Engagement Ring

How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring? The Question Dividing Couples

Engagement rings are where love, commitment, and the eternal battle to keep your wallet happy collide. For many men, dropping a knee can already be overwhelming, and searching for the perfect rock to dazzle their future spouse (and her Instagram followers) can skyrocket anxiety levels. Add the age-old conundrum of “how much to spend” to the mix, and suddenly, a life of monastic celibacy doesn’t seem so far-fetched. Okay, perhaps I’m projecting a bit, but I’m sure the boys can relate.

Recently, we hit the streets to unravel this dilemma, asking Australians, “How much should an engagement ring cost?” The responses we received were passionate and varied, to put it mildly. Due to the virality and interest on social media, I’ve decided to delve deeper by launching an (un)official investigation with the help of experts to guide you on your ring-hunting journey.

@manofmany Should’ve put a ring on it 💍 But what if he couldn’t afford it? 😮‍💨 #engagement #engagementring #proposal #weddingtok ♬ original sound – nia / noah &lt3

What Australians Said About Engagement Ring Prices

Based on my research in the field (see video above), it’s safe to say that Australia is a land of divided opinions. The rough consensus from the girls seemed to orbit around the $10,000 mark, with a couple of cheeky devils admitting “twenty grand” is reasonable. One of our lovely interviewees also claimed that 1/4 of a yearly salary was sufficient, which is pretty wild no matter your income. As you’d expect, the comment section became a battleground of unfiltered truth bombs, with the frugality squad out in full force.

The top comment, delivered with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer, declared that some of these ladies were demanding too much bling, proclaiming, “If he spends over $1000, imma be mad.” Preach, sister. Another chimed in with, “Anything over $1k is too much, in my opinion.” To be fair to the girls interviewed, a 2022 report by the Australian wedding industry claimed that the average cost of an engagement ring in the country was $5,367.

A budget-savvy commenter proudly boasted about their engagement ring, which cost less than $800 (cue applause). They questioned why anyone would want such an expensive piece, boldly stating, “ITS JUST A RING.” Another suggested a more reasonable $3,000 budget, dismissing anything in the range of 10 to 20 grand as straight-up insanity. Then, in response to the 1/4 salary claim, one big six-figure baller named Graham remarked, “So I’m expected to drop 30K”. Flex much, Graham.

If you want to see how much the lads think they should fork out for the ring, check out our follow-up TikTok video below.

@manofmany Replying to @Man of Many Here’s how much the lads think they should fork out for THE ring 💎 #engagementring #weddingtok #relationships #diamondring ♬ original sound – ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

Buying an Engagement Ring in 2023: A Complete Guide

Whether you think engagement rings are a critical component of a proposal or a complete scam concocted by the diamond industry, the reality is that most of you are going to be heading to the jeweller before “dropping knee”. We’ve enlisted the help of some professionals to outline everything you need to know before making the purchase and ensure she says “yes”, no matter the budget.

How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?

Don’t let reality TV and the Kardashians fool you into dropping your net worth on a diamond. As we mentioned above, the average price of an engagement ring is roughly $5k and based on the comment section of our videos, that’s more than enough to get the job done.

Nick Dracakis, from Dracakis Jewellers, encourages his clients to “consider their own personal financial situation and preferences” before pulling the trigger. In addition, he warns that any “simple adjustment to the centre diamond size, shape, clarity or tweak to the design can have a huge impact on the final cost.”

Factors that Influence the Cost of an Engagement Ring: ‘The Four C’s’

The more I research, the more I realise that buying an engagement ring is all about communication, similar to a relationship. Finding out what your partner wants is essential, as this will impact the overall price tag. According to Fotina Dracakis, the cost of an engagement ring depends on “several factors, such as the choice of metal, gemstone, and the complexity of the design”.

What I found most helpful was Dracakis’ outlining of the Four C’s when considering what ring to buy. The Four C’s that greatly affect the price of a diamond are – carat, cut, clarity and colour. Fotina says it’s crucial to prioritise what matters most to you in your budget and adds, “Some clients will prefer a large centre stone but are happy to compromise on the colour & clarity of the diamond.”

Over the years, the engagement ring market has become more diverse, with a wider range of styles and options. While that can seem like a good thing for buyers, it can also lead to paralysis by analysis. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the biggest trends in the engagement ring world.

Vintage

Much like the fashion world, there’s been a surge in vintage-inspired ring designs. The team at Dracakis notes that many couples are drawn to the “romance of vintage-style rings” featuring intricate details like diamond halos and unique gemstone cuts. Additionally, rose gold is on the rise, adding a romantic and warm touch to engagement rings.

Coloured Gemstones

One notable trend they’ve observed is the increased interest in coloured gemstones as centre stones, such as sapphires, emeralds, and even coloured diamonds. These gemstones add a “pop of colour and individuality” to the ring, making it truly unique.

Personalisation

Customisation and personalisation is a beautiful way to make an engagement ring even more special. You could consider “engraving a meaningful message or date inside the band or adding unique accents like birthstones or custom designs” that reflect your shared experiences.

Common Misconceptions

One common misconception is that the size of the diamond is the most crucial factor. Nick Dracakis says that people often start the process of shopping for an engagement ring thinking, “I must buy a 1ct or 2ct or 3ct diamond, but in reality, it’s all about finding a ring that symbolises your love and commitment”. He adds that quality and personal significance matter far more than diamond size alone.

Engagement Ring
Tear Cut Diamond Ring | Image: Hilotherm

As you embark on the journey of balancing love and budget, remember that while the allure of a dazzling diamond is undeniable, it’s equally important to consider your financial circumstances and life goals together. Good luck.

Sam Mangioni
Journalist - Entertainment, Culture & Lifestyle

Sam Mangioni

Sam Mangioni is an experienced content producer and the current Entertainment, Culture & Lifestyle Journalist for Man of Many. With an extensive background in digital content production and news, Sam specialises in delivering timely, accurate and witty assessments of current events. Prior to working for Man of Many, Sam spent three years at Southern Cross Austereo where he served as a Content Producer and News Reporter for the flagship Triple M Breakfast Program. The Sydney-based reporter completed a Bachelor of Commerce from Macquarie University Majoring in Marketing in 2014. Sam's work has also featured in Fight News Australia.