How Much Should Your Engagement Ring Cost?

How Much Should Your Engagement Ring Cost?


No doubt diamonds are a girl’s best friend. And with the sparkle of twinkle lights come Christmas, no doubt some lucky girls will receive a big sparkler in their stocking. Christmas Eve has become the most popular day of the year to propose, with Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve coming in third and fourth place.

According to Facebook, “there are 2.6 million people who changed their status to engaged in the US last year on Facebook…The most popular months to get engaged were November and December.”

The Knot surveyed more than 12,000 brides and 1,200 grooms between 2014 and 2015, which revealed that men spend an average $5,978 on an engagement ring, with budgets increasing.  But that doesn’t mean that the ring is necessarily bigger. The survey revealed that men go for quality over quantity. 85% of men would rather buy a smaller, better quality diamond than a larger stone of lesser quality and 57% of brides admit they’d rather have a smaller, better quality diamond than a larger stone of lesser quality.

“With engagement ring spend on the rise, we’re seeing men put more thought, time and energy into buying the perfect ring and creating a more memorable proposal,” said Kellie Gould, Editor in Chief of The Knot.

So HOW much SHOULD you be spending on your engagement ring?

There is a silly rule that most jewelers suggest that men spend about three months of their salary on an engagement ring. Crazy! But of course the answer depends entirely on your fiancé-to-be’s financial situation. You don’t want him to go overboard and then have nothing to spend on your wedding.

On average, a guy will spend about $5,229 on the engagement ring but don’t let anyone tell you how much to spend. Your engagement ring should be more meaningful than costly. If you think you should spend as much as possible on an engagement ring and can afford a six-figure rock, go for it. But if you are still paying off old credit cards, then don’t.

We suggest going by the new “The Car Rule”, which states that a man should spend up to, but no more, than the initial purchase price of his car (and you know how much guys love their cars). If your man is willing to spend more on his car than he is on a ring, then you  have a serious problem on your hands.

But what about sizing? The national average carat size is only 0.4 unless you live in New York City, Boston, or Los Angeles, where the average carat size is 1.8-2.0, so you shouldn’t really be asking for anything more.

Whether or not you want to follow any of the above, keep the 80/20 rule in mind before you spend all your money. 80% of the budget should go towards the center diamond, while 20% should be reserved for mounting and surrounding embellishments.