Diamond Articles

What’s the Average Engagement Ring Cost in the US?

March 2, 2020 - Diamond Articles
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The average engagement ring cost in the U.S. is nowhere near the two months’ salary recommended by big box jewelers and ambitious diamond merchants. In fact, according to a poll commissioned by The New York Times, two weeks’ salary comes closer to the mark. Read on to discover who spends what, how the average engagement ring cost is determined, and how any couple can make their money go further.

Get the answers to these questions:

 

What is the average engagement ring cost in the US?

It depends who you ask. An “average” ring costs at least $5,000 but under $8,000.

On the low end: according to a survey of 18,000 newly married couples done by WeddingWire.com, the average engagement ring costs $5,000.

On the upper end: a survey of 800 couples done by Brides magazine pegged the cost at $7,829, up from $5,023 the previous year (and $6,351 the year before that).

On average: a survey by TheKnot.com put the national average cost of an engagement ring at $5,900.

But it also depends on where the groom-to-be lives. The cost can vary over $2,000 from one end of the country to the other. In the Mid-Atlantic states, for example, the cost of the average engagement ring runs highest: $7,500. Followed by New England at $6,900, the Southwest at $5,600, the West at $5,500, the Southeast at $5,400 and the Midwest at $5,300.

Within those regions, prices vary still more. Yet another survey (published on Business Insider), ranked engagement ring cost by state and found that men in South Dakota are the most budget-minded  ($3,005), followed by Maine ($3,184). While the biggest spenders came from California ($9,482), and Washington ($10,109).

Men in Washington spend the most on engagement ringsWHAT DETERMINES THE PRICE OF AN ENGAGEMENT RING?

The main cost of any engagement ring is the center stone and, in the U.S, that typically means a diamond. To understand how and why diamonds are priced the way they are, you should begin by understanding the 4 Cs: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. Here, the most reliable source about any diamond is a certification by the GIA. The Gemological Institute of America, is the most trusted diamond grading system in the industry.

So what are the 4 Cs?

Cut refers to the shape of the diamond: cushion, round, emerald, pear, etc. But it also refers to choices that a skilled stone-cutter made to enhance the diamond’s best qualities and minimize its imperfections.

The GIA uses seven criteria to evaluate a diamond’s cut. The most important three being brightness, fire, and scintillation. On that basis, the GIA then grades the cut on a scale that ranges from excellent to poor. However, don’t be misled by a “good” classification as diamonds categorized as “fair” or “good” can actually be in the bottom third of quality.

Color is actually considered a negative quality. Unless the stone is a “fancy” diamond with a strong color like canary, blue, green, or pink. Ideally, a diamond will be completely colorless but keep in mind that there’s no such thing as an A+ stone.

In fact, a D is the highest grade a diamond can get with the GIA grading system. From there, the GIA system goes all the way down the alphabet to Z. Z is a designation saved for muddy-looking stones. For engagement rings, you’ll find that most center stones will have a grade of K or higher.

average engagement ring cost

Clarity grade refers to any imperfections in your stone. Particularly if those flaws are apparent to the naked eye. Here, GIA grades range from “flawless” to “included.”

Ideally, a diamond should be crystal clear. However you’ll find beautiful engagement rings with GIA grades like “VVS1”, which translates to a “very, very slightly included stone”. This grade means that even a trained eye will have trouble finding the stone’s flaws under the 10x magnification of a jeweler’s loupe.

Carat Weight seems easy to understand. But, like so much else about pricing diamonds, it can be tricky for the nonprofessional. For example, a stone with a higher carat weight won’t necessarily cost more. A big stone that doesn’t rank high for cut, color, and clarity may cost much less than a flawless one-carat diamond.

Where can I buy an engagement ring for the best price?

Until recently, options for a well-priced engagement options were limited to consignment shops and auctions. Then, a few years ago, some brave souls began buying lab-grown diamonds, despite their fluctuating value and energy cost. However, if you want the most ecologically and economically sound choice, you now have the option of buying a pre-owned diamond ring.

Gemma, our partner site, offers a full range of pre-owned engagement rings. Shop top brands such as Cartier, Harry Winston, Tiffany & Co., and Vera Wang, at up to 78 percent off retail. Each piece has been authenticated by our team of luxury jewelry experts.

Gemma also offers the option of letting you create your own diamond engagement ring. Choose one of the site’s GIA certified loose diamonds then pair it with the setting of your choice to create a unique engagement ring at the best price.

Likewise, when it’s time to choose wedding rings, browse Gemma’s selection of plain or gem-set rings. Shop a curated collection that ranges from classic platinum bands to Cartier Love Rings set with diamonds.

How can I afford an engagement ring?

Now that you know engagement ring prices and how to save money by buying diamond rings for up to 78 percent off retail, you’re probably ready to start shopping. That usually means assessing your financial situation and deciding how much to spend on an engagement ring.

The easiest way to finance that new ring? Instead of using credits cards and getting in to doubt, why not trade in any unwanted luxury pieces. Sell any unwanted jewelry, luxury bags, or watches for cash or store credit. Whether it was an inheritance, an unwanted gift, a souvenir from a prior relationship, or a piece that’s simply no longer the right size or style.

That’s where we come in. As the world’s preeminent online buyers of diamonds, fine jewelry, watches, and luxury handbags, WP Diamonds helps you use the luxury items you no longer want to get that engagement ring.

We also give you the option of selling your luxury items for either cash or store credit at Gemma, our partner site. We’ll even give you a 10 percent increase if you opt for store credit. Best of all, the process  can take as little as 24 hours from start to finish.

Selling your diamonds, jewelry, watches, or luxury handbags to us couldn’t be easier.  Start by filling out our online form to receive a price quote from one of our experts. The opt to sell from the comfort and privacy of your own home or by making an in-person appointment to visit one of our offices. Appointments are available in New York, the UK (Birmingham and London), Hong Kong, or Tokyo.

Whichever you choose, our service is always simple, fast—and free. You can feel confident in our trust guarantee and hundreds of positive customer reviews. Find out what you can earn by clicking the button below.


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