You’ve been dating for a while and you’re ready to pop the question. The first thing on your mind might be, “How much should I spend on an engagement ring?” There is the old standby, three months of your salary, but is that still the case?
At Black Diamonds New York, we don’t think that a beautiful engagement ring has to break the bank. With some research, you can find the perfect engagement ring for your future fiance and your budget.
The Historical Perspective
What are the origins of the engagement ring anyway? You may have already guessed that they didn’t start off as the romantic gesture they are today. In fact, wedding rings can be traced back 3,000 years to Ancient Egypt. According to the Gemological Institute of America, Egyptian pharaohs used rings to represent eternity because circles have no beginning or end.
After the Egyptians were conquered, Greek and Roman men presented rings to their companions or exchanged them in marriage ceremonies to signify both a business contract – and that women were in charge of household activities – and affirming love for one another. Of course, these rings were made of iron, copper, ivory, and other precious metals long before diamonds appeared on wedding rings in medieval times.
Some attribute diamond rings to a smart marketing ploy, but they were starting to appear before “A diamond is forever,” became a slogan. In recent years, more women are opting for colorful gemstones, lab-grown diamonds, or moissanite for a more unique and personal look. Diamonds may be forever, but trends certainly are not.
With the changing trends in what rings should look like, so has the expectation of how much you should spend on an engagement ring. One of the most common misconceptions about how much to spend on a ring is the “three months’ salary” rule. Essentially, an engagement ring should run you about three months of your salary. According to The Knot, this old adage originated back in the 1930s due to the financial strain of the Great Depression. A famous jeweler and diamond retailer started a marketing campaign to increase the sale of diamond rings and it worked. Not only did diamond sales increase but we also still keep that saying in the back of our minds.
In 2023, three months’ salary is not the standard by which you should gauge how much you should spend. This is because the amount is wholly dependent on you, your personal budget, and your future spouse’s preferences when it comes to the Four C’s, metals, cuts, and more.
Engagement Ring Quality and Pricing
When shopping for an affordable engagement ring, the "Four Cs" is an essential rule of thumb to keep in mind. Carat weight is a measure of a diamond's size and is one of the most significant factors in determining price. Cut refers to the diamond's symmetry, proportion, and polish and affects a diamond's brightness, fire, and how sparkly it appears. Clarity measures how many blemishes or inclusions are present in a diamond, and the more perfect the clarity, the more expensive the stone will be. Finally, color is judged on a scale from D (no hue) to Z (a yellow-hued diamond), with most engagement rings falling somewhere in the middle range.
The size of the stone in addition to the type of stone you place on the ring will also impact the cost. While you may think that a diamond is “the usual,” it doesn’t have to be. There are now more options than ever including lab-grown diamonds and moissanite, which have the same look, feel, and quality of a diamond, without the same price tag.
When shopping for an engagement ring, it is crucial to remember that the setting is a vital part of the ring. The setting is the portion of the ring that holds the stone in place, and it can be made from various materials, including gold, silver, or platinum. Your budget will largely determine your chosen setting, and a simple setting like a solitaire is typically the most affordable option. Solitaire settings are characterized by a single stone set in the center of the ring.
More elaborate settings, such as those with multiple diamonds or gemstones, will be more expensive. Examples of these include but are not limited to halo settings, three-stone settings, and pavé settings. If you're on a budget, consider opting for a simple setting, which will allow you to save money without sacrificing the beauty of your ring.
There are plenty of options between stones, settings, and other materials and with a little research, you will be able to find the perfect ring that fits your budget. How should you set your budget? Take your personal finances into consideration.
Personal Finance Considerations
The first step to creating a budget for buying an engagement ring is to assess your current financial situation. If you’ve never done this before, it will also be helpful for planning for other future expenses such as the wedding or traveling.
To understand where your finances stand, take a closer look at your income and expenses. How much money are you bringing in? And how much money is going out for rent, mortgage, utilities, groceries, fun stuff, and/or saving for retirement? In addition to monthly income and expenses, and cataloging any outstanding debts. This will give you a good look at how much you might be able to put away to save for a ring.
Now that you have a better understanding of your financial situation, it's time to determine how much you can comfortably allocate to an engagement ring. Here are two approaches to consider, the percentage savings approach or creating a realistic-ring budget.
One common method is to base your ring budget on a percentage of your savings or disposable income. While there is no universal rule, some experts suggest allocating anywhere from 1% to 3% of your annual income for the ring. For instance, if your annual income is $50,000, you might consider a ring budget between $500 and $1,500. This approach helps ensure that you don't overextend your finances.
Another approach is to create a specific budget tailored to your unique financial circumstances. To do this:
- Review your financial assessment: Take into account your income, expenses, debts, and savings.
- Prioritize your financial goals: Consider your short-term and long-term financial goals. Are you planning a wedding, saving for a house, or preparing for other major expenses?
- Factor in ring-related costs: Remember that the cost of the ring isn't the only expense. You should also include taxes, insurance, and any additional costs like resizing or maintenance.
- Be honest about what you can comfortably afford: Avoid stretching your budget to its limits. An engagement ring should symbolize love, commitment, and shared goals, not financial strain.
When it comes to choosing an engagement ring, thoughtfulness should be your guiding principle. The ring is more than just a symbol of your love; it represents the future you will share together.
Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to how much you should spend on an engagement ring. Your financial circumstances, priorities, and personal values should guide your decision. Ultimately, the perfect ring is one that aligns with your financial well-being and the love you share with your partner.
Ready for some beautiful, affordable engagement ring ideas? Black Diamonds New York has you covered.
We offer a wide range of beautiful and affordable options, from sapphire to emerald to metal. With so many choices available, you're sure to find the perfect ring to symbolize your love. So don't despair if diamonds are out of your budget. There are plenty of other affordable and beautiful options available.
Get ready to dim all the lights around you because there's a new star in town! Our 5 ct Emerald Cut Diamond Bezel Engagement Ring is the choice of all the trendsetters. With its exquisite center stone, clear as a bright moonlight, this ring is going to be the star of your wedding day. Made with the highest quality of simulated diamonds, and dipped in 18k yellow gold, its radiance will make your eyes sparkle with love.
Indulge in the classic romance of this Rose Gold Oval Cut White Stone Wedding Set. With a vintage-inspired design and an affordable price point, this set is a must-have for any modern bride. The oval cut main stone is expertly set in a V-shaped ring enhancer, adding a touch of elegance to your bridal ensemble. Made from 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% hypoallergenic metals, this set is dipped 5x in 18k rose gold for a truly luxurious finish. Perfect for the bride who values timeless elegance and quality craftsmanship.
A brilliant showcase of true love, the Be Mine Forever – Radiant Coffin Cut Moissanite Gothic Wedding Ring from Black Diamonds New York is an exquisite creation inspired by the dark and mysterious elements of the Gothic realm. This stunning, solid 14K gold creation is truly a statement piece, with its 1.7mm and 1.9 mm wide bands, coffin-cut diamonds, and rows of stunning side stones. Showcasing a brilliant, D-F/VVS1 clarity diamond, the exquisite details of the gothic design complete the look of the set. As a symbol of love that adores all parts of a relationship, the Be Mine Forever ring exudes a charm of intricate passion - and that is one to last for eternity. Would you Be Mine Forever?
Make an unforgettable statement with this stunning and affordable 3.5ct Three-Stone Simulated Blue Sapphire Oval Cut Yellow Gold Engagement Ring from Black Diamonds- New York. Made from the finest 14k yellow gold, this luxurious ring is set with three moissanite diamonds, dazzling with an array of deep blue shades. The center oval is surrounded by two stones, making it truly breathtaking. Perfect for any special occasion, this beautiful ring will make an everlasting impression.
Enchant your beloved with this stunning Three-Stone Emerald Green Engagement Ring from Black Diamonds New York. Crafted with 14K White Gold, the center of this engagement ring is a gorgeous 5.0 ct emerald-cut diamond. Flanking each side are two shimmering clear baguette-cut side stones, and the entire combination is truly stunning. Finding an affordable and high-quality engagement ring can be difficult, but with Black Diamonds New York, you can have the wedding band of your dreams! This Emerald-Cut beauty is sure to wow those around you and make your day even more special.
In the end, the most important aspect of your engagement isn't the size, cost, or extravagance of the ring—it's the love and commitment you and your partner share. Love is immeasurable, and it transcends material possessions. As you embark on this journey together, remember that the value of your relationship lies in the connection you nurture, the memories you create, and the life you build together.
Contact Black Diamonds New York
Black Diamonds New York is the perfect place to start your search if you're looking for affordable engagement rings. With a wide selection of styles and designs, you're sure to find the perfect ring for your budget and style. Whether you're looking for something classic or modern, simple or elaborate, there's an affordable engagement ring for you. So start your search today and find the perfect ring for the love of your life.
We take great pride in all our products; everything is lovingly made and beautifully crafted to excellence. Our store is synonymous with quality, and we strive to provide a consistent selection of one-of-a-kind wedding rings, boho-chic items, and unique engagement rings that fit any budget. With so many styles and designs to choose from, you're sure to find the perfect ring for your budget and style. Whether you're looking for something classic or modern, simple or elaborate, there's an affordable engagement ring. So start your search today and find the perfect ring for the love of your life. Contact us today or visit our website to see the wide array of affordable engagement rings for your special day!