How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring? A Simple Guide

Are you ready to pop the question?

If so, then, of course, you want the perfect ring to give the love of your life. This little item holds a ton of weight.

Loving a person enough that you want to marry them, you can usually figure out what they will like. But, how much should you spend on an engagement ring?

Engagement Ring Cost 101

Before you head to the pawnshop, think this through. Read on to see what you need to take into consideration when figuring out what to spend.

The Symbolism

Though many people say that your love is what counts, the ring mattes too. Remember, gentlemen, it symbolizes the love you feel for her. Think of the ring as an investment in your future together.

Her Preferences 

Remember that she will wear this investment for the rest of her life. As everything else changes, the ring remains, and she wants something she can proudly rock.

But, what does that mean? It changes from person to person.

Consider her style. Does she wear a lot of flashy jewelry or simple statement pieces? This can make a significant difference.

Also, which metal does she prefer? By spending the same amount of money, you can get 80 more ounces of silver than gold

Look at her clothing tags too. If she wears all designer clothing, then expect to pay much more than if she frugally makes off-brand items look priceless.

You want her to love this ring almost as much as she loves you. You do not want her to quietly resent your choice.

The 4 C’s

Consider the 4 Cs, color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. This will decide what the diamond itself will look like.


Diamond colors range from D to Z. D-F, a chemically pure diamond, contains no hue at all, while S-Z looks yellowish.

As you jump the color chart, you will see a 10% increase in pricing, with little change in color until you compare closer to each end. For good color and a decent price, go somewhere in the middle.


The clarity looks at blemishes in the diamond. S1 diamonds will cost you a ton. As long as you stay above S12, you will not see the inclusions with your naked eye, so save a little money here.


Diamonds can be cut into all different shapes and sizes, removing rough material and making it look exquisite. As the quality of the cut improves, the price will rise. Find something that looks elegant without breaking the bank.

Carat Size

Do you need a big rock or a pretty little pebble? As you go up in size, the price drastically increases. One full-carat makes for a nice looking ring. 


Who says you need a diamond? You can literally save anywhere from hundreds to thousands by opting for another gemstone that may actually be prettier to the both of you and rarer.

Moissanite makes for an excellent diamond look-alike, with more of a rainbow sparkle rater than white. People also love moonstone and some of the more colorful gems that come incredibly cheap.

Your Pricing Source

Consider the commercialization of it all. DeBeers controls and influences the price of your question, and a jeweler sets it in stone.

People found a perfect way to capitalize on love throughout the year. This means that you want to buy your wedding rings from somebody you can trust.

This could mean many things. But, think about her reaction if and when she learns where you bought the ring.

You could spend only hundreds on a ring that may cost you thousands if you buy from a disappointed man on eBay or a Pawnshop. But, some women may see that as you offering a discounted marriage.

Some women want it in the designer box, while others simply want it on their finger. But, you also need to consider the paperwork and knowing that you paid for a real diamond.

Your Pride

Try not to forget, you matter too in this decision. Buy her a ring that you will feel proud of as well.

Consider whether or not you feel the need to fit into the status quo. Who you question will make a big difference when you ask, ‘How much should an engagement ring cost?’ So decide who you need to impress.

Your Financial Situation 

Some people literally put themselves into debt. Remember before doing this, financial issues are the top reason for divorce in the US. 

One popular rule states that you should spend 2 months’ worth of your income on the ring. But, this rule does not consider what you actually take home after taxes and living expenses. 

By this rule, somebody who lives on a Federal poverty level income of just over $17,000 should spend $2,873 on the ring. Though, it does not explain how they will eat for a while.

Again, consider the source. DeBeers actually created this rule with an ad and it stuck as if it were a truth. Do not follow this rule unless you bring home an extremely high income and do not create expenses that match it.

Another rule people tend to abide by is following the national average. Before you go and do this, decide if you want an average relationship.

Make your own rule. After all, nobody else pays your bills except you.

So, How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?

After all of your important living expenses, decide what you can afford. You can use a credit card, but make sure you can pay it off to keep your credit clean for when you two decide to purchase a home.

If you have patience, then save up over a longer period of time and splurge a little. Make sacrifices with other unnecessary wants.

When you find the balance between what you can afford, your pride, and her desires, start looking at rings. Begin looking in your price range so you do not get tempted to go over. 

You Can Never Spend What It’s Worth

How much should you spend on an engagement ring? Only you can answer that. 

Remember, you can never spend what it is worth, because when she says ‘Yes’, it will be priceless. As your big day approaches, read fun wedding tips right here on our website!

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