The Question: How Much to Spend on an Engagement Ring?

The answer to this is a personal decision to be made by the people it affects: the betrothed couple. In many cases, the man still makes the actual purchase. However, the amount paid will impact the joint finances of the future couple.

The term “two months salary” as how much to spend on an engagement ring is an entirely arbitrary statement, invented in part by the industry itself. There is no justification to get into debt to purchase a ring. A large diamond in a costly metal does not symbolize greater love and commitment. People need to consider their priorities and budgets to allot the right amount for this important purchase. There are also things like insurance and costs to maintain an expensive piece of jewelry.

So how much will he spend for an engagement ring? The average costs for an engagement ring is $3,500 to $4,000. The price varies with the size and quality of the diamonds and gems, the type of metal chosen for the setting and the intricacy of the design. You will pay $125 to $500 for a quarter carat or less, set in 10 to 14 carat gold .It will set you back $500 to $750 for a slightly larger stone or possibly an 18 carat gold setting. If you can spend $750 to $1,000 you will get stones between .3 and .5 carats, some with platinum or 18 carat gold setting and possibly AGS/GIA-certified.

At the higher end, you can $1,000 to $2,000 for AGS/GIA-certified, high quality stones between .30 and .57 carats or mid to high quality stones up to .75 carats. For $2,000 to $3,500 for stones from .4 to 1 carat in 14 or 18 carat gold although the 1 carat stones may have some imperfections. Next on the scale at $3,500 to $5,000 you can get a quality 1 carat stones in 18 carat or platinum settings.

No-one should plan on spending more than $5000, unless he is independently wealthy. If your beau finds himself drifting to the higher end of the ring counter, make sure that he is not mistakenly weighing his love for you in carats, or under the influence of a wily salesperson. After all, Richard Burton gave Liz Taylor a 69 carat diamond, which is the size of a golf ball. We all know how that turned out!

Before your fiance or both of you embark to the glittering world of the jewelry store, prepare yourself. Get him to talk to his friends and find out where they got their rings and how much they think he should pay. Decide how much to pay for an engagement ring and stick with the plan. Browse magazines. Window-shop. Check out the internet. Have a girls-night-in and eyeball all of your friend’s rings. Get a good idea on what you want but don’t get fixated on a particular style of ring. You may end up paying too much to fulfill a fantasy.

And if you are starting your marriage with humble resources, you can always choose a ring that matches your current budget and upgrade to something fancier when your ship comes in. In any case, have fun with this purchase. Don’t worry about how much you should spend for your ring! Chances are that whatever you end up with will be perfect as the reflection of your love!

Valeria Vegas has a Masters degree in Writing and regularly writes for a local newspaper. She also teaches writing workshops in San Francisco and has taught high school English. As a freelance job, she corrects essays for the SAT and ACT through Pearson scoring as well as write copy for websites. She is the Associate Editor of a literary magazine, edit manuscripts for Behler publications, and works for authors independently. One of her stories was named Notable Story of 2004 by Million Writers. She is a regular contributor to