When it comes to buying an engagement ring, there are a few things that men typically take into account. Here’s what the average engagement ring costs, how big it is, and how many carats it has. Plus, find out the most popular clarity, cut, and color for diamonds.
Based on the national averages of diamond engagement ring purchases, the average specifications for an engagement ring are:
- Cost: $4,000 to $8,500
- Carat Weight: .09 carats to 1.5 carats
- Clarity: SI1 (slightly included) to VS1 (very slightly included)
- Cut: Very Good to Ideal
- Color: I-H-G
- Ring Setting: Solitare
- Band Metal: White Gold, 18K Gold, and Platinum
The Average Cost for a Diamond Engagement Ring
When it comes to getting engaged, one of the biggest questions people have is how much they should spend on an engagement ring.
The average cost of an engagement ring in the United States is $5,900.
However, this number can vary greatly depending on the quality of the diamond, the type of metal used for the band, and whether or not the ring is custom made or a designer brand.
If you were to pick the average engagement ring with average ratings in every grading category (see below for exact specs) the price should fall around $4,000 to $8,500.
Here’s How Much to Spend on an Engagement Ring
A lot of people have been asking me how much they should spend on an engagement ring. Everywhere you read it says two months’ salary, but is that really necessary?
If you are in your twenties and just starting out, you may not want to spend your entire savings on a ring.
On the other hand, if you are older and have been in your career for a while, spending two months salary might not be a big deal.
Personally, I think the two months salary guideline is outdated and kind of unrealistic. Instead, I would say to spend what you feel comfortable spending.
If you want to stay around the average, then spending $5,900 on an engagement ring is a good place to start.
If you want to go cheaper, then you can look for sales or purchase a ring with lower quality specs. You can always upgrade the ring with a bigger diamond later on down the road.
Don’t let diamond marketers or all those misleading finance blog posts dictate how much you spend on an engagement ring. It’s your money and you should feel comfortable with the price tag.
The Average Carat Size for a Diamond Engagement Ring
If you are not sure what size or carat weight to choose for your engagement ring, a safe number to look for is around 1.0 carats.
This Is the Average Engagement Ring Carat Size Right Now
The average engagement ring size is 1.42 carats. The average total carat weight for an engagement ring is between .90 to 1.5 carats. Only 20% of couples choose a ring that is over 2.0 carats.
Keep in mind also that carat weight is not the most important thing when it comes to an engagement ring and determining its value. The cut grade is actually what will affect the diamonds sparkle and fire the most, not its size.
So, if you are on a budget and can’t afford a 1.5 carat ring, don’t worry. You can always get a smaller diamond that is better cut (explained below) and it will look more beautiful than a bigger stone that is poorly cut.
The Average Shape of a Diamond Engagement Ring
Diamond engagement rings come in all shapes and sizes, but did you know that the most popular shape is actually the round brilliant cut?
Yes, on average most engagement rings feature a round brilliant cut diamond. This shape has been popular for many years and is loved for its symmetry and ability to disperse light (or sparkle).
Other popular shapes for engagement rings include princess cut, cushion cut, oval, asscher, emerald, and marquise.
No matter what shape you choose for your ring, make sure that the diamond is well cut. A poorly cut diamond will not sparkle as much as a well-cut one (see below), no matter what its shape.
READ MORE >> The 13 Most Popular Engagement Ring Shapes
The Average Clarity of a Diamond Engagement Ring
The average clarity of a diamond engagement ring is VS2. So, a great place to start is with SI1 Clarity grades which stands for slightly included, then work your way up to VS Clarity grades which means very slightly included. These grades are great because you will only be able to see the inclusions with magnification.
For the average person, it is really hard to tell the difference between an SI1 and VS2 diamond with the naked eye. Unless you are a trained jeweler or have a lot of experience looking at diamonds, it is unlikely that you will be able to see inclusions without magnification.
In a nutshell, diamond clarity refers to the presence of blemishes or inclusions on or within the stone. The fewer and smaller the blemishes, the higher the clarity grade will be.
Honestly though, as long as you stay away from diamonds with visible inclusions, you will be fine. Just remember that the key word here is VISIBLE. So, if you can’t see them without a magnifying glass, then they really don’t matter.
The only time you should really care about clarity is if you are looking for a very large stone, over 2.0 carats. For smaller diamonds, the inclusions will be less noticeable and won’t affect the beauty of the diamond.
READ MORE >> What Is the Best Diamond Clarity to Buy?
The Average Color Grade of a Diamond Engagement Ring
The average color grade of a diamond engagement ring is H. The most popular range between G-I on the color grading scale. These diamonds could have a very slight yellow tint but it is barely noticeable.
If you are looking for a diamond with no yellow tint, then you will want to look for a stone that is graded between D-F on the color scale. However, these diamonds are very rare and will be significantly more expensive.
Keep in mind that the majority of people cannot tell the difference between a G colored diamond and a D colored diamond with the naked eye. So, unless you are looking at them side by side, it is really not something you need to worry about.
The only time you should care about color is if you are looking for a very large stone, over 2.0 carats. For smaller diamonds, the color will be less noticeable and won’t affect the beauty of the diamond.
The Average Cut Grade of a Diamond Engagement Ring
The average cut grade of a diamond engagement ring is Very Good. The most popular range is between Excellent/Ideal and Very Good
I think the main reason why the average cut grade is not excellent is because the vast majority of people are not willing to spend the extra money for an ideal cut diamond. And, I have to say that I don’t blame them.
Ideal cut diamonds are definitely more beautiful than very good cut diamonds, but they are also a lot more expensive. So, if you are on a budget, I would recommend going with a very good cut diamond.
Keep in mind that the cut grade is what affects the diamonds sparkle and fire the most, not its size. So, you don’t want to go lower than a very good cut grade.
The Average Ring Setting Style for a Diamond Engagement Ring
The most popular ring setting style for a diamond engagement ring is the solitaire. On average, it is sold the most for engagement rings followed up by the three-stone setting.
The three-stone setting is a popular choice because it is said to represent the past, present, and future of the relationship. It is also a beautiful ring setting style that can make the diamond look larger than it actually is.
If you are on a budget, I would recommend going with a solitaire ring. It has a classic style that has been around for centuries.
The solitaire setting consists of a single diamond set in the center of the ring with no other accent stones. This is a timeless and elegant style that will never go out of fashion.
READ MORE >> The 20 Most Popular Types of Ring Settings
The Average Band Metal for a Diamond Engagement Ring
The most popular band metal for a diamond engagement ring is white gold. It is followed by yellow gold and platinum.
White gold is a popular choice because it has a modern look and it goes well with all skin tones. Plus, it is less expensive than platinum and almost looks the same.
Yellow gold is a classic choice that has been around for centuries. It is a popular choice for people who want a traditional engagement ring.
Platinum is the most expensive band metal but it is also the strongest and most durable. Plus, it has a beautiful white luster that will never fade.
The average band width for a diamond engagement ring is 2.0-2.5 mm. The most popular range is between 1.5-2.0 mm. A wider band will be more noticeable but it is also more expensive.
The average band thickness for a diamond engagement ring is 1.2 mm. The most popular range is between 1.0-1.5 mm. A thicker band will be more durable but it is also more expensive.
READ MORE >> Is White Gold or Platinum Better for Engagement Rings?
All the Averages in one place.
So, there you have it. You now know the baseline averages for a diamond engagement ring so you can start shopping with a better idea of what to expect in terms of price, size, quality, and style.
Keep in mind that these are just averages and there is a wide range of prices, quality, and styles available. So, don’t feel like you have to settle for the average engagement ring.
I hope this article was helpful and if you have any questions, please feel free to email me in our contact form. I would be more than happy to help you out.