Engagement Ring Prices in 2020 - An Analysis
You’ve met the love of your life and you are ready to take the next step. Now it’s time to make that all-important purchase: the engagement ring. But just how much should a modern-day couple expect to spend on an engagement ring in 2020?
We’ll take a look at the factors that will affect the price of your engagement ring, so that you’ll be equipped to make this special purchase without overextending yourself.
Does the three month salary rule still apply?
Anyone researching engagement ring prices is bound to come across the three month rule. In short, this principle dictates that buyers should expect a ring to cost roughly the same as three months of their salary.
But these sorts of rules no longer hold water for many couples. Instead, they are interested in choosing a piece that reflects their individual love story. They might also opt to save money on their choice of stone, and spend this on their wedding or honeymoon instead.
On average, buyers in the United States now spend 4% of their annual salary on an engagement ring. So instead of the three-month rule, current trends put us closer to a two-week rule.
How do you compare prices and quality?
Prices will vary from jeweler to jeweler. The price you see is contingent on how a diamond has been graded.
The grading system was developed in the 1950s by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). This system is used to describe a diamond and measure its value in relation to four important factors: clarity, colour, cut and carat weight.
Clarity refers to the perfection of the stone. Are there any flaws? Are these clear to the eye? Colour actually refers to a lack of colour. Ideally, a diamond should be colourless. Colour is graded on a scale of D to Z, with D being the highest ranking.
Cut is ranked by how well a diamond reflects light and sparkles. The GIA cut scale ranges from excellent to poor. Finally, grading takes carat weight into account. This measures the physical weight of a diamond. Generally speaking, a heavier stone will have greater value. But this is strongly influenced by the cut, clarity and colour of the stone.
You’ll want to ensure that your chosen piece comes with a grading certificate for a reputable organisation. Top prize goes to pieces graded by the GIA.
Price per carat
But what does that hard-earned cash equate to? Well, a one carat diamond costs an average of $5,500. This is a bit of a stretch for most young buyers, who set out with an average budget of between $1,000 and $5,000.
But some cuts of diamond, such as the princess cut, are closer to the natural shape of the stone. This means that there is less wastage during the cutting process. This is one of the reasons princess cut stones present great value for money.
The same applies to step cut stones such as the emerald. But this competitive price-tag comes with an important caveat. The emerald cut does not hide blemishes in the stone like the princess cut does. This means you might need to pay in more for a stone with better clarity, and a higher colour grade.
So remember, a lot of factors go into the pricing of an engagement ring. Think about the elements that are most important to you when making your selection.