How Much Does An Engagement Ring Cost?

“Everyone who sees her custom ring compliments it, and the smile on her face is priceless.”~ Rishi S. / San Francisco, CA (Click Here to read more Client Testimonials)

Purchasing an engagement ring is a big decision. This engagement ring is meant to be a symbol of a couple’s love for one another, therefore, it's important to take the time to think about it carefully, making sure to get it right. 

One of the primary questions people have to decide is how much money they are going to spend on it.  There are many variables to consider including someone’s personal financial situation and the quality of the engagement ring.

Everyday people ask me, “How much does an engagement ring cost?” This can be a difficult question to answer on the spot since there are many factors to consider such as carat weight, diamond quality and the ring design, but I will explain some general pricing guidelines below:

Halo engagement ring stye

Gorgeous ring custom created by Vanessa Nicole

Purely from a price standpoint, the purchase of an engagement ring is like the purchase of a vehicle. With so many options available, price ranges can vary drastically. The average American sells or trades in their vehicle within the first five years of purchase, so why do they elect to get so many upgrades? The answer is because most people understand the importance of getting what they want the first time to prevent regrets later on.

With an engagement ring that is meant to last forever, and potentially passed down to future generations, it increases the stakes even more to get it EXACTLY right the first time.

For example, since most Americans spend over 30 minutes a day in their vehicles, they want to make sure their vehicle will provide them with comfort, quality, longevity, and ease of use. So they do their research to make sure they get exactly what they want. These same principles typically apply to most engagement ring shoppers.

Radiant Cut Halo Ring - Vanessa Nicole Jewels

Gorgeous ring custom created by Vanessa Nicole

Estimating the Cost of an Engagement Ring: Ball Park Figures

In general, a gorgeous 1 carat diamond engagement ring will start around $10,000.

A 2 carat diamond engagement ring will start around $20,000. 

These prices will vary depending on the ring setting and the quality of the diamond set in the engagement ring.

Remember that the weight or size is not the only factor determining the cost of the diamond, but the quality of the stone is going to matter as well.

The quality of the diamond comes down to the four C’s. These are color, carat (weight), clarity (the presence of any flaws), and cut (whether or not the cut has impacted the quality in any way).

Usually, the price of the band or ring itself is set. On the other hand, the cost of the diamond in the engagement ring can vary significantly. For more information about diamond quality, read our Diamond Quality Guides here.

Valuing the Diamond

Of course, the most important factor when it comes to the cost of any diamond engagement ring is going to be the diamond itself. There are a few inside tips that everyone should know about how diamonds look and are valued.

First, one diamond might look bigger than another diamond yet it also has the same carat weight. The two diamonds might have the same color and clarity but one looks smaller than the other. This is because the girdle, or the widest point of one diamond, causes that stone to look smaller. Cutters often cut a diamond to reach a certain weight because this causes the price to jump to a new price point. Therefore, even if a diamond weighs two carats doesn’t mean it actually is two carats.

Next, many diamonds have something called inclusions. These inclusions come in many sizes and colors. These inclusions can also impact the price of a diamond. Unless the diamond is flawless, there will be some inclusions. Don’t fear these inclusions because these are like birthmarks. These can help the owner identify the diamond down the road.

Make sure to look at both SI and VS clarity diamonds. SI diamonds tend to have more inclusions than VS diamonds. Many people are drawn to SI clarity because they can get a bigger diamond while staying within budget as long as the inclusions aren't visible to the naked eye.  This is something Vanessa Nicole pays close attention to – diamond dealers affectionately call her "Eagle Eye."

Setting the Engagement Ring

Once you’ve found a diamond, the next step is to get the stone set in the ring. There are several factors that are going to impact the cost of getting the ring set:

  • The metal: platinum vs. gold
  • Mass produced vs. custom made
  • The quality of the diamonds in the setting

Some people think that they simply don’t need to spend a lot of money on the ring setting, but remember that this ring is meant to hold the diamond for all eternity.

The engagement ring must be set properly. It will be less likely to require repairs down the road. Remember that this ring is going to be worn every day, so it's important to get this right, ensuring the ring will not have to go back for repairs.

I know a repair person who makes six figures a year JUST doing repairs. Personally, I can’t even remember the last time one of my custom rings came back for a repair. That’s because it was made right upfront.

Unfortunately, some people only focus on the initial price of the engagement ring with the only goal of finding the “cheapest” jeweler, therefore sacrificing low-maintenance, quality, aesthetics, and comfort, which inevitably leads to regret, especially considering this is her ONE important ring.

How Much Should an Engagement Ring Cost?

This is the most important question; however, this question is not that easy to answer. You need to think about the value you are getting for the ring.

Some of the factors that are going to impact the price of the ring include the size of the diamond, its color, its clarity, and the presence of any inclusions. Then, you also need to think about the band and the cost to have the ring set.

Knowing these factors ahead of time will help ensure you're getting a fair price for your diamond engagement ring.

How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?

This answer depends on someone’s individual financial situation. While the old rule of thumb of spending three months’ salary on an engagement ring still works for some people, this doesn’t work for everyone. Some couples buy the ring together. Therefore, people need to think about what works for them. Everyone is in a different spot when it comes to finances.

Round solitaire custom diamond ring 4 views

What I always ask clients is, “Do you have a max number that you prefer not to exceed for the entire ring?” The price of a diamond is based on many factors and I will source the best/largest diamond that fits within your desired number.

Vanessa Nicole Jewels doesn’t keep an inventory of diamonds because this allows me to seek out the best possible diamond based on your desires rather than be forced to just sell what I own. Fire, sparkle & brilliance are absolutely #1 when it comes to searching for the perfect diamond, yet there is no grade for “Fire,” “Sparkle” or “Brilliance” on a certificate, so you can rely on our trained eyes to keep those factors in mind when putting together your Diamond Selection.

How Can You Avoid Getting Ripped Off?

Diamonds and jewelry in general often have a very high markup depending on whether you're selecting a brand name vs. a smaller boutique studio. Larger brands need to recoup their cost of marketing, sales commissions and overhead. For more information on finding the right jewelry store, check out our guide here.

How Much Does A Custom Engagement Ring Cost?

What sets Vanessa Nicole's custom engagement rings apart from other jewelry stores

A big misconception is that going to a jeweler to have an engagement ring custom made is more expensive than buying a mass-produced ring from a jewelry store. But you would be surprised. Because a custom jeweler doesn’t have the same overhead as a retail store, you can often get an even better quality diamond ring for the same price. Plus, the ring has more meaning because you’ve taken the time to design it yourself. Enter your text here...

People understand that the engagement ring is going to be worn everyday. They also know picking the right option the first time is critical to ensure maximum enjoyment with minimum maintenance. Most shoppers elect to get the engagement ring that will make them happiest in the long-run even if it’s a bit more than they initially planned on spending.

Unfortunately, some people only focus on the initial price of the engagement ring with the only goal of finding the “cheapest” jeweler, therefore sacrificing low-maintenance, quality, aesthetics, and comfort, which inevitably leads to regret, especially considering this is her ONE important ring.

double edge halo ring with round brilliant diamond

Final Thoughts on the Costs of Engagement Rings

Most people don’t know what to expect in terms of costs when they begin looking at engagement rings, so it’s natural to initially be shocked by the prices. Ultimately though, you’ll get a feel for what is realistic within certain price ranges.

At Vanessa Nicole Jewels we make the process extremely easy and FUN for you. You want to enjoy a problem free ring for years to come and it's our goal to make that a reality.

If you’re interested in learning more about the custom engagement ring process, read about our process here. We have a 100% client happiness rating!

Or to get started and work with Vanessa on creating the diamond engagement ring of your dreams, contact us here.

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