13th December 2023

How Much Should You Pay for a Diamond Engagement Ring?

A man proposing in the snow with an affordable diamond engagement ring

If you plan to get engaged, you are probably wondering how much you should spend on an engagement ring. You might have read or heard that men should spend one, two or even three months’ salary on an engagement ring. So how much should you really invest into a symbol of everlasting love?

The myth about spending one month’s salary on an engagement ring was started in the 1930s by the De Beers Diamond company, whose sales dropped significantly due to The Depression. To increase their sales, they created a marketing campaign aimed at men looking to propose, linking engagement with Diamonds and suggesting men should spend one month’s salary on a ring. Following the campaign’s success, De Beers later changed it to two months’ salary.


Should you spend two months’ wages on an engagement ring?


Not necessarily. Spend whatever you and your partner feel is the right amount, whether it’s less or more than what De Beers suggested. Just ensure you are comfortable with how much you spend and your finances don’t suffer as a result.


Remember, there are Diamond engagement rings for every budget on the market.


Start by establishing where your partner’s priorities lie. For example, would they prefer a larger Diamond even if it’s not entirely colourless or has some slight inclusions? Or would they like a smaller Diamond which is colourless or one with the best clarity, sparkle and fire?


These factors will play the most significant role in how much you will pay for an engagement ring.


They are called the Diamonds 4 Cs and stand for carat weight, colour, clarity and cut. Each of them has a significant impact on the cost.


The price will also depend on the type of Diamond.


There are three types of genuine Diamonds available on the market


  • Natural
  • Lab-grown
  • Natural Clarity Enhanced


Natural Diamonds are naturally pricier because they are rare. On the other hand, lab-grown stones are cheaper as there is a limitless supply of them. However, they are not rare, so they don’t hold value very well.

The third option is naturally a mined clarity-enhanced Diamond. They are natural Diamonds that had some of their natural inclusions, called feathers, treated to make them look less visible, giving the Diamond a better sparkle. As the treatment is non-reversible, enhanced Diamonds hold their value much better than lab-grown.

The cost will also depend on the retail environment. For example, buying a Diamond ring in a physical jewellery shop will cost more than buying one from an online retailer, as physical stores have higher running costs.


To a certain degree, the metal used for the setting will also affect the price tag.


Platinum will cost more than gold. 14-carat gold will be a little cheaper than 18-carat gold. Pure 24-carat gold is not recommended for engagement rings, as it’s a soft metal, and the Diamond could potentially get loose in the setting, especially with prong settings.


Is it possible to spend less than one month’s wage on a Diamond engagement ring?


The short answer is yes. You can find earth-mined, clarity-enhanced Diamond engagement rings starting at just £500 in our online store.