When it comes to style, we all have our unique preferences. What type of dress, shoes and jewellery we love can be completely different from the next. When it comes to engagement rings, it is no surprise that there are endless options to suit all tastes.
An engagement ring is one of life’s most significant purchases, in more ways than one! At Brilliant Earth, we understand that an engagement ring is a monumental gift, an extraordinary commitment, and an investment too.
Don’t be daunted by cost—there are many options available for affordable engagement rings. Of course, the meaning of “affordable” is highly subjective. But while budgets may differ, everybody has one—read on to make the most of yours.
If you fall in love with the showstoppers on the red carpet but don’t fancy taking out a second mortgage, don’t panic. We have some tricks of the trade to help you. You can afford our dream ring without breaking the bank!
There is an old saying that an engagement ring should cost three months’ salary. Engagement rings no longer need to cost you three months’ salary. Whether it be more or less, the amount you spend is up to you and what you feel comfortable with. If money is a factor, as it is for most, then there are ways to save on your engagement ring without compromising on the design.
Today it’s generally accepted that there’s no set amount someone should spend on an engagement ring because everyone’s budget and preferred style is different. So how does someone pick the perfect ring for their partner or themselves?
The old rule was clear and easy to follow. Today, however, there are no rules, which means you have to spend a bit more time trying to find the right ring. And when it comes to finding your dream ring at the perfect price, an extra bit of research makes it all worth it.
Why are diamonds the perfect stone for engagement rings?
There is no gemstone, quite like a natural diamond. Each stone is dazzling when cut and polished – the ideal fixture for stunning jewellery. But it’s the unique quality of diamonds that make them a powerful symbol of everlasting love. No two diamonds are alike. This timeless ‘gift of nature’ is distinctive as it is pretty; the perfect symbol to promise lifelong commitment.
But diamonds haven’t always been the only choice for engagement rings.
Diamonds were not always the traditional stone of engagement. This all changed in 1477 when Austrian royalty, Archduke Maximillian, commissioned the first diamond engagement ring for his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy, and the fashion took off. By the turn of the century, the number of diamond engagement rings on the market had significantly increased. However, it wasn’t until the 1930s that the trend stuck, when diamonds, recognised and beloved for their eternal sparkle became the go-to stone for engagement rings.
The idea that a person should spend a months’ salary on a diamond engagement ring started around the same time, crept up to two months’ salary in the 80s, and has since become the “three-month salary” rule that many people know today.
Average engagement ring costs
It’s difficult to pin down what the average Australian pays for an engagement ring. A survey of over 3000 couples from Easy Weddings showed that the average cost was about $5,134.
Some experts think that this number is too low, and others too high. Still, three months’ salary for the average Australian is about $15,500, demonstrating fewer people sticking to the three-month rule.
And still, it’s not uncommon for people to want to show their love through expensive rings. Famously, George Clooney spent $600,000 on his ring for Amal. Kanye gave Kim Kardashian a $9.9 million ring, and Heidi Klum’s canary yellow diamond engagement ring is worth $150,000.
When looking at the cost of an engagement ring, what’s more, important is to find the ring that speaks to your personal preferences and the unique love and connection you share with your loved one. The perfect ring will always fit your budget so that you’re in the best position to start your life together. And if it does go a little over, we can help with our 0% interest financing option or layby. All you need to do is follow our guide to find the ring that is right for you.
Guide for buying diamond engagement rings
The most important factors for you and your partner to consider are:
- taste (especially taste of the wearer),
- your financial circumstances, and
- the objective quality of the jewellery.
Each stone is unique, but they all share a set of qualities that allows them to be evaluated and assessed by referring to a diamond’s cut, clarity, colour and carat weight. These are known as the four Cs of diamond grading.
Heavier diamonds (higher carat) are typically more expensive than diamonds with lower carat weight, but only if the diamonds are otherwise similar in quality. Smaller diamonds with rarer or more desirable colours, such as Argyle pink diamonds, will fetch higher prices than their larger counterparts.
Diamond clarity is the least impactful on the final price. Stones with many blemishes and inclusions will still appear brilliant and beautiful to the naked eye. Different cuts and colours of stones are more likely to influence the price.
Colourless diamonds are purer. This makes them more affordable than diamonds with impurities that cause dazzling colours, like the Argyle pink diamond, which is beautiful and rare.
Of all cuts, the most expensive is a brilliant cut. This cut requires master crafting that allows more facets, capturing more light, for a more eye-catching and beautiful stone. For this reason, a brilliant-cut is the diamond cut most used for engagement rings.
Oval and emerald cuts tend to be the least expensive diamond cuts, as less of the stone is wasted in the cutting process.
The ring style will also impact the engagement ring’s final cost, including the ring metal and diamond setting. Platinum and palladium rings are the most costly, while silver rings tend to be the least expensive. Settings with multiple stones will also cost more than a solitaire setting.
When considering the ring metal, it’s essential also to consider what metal colours you already wear. If most of your jewellery is yellow gold, then a white gold engagement ring may be difficult to pair with your other beloved pieces. Taking a look at your existing collection before deciding on your ring style can make pairing jewellery together much easier later on.
Now that you know what experts look for when they assess the dollar value, you have everything you need to find the ring that was made for you.
How To Find An Affordable Engagement Ring
You can choose a beautiful ring without sacrificing the quality or breaking the budget. In this article, we’re going to suggest a few helpful ways to cut the cost of your engagement ring. By choosing one or more of these options, you can use your savings for the next stage of your life together.
Your engagement ring is the first of a long list of expenses when it comes to your wedding. And if your wedding is in the not-to-distant future, it is understandable if you are a little more conscious about how much you part with!
If you are concerned about spending an overwhelming amount, please rest assured that it is unnecessary to afford a beautiful ring. To make sure you do not blow your budget when engagement ring shopping, read our tips on how to keep on track!
It can be hard to know how much you should spend without knowing how much an engagement ring should cost. Before setting your budget, do a bit of research. Do you feel comfortable asking your friends how much they spent? Research prices of local jewellers and, if you plan to have a ring custom made, visit in person. You can also request that a jeweller email you and list their diamond prices to give you an idea.
Set a budget
This is an essential part and if you are wary of blowing the budget, then take the time to work out a realistic budget. Write it down and make notes of the reasons behind this figure.
We recommend that you carefully consider your budget before shopping. Despite what you may have heard, there is no “rule” about how much you should spend on a ring. Everyone will have a different spending comfort level, and you should respect yours. It is essential to understand what you can and want to invest in this purchase before you begin your search.
Compare apples with apples.
When looking at engagement rings online, it is vital to make sure you are comparing “apples with apples”. If an engagement ring or diamond sounds too good to be true, then chances are it is. There is a lot more to pricing diamonds that cut, colour, clarity and carat and not everything is on the certificates. Many factors cheapen diamonds for the simple reason that they affect how good they look. The age-old saying that you get what you pay for is well worth remembering.
Reveal your budget
It is entirely up to you if you wish to reveal your budget when visiting jewellers at the initial stages. But keep in mind that by sharing an approximate figure. And help you find beautiful diamonds or gemstones within your budget.
If offered a slightly larger or more expensive stone, then kindly resist. Diamonds are beautiful, and their dazzling brilliance is hard to say no too!
Look at Alternatives
If you have your heart set on a large centre stone but cannot afford the diamond of your dream, perhaps consider the alternatives. The most important thing to remember that engagement ring shopping should be enjoyable! Setting a budget will take some of the stress out and no matter how big or small your budget is, remember a beautiful ring is possible!!
Choose A Diamond Wisely
Look for trusted jewellers with expansive diamond inventory and specifically crafted to be inclusive of all price ranges and styles.
Opt For A Lab Created Diamond
Lab-created diamonds—which are entirely distinct from diamond simulants such as cubic zirconia—are physically, chemically, and optically equivalent to naturally-mined diamonds. Still, they cost less than mined diamonds of comparable size and quality. They are an excellent option for affordable engagement rings.
Consider All Precious Metals
Platinum is a popular choice for engagement ring settings due to its durability and appealing finish, but it is not the only option. White, yellow, or fashionable rose gold are all stunning precious metal choices that are more modest in price than platinum. If you love the silvery-white patina of platinum, consider a white gold setting, which offers similar composition and appearance at a lower price.
Step Up The Setting
A surefire way to make an engagement ring more eye-catching while respecting your budget is to select a more detailed setting. Because a diamond’s price increases exponentially with size, smaller accent diamonds are much more affordable than larger diamonds. That means choosing a ring setting with diamond accents is a smart way to create a dazzling ring without spending too much on a large centre diamond (many brides-to-be are more interested in a sparkling ring setting than the size of the centre gem). One excellent option is a halo engagement ring, which features a centre gemstone entirely encircled by dazzling diamond accents that create a larger centre gem’s appearance. A rose gold halo engagement ring is as affordable as it is beautiful. Accent diamonds aside, choosing unique details, such as hand-engraving, filigree, or milgrain, can make a ring look very luxe, even with a modest-sized centre diamond and low cost.
Select A Sapphire For The Center Stone
Sapphire is a vibrant and distinctive selection for your engagement ring’s centre gemstone. Choosing a sapphire instead of a diamond for a centre gem can provide you with a more prominent look for a smaller price. Many brides-to-be are drawn to the deep blue hues of sapphire engagement rings, but keep in mind that sapphires also come in a range of gorgeous yellow, white, and pink shades. So if you want a light-hued engagement ring, look for a pale yellow or pink sapphire as your centre gem. Sapphires pair beautifully with smaller accent diamonds to create a stunning ring.
Consider A Ring Without A Center Stone
Many brides-to-be are choosing a non-traditional engagement ring that does not feature a highlighted centre gemstone. These beautiful diamond bands are increasingly sought after as engagement ring alternatives. These rings do not feature a larger centre gemstone but still offer extraordinary details and the gorgeous shimmer of diamonds, which means they are affordable but never look cheap. Many people seek this option for a distinctive look or a more consistent style with an active lifestyle.
The custom ring solution
Knowing how assessors use the four Cs makes it possible for you to customise the different aspects of your ring so that you can find the perfect piece for you without overspending.
For example, if your dream diamond is significant, and you are less interested in its cut, you can get a larger stone with an oval cut. If you have a personal preference for silver, this leaves more room in your budget to splash out on the rock of your dreams.
Maybe you’ve always dreamt of a large, brilliant diamond in a gold setting. A luxury diamond like this is within reach when you choose a more transparent stone and limit the number of settings in your ring. This can create a minimalistic look that accentuates your dream diamond.
Regardless of your budget, when you select fine a jewellery piece, it is paramount to choose a reputable, trustworthy jeweller.