How Much Should You Really Spend on an Engagement Ring?

engagement ring insurance

So you like it, and you’re gonna put a ring on it. Congratulations! You’re embarking on one of the most exciting journeys of your life. There’s just one thing… engagement rings can get kind of expensive. You’re probably wondering where to find the perfect ring, what to look for in a diamond, and most importantly, how much should you really spend on an engagement ring?  

Don’t worry — we’ve got you. Read on below to learn about how much to spend on an engagement ring, how to shop on a budget, and the most important thing to purchase along with the ring.

Traditional Engagement Ring Expenses

You’ve likely heard the “correct” amount to spend on an engagement ring is approximately two to three months of your salary. That is, if you bring home $5,000 a month, expect to spend between $10,000 to $15,000. But there’s a problem with that: it’s outdated and, quite frankly, unrealistic for the average person!

This “tradition” was started in the 1930s by — surprise, surprise — the company that sold the most diamonds back then. What began as a one-month salary rule quickly grew to a two-to-three month salary rule. While this may have been realistic several decades ago, times have changed. People have more expenses now, wages haven’t risen as quickly as inflation, and many modern couples are more than happy to buck tradition. 

So what does the average person spend on an engagement ring these days?

Modern-Day Engagement Ring Expenses

According to a 2020 study performed by The Knot, the average cost of an engagement ring is $5,500. In their study, The Knot found that a quarter of their respondents actually spent between $1,000–$3,000, and 11% spent under $1,000. Many things play into the cost of an engagement ring: regional prices, ring material, diamond quality and size, to name just a few. With more and more couples seeking non-traditional engagements and weddings, it’s no wonder the old “what to spend” rule is going the way of the dodo as well.

Ways to Save on an Engagement Ring

$5,500 still might seem like a lot to couples on a more modest budget, and that’s okay! There are plenty of ways to save on the cost of an engagement ring while still getting something your sweetheart will absolutely love.

Set a Strict Budget

One of the easiest ways to overspend on an engagement ring is to go in blindly without a set budget in mind. (This article can help you set up an engagement ring budget.) Once you know how much you can spend, make sure to shop within that budget. It’s tempting to go just a little over, but stick to your guns — your wallet will thank you!

Watch Interest Rates

If you plan on buying a ring using credit, make sure to shop around and pay close attention to high-interest rates. Some credit offers may be tempting (no down payment is one that’s particularly alluring), but those offers can come with sky-high interest rates that will make your expense higher than it needs to be. 

Shop For Certified Diamonds

Make sure any engagement ring you buy is certified by a reputable entity. Buying certified diamonds ensures their value. When you purchase a certified diamond, you can be sure of its worth and feel confident you aren’t being overcharged. Look for certifications for any of the following places: Gemological Institute of America (GIA), International Gem International (IGI), the American Gem Society (AGS), or Gemological Science International (GSI). 

Consider White Gold Over Platinum

If you are on a budget, and your sweetheart loves the look of platinum jewelry, consider buying them a white gold ring instead. White gold is much more affordable and has almost the exact same look. Platinum is mined much less, and is 30 times rarer than white gold, making it a much more expensive option. On average, platinum jewelry is 40–50% more expensive than white gold. Oof!

Shop For a Diamond Alternative

If your future fiancée isn’t a fan of diamonds — or would swoon over a more non-traditional engagement ring — consider saving some money by opting for a non-diamond engagement ring. There are a plethora of options that feature stones like morganite, emerald, sapphire, ruby, and other precious gemstones. 

If they do love the look of a diamond and you’re shopping on a budget, consider purchasing a lab-grown diamond from a company like Clean Origin. The only difference between a natural diamond and a lab-grown diamond is where the diamond is created. Lab-grown diamonds are often more affordable than natural diamonds, and they’re great for people concerned with purchasing an ethically obtained diamond.

Remember Buying An Engagement Ring Online is an Option

There’s no doubt that shopping at a brick-and-mortar store is exciting and traditional. But don’t overlook the option of buying an engagement ring online! Buying an engagement ring online can save you money — sometimes up to 40%! Whether you’re remaining COVID-conscious and doing most of your shopping online or simply prefer the convenience of online shopping, buying a diamond ring online is a great option for many people. Here are some tips on shopping for an engagement ring online, in case you aren’t sure how to get started.

Don’t Forget to Protect Your Investment With Zillion Jewelry Insurance

One of the smartest ways to save money, in the long run, is to protect your investment with a jewelry insurance policy. For a minimal monthly cost, you get peace of mind that the engagement ring is protected in the event of loss, theft, accidental damage, and natural disaster. An engagement ring that isn’t protected with jewelry insurance can cost you big bucks down the road should anything happen to it! At Zillion, we offer comprehensive jewelry insurance policies that give you peace of mind. Get your free quote today — it’s fast and easy!


Zillion partners with jewelers to offer their customers lower rates on jewelry insurance. If you don’t see your jeweler on our list, we’re sorry, we won’t be able to offer you a quote for insurance. If you purchased from a Preferred Jewelers International retailer please email us at and let us know the name of the retailer. Thank you.