There are two types of rings connected to a wedding: the engagement ring that kicks things off and the wedding band that’s proof the deal’s been sealed.
When sharing your big news, your perfect engagement ring is practically your co-star. So often the engagement ring plays such a central role not only in the proposal itself, but also in the sharing of the news with family members and friends alike. It attracts attention. It’s what people will see when you display your hand and excitedly wiggle your ring finger. Even if you’re not directly calling attention to it, it’s something people will ask to see or steal covert glances at.
As such, the engagement ring is typically the costlier acquisition. But what exactly determines the exact price? And about how much can you expect to spend? Here, we break it all down.
The type of diamond (or other precious stone) and its quality and size plays the most significant role in determining the price. Beyond that, cut, carat, clarity, and color all factor into the final cost.
The style you choose and how many diamonds that style holds will also influence the eventual cost. As logic leads, more stones will often increase the price, but the size of those stones may even things out and bring a three-stone ring in line with the price of a solitaire, depending on their weight.
There are several different shapes for stones—oval, cushion, heart-shaped, and emerald, to name a few—and these affect the cost of the ring.
Carat weight is a big factor in the price of an engagement ring. A one-carat stone will average a lower price than three carats. You can purchase rings that are a fraction of a carat for a fraction of the cost.
So what’s a carat? It’s the weight by which gemstones are measured. And since weight is often directly proportional to size, flashier engagement rings with bigger stones typically cost more than small, more delicate options.
For example, a quarter-carat diamond engagement ring will likely cost under $500—irregardless of band material. For a diamond engagement ring that’s larger than a quarter-carat, but still below one, you will likely pay under $1,000. For a solitaire engagement ring in the one carat size, expect to pay just shy of $2,000.
The material of the band tends to determine just how close to those caps you get. White gold is generally cheaper than yellow gold and can swing the price by a couple hundred dollars. For a two-carat diamond, the price will range between $6,000 and $9,500.
When pricing out the beautiful ring you want, remember that everything from stone size to the band material affects the price. And while you can certainly find budget-friendly rings, the good news is that the engagement ring is typically more extravagant than your future wedding bands. Knowing that this will be your costlier acquisition of the two rings may help justify spending more on your perfect engagement ring.