How Much to Spend on an Engagement Ring: The Rules

Last Thursday I was on the Jeremy Vine show talking to him about how much people spend on engagement rings these days and what the general ‘rules’ are around how much to spend. I want to be clear in telling you I don’t agree with you following a ‘rule’ you have been told by clever marketers, I think each person should follow their hearts and know their budgets.

I do however realise it is hard to know how much to spend on an engagement ring when its not something you have done before (and won’t intend on doing again!) So, you look to good old Google for advice (hello clever marketing) and hope it will give you some form of indication on what you should be spending or saving for.


I’m going to briefly cover each ‘rule’ I have come across, including the ‘split the difference’ rule I spoke about on Radio 2 and couldn’t quite get my words out!


Rule #1 ‘Three Month’s Salary’

This rule was originally tried in Japan, became a huge hit and has somehow worked its way into being rumoured as the ‘norm’ to spend on an engagement ring. The average London salary in 2019 is about £36,000/year which is about £3000 before tax = £9000 on an engagement ring. Now, this would get you a nice 1ct or just under, bespoke diamond ring – not bad!


Rule #2 ‘One Month’s Salary’

This is the original ‘rule’ started by De Beers (as most clever diamond marketing was) in the American depression era which is an idea that stuck. Going on the above average salary of £36,000, say you spend £3000 on an engagement ring, that could get you a really pretty ring with around a .5ct diamond and some shoulder accent stones or a halo.


Rule #3 ‘Split the Difference’

Turns out this is basically the two-month salary rule that Jeremy was talking about, a popular rule in America. These rules, as you can see are all pretty self-explanatory and contradictory and proves my point of ‘you do you’.


Rule #4 ‘Spend the Average Cost of a Ring’

Again, a pretty self-explanatory rule, but what is the average UK spend on an engagement ring? It was recorded last week (Feb 2020) that the UK average spend is £1483. When people ask me what a bespoke engagement ring costs with myself, I advise they begin from £1500. That is for a diamond ring (about .3ct) in Platinum – which is still a very pretty ring! (Especially if you adapt our Flora solitaire!)


Rule #5 ‘Ignore the Rules’

This is one I have made up, and I think most jewellers today would agree. You don’t need someone to tell you how much to spend on an engagement ring. You know your mind; you know your partner and you know what you can and can’t afford.


There are lots of options when it comes to buying an engagement ring as well, you can either save up or there are plenty of interest free payment options (read more about ours here.) You’re not as limited as people were back in The Depression, there is so much more freedom and so many cool designers doing different things to suit every couple’s unique love story.


To have a chat with us about how we can help you design the perfect engagement ring then please contact us via the button below and Roseanna will get back to you to arrange complimentary consultation.

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