Ring Budgeting and Diamond Pricing Guide
Engagement rings come in all price ranges. From “presentation” solitaires to a luxury designer setting by Verragio [below], with a little planning you can find the perfect design to fit your engagement ring desires as well as your budget…
How Much Should an Average Engagement Ring Cost?
According to a recent survey by The Knot, the average price of an engagement ring is $5200.
The diamond industry will also tell you that you should spend two or three months salary on the ring. But don’t be intimidated by the diamond industry. You should spend only what you can afford without it being a major burden on your finances. Try to avoid going into heavy debt when you purchase your engagement ring.
Presentation Solitaire Engagement Ring
Verragio 3 Stone Princess Cut Engagement Ring
Below is a listing of engagement ring price categories and what diamond/engagement ring you can expect for each category.
Note: Our Diamond Selection Guidelines
We try to choose diamonds with color in the G/H/I (near colorless) range, sometimes ranging into J when price is a major consideration. The “near colorless” range is a good compromise between price and color purity. Likewise we prefer diamonds with clarity in the VS1/VS2 (Very Slightly Included) range, and sometimes SI1/SI2 when again price is a concern (and we can find an “eye-clean” SI diamond). Clarity better than VS1 will not be visible to the unaided eye, and diamonds below VS2 are often not “eye clean”.
We prefer to pick diamonds with Excellent/Ideal cut. In general, try to pick the best cut diamond you can afford as the cut determines the brilliance and sparkle of the diamond. For more information, you can read our article on Diamond Pricing and the Four C’s.
For couples on a tight budget, these economy rings will often offer great bargains along with lots of sparkle at affordable prices. For example, James Allen offers a budget conscious 4-prong “presentation” solitaire setting [below], which when matched with a good quality 0.5 ct Princess cut diamond, is available for under $1000.
Princess Cut 2mm Knife Edge Solitaire Ring
Petite French-Cut Diamond Eternity Band
Rings in this category often use a lot of smaller “pave” diamonds to add extra sparkle. Small pave diamonds are much less expensive than one large center stone. For example, a high-quality diamond eternity band [above] is becoming a popular choice for an affordable engagement ring.
Check out our Engagement Rings For Under $1000 page for more info.
$1000-$2000 – Diamond Solitaires
At this price range, a diamond solitaire engagement ring is often a good choice. The Solitaire setting is affordable, and allows you to focus your budget on selecting a larger diamond.
For example, the four prong setting from James Allen [below] can be matched with a good quality 0.75 carat princess cut diamond for under $2000. Read more about Solitaire Engagement Rings.
2mm Knife Edge Solitaire Ring
Six Prong Knife-Edge Diamond Ring
Or a good quality 0.7 carat round cut diamond with a classic 6-prong solitaire setting [above] for under $2000.
For the same quality diamond the princess cut tends to be less expensive than the round cut. The princess cut follows the natural crystalline structure of the diamond and wastes less of the raw stone making it more efficient and therefore less expensive. So at the low price ranges you can get a larger (or higher quality) diamond by going with the princess cut.
Also, at this price range (and above) you typically pick the “loose” center diamond separately from the setting. This lets you pick exactly the diamond you want for the setting of your choice.
$2000-$4000 – Halo setting
One of the more popular engagement ring styles is the Halo setting. The Halo setting adds extra sparkle to your ring and makes the center diamond appear larger. A halo setting is usually more expensive than the solitaire, however you can often get by with a smaller center diamond without losing sparkle.
At this price range a popular round halo setting from James Allen [below] can be purchased with an excellent quality 0.8 carat round cut diamond for under $4000. Read more about Halo Engagement Rings.
Pave Halo Engagement Ring
Pave Cushion Style Halo Engagement Ring
Or a Fashion forward cushion style halo engagement ring [above] with an excellent quality 0.9 carat cushion cut diamond, for under $4000.
Also, at this price range you can just reach the iconic 1.0 carat engagement ring with a diamond solitaire setting and a Princess cut diamond.
$4000-$6000 – Intricate Settings
According to The Knot survey this is the “average” price range for an engagement ring.
Rings with intricate settings, such as Infinity Bands, split shanks, twisted bands and diamond-encrusted braids are popular engagement ring styles. In this price category they are easily affordable with quality matching diamonds.
For example, the twisted band halo from James Allen [below], with a matching high quality 0.9 carat Round Cut Diamond can be purchased for under $6000. Read more about Intricate Settings Engagement Rings.
Twisted Band Halo Engagement Ring
Twisted Pave Shank Contemporary Solitaire
And the sparkly pave twisted band [above] with an excellent quality 1.0 carat Princess Cut Diamond for under $6000.
$6000-$8000 – Designer Rings
At this price range there are any number of beautiful settings with quality diamonds available. Including rings by top designers such as Verragio, Ritani, Vatche and Mark Schneider.
For example, [below] is a classic “Tiffany style” diamond solitaire engagement ring by the designer Vatche. When paired with a matching 0.9 carat super ideal round cut diamond from Whiteflash, the ring can be purchased for around $8000. Read more here and here.
Vatche Six Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring
Ritani Split Shank Princess Cut Engagement Ring
Or a beautiful split shank princess cut engagement ring [above] by the designer Ritani, with a matching a super ideal 0.8 carat Round Cut diamond for about $8000.
Vatche specializes in platinum rings, so the premium to purchase a platinum setting is much less than other designers, often as little as $100 over 18k white gold.
Luxury Engagement Rings, $8000 and beyond…
According to The Knot survey about 12% of couples spend more than $8000 on their engagement ring.
These “luxury” engagement rings often feature expensive settings from designers such as Verragio along with very high quality cuts of diamonds, such as Whiteflash’s Hearts and Arrows Super Ideal diamond line. These diamonds offer the maximum in sparkle and brilliance. Read more here and here.
Verragio Split Shank Cushion Style Halo Engagement Ring
Verragio 3 Stone Princess Cut Engagement Ring
Learn About Diamonds
Typically the most expensive part of an engagement ring is the center diamond. So it is a good idea to learn about diamonds before you purchase one in order to get the best quality diamond for the price.
You can read our engagement ring and diamond guides to give you a good overview on how to buy an engagement ring and what to look for when purchasing a diamond:
- How to Buy an Engagement Ring
Tips and advice to make your engagement ring buying quest easier.
- Diamond Shapes
There are 10 popular diamond shapes for use in engagement rings…
- Diamond Pricing and the Four C’s
The Four C’s are: Color, Cut, Clarity and Carats. They greatly influence the quality and price of the diamond.
- Diamond Anatomy and Pricing
All about Polish, Symmetry and Fluorescence and how they impact a diamond’s quality and price.
- Diamond Certification
A GIA certificate guarantees that the diamond is independently and accurately rated.
- Buying a Diamond? Buyer Beware!
Ten pitfalls to avoid!
- Diamond Price Guide Antwerp World Diamond Center
- Average Engagement Ring Costs $5,200, Says Survey by The Knot