Average Engagement Ring Cost

Average Engagement Ring Cost – Basics

What do other people spend on engagement rings? What are the national and regional averages? Should you shop online or in stores?

Before going on: Check out the PriceScope Diamond Buying Guide

What does the Average Engagement Ring cost?

For most people, an engagement ring is a serious purchase. This is a treasured item the wearer will look at and cherish every day for a lifetime. Before deciding what kind of ring you will propose with it’s important to establish a budget. That budget should generously demonstrate your emotional and financial investment in the wearer, but it should not break the bank.

National Average: $5,000

For several decades, a budget somewhere around $5,000 has been commonly associated with national cost expectations.

average engagement ring cost - man holding cash

Following that trend, according to a Jewelry and Engagement survey by The Knot, the average  cost was $5,500 in 2020. However that number is not for everyone. Some couples spend far more, others far less. 25% reported their average cost ranged from $1,000 to $3,000 and 11% reported an average cost of less than $1,000. Some couples also spend much more than the national average.

North, South, East or West?

The average engagement ring cost also varies depending on where you live. Proposers in Mid-Atlantic states spent around 45% more, on average, than like-minded suitors in the Southeast USA.

  • Mid-Atlantic USA average: $7,600
  • Northeast USA average: $6,000
  • Western USA average: $5,400
  • Midwest USA average: $5,400
  • Southeast USA average: $5,250

Diamond Prices

Setting aside the averages, the cost of diamonds (natural as opposed to lab grown), your own financial situation and the recipient’s expectations should all figure into establishing your budget.

PriceScope Pointer: Learn to establish your budget according to three key considerations here: How Much To Spend on an Engagement Ring?

Other Considerations

In addition to the engagement ring, there is frequently a wedding band expense. In 2020, the average cost of an accompanying wedding band for women was $900, while the average cost for a man’s band was $500.

We would also advise shoppers to factor engagement ring insurance into the cost. No different than insuring your car, it’s something you never want to use, but it will become extremely important in the case of unexpected loss or damage.

Engagement Ring Cost – Tips

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How to Save Money

Your own budget may be higher or lower than the average engagement ring cost, but whether it’s $1,000 or $100,000, there are a few ways to make your money stretch as far as possible.

1. Shop Online

20 years ago, buying a diamond online was much harder than it is today. Modern digital media, videos, testimonials, and communities like PriceScope have made it easier to research which online sellers are reputable and offer the best value. The generous return periods offered by those sellers also make online buying completely safer and more practical.

shopping online

Good news: Statistics show the total savings from purchasing online can be from 30% to 50%, compared to a bricks and mortar jewelry store, so the average engagement ring cost drops online, if comparing apples to apples. You can also spend the same amount you would in a bricks and mortar store, while enjoying better cut quality, higher carat, color, clarity, etc., for the same money. The vast selection online also makes finding the diamond and setting which fit you best more practical.

The best news? You’re online right now, researching diamond prices from some of the world’s most reputable online sellers, with an active, unbiased community eager to discuss topics like average engagement ring cost and what one should spend.

PriceScope Pointer: You can get quick answers to any question now: Ask our community of unbiased independent helpers

2. Shop Just Under Key Weights

Staple carat weights such as 0.50ct, 0.75ct and 1.00 are sometimes called key weights or “magic sizes” because prices seem to magically jump at those sizes. Shopping for diamonds just under key weights can be a great way to make the most of your budget. Buying just under a key weight can net an average of 15-20% in savings.

All else equal, there is negligible visual difference between a diamond weighing 1.49 carats and a diamond weighing 1.50 carats, but the price for the 1.50 carat diamond will jump up notably. This is because, psychologically, 1.50 carats is a key weight compared to 1.49 carats. To the naked eye, there is no size difference between those weights, but the negligibly smaller diamond is easier on the budget.

3. Use Several Smaller Stones

A band set with several small diamonds, or a solitaire surrounded by a diamond halo, can imitate the sparkle of a single, large diamond without the cost. That budget will go much further with smaller stones, since diamond prices increase exponentially as diamonds get larger. When buying a single center stone, you could also consider a halo setting, making it look notably larger and adding abundant sparkle.

4. Go for the Gold

The cost of white and yellow gold is typically less than platinum (depending on market dynamics). Also, while 18K gold is most popular, bridal jewelry is frequently offered in 14K white and yellow gold settings, which are even easier on the budget. Read about the most common alloys on our page covering platinum vs white gold settings.

5. Alternate Gemstones

Diamonds are the king of gemstones, but if you prefer a splash of color, that will also help the budget: Red garnets, orange citrines, purple amethysts, pink morganites, green peridots, blue-green aquamarines, and topaz in various colors and other colored stones are suitable for daily wear. When used for engagement rings, they also make a unique statement.

Summary

These decisions are personal, of course. Be sure to read our education section thoroughly to make confident decisions which will help you determine whether your budget should be lower, higher, or in-line with average engagement ring cost.

Get fast answers to any question: Ask our community of unbiased independent helpers.

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