With so much varying information on how much engagement rings cost, it is important to be armed with the information before purchasing. Many people have been taught to believe one needs to spend two months salary on an engagement ring. Others may believe that the more expensive the ring, the better the quality and the better it symbolizes the couples’ commitment. However, these notions actually have nothing to do with the actual price of the ring. Keep reading to find out how to get the most for your money–and still have an impressive engagement ring.

The Average Price of Engagement Rings

There are a lot of variables to consider when shopping for engagement rings, with cost being a significant factor for most couples. It is important to set your budget and from there make decisions about the style, metal and stones.

The average engagement ring these days costs approximately $3500 to $4200. Despite this average dollar value, it is important to remember that these are just averages and not what everyone pays for an engagement ring.  Regardless, one need not give into pressure to go above one’s finances simply to meet the average cost. In fact, many couples will find themselves happy with a beautiful ring for below $3500, or even opt for a $5000+ ring depending on what the budget allows.

At the end of the day, the price of the engagement ring need not be merely a reflection of an average price tag, but focus on the symbolic nature of the ring, the relationship and marital vows.

Engagement Rings: What You Can Expect for Your Budget

After a couple has an idea of their budget for the engagement ring, the next thing they should do is start looking at what is available for their price range at various jewelry stores. From there, they can determine the absolute best price once the playing field is level. Although there may be price variations depending on the designer, there are some basic guidelines that will help give you an idea of what you can get within your budget range.

Engagement Rings for $500 or Less:

  • Usually set in sterling silver, 10k or 14k gold.
  • Simple, classic styling.
  • Usually 1/4 or less diamond carat weight.
  • Generally few, if any, side stones to provide most of the carat weight for the center stone.
  • Diamond will be of medium to low quality; possible inclusions which are visible to the naked eye.
  • Colored gemstones a popular option with this price range, using tiny pinpoint diamonds as accents.
  • Promise rings which look more like engagement rings may be a good bet for this price range.

Engagement Rings from $500 to $1,000:

  • Diamonds in this carat weight price range are usually GIA certified.
  • Average quality diamonds with some having a carat weight of .65 to .75. May be found as a single stone, but usually found in a smaller center stone surrounded by pave or pinpoint diamonds with total carat weight up to .75.
  • Increased diversity in setting styles and metals.
  • A bridal set (engagement ring and wedding band) may be available in this price range.

Engagement Rings from $1,000 to $2,000:

  •  Diamonds up to .50 carats are usually GIA certified, with the alternative being a larger single stone of .75 carats with a marginally lower grade quality.
  • A combined total carat weight can be up to 1.0 carats.
  • A bridal set (engagement ring and wedding band) could also include an additional band.
  • Increased assortment of interesting shapes, metal quality (usually 14k gold) and more ornate styles available.
  • A few designer rings may be available in this price range–usually with a lower carat weight.

Engagement Rings from $2,000 to $3,500

  • Many options for a quality 1 carat GIA certified diamond.
  • A wide variety of settings, including bezel, tension, antique, pave or engraved with delicate details.
  • High quality metals such as platinum, 18k white gold or palladium available.
  • Large variety of more unique setting styles, intricate details, engraving and even three stone rings. Usually there is an option for some customization.
  • An increased assortment of stone shapes and colored gemstones.

Engagement Rings from $3,500 to over $5,000

  • Excellent variety of large certified diamonds in higher GIA certification grades, along with extensive interesting or unique shapes.
  • This price range opens up the possibility for designer rings from jewelry stores such as Tiffany, Tacori, Verragio, Chopard or even Harry Winston.
  • Full customization of settings, mountings, stones and engraving available.
  • Fancy colored diamonds is an option, although they still may be small due to rarity and value.

Finding the Best Engagement Rings

Women adore engagement rings is because they are beautiful to look at and wear on a daily basis. Because looks are nearly always everything to engagement rings, it’s important to know a few tricks of how to make your stones not only appear larger and more brilliant, but get the most for your money. Check out some insider tips from reputable jewelers that can make your shopping experience outstanding.

Paying for Engagement Rings

Some of the main concerns for a couple is price and how to afford the ring at this important venture in life. Below are the most common methods of payment and their pros and cons:
  1. Cash: The best option for every couple. Going into debt at the beginning of marriage for the engagement ring is unwise and risky. Paying cash is preferred but it can limit the options of rings available.
  2. Credit Card: Although many young couples do this with good intentions of paying off the ring quickly, not many are able to do so. This is a risky option which can be burdensome at the beginning of a marriage.
  3. In-store Financing: A suitable option if the fine print is read carefully to ensure the interest rates are not higher than your existing credit card. Proceed with caution.
  4. Loan from Bank: This option is not frequently used by couples getting engaged.
  5. Pay-day or Cash Advance Loans: To be avoided at all costs/ The interest rates are usually 100-200%!
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Buying an engagement ring is one of the biggest and most memorable purchases of one’s life. Fortunately, there are countless options for every budget without having to compromise style or beauty. The most important thing to remember is the symbolic nature of the engagement ring and to celebrate the joyous occasion of marriage.
Images courtesy of Verragio, Zales and Blue Nile.

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