How Much do I spend on an engagement ring?

Planning to pop the question soon? One of the key steps on your checklist is finding that perfect engagement ring. But here's the big question: how much should you spend? While the average price for engagement rings sits around $5,000 and wedding rings around $1,000, this is just a starting point. There are several factors to consider when figuring out the right amount for you. Your income, the type of ring setting, and the diamond's size and shape are the main drivers in determining your budget. But there's more you need to know to make the best decision for your wallet. Busting the "Two-Month Salary" Myth You might have heard the advice that an engagement ring should cost two months' worth of your salary. It's time to debunk this myth. While it's a starting point, there's no hard rule to follow. Some spend more, some spend less. Ultimately, the amount you invest in the ring is a personal choice between you and your partner. The Origin of the Myth Believe it or not, the "two-month salary" rule was actually a marketing campaign. In 1938, De Beers, a diamond company, launched a campaign to boost diamond interest. They later coined the phrase "A diamond is forever" in 1947, sparking a huge demand for diamond rings. The "two-month salary" campaign gained traction in the 1980s. Despite its origins, remember that it's not a one-size-fits-all rule. Average Cost of an Engagement Ring In 2020, the national average for an engagement ring was $5,500. But remember, this doesn't mean you have to stick to this number. It's just an average. Types of Engagement Rings Start by deciding what type of engagement ring suits you both. Researching styles like classic, modern, antique, and minimalistic can help you narrow down your options. The Four C's of Diamonds Understanding the four C's – color, clarity, cut, and carat – can guide your diamond choice. Color: Diamonds vary from colorless to light brown or yellow. Less color often means higher value. Clarity: Graders assess inclusions under magnification. The clearer the diamond, the more valuable. Cut: This refers to the diamond's proportions and symmetry, affecting how it shines. Carat: Carat is the weight of the diamond. Bigger doesn't always mean better – all four C's impact value.