Diamond Guides

Setting A Budget

Each and every client we work with has an individual budget, and together, we can work to find the best options for you. Learn how to set an engagement ring budget.

How to set a budget for your engagement ring

Setting a budget for your engagement ring is an important place to start when it comes to creating a ring. Your personal ring budget will largely shape your search for the perfect diamond or gemstone and design. Knowing your limits and having a rough idea of what you would like to spend on your ring will help you whittle down the options and allow you to find the very best, at a price that works for you. Follow this guide to find out how much to spend on your engagement ring.

How much should I spend on an engagement ring?

It is totally up to you how much to spend on an engagement ring, and as one of life’s biggest and most significant purchases, it is important you feel comfortable with the budget figure you reach.

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.

There are no hard and fast rules, and if one person feels happy to save up a substantial sum, another will be looking for something simpler and more cost-effective. Think about how much you can seriously put aside, and go from there.

How much do engagement rings cost?

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

The diamond you choose will be the main driver of its price; the bigger and better quality the diamond, the higher the value.

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.

Popular ring designs

How do I decide on an exact budget for my ring?

The only person who can truly know how much you should spend on your ring is you - but we’re here to help as much as we can. An engagement ring is a significant purchase - but some will see the value in spending significant amounts more than others. An open discussion with your partner may help you establish an appropriate figure, or you may prefer to keep your decision private, particularly for a surprise proposal.

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

How to get the best diamond for your budget

There are a number of ways you can find the best diamond and ring design for your budget, from compromising on certain diamond characteristics, to considering lab grown diamonds. Here are our top tips for getting the most for your engagement ring budget.

Choose a 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. 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.

Find strength in numbers

Diamond prices rise exponentially with carat weight - so one diamond weighing 1ct would cost considerably more than multiple diamonds with a total carat weight of 1ct. Designs like halo rings or trilogy rings make the most of multiple diamonds to encourage the ring to appear bigger, and enhance the size of the central diamond.

Consider diamond shapes that appear larger

Diamonds with a large spread appear bigger than others, and will cover more of the wearer's finger. The biggest appearing diamonds include ovals, pears and marquise diamonds. Most diamond shapes appear larger than the round diamond, and the round diamond is typically the most expensive shape due to its popularity and incomparable sparkle.

Opt for an ‘underweight’ diamond

Diamonds are priced depending on the quality of their characteristics and, most significantly, their carat weight. Diamonds that hit certain carat weights, like a 1 carat diamond, will see a significant price jump from those as little as 0.01ct lighter. An ‘underweight’ diamond, like a 0.99ct diamond, could cost significantly less than 1ct, despite the visible difference being negligible. They aren’t always easy to find, but an ‘underweight’ diamond can be a super way to save while achieving your desired diamond size.

Choose a gemstone

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.

Comparing diamonds at different price points

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.

Need help choosing the perfect ring?

Get in touch with our experts - we’re on hand to help.

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