In days of old, how much to spend on an engagement ring was easily answered: the equivalent to the man’s monthly salary. Back in 1950 the average full-time weekly salary was around £7*, so spending £28 on an engagement ring sounds very attractive. But if we take into account inflation, that monthly salary was nearer £2000 in today’s money, which is close to the average UK salary nowadays. So would you spend £2,000 on an engagement ring for your beloved?
Another rule was for the man to buy a ring based on the age of the woman. So if she was 30, she’d get a 3.0 carat diamond engagement ring. Bear in mind that a 3 carat diamond can cost between $6,000 and $80,000 per carat# and this rule seems even more ridiculous. And bad luck to the middle aged gent who wants to propose to his 50 year old sweetheart!
It’s hard to be certain what people are spending on engagement rings in 2018. One report** states that in 2017, the average engagement ring spend was a very modest £785 – but then increased to £1,483 in 2018. Another report *** claims that the average spend on an engagement ring was about £4,300 back in 2014.
With all these different figures being bandied about, it seems sensible to conclude that how much to spend on an engagement ring depends on your disposable income, personal circumstances and how much you and your beloved value the value of the ring!
Perhaps it’s better to look at the engagement ring purchase a little differently.
For some couples, a small engagement ring is perfect – they may well have other things they wish to spend their hard earned cash on. For others, a large diamond engagement ring is essential to declare to themselves and the world that they are deeply in love and committed.
If you opt for a traditional diamond engagement ring, the price will dictated by the size of the diamond and these other quality factors:
- the clarity of the diamond – the less tiny natural flaws present inside the stone, the more costly the diamond
- the natural colour of the diamond – colourless diamonds are more sparkly because they allow light to pass through them, and so cost more
- the shape ie. how the diamond is cut – more complicated shapes can be more expensive
- the symmetry how well the facets are aligned and balanced – the better the symmetry, the more radiant the diamond (and higher the cost)
- the cut grade – the higher the grade, the more precise the cut and the more the diamond will refract light. Excellent cut grade diamonds will cost the most
- the choice of gold band – 9K or 18K
For those on a very tight budget, you could purchase an engagement ring for under £500, with a 9K gold band and modest 0.2 carat diamond at the lower range of the quality factors above.
However if you want to go all-out and buy that 3 carat rock, with a 18K gold band and top notch quality factors, be prepared to spend £100,000 plus.
When you buy a diamond engagement ring, do purchase from a reputable supplier who will provide a diamond certification – this is a summary of the authenticity and specification of the diamond you have purchased.
The Average Joe out there will be delighted to know that beautiful diamond rings at practically every price are available. Choose something that doesn’t stretch the budget too much, and then be led by your heart – what kind of design would your lady be delighted to flaunt on her finger for the rest of her married days?
Or if your lady really doesn’t want to wear a ring, then consider some ideas for alternatives to engagement rings.
If you would like to get an idea about the costs of diamond engagement rings, the Diamonds Factory website has an easy to use website where you can customise any ring by band, diamond size and quality factors – and see how they impact on final cost.