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How much does an engagement ring cost?

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The question sounds simple, but the answer is complex, as the price range for rings for your marriage proposal is wide, ranging from just a few hundred euros to sums in the millions. The crucial factors in determining the price are the precious metal, and the precious stones contained. With very expensive engagement rings with diamonds in particular, the work of the jeweller only accounts for a small fragment of the cost, with the processed diamond or diamonds vital to the price of the ring. The value of the diamonds is in turn determined by the rarity. Perfect colourless or coloured diamonds are more expensive than stones of lesser quality. Find out what budget you should allocate, and what you should expect for your money.

How much, on average, do people pay for an engagement ring?

The average prices for engagement rings differ greatly depending on where you are. The most generous buyers are men in the USA, where the engagement ring has great significance as a status symbol. Here, an engagement that would be considered appropriate will generally cost around €5,000, often in the form of a very good quality 1 Carat solitaire ring. The USA is closely followed by Australia, where, on average, men invest just under €4,700 in the engagement ring. Likewise, future grooms in Canada and China are by no means stingy, paying a still very hefty €3,000 for an engagement ring. The Brits are slightly more frugal, paying just under €2,000.

Within the EU the average is €2,300, with marked differences from country to country. Astonishingly, one of the countries bringing up the rear in the EU ranking is Germany, where, in spite of great prosperity, the average outlay for an engagement ring sits at just under a very affordable €1,000. This also includes a certain proportion of men whose engagement rings only cost €100-300. There are certainly engagement rings at a relatively low price, however, those who value quality and longevity will not find what they are looking for within the price range of a few hundred euros.

What is an appropriate budget for an engagement ring?

Approriateness is in the eye of the beholder. The rule of thumb propagated for decades by diamond giant, De Beers that an engagement ring should cost at least two months’ wages has become established mainly in the USA, and less so in Europe. There is no genuine rule of thumb, with the purchaser’s financial capacity the real deciding factor. Giving the upcoming wedding, putting yourself into debt or financial hardship for an engagement ring is not a good idea.

On the other hand, an engagement ring should express a certain appreciation and recognition of how important the receiving partner is. It is a unique piece of jewellery that is often worn proudly on the finger for the rest of the recipient’s life. The engagement ring should ideally be the ring that stands out (in the positive sense) in a woman’s jewellery collection, on account of the quality, durability, and appearance. Given the significance of an engagement, skimping on the engagement ring with a view to investing the money in a lavish annual holiday definitely unfitting.

Choose an amount that is generous but doesn’t land you in financial difficulty. You only buy one engagement ring, and the delight experienced by your loved one upon receiving the perfect marriage proposal is worth an appropriate investment.

What can I expect for which sums of money?

A very simple, well finished engagement ring, with a diamond of around 0.25 carats, in good quality, made from a high-quality gold allow such as 750 white gold, yellow golds, or rose gold, will cost around €1,000.

A budget of €2,500 – €5,000 offers greater variety, with diamonds in premium quality (G/H colour, SI1/VS2 clarity, very good cut), with a carat weight of 0.5 – 1.0, in 750 gold or 950 platinum, and design variants ranging from the classic solitaire to rings with stones on the sides or halo engagement rings. 

Within the €5,000 to €10,000 price range, the possibilities are practically limitless. A carat weight of 1.0 – 1.5, potentially with multiple larger diamonds, precious stones in multiple colours, bespoke and tailored to your personal preferences.

And if I spend a little more? If you pay between €10,000 and €25,000, you will get several investment quality diamonds,  totalling 1.5 – 3.0 carats. A ring like this will not seem over-the-top, but will notable for the exceptional quality of the diamonds. Perfect if you view a piece of jewellery as a good investment.

A truly exclusive ring will fall within the €25,000 – €50,000 range. 3 carats or more, in top quality, as well as coloured diamonds with a vibrant colour. If you are looking for a sensational unique piece, a designer engagement ring produced as a one-off using only the best diamonds and other precious stones, you will find your dream ring within this price bracket.

Money is practically no object? If spending over €50,000, you will be truly spoilt for choice, with a wide range of excellent investment diamonds and particularly exclusive coloured diamonds available, for the luxury engagement ring that is truly worthy of your love.

How can I save money without compromising on quality?

Appealing value for money can be found in colourless diamonds in the colour grades G and H, with a clarity of VS2 of SI, with at least a very good cut. Visually, these diamonds cannot be told apart from considerably more expensive, flawless stones in perfect white colour, at least not in everyday wear. Only an expert with a diamond loupe magnifier can tell these diamonds apart from a stone in a D or E colour grade, with an FL or IF clarity.

Would you like the diamond to look bigger than it actually is? Then select a Halo ring, whereby the diamond in the centre is closely surrounded by a ring of smaller diamonds. Because the price of diamonds is measured based on their rarity and does not increase linearly, a 0.5 carat solitaire and 10 small diamonds totalling 0.5 carats, for example, will be less expensive than an individual 1.0 carat diamond.

Round figures such as 1 carat are considered appealing, however, a round cut diamond with 1 carat or just over will cost noticeably more than a 0.96 stone that looks the same size, for example. The reason for this is the high demand for diamonds with a “round” carat weight.

What an engagement ring costs is also dependent on the quality of the supplier. Bricks & mortor jewellers or larger jeweller chains are often more expensive than online jewellers with a leaner corporate structure. The supply chain also plays a role – a diamond manufacturer that procures the diamonds directly at the source, such as BAUNAT, can offer the same quality for less money than a supplier that purchases via wholesalers or agents.

Take your time, do your research, and compare offers and prices/. Even if you spontaneously stumble across a ring you like at your local jeweller’s, there is no harm in considering the decision for a few days and searching for comparable, and potentially much less expensive rings online.

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