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Guide to Engagement Rings: Budget

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

In this third installment of the engagement ring series we'll be covering Budget. If you haven't read the first one you might want to start here.

For a lot of people buying an engagement ring is the first time they’re making a significant jewelry purchase. The conversation can go like this,

“What would you like?”

“Well, what does it cost?”

“That depends on what you want, we have lots of options.”

“I don’t know what I want until I can see what there is.”

Buying an engagement ring is a lot like buying a car. Just like cars, engagement rings fit into price ranges. There are the entry-level economy cars, think Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit ($12-20k), mid-range sedans ($20 – 50k), and higher-end models, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, etc.

The Toyota Camry was the most popular passenger car in 2020 according to Car and Driver. With rings it’s hard to have a “most popular” because there are so many options leading to endless permutations and combinations. (Don’t worry we won’t got back to statistics and probability math (unless you want to – check out Khan Academy for that)).

To simplify things, we’ll stick to price. The national average for engagement rings is $5,500 according to The Knot. Let’s say that’s equivalent to the above Toyota Camry or about $30,000. Plenty of rings are purchase below that going for around $2,500 and plenty more above. This engagement ring retails for about $50,000,

The average engagement ring we make is about $8,105. In car terms, that’d be about $45,000 or a Lexus IS. In ring speak that would be a “1ct diamond center stone, round cut, G color, S1 clarity, custom ring”. We’ll break down that shorthand terminology in later posts.

Once we’ve gotten this general idea we can talk about trade-offs, and this will come up a lot with the center stone as well. With cars one can look at the choice between speed and luxury. A BMW is built for speed, while a Mercedes is positioned as more comfortable and luxurious. The BMW is plenty comfortable, and the Mercedes can throw you back in your set, but there is an emphasis on one trait over others. Along with the total cost, figuring out your (and her) preferences is the key to making a decision you’ll both be happy with.

With this discussion of budget, knowing roughly where you fit on the spectrum of rings and what is important to you both is really helpful to narrowing down the choices. Made-to-order is a great budget friendly option, while custom is going to be unique and one-of-a-kind, made just for her that no one else will have.

Lab diamonds are also an important question in this discussion of budget for the cost savings. Beyond that there is a sustainability, environmentally friendly benefit. Laboratory grown is the electric car of diamonds. Electric is good for the Earth, but also has great performance benefits. If you’re looking to go from 0 to 60 in 2.6 seconds, you can buy a Porsche Taycan Turbo S for a starting price of $185,000. Or, the Tesla model S with the Plaid upgrade gets up to 60 in 1.9 seconds, and costs $129,990. That $55,010 savings also comes with a better time by .7 seconds. Lab diamonds are like that. More bang for less buck.

By looking at a ballpark budget right out of the gate we can eliminate a lot of choices, making the process less stressful and easier for you. Our goal is to help you make the most of the money you’re spending. Knowing the budget and understanding your preferences help us offer things that will match your unique taste.

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