are a girl’s best friend (which they are), what is an engagement ring made of? While you think about that, consider another difficult question: how much should one spend on an engagement ring in the first place? There are so many common myths and misconceptions about purchasing engagement rings that it’s difficult to know how much to spend when shopping for your significant other.

What is the average price?

According to Brides’ American Wedding Study, the average couple spent $3,756 on an engagement ring in 2020, which is less than the $7,829 average couple spent in 2018. However, some brides-to-be spend a lot less, while others spend a lot more.

According to Lanore, everything is entirely dependent on your fiancé’s financial situation. “Spend what you’re comfortable with—no there’s need to go into debt,” she advises. “It is also determined by your partner’s preferences. It’s difficult to spend a lot of money if she (or he) wants something very simple. However, if she (or he) desires a large stone, it is still very possible. There are methods for achieving any look on any budget.”

When it comes to purchasing the ring itself, prices will vary greatly due to a variety of factors, including the size and quality of the center stone, any details (such as a halo or stones set in the band), and the type of metal chosen—not to mention mark-ups that can accompany factors such as a popular brand name.

Myths About Engagement Ring Prices

Investing Three Months of Your Salary

According to Lanore (phew! ), the most common (and outdated) engagement ring myth is that one should spend about three months of their salary on an engagement ring. There is no hard and fast rule about how much you should spend on an engagement ring, and she works with a wide range of budgets.

Finding a Lower-Cost Diamond on the Internet

Lanore claims that shopping for diamonds online is actually riskier because there are far more low-quality stones to choose from, which isn’t always obvious to the untrained eye. Instead, she advises going directly to the source. “It’s best to consult the professionals for your needs,” Lanore advises. “There are numerous techniques to master for each diamond cut and shape—it is, after all, a science. I strongly advise contacting a diamond consultant for help with center stone selection.” These professionals can assist you in working with the “Four C’s” to get the best diamond for your money.

If you are unable to locate a local diamond consultant, there are numerous companies that can be contacted remotely.

What Is an Excessive Amount to Spend?

While there is no set price for an engagement ring, you may be concerned that your partner will be tempted to go overboard. If you anticipate the proposal, be direct and slip your thoughts into a casual conversation. Create a story and say something like, “Jen was just telling me the other day that she wishes her husband had spent less money on the engagement ring so they could have had a larger wedding budget to work with. I believe some people are going insane these days.

You can also express your concern to your partner’s family and friends, who will forward the message to him or her. But, at the end of the day, some people simply want to go above and beyond and splurge on an engagement ring, which is perfectly fine (and very sweet) as long as they have the means to do so.

How to Save Money on an Engagement Ring

Even if you’re on a tight budget, you can still get your significant other the ring of their dreams thanks to a few engagement ring shopping hacks.

How to Get a Better Deal on an Engagement Ring

Diamonds are the most expensive part of an engagement ring, so using a diamond alternative as the center stone can save you a lot of money. “Think about a white sapphire, which is hard enough to withstand daily wear and is a similar color,” Gandia suggests. “Other popular gemstones include blue sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. These can cost slightly less than a diamond depending on quality, though truly rare and high-quality stones can sometimes cost more.”

Other unusual stones that are becoming increasingly popular? Green tourmaline, peachy-pink morganite, and ice blue aquamarine are all available. “These are all fantastic options for clients looking for a less expensive alternative to a diamond that still shines brightly,” says Gandia.

Understand Your Options

Keep in mind that some settings can be costly. Your future spouse may be (understandably) smitten with Meghan Markle’s three-stone engagement ring, but the setting can be expensive and have an impact on the size of the center stone. Instead, if you want to spend the majority of your money on the ring’s diamond, consider a classic solitaire setting to make the stone stand out.

Play with the “Four Cs

Working on the lower end of the color and clarity scales can help you significantly reduce engagement ring costs (especially with brilliant-cut diamonds) without sacrificing quality. In terms of clarity, Lanore says, “as long as you can’t see inclusions with the naked eye, you’re in great shape.” “Contrary to popular belief, clarity is independent of everything else and has no effect on the stone’s brilliance.” Lanore adds that the diamond’s color is “purely personal preference,” but “if the size is your main concern, consider working lower here if you’re on a budget.”

Take the Antiques Road.

“Antique diamonds are truly magical at hiding color, and they face up 2-3 colors whiter than their grade indicates,” Lanore says. “These diamonds have a real romance to them.” Overall, Lanore recommends paying close attention to your partner’s personal style or any hints they may be dropping to get the most bang for your buck and give them the engagement ring they truly want (and deserve). “What I’ve noticed is that if their partner does not request a specific design, a lot of guys (or gals) tend to pick a round brilliant diamond, which is the most expensive diamond per carat due to its difficulty to cut,” Lanore says. To truly cater to your significant other, set aside your personal preferences. After all, she (or he) will be the one wearing it every day.

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