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How much should you spend on an engagement ring?

How much should you spend on an engagement ring?

How much you should spend on an engagement ring can feel like a million-dollar question, although we all hope it won't cost quite that much.

It's a topic that has always been much discussed, with different rings having vastly varying prices, and today we're taking a closer look at what the right amount for you to spend might be, including how much an ethical engagement ring could cost.

How much should an engagement ring cost?

There are several factors that will contribute to the price of the ring, including the metal, the choice and cut of the diamonds and other stones, the carats (which could refer to either the weight of the diamonds or the amount of pure gold in the metal, if you choose either of those elements for your ring), or if you decide to go for a bespoke or custom ring.

As you might expect, having a bespoke ring created is likely to set you back more than buying one that's ready-made. But the relative value of having a one-of-a-kind ring that's unique to you or your partner is not necessarily determined by how much the engagement ring costs. The sentimental value of having a diamond ring or one that's truly special will far outweigh the engagement ring spend.

Plus, if you choose to shop with a brand that uses ethical and sustainable practices, you or your partner can wear their engagement ring with a clear conscience, and full understanding of where every element of their ring came from.
Ethical rings can cost more for this reason, as each metal and diamond can be traced back to its source. Each part of the supply chain ensures fair pay and safe working conditions for all those involved in the production of the ring - something that is extremely important to us at Wild Fawn.

How much should you spend on an ethical engagement ring?

As we've mentioned, the price of an ethical ring is likely to be more than one that's been mass produced. You can expect to pay anything from £1,800 to over £10,000 for an ethical and sustainable diamond engagement ring.

As with any significant purchase, you should think carefully about what you can afford to spend on an ethical engagement ring, and don't go beyond your budget. It may be worth sitting down and doing some engagement ring budgeting before you head out to the jewellery shops.

If your or your partner truly values the sustainable and ethical things in life, the extra expense is likely to be worth it to them to be able to wear and enjoy their diamond ring with a clear conscience.

So whilst the engagement ring cost to you may in some cases be a little higher than the average spend on a ring that is not specifically an ethical one, it means that you know exactly where every element came from - from the metal to the diamond - and that every person involved along the way was treated well and paid fairly.
Plus, you may just be surprised at what you can get for your money with an ethical engagement ring - particularly in regards to the centre stone cost, where using lab grown diamonds can allow you to enjoy a diamond of a larger size or better quality when compared to the mined equivalent for the price you pay - all with the guarantee that the stone is conflict-free.

How much should you spend on an engagement ring?

There is no one easy answer to how much you should spend on an engagement ring.

When it comes to engagement ring spending, there are several different guidelines or traditions that some people follow, such as the 'rule of 3' (more on that later), but these old traditions don't always fall in line with modern values.

These days, it's much more a case of personal choice than of following certain elements of engagement ring etiquette.

Really, you should only spend what you can afford on an engagement ring. Your partner (or you) would probably much rather have a perfect ring that fits with their unique style and was chosen together or by their special someone, than one that cost a particular amount of money.

What is the 3 monthssalary rule?

There is an old traditional rule of thumb that suggests a person should spend three times their monthly salary on an engagement ring.

According to the ONS, the average annual salary is just over £33,000. That works out at £2,184 a month (after tax), so the rule would suggest that to an average earner, the ring should cost over £6,000.

Should you spend 3 times your salary on an engagement ring?

Three months' salary can look very different for different people depending on their line of work and geographical location. Plus, it's a sad but true fact that the gender pay gap still exists for many people, and so in general, a woman who wants to propose and follow the 3 month rule would be less likely to be able to spend as much as a man in a similar situation.

Ultimately, how much you choose to spend on an engagement ring is a matter of personal choice. You should never spend more than you can afford, or end up in debt thanks to going over your ring budget.

If you have inherited a ring from a beloved family member, the cost may simply be one of resizing and cleaning your ring. The sentimental value here is likely to be much greater than the monetary cost to you.

How many monthssalary should you spend on an engagement ring?

This question is one that can only really be answered by the person buying the ring.

Whilst the old rule might say you should spend three months' salary on an engagement ring, this can be disregarded if following it would land you in dire straits. Your partner would never want you to end up in debt because of an old tradition that doesn't mean much to either of you.

Who typically pays for the engagement ring?

Traditionally, it is the groom that pays for the engagement ring, but these days that is not always the case. It is very much dependent on the couple and their own preferences and finances. And of course, this can play out differently in LGBTQIA+ relationships.

Some couples might choose to sit down together and include the price of the engagement ring in their wedding budget. Depending on your financial situation, spending more than the average amount on a pricey but beautiful ring could mean having less money left to spend on the rest of the day itself.

Engagement ring shopping could be an exciting experience that you can do together as a couple, whether that means visiting your favourite jewellers, shopping online, or designing a bespoke ring together.

At the end of the day, the answer to this age-old question can only be settled on by you and your partner.

Why not try and sit down together and set an engagement ring budget - or if you'd prefer to keep some element of surprise, perhaps you can try and have a subtle conversation about it a while before the proposal might happen. Then once the budget is settled, make sure you stick to it.

Ultimately, whether it's £10 or £10,000, how much does the cost of an engagement ring matter, as long as it's within your budget and you or your partner has the perfect ring that they will love and cherish for a lifetime?

Wild Fawn offers a range of sustainable engagement rings featuring ethically sourced diamonds and other gemstones, or we can help you create something unique and truly special with your own bespoke engagement ring.