How Much Money Should You Spend On A Wedding Ring (All Your Questions Answered)

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Jennifer Skulski

Published: Feb 15, 2022

Last Updated: Feb 24, 2022

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Are you preparing to propose and wondering how much money should you spend on a wedding ring? This is a timeless question that many couples face. After all, purchasing an engagement ring is a big step in a relationship. It represents that you’re ready to take on a lifelong commitment with your partner.

Wedding rings are beautifully symbolic, but typically come with a significant price tag. While there are definitely options to find a wedding ring within your budget, it’s also best to prepare for how much should an engagement ring cost. This guide is here to answer all those burning financial questions, including how much money should you spend on a wedding ring.

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Average Cost Of Engagement Rings & Wedding Bands

As you begin to plan out and account for how much your wedding will cost, you should first take into consideration how much should an engagement ring cost as well as what your wedding bands might cost.

Engagement Rings

According to the Knot’s 2021 survey, on average couples spent $5,900 on an engagement ring. If you’re interested in an average range, most couples will spend between $3,000 and $6,000. 

Wedding Bands

For wedding bands, the national average is around $550 for a men’s wedding band and around $1,400 for a woman’s wedding band. Thus, most couples should expect to pay between $2,000 to $4,000 for their wedding bands.

wedding ring pair
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How Much Money Should You Spend On A Wedding Ring?

Outdated Theories (You Can Still Follow)

A traditional guideline that often gets brought up when calculating how much should you spend on an engagement ring is that the ring’s price should be equivalent to about one to three months of your salary. While this can be a helpful guideline to some, for others it might be more of a stretch.

Wedding rings are incredibly meaningful tokens of love and commitment that you and your partner will wear for the rest of your lives. Thus, purchasing this ring can be seen as a worthy investment that you don’t mind spending extra money on to get high-quality rings that you’ll both love wearing.

With that being said, there are many modern couples out there who appreciate the symbolic nature of wedding rings, but don’t see the necessity to invest thousands of dollars into this piece of jewelry. About 10% of couples who get married end up spending less than $1,000 on wedding rings, meaning it’s definitely possible to cut down costs if the one-to-three-month salary guideline doesn’t work for you and your partner’s budget.

wedding ring bands

Use An Engagement Ring Calculator

Still stuck on how much should you spend on an engagement ring? There’s a calculator for that! An engagement ring calculator is an online resource you can use to input your income, budget, and other details in order to calculate a comfortable price range for your financial situation.

An engagement ring calculator shouldn’t be a substitute for a well-thought-out wedding budget, but it can be a useful tool to help you gauge how much should an engagement ring cost.

Main Factors To Consider

While understanding what the average couple spends on rings is helpful and taking into account one to three months of your personal income can act as a decent gauge, at the end of the day, how much should you spend on an engagement ring is going to depend on a variety of other factors. Here are some helpful tips to consider.

Set Your Own Budget

Budgeting your money is a serious task, and no calculator, theory, or average cost can tell you what’s best for your financial situation. To realistically set your ring budget, consider how this big purchase will fit into your lifestyle. 

Do you already have money in your savings to contribute to this purchase? How many months away are you from your proposal, and do you have time to save in the meantime? What other major expenses do you have coming up in the near future? Will you outright purchase the ring or finance the engagement ring? If you choose to finance, what credit is available and what are the interest rates?

Once you’ve truly parsed through these questions and thought about where the money will be coming from and how you will feasibly pay for it given your other living expenses, you can begin planning your purchase. As you’re setting your engagement ring budget, you’ll also want to factor in the cost of wedding ring insurance if you want to guard your valuable purchase with extra protection.

engagement ring cost

Create A List Of Priorities

To make the most out of your ring budget, you should make a list of the top necessities for this ring. What are the must-haves for your engagement ring that matter most to you and your partner?

Consider factors such as if you’re willing to sacrifice quality for a bigger diamond. Or perhaps the clarity and color of the diamond hold more weight to you rather than the size. Whatever your preference may be, it’ll be best to go into the shopping experience knowing your priorities and limitations in order to find the perfect engagement ring within your budget.

square engagement ring

Consider Your Significant Other

When it comes to selecting an engagement ring, keep in mind what your significant other is expecting and what style they like. Perhaps it might be best to have an open discussion with your partner before the purchase to gauge the style ring and diamond or gem quality they’d most be interested in.

If you’d rather the ring be a complete surprise of your own choosing, still consider your partner’s style. Consider the color or material of the band. Would they like it to be gold, silver, or rose gold? What shape would they like the gem to be– circular, rectangular, pear, oval, or heart-shaped? Then, of course, there’s the diamond quality to consider.

wedding ring shape ideas
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The 4 C’s

The 4 C’s is a standard guide for assessing the quality of a diamond. The C’s stand for color, cut, clarity, and carat. Color is the hue of the diamond and the less yellow the diamond is, the higher its quality. Cut refers to how masterfully the diamond was cut and proportioned to fit the ring. Clarity examines the natural imperfections that are visible within the diamond. Lastly, a carat is a measurement of the diamond’s weight.

If you’re curious about more factors to consider when selecting an engagement ring or you’re looking for style inspirations, then you should definitely consult our Guide on Wedding Rings and Bands.

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How To Cut Wedding Ring Costs 

Save On The Diamond

Oftentimes, the diamond is the centerpiece of an engagement ring, but it doesn’t have to be. When it comes to how much should you spend on an engagement ring, you can without a doubt lower the cost by saving money from the diamond.

For example, consider alternatives to the traditional diamond. Opal, emerald, amethyst, and sapphire are all trendy diamond alternatives that may be worth looking into to save you a bit of money.

Also, instead of investing in a ring with a larger, expensive center diamond, you may also want to consider purchasing a ring covered in a series of smaller stones instead. This can still be a dazzling style with many sparkling stones, but it can come at a more reasonable price.

opal wedding ring option

Consider Shopping Online

The process of buying a wedding ring online is similar to how you make any other online purchase. While you won’t have the opportunity to physically touch and compare the ring options in front of you, you can still easily work with a jeweler to find and design the ring you’re looking for from the comfort of your own home.

The most important tip to keep in mind when shopping online for an engagement ring is to find a trustworthy online jeweler. Be sure to take your time and do the research when it comes to finding a jeweler that has highly rated reviews and customer service. 

In general, wedding rings tend to be around 30 to 40% cheaper online than if you were to purchase the ring in stores. This price difference has to do with how diamonds are sold. Online retailers can offer a wider variety with fewer limitations, making their prices more competitive and affordable.

Pro Tip: Check out Gabriel & Co. for tons of affordable and beautiful options for engagement rings and wedding bands!

his and her wedding rings

Family Heirloom

If calculating how much should you spend on an engagement ring seems a bit too out of reach monetarily, you can always opt for a free version. Proposing with a family heirloom can be an incredibly meaningful sentiment.

Perhaps it’s your grandmother’s wedding ring that she has always wanted to pass down to you once you’ve found the one. Or your future mother-in-law wanted to offer her own engagement ring for you to pass on to her daughter. Whatever the case may be, a wedding proposal with a family heirloom is an inexpensive yet sentimental alternative.

how much does a wedding ring cost

Go Vintage

Another option for keeping your wedding ring costs lower would be to look for more vintage options. If an aged, vintage style is totally up your and your partner’s alley, then it might be fun to go thrifting for an engagement ring. Try searching for jewelry stores or even thrift shops that sell pre-owned wedding rings.

antique and vintage wedding ring costs
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How Much Money Should You Spend On A Wedding Ring: Frequently Asked Questions

Is a $2,000 engagement ring cheap?

A $2,000 engagement ring isn’t necessarily cheap in either price or quality. While the average couple may spend closer to $6,000 on an engagement ring, a $2,000 ring can still be stunning and of decent quality. 

What does a $10,000 ring look like?

While engagement rings come in all different shapes and sizes, a $10,000 ring is mostly one that is 14 or 18 karat gold with a dazzling, high-quality center diamond that’s between 1 and 1.5 carats.

How much is too much for a wedding ring? 

When calculating how much should an engagement ring cost, consider using one to three months of your income as a guideline. Everyone’s financial situation is different, but if you’re spending more than three months of your annual salary on a ring, you’ll likely go over a reasonable budget. 

Budget For Those Rings!

When it comes to answering how much money should you spend on a wedding ring, the answer will greatly differ. There’s no one set amount that every couple out there should spend. You must individually evaluate your finances and what you’re looking for in a ring, then strategically plan accordingly.

We hope this guide has offered the insight you were looking for when it comes to determining how much should an engagement ring cost. Remember to keep a few months of your salary in mind as a guideline and plan your budget out according to what’s comfortable and feasible for your given lifestyle.

Make that list of ring qualities you can’t compromise on, but also keep in mind those few helpful tips on how to cut down on traditional wedding ring costs. No matter how much you spend on an engagement ring, your proposal and symbolic gesture is bound to be a memory and keepsake that’ll last a lifetime.

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