Ring Guides

How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?

At Queensmith, we understand that everyone has a different lifestyle and set of requirements. Together, we can work to find the best engagement ring options for your upcoming proposal. Read on to discover how to determine the budget for the ring you've always envisioned.

How much should I spend on an engagement ring?

The cost of an engagement ring should be determined by what you can comfortably afford and deem meaningful for such a significant occasion. There are no set rules; it's about your financial situation and personal values. Consider your partner's style and preferences, whether they'd prefer a natural or lab diamond, a colour gemstone, and whether they'd prefer something simple or a ring with plenty of diamonds.

By understanding your budget, your partner's preferences, and the quality of the ring components, you can make a meaningful investment. In this guide, we'll explore factors such as gemstone quality, lab vs natural diamonds, and customisation options, all while encouraging mindfulness of overall expenses. Remember, it's not about adhering to societal norms, but about creating a symbol of commitment that aligns with your values and financial situation.

Over the years many myths have evolved about how much should be spent on an engagement ring – some say two month’s salary, others say three. The reality is, our life decisions aren’t (and shouldn’t be) run by the rules of others – the ‘rules’ to spend ‘x’ amount of month’s salary on a ring were a marketing ploy created by a well-known jewellery company to increase revenue made from diamonds following America’s Great Depression and World Wars. What is right for others won’t necessarily be right for you, and while it is worth buying the best you can afford, the gem and band you choose needn’t break the bank.

The average cost of an engagement ring in the UK

Engagement rings start from around £1,580 for a simple solitaire ring with a natural 0.30ct diamond – or £1,400 for a lab diamond ring.

The following are starting prices for different ring settings (the ring design, excluding the centre stone):

The remainder of your budget would then be dedicated to your diamond or gemstone, which can vary greatly in size and quality. The below table demonstrates how much different diamonds and gemstones can cost. If you want to learn more about how carat size impacts cost, read our detailed diamond carat guide.

Carat Gemstone Price
0.30ct Natural Diamond £730
Lab Diamond £520
Sapphire £600
Ruby £600
Emerald £1,200
1.00ct Natural Diamond £4,700
Lab Diamond £1,450
Sapphire £2,500
Ruby £2,500
Emerald £3,500
1.50ct Natural Diamond £14,000
Lab Diamond £2,400
Sapphire £4,000
Ruby £4,000
Emerald £5,500
2.00ct Natural Diamond £25,000
Lab Diamond £3,150
Sapphire £5,500
Ruby £5,500
Emerald £7,500

Popular ring designs

How much did people spend on engagement rings in 2023?

The average cost of an engagement ring in 2023 was £6,500. Before 2023, the average expenditure on engagement rings had shown a consistent annual increase. However, in recent years, it appears to have plateaued, mirroring the figures from 2022, according to Queensmith's data. This trend suggests a possible stabilisation in consumer behaviour regarding engagement ring purchases. Factors such as economic conditions, evolving social norms, and changing attitudes towards wedding traditions may influence this shift. Nonetheless, the significance attached to engagement rings remains steadfast, symbolising commitment and love despite fluctuations in ring buying trends.

A great solution to finding the biggest diamond for a tight budget is opting for a lab diamond - 100% authentic and identical to natural diamonds.. But significantly less costly!

Jack | Gemmologist & Design Expert

What factors influence the cost of the engagement ring?

This pie chart breaks down the average cost of an engagement ring and presents how expenses are distributed among key components to help inform your decision-making when considering budget allocation for this meaningful purchase. Factors such as a complex design, or diamonds set along the ring's band will increase the cost.

To further assist in setting your budget, we've compiled a comprehensive list of ring components that impact the overall cost:


Approximately 25% of the cost of the engagement ring.

When designing engagement rings, one of the most common ways to start the process is by choosing the metal for the engagement ring setting. Precious metals like platinum, yellow gold, rose gold and white gold are most suitable for engagement rings. While platinum used to cost a little more than gold, global prices of gold have risen in recent years meaning gold and platinum now retail at the same price. Therefore, your choice of metal won't influence the cost of your ring too much. It is important, however, to avoid cheaper, softer metals like silver for engagement rings as they will show signs of wear fairly quickly.

Platinum is the most popular engagement ring metal, and is bright, lustrous and hugely complementary to colourless diamonds. Gold offers options to fit different preferences: yellow gold is warm and versatile, and can look both classic and contemporary, whereas rose gold is a more modern and unique metal choice. White gold offers similar qualities to platinum, but requires re-plating every few years so many like to avoid this choice. Ultimately, your chosen metal sets the ring's tone but needn't be a deciding factor when it comes to your budget. Explore our comprehensive guide on ring metals for more insight.

Main Stone

Approximately 70% of the cost of the engagement ring.

Selecting the main stone for an engagement ring is a crucial decision that significantly influences its overall cost. Factors such as the type, size, cut, clarity, and colour of the stone play key roles in determining its price. While traditional choices like natural diamonds may come with a higher price tag, alternatives such as lab diamonds or sapphires offer cost-effective options without sacrificing beauty or quality. Understanding how the main stone choice impacts the total cost is essential for making an informed decision when crafting the perfect ring.

Consider the Four Cs

Understanding and considering the 4Cs—cut, clarity, colour, and carat weight—is crucial when planning how much to spend on an engagement ring. Each "C" significantly influences the overall cost, as higher-quality characteristics generally command higher prices. By assessing these factors, you can make informed decisions that align with your budget while ensuring the chosen ring meets your desired standards of quality and beauty.

  • Carat: refers to the weight of the diamond. Diamond prices rise exponentially with carat weight, so a single diamond weighing 1ct would cost considerably more than multiple diamonds with a total carat weight of 1ct. Larger diamonds generally have a higher price per carat due to their rarity and desirability.
  • Cut: refers to how well a diamond's facets interact with light. A well-cut diamond reflects light beautifully, maximising its sparkle and brilliance. The cut grade influences both the diamond's appearance and its price.
  • Colour: diamond colour is graded on a scale from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow or brown, and not to be confused with 'fancy colour diamonds'). The less colour a diamond has, the higher its value. Colourless diamonds are rarer and typically command higher prices. Fancy colour diamonds, such as pink or blue, can also have higher prices.
  • Clarity: refers to the presence of internal and external flaws or 'inclusions', within the diamond. Diamonds with fewer inclusions are considered more valuable because they are rarer and appear clearer. The clarity grade affects both the diamond's appearance and its price.

Choosing the right combination of these factors is crucial for finding a diamond that fits your budget and preferences while maximising its beauty and value. The diamond you choose will be the main driver of your ring's price; the bigger and better quality the diamond, the higher the value.

Natural Diamond

The choice of diamond significantly impacts the cost of diamond engagement rings, particularly when focusing on natural diamonds as they are rare, and the cost to mine them is significant. Factors such as carat weight, cut, colour, and clarity all influence the price of a natural diamond. Larger diamonds with higher carat weights and superior quality characteristics command higher prices due to their rarity and desirability. Understanding these factors helps in making informed decisions when selecting the perfect diamond for your engagement ring.

Lab grown diamond

Lab diamonds are a relatively new development to the jewellery industry, and have made waves amongst engagement ring buyers for their identical appearance to natural diamonds, with a much more palatable price tag. Lab diamonds typically cost 60% to 80% less than natural diamonds thanks to their efficiency of production, reducing the cost of the engagement ring. Some dispute the romance of a diamond created in a lab, but the reality is that there is no visible difference between the two, and lab diamonds are considered 100% real diamonds.


Consider alternative gemstones, which typically cost considerably less than natural diamonds. Sapphires, rubies and emeralds are both beautiful and sensible choices for engagement rings, thanks to their lustre and durability. Sapphires can be found in a rainbow of tones, so you’ll be sure to find the right gemstone colour that works for you.

Customisation or additional features

Approximately 5% of the cost of the engagement ring.

You should also take into account the cost of your preferred design; solitaire rings are simple and will cost the least, while adding a diamond band, halo, split shank, or bespoke detailing will incur further costs. Queensmith offers various embellishment options to personalise your ring, each impacting the overall cost differently. Additional features like intricate engraving, pavé settings, or a hidden halo can elevate the ring's aesthetic and sentimentality, but will also increase the ring's price. Considering these embellishment options enables you to tailor your engagement ring to reflect your style and budget preferences effectively.

Craftsmanship costs

Craftsmanship is a crucial factor to consider when budgeting for an engagement ring, as it significantly impacts its overall quality and durability. While it may be tempting to cut costs in this area, it's essential not to skimp on craftsmanship for the long run. A well-crafted ring not only enhances its aesthetic appeal but also ensures that it withstands daily wear and tear, maintaining its beauty for years to come. Quality craftsmanship involves skilled workmanship and attention to detail, resulting in a ring that not only looks stunning but also stands the test of time, making it a worthy investment in your love story's future.

To avoid mass-manufacturing faults, Queensmith make each ring to order, in-house, at our UK-based headquarters. We also offer a lifetime manufacturer's warranty with every purchase, alongside free ring sizing, polishing and cleaning services. Learn more about the ring crafting process.

Joanna | Gemmologist & Design Expert

Our in-house gemmologist's thoughts on engagement ring spending

'I advocate a mindful approach to engagement ring spending, prioritising quality over quantity. Investing in craftsmanship and high-quality materials will ensure that the ring not only withstands the test of time, but also embodies the enduring commitment shared by the couple. My expertise guides the selection of gemstones, ensuring both aesthetic beauty and integrity. By striking a balance between budget and significance, couples can discover a cherished symbol of their bond, meticulously crafted to tell their unique love story.'

What's your price range?

If you’re unsure exactly what your budget should be, think about an absolute minimum and an absolute maximum, and ask an expert to view diamonds at either end of the scale. Note the differences – does one diamond seem more attractive to you, and does the higher priced stone appear worth the extra money? Diamonds vary hugely in price from the hundreds, to the thousands and tens of thousands, so give yourself a realistic ballpark range of what will work, otherwise you may be comparing two very different, incomparable stones.

Busting 6 engagement ring cost myths

Over the years, many myths have evolved about how much should be spent on an engagement ring – some say two month’s salary, others say three. The reality is, our life decisions aren’t (and shouldn’t be) run by the rules of others. At Queensmith, we're dedicated to dispelling these misconceptions and empowering you to make informed choices that align with your values and priorities. Let's explore some of these common engagement ring cost myths and discover the truth behind them.

1. Following with traditional 3-month salary rule

For decades, a pervasive myth has suggested that an engagement ring should cost two to three months' salary. However, at Queensmith, we challenge this notion. Life decisions shouldn't be dictated by arbitrary rules set by others. The idea of spending a specific portion of your salary on a ring was actually a marketing tactic devised by a prominent jewellery company to boost diamond sales after periods of economic hardship. What's right for someone else may not be suitable for you. While investing in quality is important, it's unnecessary for the gemstone and band to be exorbitantly priced. We believe in providing options that cater to individual preferences and budgets, ensuring that each ring purchased is a meaningful representation of love and commitment without breaking the bank.

2. The engagement ring has to have a diamond

An engagement ring doesn't have to feature a diamond; gemstones offer an excellent alternative. Gemstones come in a myriad of colours and varieties, allowing for unique and personalised designs that reflect individual styles and preferences. From vibrant sapphires to romantic rubies or mystical emeralds, gemstones can add a distinctive touch to an engagement ring while symbolising love and commitment in a meaningful way.

3. The engagement ring has to have a mined diamond

Engagement rings don't have to adhere to traditional, mined diamonds; many couples opt for lab grown alternatives for ethical and cost reasons. Lab grown diamonds offer the same chemical composition and physical properties as mined diamonds but are produced in controlled environments, eliminating concerns about unethical mining practices. Additionally, lab grown diamonds often come at a lower price point, allowing couples to invest in a stunning ring without compromising on quality or ethics. At Queensmith, we embrace the choice of lab grown diamonds and offer a range of options to cater to couples' preferences and values.

4. Custom-designed engagement rings are more expensive than pre-designed rings

Contrary to popular belief, custom-designed engagement rings aren't necessarily more expensive than pre-designed ones. In fact, Queensmith charge the same for rings whether from our pre-designed collection or a one-off creation. Collaborating with a designer grants you greater control over materials, design, and overall costs. A skilled designer can efficiently source materials and suggest budget-friendly alternatives while ensuring your ring reflects your style and preferences. With their guidance, you can create a unique, personalised ring without exceeding your budget.

We’re here to help

We get it, you’ve never done this before.

That’s why we have diamond and design experts on hand, who are here to guide you through every step - from understanding what carat, color, cut and clarity mean, to designing the perfect ring.

5. Second-hand engagement rings are cheaper in long-term than opting for a new ring

While the initial cost of a custom ring may be higher due to factors such as materials, design, and craftsmanship, it is important to consider the long-term value and costs of each option. Second-hand engagement rings, while typically lower in price upfront, may come with additional costs for maintenance, repairs, or resizing. Second-hand rings may have wear and tear from previous owners, potentially reducing their longevity and requiring more frequent upkeep.

6. You shouldn’t buy an engagement ring online

Opting to purchase an engagement ring online presents several advantages, making it a convenient and often swift option for many. Online retailers offer a vast selection of rings, allowing couples to browse and compare designs from the comfort of their homes. Additionally, online purchases often come with competitive pricing and discounts. Speed is another benefit; with options like a quick-ship engagement ring, couples can choose to expedite the process. Furthermore, online platforms typically provide detailed product descriptions, customer reviews, and sizing guides, empowering buyers to make informed decisions with ease. Overall, the online shopping experience streamlines the engagement ring selection process, providing convenience and accessibility to couples worldwide.

How can I prioritise what aspects of the engagement ring are most important to me while staying within my budget?

Discovering the perfect engagement ring involves careful consideration of where to prioritise spending. In this section we delve into the art of discerning which features hold the most significance to you, allowing for a personalised and meaningful investment. We'll navigate through which elements warrant splurging and which ones can be prioritised, ensuring that your chosen ring resonates with your values and budget alike.

Have an open and honest conversation with your partner

When discussing the engagement ring with your partner, approach the conversation openly and honestly, ensuring that both voices are heard. Begin by understanding each other's expectations, preferences, and budgetary considerations. Key questions to ask include: 'What style of ring do you envision?' 'Are there specific gemstones or metals you prefer?' 'What is our budget for the ring?' 'Do you prioritise certain features over others?' By engaging in this dialogue, you'll gain valuable insights into each other's desires, facilitating the selection of a ring that perfectly embodies your love and commitment.

Determine Key Features

After discussing preferences with your partner, it's essential to compile a list of key features to consider when shopping for an engagement ring. Breaking down these features can help prioritise spending on the most meaningful aspects.

  • Ring Design: Differences in band styles and metals can significantly impact costs. Consider exploring various options to align with your budget and preferences. Whether it's a classic solitaire or a vintage-inspired halo design, understanding these differences ensures you make an informed decision.
  • Stone: Differences between mined and lab grown diamonds, as well as alternative gemstones, can affect costs. Discussing preferences with your partner ensures you select a stone that aligns with both your budget and ethical considerations. Whether opting for a lab grown diamond or a vibrant gemstone, finding the perfect stone is key.
  • Customisation: Discussing customisation options with your partner allows you to tailor the ring to your unique preferences. Consider if meaningful additions such as engraving would enhance the ring's significance. Collaborating on these details ensures the ring reflects your shared vision and values.
  • Craftsmanship & Ethics: Aligning with your partner on values such as ethical sourcing and craftsmanship ensures your ring embodies these principles. Whether opting for locally sourced materials or supporting eco-friendly practices, discussing these values guides your decision-making process. By prioritising craftsmanship and ethics, you create a ring that symbolises your commitment in every aspect.

Other costs to consider when planning your engagement ring budget

As you embark on the journey of selecting the perfect engagement ring, it's crucial to consider additional costs that may arise beyond the initial purchase. From delivery charges to insurance and resizing fees, being aware of these factors ensures a seamless and stress-free shopping experience.

Delivery Costs

Ensuring the safe arrival of your engagement ring is paramount given the investment involved. Opt for tracked and insured delivery to provide peace of mind throughout the shipping process. Additionally, consider the packaging to maintain discretion, free of any branding that may spoil the surprise. At Queensmith, we prioritise the security of your purchase. Our rings are shipped via tracked and insured delivery, and our packaging is discreet, ensuring a secure and confidential delivery experience from start to finish.

Learn more about delivery.


It's essential to insure your engagement ring to safeguard your investment against unforeseen circumstances. We advise securing coverage that ensures replacement on a like-for-like basis. This means that in the unfortunate event of loss or damage, Queensmith will recreate your ring exactly as it was, ensuring you receive a meticulously crafted piece that matches the original, rather than a generic replacement from another jeweller. This ensures your ring holds its sentimental and intrinsic value for years to come.

We strongly recommend you insure your jewellery in addition to our lifetime warranty.


With a surprise proposal, it's challenging to get the ring size exactly right. However, fret not, as Queensmith offers complimentary resizing for all its customers. This service ensures that your partner can wear their engagement ring with comfort and confidence, regardless of any initial sizing discrepancies. Our commitment to providing exceptional service extends beyond the purchase, ensuring that every aspect of your engagement ring journey is seamless and stress-free. So, rest assured knowing that we'll make sure the ring fits perfectly, allowing you to focus on creating a memorable and magical proposal moment.

Learn more about our free ring resizing.

How much does a Queensmith engagement ring cost?

At Queensmith, we understand that every couple's budget is unique. That's why we offer a wide range of options to cater to diverse financial considerations. Our engagement rings start at affordable prices, with lab grown diamond rings offering an accessible entry point. For those seeking the allure of natural diamonds, our collection begins at a competitive price point, ensuring quality and affordability. Additionally, we offer stunning gemstone rings that provide an elegant and budget-friendly alternative. With our inclusive range, couples can find the perfect ring that fits their budget while celebrating their love in style.

Why choose Queensmith to craft your engagement ring?

  • Complete Quality Control: Queensmith is a manufacturing jeweller with meticulous attention to quality. Unlike many competitors who outsource production overseas, we craft every piece in-house to ensure exceptional standards and longevity.
  • Premium Craftsmanship: Our standards rival renowned, high-end jewellery brands, reflecting our commitment to excellence in crafting engagement rings that surpass expectations. Plus, we don't charge premiums like they do. Interested to learn more? Check our crafting process.
  • High-Quality Diamonds: Responsibly sourced and independently certified, your diamond will have always been approved by one of our qualified gemmologists for its fine balance of quality, value and beauty. Whether you choose a lab grown or natural diamond, you can have confidence that you are getting the best for your budget.
  • Lifetime Care Package: Queensmith offers a lifetime care package, ensuring your ring remains pristine for a lifetime. From complimentary cleaning and annual servicing to resizing for life, we provide unparalleled support to ensure your investment lasts generations.
  • Lifetime Manufacturer's Warranty: Rest assured, your ring is covered by our lifetime manufacturer's warranty, offering peace of mind against crafting-related issues. Unlike other jewellers, we don't charge for assessments, prioritising your satisfaction above all else.

Purchasing an engagement ring with Queensmith

From setting the perfect budget to navigating the intricacies of diamond selection and craftsmanship, our guide has equipped you with the knowledge needed to make an informed decision on purchasing your ideal engagement ring. Now, take the next step towards finding the ring of your dreams within your budget. Speak to one of our expert consultants who will guide you through the process and ensure that your engagement ring reflects your love story perfectly. Start your journey with Queensmith today.

Need help choosing the perfect ring?

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