How Much Should You Spend On An Engagement Ring?

vintage engagement rings

It’s one of the most stressful parts when it comes to popping the question. How much should you spend on the engagement ring? We’ve all heard the myth that an engagement ring should cost the equivalent of three months of your salary – but did you know this comes from a clever marketing campaign by DeBeers? In reality, very few couples are spending that much on their engagement ring.

There’s no ‘right’ amount to spend on a vintage or modern engagement ring. While we live in a social media world, more couples are increasingly choosing to spend a smaller amount on their engagement ring to spend more on their wedding, home, or honeymoon. You still want to spend enough to buy a special ring to celebrate your commitment to each other. You can do this without breaking the bank.

At Ellibelle Jewellery, we’re committed to offering fairly priced antique and vintage engagement rings. We’re answering the question of how much you should spend on your engagement ring and why an antique ring might be the best choice for you.

How Much Does an Engagement Ring Cost?

The typical amount spent on an engagement ring in the UK varies between £1,865 and £3,100, with an average of £2,084. Couples in London spend the most on engagement rings, usually due to higher prices amongst jewellers in the capital. Shopping online can help you save money and expand your horizons with access to thousands of e-commerce stores selling modern and vintage engagement rings.

Our antique and vintage engagement rings range from £500 to £12,750, with a range of affordable rings inspired by our favourite vintage silhouettes.

What is Too Much to Spend on an Engagement Ring?

The engagement ring is the first big purchase you’ll make when getting married. Keep this in mind when setting your budget and stay within your means. There’s a vintage or modern engagement ring to suit every budget, and it’s becoming a growing trend for couples to choose more modest budgets to help spread the cost of everything involved with getting married.

You’ll want to consider the additional costs involved with buying an engagement ring, such as getting insurance. You should factor this into your budget, as insurance will typically cost you 1% to 2% of the value of the ring, which can add up if you’re splurging on a designer engagement ring.

Set a realistic budget for your engagement ring that aligns with your financial situation. You can visit different online jewellers and stores to get an idea of how much engagement rings typically cost, especially if you have a certain style in mind. If you’re planning to propose in the future, starting your research early can help you budget to pay for your engagement ring.

You’ll want to determine how important the engagement ring is and where it’ll fit in the context of how much you’ll likely spend on your wedding. If you’ve already discussed having a smaller wedding or eloping, you might choose to have a bigger budget for your engagement ring. Alternatively, if you want a more extravagant wedding, you might want to spend less on your ring.

Should You Spend Three Months of Your Salary on an Engagement Ring?

The answer to whether you should three months’ worth of your salary on a ring depends on your circumstances. It’s a common misconception that is a rule. It comes from a marketing campaign by De Beers in the 1930s suggesting that a man had to spend a month of his salary on his future wife’s ring. This has evolved into three months of their salary.

In today’s society, this rarely happens and is reflected in the average amount spent by UK couples on engagement rings. Don’t feel pressured into spending that much of your annual income on an engagement ring. You have to consider your financial circumstances, savings goals, and any debt you might have. An engagement ring is one of the biggest purchases you’ll make, but it shouldn’t break the bank.

Focus instead on finding a ring that works for your budget and reflects your future spouse’s style. You can always decide to upgrade the engagement ring in the future if your financial circumstances allow it. 

How to Save Money on Your Engagement Ring

Being on a budget doesn’t mean you’re limited when it comes to buying engagement rings. There are clever ways to save money – and be more sustainable in the process. Vintage rings are a connection to the past and an eco-friendly choice for the future.

1. Choose an Antique or Vintage Engagement Ring

An antique or vintage engagement ring is typically more affordable than a contemporary ring, as you’re not paying for sourcing the material or the design work. You can typically purchase a higher gold purity and carat weight when buying a vintage vs. modern engagement ring.

A vintage engagement ring can give you the ‘wow’ factor you want without the sticker shock of paying four figures or more for your ring. Most people have a specific style in mind, such as an aquamarine engagement ring, rather than a price they expect their partner to spend.

2. Choose a Gemstone Over a Diamond

Diamonds are forever, but gemstones are just as beautiful. Engagement rings come in every type of shape, size, and style. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you need to buy a diamond. The most popular vintage engagement rings include sapphires, emeralds, rubies, aquamarines, and opal gemstones.

These gemstones are more unique than the typical diamond and bring a sense of character and personality to your engagement ring. Vintage gemstone rings are also more affordable than their contemporary counterparts and usually better made, reflecting the high-quality craftsmanship of these bygone eras. Many of the gemstones we offer at Ellibelle Jewellery are natural gemstones, which are rare to find today due to the popularity of synthetic gems.

3. Choose a Payment Plan

You can contact us to set up a flexible payment plan for any of our engagement rings. You’ll pay a non-refundable deposit of 10-25%, depending on the value of the ring and the layaway period, with an agreed payment schedule.

Are you looking for inspiration for your engagement ring? Explore our latest finds, uploaded to the website every Sunday at 7 pm. Got a question about engagement rings? Use our contact form to get in touch and find out more about our antique and vintage engagement rings.