Average cost of engagement rings

justpeachy4397

Melissa
O.G.
Mar 21, 2010
1,555
29
TX
Note: I posted this in another post about average e-ring carat size, and it was suggested that I start a new thread to hopefully get some more responses. I know a lot of people (myself included) are sensitive to discussing finances and money, and this is not something I feel comfortable discussing with my friends in "real life," but hopefully we can get some dialogue on this topic here. :smile:
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what do people think the average cost is for engagement rings?

Not the best question since there is such a HUGE range, but I hear things about 2-3 months salary being too much for an engagement ring... but then I see all these young people my age (in real life, and facebook friends) with 1.5-2.0ct rings, and I can't reconcile the disconnect between cost and salary.

For example, I assume a well-spec'ed ring (G-H & VS2 which seems to be the sweet spot for most people, let's say Ex-Ex-Ex for all intensive purposes) in the 1.5-2.0ct range would probably cost $20-$30k. Assuming that's "3 months pay," that person would probably be earning a net salary around $120k-$150k/year, which is considered to be pretty high for people in their 20's, especially considering the high cost of living, even as a renter.

Do you think a lot of these people are getting inherited diamonds, or dipping into their families/trusts? Or are these just poorly cut/graded diamonds and just not visible in facebook photos?

I'm just babbling now... but I am always shocked to hear people say the 2-3 month rule is a marketing ploy and unrealistic, but then I see SO many people with huge rings that do not look milky or poorly cut. Probably no good answer but just wanted to verbalize some thoughts and questions I've been having for some time!

my question about the huge rings are not really referring to people in banking, etc. I understand that and used to work in private equity.. but i'm very curious about people in other professions..
 

Phillyfan

O.G.
Nov 25, 2007
6,406
297
Excellent thread - thanks for starting it!
I agree that a lot of people don't like talking about finances and money. But we're anonymous here for the most part so perhaps we will get good chatter.
I think that the average cost is similar to the average size in that a lot of it is regional. Certain parts of the country where the center stones are larger like 1.5 plus, the cost will be much more than those places in the country that the stone is less than .5 carat. I also think it has to do with ages of the couple. Early 20's might be spending a lot less than late 30's because late 30's might be more settled with a job and a housing situation. But there will always be those that will buy a large ring and accumulate some debt over it. With all that being said, I feel that young people today probably pay "on average" about $10,000. I might be way off - just a guess. I wonder how many inherit family rings though. I have 2 sons and I have 2 rings that they each can have one. But they are only .5 carat. It is a start! Someday, maybe my daughter will get my 1.25 stone.
 

materialgurl

in a material world
O.G.
Jul 9, 2008
1,247
4
my best friend who got engaged when she was 23, and he was also 23 has a tacori ring. he bought the diamond from blue nile, but tacori was able to set it for her. total carat was about 1.2.. not sure about rest of the stats, but he spent roughly $12k to $13k.

my bf's brother proposed to his wife with a 1 carat F color not sure about rest of stats, but I was told everything is pretty top grade... cost him $10k. At the time, they were both 28 years old.

everyone I work with at work seems to have a much smaller engagement ring.. I would guess theirs to be 2k-5k.

it's hard to say what people spend on engagement rings on average in the world. But where I'm from, I think the average is about 10k-15k.
 

ahertz

O.G.
Jul 16, 2007
6,218
18
Santa Monica
I think part of the problem is how much diamonds have gone up--even in the last year. My dh purchased me a 1.75 ex si h four years ago for A LOT less than $20k.
 

ahertz

O.G.
Jul 16, 2007
6,218
18
Santa Monica
ahertz said:
I think part of the problem is how much diamonds have gone up--even in the last year. My dh purchased me a 1.75 ex si h four years ago for A LOT less than $20k.
I meant to also say that in this market if I were a young couple I would choose a modest diamond from a dealer with a great upgrade policy. Also, I think two months salary is way exorbitant.
 

labrillant

Member
Sep 11, 2010
949
3
I have no idea what the average price of an engagement ring, or how people decide how much to spend. But keep in mind that not all engagement rings are purchased by 20-somethings. My husband and I bought one at age 35, one at about age 45, and another at age 54. Each one was bigger and more expensive than the one before.

I think that if you looked at the average spent 10 years ago, it would be very different than the average spent in the past 3-4 years. I believe that the tendency toward conspicuous consumption has been dampened by the reality of the new global economy.
 

lilmountaingirl

~i LVoe/Hate LV!~
O.G.
May 5, 2008
5,753
250
I think the 2~3 months salary is a marketing ploy. I read somewhere people spend on average $10 k on an engagement ring in the US. And i agree with that. I also read that the average size is 1 ct. I think that's why Tiffanys has adapted their stock to get you a 1 ct branded ring in the $10k range. However i also think that is why fancy shapes are so plentiful now, because they are valued at 30% less than rounds so you get a lot more for the money. Whether you opt for a 1 ct solitaire or something with a halo or three stones, 1 ct seems average. On this forum there are many very expensive diamonds. House expensive. But i think it is a small group compared to the average. I also think stats play a huge part in it. If you can't tell someone's stats, their rings can look much more expensive or less expensive. And not everyone is honest about their stats. They fib a step up maybe or down even. I have a 1.30 carat round ex/ex/ex gia IF diamond which was the price of a car. I could have gotten a 3 ct fancy shape diamond with still very very good stats for the same price. So in my case only very few people recognize its worth. And that is usually in an elevator. Lol. And i rarely admit to its stats.
 

beachy10

Member
Mar 11, 2010
2,651
56
Planet Earth
Most of the people that I know that got married in their late 20's/early 30's probably spent less than $6K. I can't imagine my BF spending 3 months worth of gross income on a ring. One month is probably more realistic.
 

pandapharm

OOH shiny!!
Feb 28, 2011
2,257
1
USA
I saw a stat somewhere that the average from 2010 was around 5k. I don't know if this would really be a reliable number though, as I'm sure there are many on the lower end, and the very few on the higher end pull that average up. I also think it was just looking at diamond engagement rings so obviously that skews the numbers a bit as well.

I was messing around on a couple sites where you could pick out a diamond to buy online, I looked around 1 to 1.5ct (I think I always searched excellent cut, D-G, IF-VS1) and those ranged from 5k to 10k ish. Then plus the setting, which I found a couple simpler ones from under $1000 to $3000 for the designer ones (Tacori, Verragio, nothing like Tiffany). Assuming I stay with my current BF (he is 25, I'm 23), one month's salary (when we graduate school) will be around 7.5k...so it makes me feel a little better about the cost of the ring in terms of the "3 month" rule, but at the same time it makes me overwhelmed how much a piece of jewelry can cost and I have a hard time asking someone to spend that much on me.

So bottom line, I'm sure it varies based on the age range you are looking at and people's financial status at that point in time, so it's hard to get one number for an average cost of a ring.
 

Phillyfan

O.G.
Nov 25, 2007
6,406
297
So it is possible to purchase a 1 carat (not round) stone from tiffanys for $10,000? I thought it would be closer to $15,000 if it was a tiffany branded ring.
 

lilmountaingirl

~i LVoe/Hate LV!~
O.G.
May 5, 2008
5,753
250
So it is possible to purchase a 1 carat (not round) stone from tiffanys for $10,000? I thought it would be closer to $15,000 if it was a tiffany branded ring.
I am pretty sure about four months ago I saw a 1 carat princess for $10k. It might have been a smaller center with a halo...
 

Phillyfan

O.G.
Nov 25, 2007
6,406
297
so then, are you saying total carat weight was 1? I might be wrong cause I never looked but I think a 1 carat at tiffanys with a halo would cost more than $10,000. Now I want to go to the store and check!
 

musicscrip

Smiley
Jan 30, 2009
1,004
0
Happy Land
I am from Toronto, Canada in my 20s. Most of my friends' rings are under $10000 between 0.75 to 1carat range. The only person that I know here has 1.5c Tiffany got money from parents to buy the ring so...

I think ppl in the states spend more on the rings...this is just what I think. When I walk around bigger cities like Boston, ppl have huge diamonds!
 

mlopez149

Member
Nov 30, 2008
113
0
I think a lot of young people are financing to be able to afford these large diamonds. I remember hearing someone say that they got divorced and the ex was still paying for her e-ring.