How much is an engagement ring?
Many people ask me "how much should I budget for when buying a diamond engagement ring?". Customers also ask "is there a tradition to spending a certain amount on the ring?" The simple answer is "it's up to you". The only tradition I have heard is you should spend one month's salary on an engagement ring but very few people go by that tradition nowadays. There will always be something bigger & better out there so try not to get carried away & set out with a rough budget in mind.
So, how much does an engagement ring cost? Take the ring below for example. You may be surprised to know it could cost £1200 or £12,000! So how is this possible? Well, start with the metal. If this ring was made from 9ct white gold the setting would cost 'X' amount. If it was made from Palladium it would cost around £50 more. If the ring was 18ct white gold it would cost an extra £200 & in platinum an additional £500 (all prices based on the time of writing this blog). So as you can see from the metal you choose to set your diamond in we have a variation of £500. But what about the rest of the value?.....
.....as you may have guessed the diamond takes up the lion's share of the budget. Both the carat weight (& consequently size) of the diamond & the grade of the stone are equally as important. If a diamond is relatively colourless it would cost far more than a diamond that is a yellowy brown colour. As far as clarity goes the more visible the inclusions in the diamond are, the less the stone should cost. You can find out more about diamond grading by looking at our guide: http://ringjewellery.co.uk/diamond-grading.htm This means a 0.70ct 'D' colour, Flawless clarity diamond set in platinum could cost over £7000 more than an 0.50ct 'H' colour, 'SI2' clarity but if you saw the 2 rings side by side the differences would be subtle. TOP TIP: It is a good idea to ask for a laboratory graded diamond so you can tell the diamond has been independently graded.
The last factor that can alter the price of a diamond engagement ring is if it is a designer brand. Even when 2 diamond engagement rings have diamonds of the exact same carat, colour, clarity & metal the one from a designer shop like Tiffany or Cartier, will usually cost a lot more. That little blue or red box can sometimes add thousands to the price. Come to think of it I might give up jewellery & start selling little blue & red boxes!