How Much Should I Spend On An Engagement Ring?

How Much Should I Spend On An Engagement Ring?

Well, congratulations — you’ve either asked her to marry you or you’re about to do so. Now your concern is, how much is a diamond engagement ring going to cost?

The engagement ring represents an important romantic symbol, especially to your partner, who will be wearing the ring during your lives together, so this is an important purchase on many levels.

As a price guide, the diamond mining giant DeBeers used a clever marketing campaign that served as a starting point with the slogan ‘Can you make two months' salary last forever?’ This is just a guide. I recommend you spend as much as you can comfortably afford.

The diamond

The greater portion of your budget will be the diamond as opposed to the ring. The diamond’s value is based on its size and quality, known as the ‘Four C’s’: cut, colour, clarity and carat. I suggest you learn about the Four C’s to make an informed decision with your diamond selection.

It is my experience that most women aspire to a one-carat diamond, which can range from NZ$7,000 up to NZ$27,000 depending on the quality. If this is above your budget, half-carat diamonds range from NZ$2,000 up to NZ$5,000. Obviously, diamonds between a half-carat and one-carat size are priced accordingly.

For specific prices, you can use our Search Diamond Inventory tool to view over 35,000 loose diamonds. Prices are in NZ dollars, and all diamonds have grading certificates available to view.

The most popular diamond shape is the Round Brilliant cut, due to its pleasing shape and outstanding brilliance. The second most popular diamond shape is the square-shaped Princess cut, which is slightly less expensive than a Round Brilliant cut diamond.

The setting

Although it’s true the male partner is very much concerned with how much a diamond will cost, his partner is just as concerned about the ring design. This is understandable, as she is the one who will be wearing the ring and will be excited to show it to all her family and friends. My suggestion, if you’re not certain of the ring setting she wants, is to purchase and give her the diamond in a temporary ring setting. She will be able to try the diamond on and enjoy its beauty, although please note that it’s unsafe to wear in a temporary setting. Doing this will allow you both the romantic experience of selecting the ring of her dreams, with the diamond you could afford. The perfect win/win!

A temporary ring setting

You may know the exact ring setting she wants, or you may go through this process together. Either way, it’s important for her to have input with the ring selection. In general terms, an engagement ring will cost between NZ$1,500 and $3,000, depending on the precious metal used and whether it’s cast or hand made.

This is a wonderful and exciting time in your relationship, and I want to wish you and your partner the very best. I’m happy to assist with any questions you might have, so feel free to contact me, Dan Robinson, at