flattering. When cut correctly, it should showcase incredible brilliance and sparkle. However, when cut poorly, it tends to show a dark “bowtie” effect. The tip may also chip if cut or set incorrectly.

Compared to round-cut diamonds of a similar quality, pear-cut diamonds can be up to 30% more affordable.

8 More Tips to Save Money on Your Engagement Ring

Once you’ve settled on a budget and the shape of your center stone, there are plenty of ways to get more bang for your buck. These are some of our top tips for reducing the cost of your engagement ring:

1. Buy Slightly Smaller Gemstones

Purchasing a diamond that’s not a whole number (1.0ct, 2.0ct, etc.), it will be far less expensive than a diamond of similar qualities. For example, If you’re looking at a 2.0ct diamond (8.05mm wide), consider a 1.9ct stone’s diameter (7.91 mm) – a difference of 0.14mm.

For comparison: A US dime is 1.35mm thick.

2. Opt for a Different Color

Even if you’re an expert gemologist, it can be hard to distinguish between D and F (“colorless”) on the GIA color scale. If you go one more step up and choose a diamond with a “G” rating, the difference will likely be imperceptible (while saving you up to 10%).

3. Purchase a Loose Stone Online

Buying a loose stone allows you to shop around without being charged overhead fees. If you already have the ideal band in mind, consider purchasing a loose stone online and paying your jeweler to set it. Due to environmental and ethical concerns, we recommend researching the source of your diamond.

4. Choose a Narrower Band

While a center stone is the focal point, a ring with a slightly narrower band can cut down on the use of precious metals. Ask your jeweler, but we recommend a band that’s at least 3.5mm wide.

5. Avoid Micro Pavé Bands

A pavé band sets small diamonds along the entire length of the band. For obvious reasons, this is labor-intensive and requires a larger budget.

6. Select an Alternative Gemstone

Millennial and GenZ couples are increasingly choosing diamond alternatives like amethyst, tsavorite, and tanzanite for engagement rings. Not only do these offer people to showcase more of their personality but – with a few notable exceptions like emerald and natural sapphires – the majority are far cheaper than diamonds.

7. Consider a Vintage Ring or Stone

With a booming secondhand market and focus on sustainability, many modern couples are opting for vintage rings. While most old mine-cut diamonds tend to have less brilliance, they come with incredible personality and a far lower price point.

8. Make a Smaller Stone Look Bigger

From illusion to 3-stone settings to halo settings to band filigree, there are plenty of hacks to make small diamonds look bigger.

A Custom Engagement Ring to Fit Your Taste & Budget

You don’t need an online engagement ring cost calculator to make your decision. Consider your current financial situation, shop around for ideas and options, and speak to a professional jeweler to see what your current budget allows for.

At Jaume Labro, all of our custom engagement rings are made-to-order by master artisans. Discover the difference!

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