How To Choose A Wedding Band

Whether you've started your shopping process or are genuinely just curious, I'm sure you've realized there is A LOT of conflicting information out there about how much to spend on an engagement ring. I'm not sure who started this, but it's been said for a while that you should spend three months' salary… in our opinion, this is BS! This is a super personal decision, and only YOU will know what the right amount is to spend on a ring. We'll take you through the average engagement ring cost in 2019 and highlight multiple factors you should consider when choosing the perfect ring for you, your partner, and your budget.

Average Engagement Ring Cost:

The thing about engagement rings is, they have been and will continue to be a serious investment. The average cost of an engagement ring in 2019 nationwide was $5,900. While this may be the overall national average, there is a significant segment of the population (one-third to be exact) that spent between $1,000 and $3,000 on their engagement ring. It's also important to keep in mind that the price spent on an engagement ring differs depending on what region of the country you're looking at. The Midwest, for example, had couples spending an average of $5,300; while the Tri-State area had couples spending around $7,500, on average.

Engagement Ring Budgets:

So, let's get to the good stuff, how on earth am I supposed to determine how much to spend on an engagement ring? Well, it's a complicated and subjective answer. In other words, there really is no “right” answer. We'll take you through our thoughts on this subject, but if you take one thing from this article, please take this: you should not go into debt buying the ring of your partner's dreams.

One of the smartest things you can do at the beginning of this process is to set a budget. Whether you would like to consult your significant other about this budget, or make the decision yourself, it's entirely up to you. Studies show that 70 percent of ring shoppers stuck to their budget, while 23% went over their spending limit. In addition to the price of the engagement ring itself, you should also consider the cost of insurance. Most couples purchase ring insurance, so this is a factor you should not forget to include in your budget planning.

How Much to Spend (Realistically)?

We've discussed the importance of setting a budget at the beginning, because this will guide all your decisions going forward. From there, start thinking about what “C” out of the “4 C's” you are looking to prioritize – are you looking to get the cleanest, whitest stone possible and sacrifice size? Are you willing to sacrifice on quality to get the biggest possible stone? Maybe you want to put all your resources towards the centre stone and go with a plain band. These are all questions to ask yourself, so you can have a clearer idea of what you're looking for (while keeping your budget in mind). Here are a couple more factors to consider when you are determining how much to spend:

Your Financial Situation: The most important thing to figure out is how much you're comfortable with spending. Whether you're financing the ring, or buying it outright, think about your current bills and your current income. You don't want this to put unnecessary stress on you during what should be one of the most exciting times of your life.

Partner's Expectations: You probably have an idea at this point of what type of engagement ring your significant other is dreaming of. Your main goal is to purchase a ring they'll love forever and are excited to show off. You want to make sure they love it without driving yourself into the ground with debt.
Personal Significance: In our experience, a well thought out ring that captures your partner's personality and style will be much more meaningful than the biggest ring out there (that drives you into debt).

The Best Ways to Save Money:

Before you whip out your wallet, here are a couple of ways you're getting the biggest bang for your buck:

Shop online (duh!): As biased as this answer sounds, it's the truth! The total savings on average come in at 30%-50% versus a regular store. Also, you can think about exactly what you want without the pressure from salespeople (that work on commission!). Traditional brick and mortar stores have much higher expenses (stocking the stones, paying rent to name a few!) than online retailers, so they really have no choice but to offer products higher in price.

Manipulate Carat Size: An important one… this is an industry trick: Go with a slightly under-size diamond. These are diamonds whose carat weights are just ever-so-slightly below traditional cut-off points. For example, to the naked eye, a 0.98 carat diamond is identical to a 1 carat stone but has a significantly smaller price tag. Same rule applies for a 1.97 carat stone and a 2 carat… and so on.

In conclusion, we hope this helps! We know it can be overwhelming with the amount of information out there, and the truth is: you don't need us, or anyone else telling you what you should or shouldn't do. The bottom line here is that this is a personal decision, and no one should be pressuring you into thinking something different. If you need any help determining budget or anything else discussed in this article, email us! [email protected]