Engagement Ring Prices
If you’re looking for engagement rings, you’ve probably heard the “two months salary” rule. And you’ve probably seen engagement ring prices online ranging from a few hundred to $10,000 or more. But depending on your situation and your budget, these prices may seem absurd. What are the prices of engagement rings that are actually affordable to people not making upwards of 75K a year, and what can you expect to get at that price?
Engagement ring prices vary greatly, and buying a more expensive ring doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better.
What Things Affect Engagement Ring Prices?
Quality of the Diamond
This includes the “4Cs” of diamonds: Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat. Of course you want to best quality possible, but keep in mind that many of the differences simply aren’t apparent to the naked eye. Unless you go for the very lowest quality, you’d need a gemologist to tell the difference. And, certain cuts are good at hiding imprefections in the diamond.
Number of Gemstones
It’s common to include more than one gemstone in an engagement ring. Two smaller diamonds, often called “baguettes,” framing the main gemstone are popular. Some more unconventional engagement rings, such as art deco styles, include other gemstones such as rubies and emeralds for their deep and rich colors.
The setting is what actually holds the diamond (or diamonds) on the ring band. There are a lot of different ways to set a diamond, from the traditional pronged styles to rimmed bezel settings. Bezel settings are more secure and functional, whereas pronged settings can allow the diamond to look larger.
The Ring Band
Gold, white gold, silver, platinum? The type of material is an important consideration in the look, durability, and of course, cost. The width of the band is another thing to consider. Wide bands of course use more metal, whereas you can get a much narrower band for less.
Style and Design
The overall style and design of the ring is important, as well. This includes the band, the setting, any elaborate and intricate patterns, and any engravings that you may want on the band. You can look for art deco engagement rings, or find more modern-looking ones. Maybe you want an authentic antique engagement ring, or just one inspired and influenced by older styles. Designer engagement rings from big name companies have much higher price tags, but aren’t necessarily of a higher quality or more beautiful.
Deciding On Your Budget
It’s important to decide first how much you can actually spend on a ring. Don’t get caught up in the thought that more expensive is better, or that buying a cheaper ring somehow lessens your commitment. Remember that it’s the idea and love behind the ring that matters most, not the final price tag.
So, keeping this in mind, decide what you can afford to spend before you start seriously looking at rings and specifications. This can be something that many couples will want to talk about and decide together. For men, you may find that the woman of your dreams would actually prefer a less expensive ring. Especially for women who work with their hands a lot and are very active, constantly wearing a large piece of jewelry worth thousands of dollars can be a bit unpractical. What if it gets knocked into something and chipped?
Also, keep in mind that there will be a lot of other expenses to plan for. Don’t get so caught up in buying an engagement ring that you forget about what’s coming next—you’ll be spending a lot more on the wedding, on a house or apartment, on starting your new life together and saving for your future.
You also have to keep in mind that, although diamonds are forever, they still need taken care of. The engagement ring price isn’t the only cost you have to consider—there may be resizing fees, a warranty, and occasional cleanings or repairs.
What Can You Get For Your Budget?
Diamond engagement ring prices range from a few hundred to a few thousand. If you opt for a smaller diamond, in a cut such as a princess cut, a round cut, or a marquis cut, a simple band design, and a solitaire setting, you can get a beautiful and elegant ring for anywhere from around $200 to $1000.
To add side stones, expect to move into the $500 minimum range. In general, quality engagement ring prices with side stones will be upwards of $1000 for the more traditional cuts and settings.
Certain special features can cost you a lot extra, although you can always choose to sacrifice some other things, such as the quality of the diamonds. If you’re looking for a pave setting, for example, and you want only the highest quality diamonds, expect to pay thousands. But, because the diamonds in a pave setting are smaller, you can choose lower quality or even cubic zirconia to save money, and get a better quality central diamond. Likewise, cushion cut diamonds can cost more than a typical car, but if you choose a solitaire setting, a smaller diamond, and a simple band, you can get one for under $4,000.
Designer rings will, not surprisingly, run you a few thousand minimum. For example, Cartier engagement ring prices run in the $4,000 to $10,000 range, but you are paying a lot for the designer name.
So, you can find engagement ring prices for anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands and more. But it’s possible to find a simply but quality engagement ring, with a diamond that looks beautiful to the untrained eye, for under $1000. Ultimately, the engagement ring cost is depends on the criteria you set.