So, you have just thought about popping the question. Congratulations! (Or maybe you are expecting someone special to propose sometime soon.) The excitement must be incredible…
The budget for a custom engagement ring is something that a lot of people tend to struggle to deal with because there have been so many rules and expectations that float around due to society’s expectations. There are often some “guides” set for the purchaser of the ring based on the salary they earn.
There may also be a bit of pressure since an engagement ring is something serious that is going to last a lifetime, so many people understandably are willing to spend a lot of their hard-earned cash in order to bring satisfaction to themselves and their partner.
Where to Start
The first thing to do is to think about your current financial situation. If you are someone that has a comfortable amount of money in your savings, then obviously you are less likely to be worried about how much it is going to “break the bank” when buying an expensive ring.
If you see yourself in a situation where you are somewhat struggling to get by and have to limit yourself to your spending quite often, then maybe even wait out proposing until everything is in its right place. Remember, you only get one first time when it comes to proposing to your partner.
There is nothing wrong with putting off a proposal because you can’t immediately afford a bespoke engagement ring. It is also not uncommon to propose without an engagement ring, in order to have you and your partner go and shop for one together. In fact, although the tradition of getting down on one knee is still alive and well - some people like to make sure they get a custom engagement ring for their partner that they are absolutely going to love.
The “Month Rules”
A common “myth” is that you should spend around three months' worth of your current salary on your partner’s ring. This came about during the 1930s during The Great Depression. Due to the financial struggle everyone faced, diamond companies were taking a big hit in sales. The company De Beers created the marketing campaign in the hopes that it will improve some of their sales for their rings.
Other rules are similar, for example, some people suggest spending two months' worth of salary on a ring, or even one month. Obviously, these are not legal rules and many people consider them to be just outdated guidelines that have changed over the years.
For instance, let’s say you earned around $40,000 a year, then spending $6,000 is the way to go, according to the two-month rule.
However, you can also look at the guidelines as being something motivational. Having a higher budget will lead to you being able to spend more money, which may lead to some more satisfaction and value.
But remember to not feel the need to have to go by any of these “month rules”, and you should only do what you are comfortable with.
How much do Aussies spend?
According to surveys done by some Australian jewellers, around 77% of people stuck to their budget when purchasing a bespoke engagement ring. In 2019, the average amount spent on a ring was around $5290.
Compared to other countries, for example, those in the United States, Australians tend to spend a little less. In 2018, the average American spent $7,829 USD (which is $11327.50 AUD). Compare that to the figure from 2020: $3756 ($5434.42 AUD). This may have been due to the painful Covid 19 lockdown, which saw the world become increasingly more inactive.
Ring Attributes That Can Affect The Pricing
There are a lot of different things that make up a ring. A lot of people are not aware of how much there is to learn about rings, with all the different elements that can be swapped around and changed.
Although there are a lot of things that come into play that influence the price of a ring, it is arguably the band and the diamond itself that are the two biggest.
Going to an engagement ring designer is a great way for you to have full control over what you do and do not want on your ring.
Without a flicker of doubt, the diamond used for your bespoke engagement ring is going to be the main cost. When determining the value of a diamond, we usually start by asking if the diamond is natural or lab-grown.
Natural diamonds are always going to be more expensive than man-made diamonds for a variety of reasons. This can be because of the labour costs required, as well as the machinery that is needed for mining as well as the time needed to cut and polish.
The Four C’s is a technique used to grade diamonds. The four C’s stand for cut, colour, clarity and carat. The better characteristics that a diamond possesses, the more money it will cost.
The carat of a diamond is probably the biggest of the four c’s. For those who might not know, a carat is a unit of measurement equal to about 0.2 grams. The larger the carat, the bigger the diamond - obviously bumping up the price.
The clarity of the diamond is regarding how “clear” the diamond is. If it has some blemishes and impurities, it will have less value. This is on a scale from being flawless to included.
The colour and cut come into play, but arguably not as much as this can be a type of preference.
The material used for the band of a ring is going to be responsible for a large chunk of the price. Gold is arguably the most popular and frequently used, which is not surprising. There are a variety of karats with gold too, as well as there being different “colours” like white gold and rose gold.
Other materials used for bands include things like platinum, silver, titanium and palladium - just to name a few.
Getting ready to purchase a ring for a partner can be an overwhelming task. There are a lot of things to consider, but you should also feel such a sense of eagerness and anticipation.
In summary, there is no set budget that you have to spend in order to purchase a ring for your partner. Many people feel the need to stick by certain guides, such as spending 1 to 3 months' worth of your annual salary on your ring. If you feel that you cannot afford a ring of your choice, then it is okay to wait.
There are lots of things that can affect how much a ring is going to cost - but the diamond (or gem) of choice is most likely going to be number one. The cut, colour, clarity and carat are known as the Four C’s, a grading guide that determines the overall value of the stone based on the characteristics of it.
The material used for the band is also going to make an impact. Materials can range from gold to silver, platinum, titanium and palladium.
With endless options to choose from, seeing an engagement ring designer can help give you some clarity as well as some inspiration!