Diamond engagement rings face more scrutiny on price than any other piece of jewellery. Why is that? Because it’s often the most expensive jewellery purchase you’ve ever made, and you understandably want to get it right.
It can be tricky to figure out what budget you should set aside for this precious piece. The stakes are high to make the best choice financially and emotionally to mark such a special occasion. So let’s ask the experts! Larsen Jewellery Sydney is here to answer all your ring-shaped questions.
What can affect the price of a diamond engagement ring?
The cost of an engagement ring can be less than $1,000, right through to an ‘I could buy a yacht with this’ price point, depending on a few factors.
Engagement rings from renowned jewellery brands or designers often command higher prices due to their reputation, craftsmanship and exclusivity.
Whether you work with a jeweller on a custom engagement ring over multiple design consultations or select from their existing collection will also affect the price.
Multiple diamonds will naturally drive up the cost of a piece of jewellery, and round diamonds often clock in as the most expensive.
The material you choose for your engagement ring band also impacts its price. Silver and palladium bands present more affordable options, while gold and platinum bands will usually cost you more.
What are Australian couples spending on engagement rings?
A survey conducted by Easy Weddings projected that the average Australian couple will spend approximately $6,000 on their engagement ring in 2023.
You’ve likely heard the old adage that your engagement ring spend should be equivalent to three month’s worth of your salary. But does this stack up by today’s standards? Let’s test the notion against the real spending habits of modern Australians.
According to data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average weekly earnings for 21 to 34-year-old Australians is $1,127.60, while the average earnings for 35 to 44-year-olds is $1,503.70.
Using the 3-month rule, those in the 21 to 34-year-old age bracket should be spending a whopping $13,531. The 35 to 44-year-old bracket is on the theoretical hook for $18,044. It’s safe to say that the 3-month rule has well and truly been left behind by modern newlyweds!
What’s the best way to decide an engagement ring budget?
Pinning the price of an engagement ring to your earnings originated from a marketing strategy devised by the De Beers diamond company. The campaign marked one month’s salary as the proper amount to invest, but you should never feel pressured to spend beyond your means.
So assess what you can afford for an engagement ring purchase outside of what’s needed for your living expenses. There are lovely choices available in any price range! If you’re more price sensitive, focus your search on cost first. If you have more disposable income, you can explore the options without a hard budget going in.
How do the 4 C’s impact the price of a diamond engagement ring?
When shopping for diamonds, there’s one letter to keep in mind: C. The 4 C’s of diamonds are cut, colour, clarity and carat weight. Here’s how each of them affects the price of an engagement ring.
Does a diamond’s cut affect its price?
Cut refers to the proportions and facetting of a diamond which affects its ability to return light to the eye. Diamond cuts fall into four categories, as determined by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA): Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor.
Symmetry is a factor in determining a diamond’s cut grade. A diamond with a low symmetry grade will be more affordable than one which offers perfectly aligned facets, as this can affect its brilliance and ability to hide inclusions.
While cut does affect the price of the diamond, its impact is more limited than other factors. So unless you’re on a tight budget, don’t go for diamonds with a cut quality lower than Very Good.
What difference does colour make to the cost of a diamond?
The colour of a diamond is measured on a scale from D-Z, with diamonds graded as ‘D’ being completely colourless, and diamonds graded as ‘Z’ having strong hues. There is a strong correlation between higher-graded diamonds and price, so prepare to shell out more money for colourless diamonds or fancy colours like blue, purple, pink or red.
Fluorescence is exhibited in 25% to 35% of diamonds and refers to the way they react to UV light. For diamonds with I to M colour grades, a stronger reaction is considered desirable and will cost more. But the GIA says the opposite is true for diamonds in the D to H range. Even though their colour is most likely unaffected by their fluorescence, these diamonds often sell for less and can offer good value for money.
Does diamond clarity impact its cost?
Clarity is a way of measuring any blemishes or imperfections in a diamond on a scale from ‘Flawless’ to ‘Included’. Flawless diamonds have no visible imperfections at 10x magnification and naturally carry the splashiest price tags of any diamond.
Your beloved’s eyes probably aren’t quite that good though. In fact, it’s very difficult for the human eye to distinguish between the top tiers of diamond clarity, so keep that in mind during your shopping.
How does carat weight affect a diamond’s price?
Perhaps the most discussed aspect of any diamond is its carat weight. Simply put, the larger the diamond, the higher the price. Carat weight can present difficulties for soon-to-be-engaged shoppers. Your partner might love the idea of a higher carat weight diamond, but don’t let this get in the way of the overall aesthetic.
Everyone’s tastes may differ, but most of us aren’t rushing to put marble-sized stones on our fingers. Before buying a huge diamond for your other half, especially if it’s going to be a surprise purchase, consider whether this is a stone size they would normally wear.
What diamond engagement ring budget is right for you?
Remember that shopping for a diamond engagement ring is a deeply personal experience, with many different factors to consider alongside cost. As with any purchase, you get what you pay for, but an experienced jeweller can help by understanding your design and budget preferences so you choose an engagement ring that will delight your partner every day.
Professional jewellers like Larsen Jewellery can help you make a selection that best suits your partner’s taste and lifestyle as well as your budget. Thank you to the team for sharing their insights!