The Average Cost of an Engagement Ring

We're often asked, how much should an engagement ring cost or what is the average cost of an engagement ring? Our answer will always be, “It depends.” The price of an engagement ring will change depending on the overall quality of the ring, the cut, color, and clarity of the diamond, how many diamonds are used in the ring and their weights, the brand that is selling the engagement ring, and many other factors.
Danhov CL133 Classico Single Shank Solitaire Engagement Ring
Danhov CL133 Classico Single Shank Solitaire Engagement Ring
How much should you spend? Again, that’s highly personal. Our best advice is to spend what you’re comfortable spending and what your budget allows. There’s always a ring out there that fits your needs while being within your budget.
Some engagement rings can be very expensive, others can be hugely competitive in terms of price. No one should follow an old-fashioned ‘two-month’ or ‘‘three-month salary rule’ when it comes to buying one. How much you need to spend is ultimately dependent on two key things. The first is, of course, your financial condition, and the second is knowledge.

Whiteflash’s Engagement Ring Cost Rules

  • Remember, cost is directly related to overall quality. If you want a fantastic piece, expect to pay more.
  • Research should always come first. Look into the type of engagement ring you want, the type of setting, diamond size and quality, and metal type among other things.
  • The setting and the central stone will be sold separately. Many buyers might see an engagement ring and assume it comes with the stone it’s advertised, but that’s generally not the case. Remember an engagement ring is made up of two costs—the cost of the setting and the diamond itself.
  • Always buy from a reputable seller. Here at Whiteflash, we take pride in being one of the most trusted diamond and jewelry retailers in the market.
  • Diamond quality is crucial. Take note of what makes a high-quality diamond—cut, color, clarity, and carat weight—these are known as the Four Cs, cut quality being the most important.
Buying an engagement ring is one of the most important decisions of your life and we understand that you want to get it right. So what does the average engagement ring cost?

What’s The Average Cost of an Engagement Ring?

Both in stores and across the internet, you will find rings of all prices. Many retailers will have their own specific averages, and past research has shown average prices to range from $5,000 to more than $7,500. On Whiteflash’s site, the price of an engagement ring setting currently ranges from $235 to $8,990 (which excludes the central diamond), so you can see that there is an incredibly wide range.
Furthermore, the research tells us different things, especially when comparing countries. In 2020, US customers spent an average of $3,756 on an engagement ring. Bear in mind this is an average so many customers spend more while some spend less. In the UK for example, customers spent an average of $2,472. Overall, the US spends the most in the world on engagement rings.
While an increasing price tag does usually come with an increase in quality, it doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to purchase a high-quality engagement ring. For example, look at this stunning 14k White Gold Diamond Engagement Ring by Ritani, featuring a twisted pave shank, and a sparkling halo that encircles the central diamond. It also comes in at a lower setting price than the UK average.
Ritani 1RZ1318 Diamond Engagement Ring
Ritani 1RZ1318 Diamond Engagement Ring
When it comes to average engagement ring cost, these numbers don’t actually provide you with much information that helps you search. Finding good quality jewelry is a far more complex endeavor that shouldn’t be reduced to a focus on price. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get something perfect, but you also shouldn’t look for the cheapest item.
Similarly, average spend will always be skewed by the more expensive outliers, such as a $20,000 engagement ring. If you want your average engagement ring cost research to influence your final decision, always consider the context of the averages you find.
Setting a budget isn’t about the spending trends inspired by the acts of others. Rather, budgets should be determined by:
  • The amount you’re comfortable paying.
  • The quality you’re looking for.
  • The type of setting and diamond/gemstone you’ve chosen.
  • The quality and trustworthiness of the retailer.

Do Engagement Rings Include A Central Diamond?

The price of the central diamond will greatly affect the overall price of your engagement ring. More often than not, the diamond will actually cost more than the setting you’ve chosen. The price of a diamond depends on a multitude of factors, such as:
You can read more about diamond prices on our blog post here. The savvy diamond buyer will be able to find great value for money in their purchase if they know what they’re looking for.
For example, the diamond in an engagement ring should be eye-clean, meaning it has no inclusions or blemishes visible to the naked eye. This means it’s worthwhile opting for a VS1-clarity or above diamond, as lower clarity may indicate the presence of inclusions that affect the overall beauty and light performance of the diamond.
This 0.806 ct F VS1 A CUT ABOVE® Hearts and Arrows Diamond would be the perfect choice for a stunning engagement ring. It’s a great size diamond, which suits more modern tastes when worn on the finger, and it has high-quality characteristics, such as F color and VS1 clarity grading.
0.806 ct F VS1 A CUT ABOVE Hearts and Arrows Diamond
Actual diamond image.
It’s also part of our A CUT ABOVE® super ideal cut diamond range, meaning it’s been designated as one of the finest diamonds on the market today. The A CUT ABOVE® range is world-renowned for its optimized light performance, with many diamonds being worn on the fingers of many happy customers throughout the globe.
We advise to always take into account the price of the diamond when searching for the perfect engagement ring. In fact, it might be worthwhile to source the diamond first, so that you can be more flexible with the type of setting you will purchase.

Three Engagement Ring Cost Examples

Higher Cost: 18k White Gold Tacori Blooming Beauties Diamond Engagement Ring

Tacori HT2520CU Blooming Beauties Diamond Engagement Ring
Tacori HT2520CU Blooming Beauties Diamond Engagement Ring
The 18k White Gold Tacori Blooming Beauties Diamond Engagement Ring is one of our more expensive rings, but as you can see, it’s well worth the investment.
This ring features a single string of diamonds on the band, and a unique, cushion-shaped double bloom surrounding the center diamond, making this one of the more impressive rings you will see on the market.
With the culet of the diamond just kissing the sweetheart carriage, and with exquisite crescent details on the profile, this diamond engagement ring makes a most impressive statement, beautiful from every angle.

Medium Cost: 18k White Gold Verragio Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring

Verragio ENG-0409R Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring
Verragio ENG-0409R Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring
Sitting within the medium range of engagement ring prices, this gorgeous 18k White Gold Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring by Verragio makes for a wonderful choice.
Part of the Verragio Couture Collection, this ring features an elegantly designed under gallery, providing room for a small “surprise” diamond that sits directly under the central stone.

Low Cost: 14k White Gold Valoria Flora Twist Solitaire Engagement Ring

Valoria Flora Twist Solitaire Engagement Ring
Valoria Flora Twist Solitaire Engagement Ring
The 14k White Gold Flora Twist Solitaire Engagement Ring by Valoria is a testament to the simple beauty to be found in engagement rings. With a fluid and supple flow to the band, the ring is imbued with a highly organic look, as if it was grown rather than formed.
The intertwined band design leads up to a four-prong setting that securely houses the central diamond, giving the stone all the attention it deserves.
All three of these rings show that you can find high-quality, beautiful engagement rings across a wide range of prices.

What Costs More: Lab-Grown vs. Natural Diamonds

As we’ve said, it’s not just the setting you’re considering the price of, but the diamond too. But there are also the differences between natural and lab-grown diamonds to consider.
Lab-grown or ‘synthetic’ diamonds are fairly new on the market and are less expensive than natural, Earth-mined diamonds due to being mass-produced in laboratories.
However, there will always be downsides. Lab-grown diamonds are not seen as unique by many buyers and sellers due to being man-made. As with other synthetic gems, they have no intrinsic value and are really a separate product from natural diamonds.
The prices of synthetic diamonds can be expected to get cheaper and cheaper over time, with no secondary market to sell or trade. While synthetics may be suitable for some types of fashion jewelry, the vast majority of engagement ring shoppers are only interested in natural mined diamonds.
If you’re interested in learning more about lab-grown diamonds, read our detailed guide here.

Two or Three Months Salary? Debunking the Salary-Price Myth

“Diamond engagement rings should cost you the equivalent of two months of your yearly salary.”
We’ve all heard some variation of that rule, but where does it come from and is there any truth in it? The two-month salary rule began with advertising campaigns started by De Beers in the 1930s, who were trying to rekindle the link between diamonds and engagement proposals after a coming out of the Great Depression.
Fast forward to the 1980s, and De Beers were sticking to their two-month salary rule, releasing adverts like the one below, which states “2 months’ salary showed the future Mrs. Smith what the future will be like.”
De Beers Diamond Ad
Image credit: BBC
However, the choice of the two-month rule was seemingly plucked out of thin air. It’s an easy rule to remember, and seems to be logical in the eyes of many, representing a number that seems affordable for such an important item. However, it’s a rule worth forgetting.
Gross income isn’t a good focus for purchasing considerations, because an engagement ring is, truly, priceless. As they say, you can’t put a price on love. At the same time, you will have a more pleasant shopping experience if you stay within a budget that is realistic for you.

Average Engagement Ring Cost: Our Recommendations

After many years of working within the diamond jewelry market, we’ve learned a thing or two about what makes an engagement ring worth buying, but more importantly, how to buy them successfully.
A successful purchase means you’ve found a beautiful diamond and ring, a match that is high-quality and within your budget.
  • Remember that the price of an engagement ring setting and the price of a diamond should be considered separately.
  • Always consider the Four C's when it comes to evaluating the diamond you’re choosing.
  • Focus on CUT. The GIA says that the quality of the cut has the biggest impact on diamond beauty of all the 4C’s.
  • Find a trusted, experienced diamond retailer with whom you’re sure to get the best deal and experience.
  • Budget is personal. Don’t use rules to influence your spending, but rather decide what you can realistically afford.
  • Consider engagement ring financing as a potential payment option.
  • Do your research—here’s a helpful infographic on how to choose the perfect engagement ring to get you started.
  • Make sure you choose the right diamond for your ring. Start by reading up on diamond grading and diamond analytics.

How to Find the Perfect Engagement Ring

Choosing the right engagement ring takes time, determination, and effort. With thousands of potential choices out there, it can be difficult to know where to begin. As a diamond and jewelry retailer with many years of experience in this field, we’d recommend you start with the basics: the research.
Below, you will find two easy guides you can use to begin your search for the perfect engagement ring for your loved one. First, a quick look at the Six Most Important Things To Consider Before Buying An Engagement Ring and for a more comprehensive tutorial see our online diamond buying guide. Doing a little homework will help you make informed decisions and make your whole experience more enjoyable.

Be Inspired By Our Designer Engagement Rings

Find the perfect Designer Ring for your special diamond by clicking the links below, and let us build the ultimate ring for the love of your life!