August 24, 2017

Study: Average Engagement Ring Cost

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Men spend an average of $6,163 on their bride's engagement ring. But surprisingly, most women think that is too much. See what our latest study revealed.

Every year, the average groom spends more on his loved one's engagement ring. Does the average couple get into debt before they say, "I do"? Read our report to see just what others are doing.

How many months salary do you plan to spend on an engagement ring?

How Much an Engagement Ring Costs

  1. How much is the average engagement ring?
    The prices keep rising. 2016 saw the highest average engagement ring cost of $6,163. Over the past 5 years, the average engagement ring price increased 21%.

  2. How much should you spend on an engagement ring?
    We're not here to tell you that you must spend $6,163 on an engagement ring. You should only spend on an engagement ring what you can afford. Consider your income, expenses, and savings. Ideally, you don't want to finance the ring. But, that's a personal decision. Discussing the options with your significant other may help avoid future arguments.

  3. How many brides have a say in the engagement ring's budget?
    Brides also have a say in the budget. 32% of brides offer their input. It just makes sense, though. If you are getting married, you'll join your finances. A woman should have a say in what she's getting into financially.

  4. How much does the average couple expect to spend on an engagement ring?
    Almost 50% of couples expect the engagement ring to cost between $1,000 and $5,000. This could be significantly lower than today's average spend on an engagement ring. We don't want you to suffer sticker shock. Know what's out there. Also, know that you have options.

  5. What's the average amount women think should be spent on an engagement ring?
    Believe it or not, women are more frugal when it comes to spending on an engagement ring. More than 50% of women think it isn't necessary to spend more than $2,500 on an engagement ring. Then you have the 5% of women who want a ring that costs more than $10,000.

  6. What's the average amount men think should be spent on an engagement ring?
    Men are the ones who think they should spend more on a ring. Maybe they worry they'll disappoint their loved one. Regardless, 44% of men are willing to spend $2,500 or less on a ring. 31% prefer to spend between $2,500 and $5,000. Most shocking, though is the 9% who would spend more than $10,000 on an engagement ring.

  7. How much can you save on average by buying an engagement ring online?
    Buying an engagement ring online could save you as much as 40%. It's easier than you might think, especially with today's technology.

Determining the Ring's Details

  1. What's the average size of an engagement ring?
    The average woman receives a 1-carat diamond engagement ring. But people buy rings as small as 0.25-carat and as large as 3 carats. We don't recommend that you choose the ring based on the size of the diamond. You should buy what you can afford.

  2. What is the most popular ring finger size for women?
    The size most commonly bought for engagement rings is size 6. But they most commonly range between size 5 and 7.

  3. How big should an engagement ring be?
    So many factors affect the size of the engagement ring. Budget is probably the most important. You can find large diamonds in many different price ranges. Are they good quality, though? The size of the diamond is a personal choice. To give you an idea, though, the average size in New York City is 1.45 carats. In Los Angeles, it's 0.83 carats.

  4. How many brides have a say in their engagement ring?
    Some women love surprises. Others hate them. It seems like more women prefer not to be surprised, though. 64% of women had some level of input in their engagement ring. Almost 30% of women shopped with their fiancé for the ring. Others just gave ideas, likes, and dislikes. Your ring can still be a surprise even if you give your input. The groom can use your input while making his own decisions as well.

  5. How important is the ring's setting?
    You probably put your focus on the diamond - and for good reason. Don't ignore the setting, though. Only 20% of brides don't put a lot of emphasis on the overall look of the ring. Even the most beautiful diamond can lose its beauty in the wrong setting. So don't make the mistake of ignoring the setting.

The Engagement Details

  1. What's the ideal engagement period for men?
    Contrary to popular belief, it's not the women rushing the men down the aisle. Men prefer a shorter engagement period. 38% of men think 6-12 months is plenty long to wait for the wedding. Only 12% preferred an engagement lasting longer than 2 years.

  2. What's the ideal engagement period for women?
    Women prefer to spend more time engaged. Maybe it's to plan their dream wedding. Maybe they just want to enjoy the time together without the pressure of marriage. 42% of women prefer to remain engaged for 12-18 months before their big day.

Wedding Ring Costs

  1. How much should be spent on a man's wedding ring?
    A man's wedding ring could vary from $100 to $2,000. It comes down to the metal. Titanium is the least expensive and platinum is the most costly. Add diamonds and you will have an even more expensive ring. After the big spend men drop on the engagement ring, though, the average man's wedding band costs around $600.

  2. How much should be spent on a woman's wedding ring?
    Women tend to spend a bit more on their wedding band. Many women prefer diamonds on their band. This could be the reason. You can expect to pay around $1,500 for her band. Of course, it depends on the metal and quality of diamonds. Shopping for the wedding band should be a little easier on you though, especially since you'll have her input.

  3. Who buys the groom's wedding band?
    If the groom buys the engagement ring, it makes sense that the bride buys the groom's ring, right? In theory, yes, it makes sense. But, since you are getting married and will likely join accounts sooner or later, you both pay for it. If it makes the bride feel better to buy it, let her. Otherwise, make it a joint decision. It will be the start of many in your life ahead.

Saving Money on the Engagement Ring

  1. Why should you look for an under-size diamond?
    There's something impressive about saying you bought your girl a 1-carat diamond, right? Your wallet might disagree. There's usually a significant difference in the price tag of an under-sized diamond. This could mean the difference between a 0.98-carat and a 1-carat diamond. That's all it takes to save hundreds. No one will know the difference either. If it makes you feel better to say you have a 1-carat, then round up. No one will tell on you.

  2. How important is the cut in the 4 C's?
    If you've shopped for a diamond, you've heard of the 4 C's - cut, clarity, carat, and color. Of those characteristics, cut is the most important. The American Gem Society rates the cut on a scale of 1-10, with 1 offering the best cut. According to the AGS, a smaller ideal cut diamond looks larger than a poorly cut big diamond. Enough said?

  3. What's the most popular diamond shape for engagement rings?
    The most commonly chosen shape is the round diamond. Next in line are the princess and oval cuts. Round diamonds have stood the test of time. You don't have to worry about them losing their trend. Of course, you should choose what speaks to you. Don't pick your diamond shape based on what others like.

  4. Which diamond cut has the most sparkle?
    The round brilliant diamond might be the most popular because of its sparkle. It takes 1st place in this category too. But, it depends on the cut. Not every round diamond will sparkle more than any other diamond. In order to get the most sparkle, it must have an ideal cut.

  5. What is the most expensive cut of diamond?
    The round diamond wins again. This could be due to supply and demand more than anything else. Because it's the most popular diamond, it's in the highest demand. Jewelers can make more on it because couples want it. The fancy cut diamonds, such as pear and marquis, come in as the next most expensive cut.

  6. How many couples think something other than a diamond engagement ring is acceptable?
    An amazing 54% of unmarried couples believe it isn't necessary to have a diamond engagement ring. Of those couples, 33% found gemstones to be an acceptable option. 11% of those surveyed were even okay with cubic zirconia.

Bottom Line

Buy what you feel is right. You don't have to keep up with the Jones'. You will know which ring is right when you see it. Involve your sweetie in the decision and you're sure to make the right choice.

Sources and References:

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How many months salary do you plan to spend on an engagement ring?
24% Less than 1 month salary
23% 1 month salary
31% 2 months salary
13% 3 months salary
8% More than 3 months salary
Source: CreditDonkey poll of 3,168 respondents. Totals may not add to 100% due to rounding.
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Engagement Ring Buying Guide

Engagement Rings

Shopping for an engagement ring doesn't have to be complicated. Here is the ultimate guide to buying an engagement ring.

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