How Much Should You Spend On A Diamond?

how many month's of your salary should you spend?

2 Carat Round Cut Diamond

Fact: More than 85% of American ladies receive a proposal ring when their boyfriend gets on their knees to pop the question. The average size of a diamond ring is around 0.9 – 1.0 carats and costs roughly $5000 – $7000.

If you are wondering how much to spend on a diamond ring purchase, most experts will tell you to spend roughly 2-3 months of your salary. This “tradition” dates back to the early 20th century when De Beers started mass advertising campaigns to convince the public to spend their money on diamonds.

I personally don’t subscribe to the belief of a 3 months rule because I think it is ridiculous. If you equate that with the number of hours spent working to earn it, is it worth it? That’s a question only you have the answers for. In today’s society, that old benchmark set in the last century isn’t going to be a realistic figure for young couples with rising costs of living.

So don’t be misled by what the “experts” or jewelers say. They want you to spend more money to maximize their own profits. You are the expert when it comes to your own money.

Factors You Should Consider When Spending on a Diamond Ring

Budget is really the first of these as it determines everything. I don’t think it is a good idea to go into debt forever over a piece of jewelry. The key is to enjoy the process of shopping and be happy with the purchased piece of jewelry. At the same time, you don’t want to set your budget too low and get an inferior product in return.

diamonds are products of marketing

So, let’s get back to answering the question of how much to spend on a diamond. These are the main governing factors for consideration and more questions to ask yourself:

What is the purpose of your purchase? – Is it meant for a gift, an engagement ring, or something for yourself? Obviously, if it is for your significant other, the stakes involved are higher. Your reputation is on the line if societal opinion is a priority and you also want to get something that will please her.

How much do you have at your disposal to spend? – A good piece of advice that I dish to each reader who had contacted me for help is to live within your means. Is it worthwhile to go into debt for the sake of what others might think of you? If love be true, then size or type of gemstone should not count all that much.

What are your feelings governing the purchase? – You should feel good about it. This is your guide to ensure you are on the right track. If you don’t feel good, it is your wise intuition trying to tell you something. Listen.

credit card purchase to protect yourself

Are You A Big Spender?

Check in with your belief system – Do you place much value on the material or are you a more spiritual person? Does public opinion matter a lot to you?

Think long term. A huge deciding factor will be how you are going to feel about your purchase 6 months from now. Will you/her still enjoy wearing the ring? Or will the ring end up in some obscured drawer?

Think resale value. – There is very little demand for smaller stones of less than one carat. Should the need of selling your diamond arise, be prepared for the fact that you will not get a good portion of your money back.

Of course, if you are a habitually big spender, then you will not be mulling over this subject at all! You have probably already bought that diamond! If you are not, the feelings of resentment might already be arising. And this is not the way it should be.

So, How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?

It boils down to this: you should spend what you can afford and still feel happy about it. Positive energy has to be infused into the situation. Think of it as an investment and you want the “returns” to be good. A big measure of the return is the feelings of happiness associated with the purchase and how long they will last. Also, will they increase with time?

If you are not willing to spend a good amount or spending a good sum of money is not an option, then you might want to opt for a simulant or other alternative that does not break the bank. Choose something that you can afford without losing sleep over. After all, it doesn’t make sense to start your new life together in debt and the symbolic meaning behind the ring is more important than carats or color. Period.

To get more bang for your buck, I recommend shopping for an engagement ring online. Whiteflash and James Allen are 2 vendors with a vast selection of certified diamonds and have awesome features to help consumers pick the best possible diamond possible.

Related Articles

Share This Page on Social Media!


  1. April-
    December 6, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Hi, I love the round center cut diamond with tapered side baguette setting, I’ve found a .75tcw ring with a 0.65 F color vvs center diamond that I love for around 1500. It’s from a reputable seller. The same seller has a very similar ring but with 0.90 center carat weight, I think I color,and I1 clarity. Should I, in your opinion, buy the smaller carat weight because of the quality? It’s quite noticeable, the smaller carat ring diamond is absolutely beautiful,even in pictures. Is 0.65 carat too small? I believe that with the setting, both rings are approximately 6mm center. Or, I could wait a few months and buy a ring that I could design on James Allen during tax season. Any advise is gladly appreciated. Thank you

  2. Paul Gian-
    December 6, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    I’m curious to know, which reputable seller will sell a 0.65 carat VVS clarity diamond PLUS a ring setting for $1,500? Not a single reputable seller will offer you a diamond that’s been correctly graded at that price. I’m sorry to say but you are misguided and can expect to get ripped off. Without even you saying it, I can guess that the diamond is uncertified.

    Stick with James Allen, you get exactly what you paid for and give the dubious deals that the other “reputable seller” is offering you.

  3. George-
    August 15, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    I am thinking of buying a thin ring that will fit up against my wife’s Gold wedding band ring. The ring will have channel set small round diamonds (G color, VS clarity). What size stones would you recommend? What would be a estimated cost. Thank you for your help.

  4. Paul Gian-
    August 16, 2016 at 4:16 am

    It’s really up to your own preferences on how much to spend and what’s the carat size of the diamond you want.

    This article may help too:

  5. Jeff-
    October 5, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Paul- All great information here. I am looking for a 1 ctw pair of diamond earrings. Is it possible to find something in the $1000 price range? From what i see in the local retail they are in the $2000+ range. Seems like all of the stores have fixed their pricing. Especially when you hit the .5 caret for each stone. Any suggestions?

  6. Paul Gian-
    October 6, 2017 at 6:33 am

    Your budget and expectations are completely unrealistic. A single 0.5 carat diamond would set you back beyond $1000 with decent color/clarity/cut quality. So, until you can reconcile the differences between reality and what you think you can get for this amount of money, you are only wasting time looking around because what you are looking for does not exist.

Leave A Comment