How much should an engagement ring cost?

QUICK LINKS: How Much do Australians Spend on Average? | How Much Does a Custom Engagement Ring Cost? | What is the 1 Carat Diamond Worth? | What is the Cost of a Gemstone Engagement Ring? | 3 Month Salary Rule | Do you know your budget but can’t find the perfect ring? |  Tips to Consider | Custom or Retail? | The Long Term Value of Your Diamond | Safeguarding Your Diamond Engagement Ring

You’re ready to commit and have been considering the engagement ring styles you like. Now it’s time to get serious about getting your perfect ring, but how much should you invest? What should be the cost criteria for buying an engagement ring? Why are some engagement rings more expensive than others?

In this article, we’ll answer all your questions about budget, average prices, how much to spend, the desirable 1-carat diamond, jewellery insurance and more.

So, read on…

How much do Australians spend on an engagement ring on average?

In a recent blog, Australian jewellery insurance provider Q-Report has formulated an average price for engagement rings in a state by state comparison. These average figures include all types of engagement rings from retail store cast made rings to custom made engagement rings.

Interestingly, as you can see on their chart below, it appears quite a close race. For example the round diamond solitaire engagement ring with a starting average of $12,299 in Victoria and South Australia with the higher average of $13,898 for a round diamond solitaire.


How much does a custom engagement ring cost?

A handmade custom engagement ring will have a starting price of around $5,000 in Australia. It can go up to any dollar figure, depending upon your selection of diamonds and gemstones. Also, the intricacy of design and the time a jeweller spends in handmaking it will add to the cost.

For example, if you select a classic solitaire design with an 18ct white gold band, 0.75 carat oval solitaire of VS clarity and D colour, the cost can be approximately between $12,000 to $14,000. 

On the other hand, if you choose a Ceylon sapphire of 0.75 carat weight and get a halo of diamonds around it, it can cost you anywhere between $8000 to $10,000.


Protip #1: Hand-assembling and hand making are two different jewellery-making techniques.

  • Hand-assembling is when a jeweller simply puts together cast pieces. The band or the setting are made in moulds and assembled & a diamond is set into that setting. It is NOT HANDMADE and drastically differs in quality & longevity.
  • A jeweller creates a handmade ring from start to finish at his bench. Every single claw is created by hand, using the traditional rolling, hammering, and soldering techniques to create the ring design.  

Watch our master jeweller Ben Shore describing the difference between handmade & hand-assembled jewellery. 

What is the 1 carat diamond worth?

Ahh, the number one favourite of most people getting engaged, the 1 carat is a sought-after stone. It will depend on the diamond’s colour, clarity and cut quality so that it can vary anywhere from $5,000 to $35,000, but a fine quality 1 carat diamond will be around $15,000.

Protip #2: You may see retail jewellery stores selling 1 carat solitaire engagement rings for $2,000 or less. Beware! The rules of you get what you pay for definitely apply to diamonds. These 1-carat diamonds will be on the lower end of the quality spectrum, and you could expect to see tinted colour, lots of inclusions, deeply cut stones (which will make them look smaller) and even chipped diamonds.


What is the cost of a gemstone engagement ring?

The average cost of a gemstone engagement ring is approximately $8,000. Though, as with the price of all engagement rings, the cost of a gemstone engagement ring will depend on the size (carat weight), colour, cut and clarity of the gemstone. The finer the quality gemstone, the rarer and more valuable the ring will be. The lower the quality, the less it will be.

Protip #3: The majority of gemstones will be less costly than a diamond equivalent; however, there are some rare gemstones, like a natural alexandrite, that will cost more.


Should you follow the general 3-month salary rule while buying an engagement ring?

The 3-month salary rule was a guide created in the 1930s as part of a DeBeers campaign and can be used as a guide, but it is certainly not a hard and fast rule.

How much you should spend comes down to what you’re comfortable with. The most important factor is selecting something that is good quality and long-lasting.

What if you know your budget but can't find the perfect engagement ring?

If you know how much you want to spend on an engagement ring, but can’t find the perfect one, have a personalised engagement ring designed and created just for you. Many bespoke jewellers in Adelaide and across Australia have qualified ring designers to help you design what you desire.


At Bell & Brunt, we have jewellery designers, gemmologists and a jewellery workshop all under one roof. As manufacturing jewellers, we love to know our customers’ preferences before offering design advice. Our team loves to educate and guide our customers through a diamond selection process. Then, we hand sketch the ring to scale before it goes to the jeweller’s bench.

Watch our behind-the-scenes video that details our custom process.

Tips to consider while spending on an engagement ring

Quality and longevity are the most critical factors when selecting an engagement ring. All diamonds and gemstones look amazing when they are new and clean; however, once you’ve worn them for months and washed your hands 1,000 times, the difference between a high and low-quality diamond ring will be highlighted. A fine-quality diamond (D-G colour and VVS-SI1 clarity) will still remain sparkly, even when dirty.

The quality of your metal and the make of your engagement ring will also make a difference to the longevity of your ring. 18ct is a definite for an engagement ring as it will be both richer in colour and longer wearing.


Read our blog on tips to consider when buying a diamond for an engagement ring


Should you buy a custom engagement ring or an off-the-shelf retail ring?

A handmade custom engagement ring may cost you more in the initial investment, but it will be worth it in the long run. With care and maintenance, a customised ring will be worth handing down through generations.

Readymade cast mounts have less metal and more impurities and are more prone to repair and breakage. Such off-the-shelf rings are made to last for 5 to 10 years, so for a special occasion, such as an engagement ring, it can be devastating and costly to lose a diamond or to remake the ring over time due to wear & tear.


How to measure the long-term value of your diamond engagement ring?

Although diamond and gold prices have fluctuated over time, their value has continually increased, with a massive boom post-COVID. The higher the quality of the diamond and the make of your ring, the rarer it is and the more it will hold and increase its value over time. You can expect your personalised engagement ring to continue to increase in value.

How can you safeguard the long-term value of your diamond engagement ring?

There are ways that custom engagement ring buyers can ensure their ring retains and increases its value over time. Diamond ring buyers should take measures to protect their investment, just as they would any other investment.

  1. Investing in a high-quality diamond is the first step: The higher the quality of a diamond, the rarer it is, the more it is valued and increases the likelihood of it further rising over time.
  2. Buying a certified diamond is a wise idea: Having a laboratory-identified stone complete with laser engraving confirms your diamond’s quality no matter how long you have owned it.
  3. Creating a handmade customised engagement ring is smart: Your ring will be of higher quality, last longer and cost you much less in repair and maintenance over time. A handmade custom engagement ring is made with durability and longevity in mind.  
  4. Keep up with regular maintenance of your engagement ring: Ensuring your ring is assessed for any maintenance every year will keep your ring as safe, secure and valuable as possible.

Our Bell & Brunt Adelaide jewellers offer free maintenance checks for your rings.

To get your jewellery checked book a consultation below:


Get insurance on your engagement ring: It costs approximately 2-3% of the value of the engagement ring to get it insured. 

  1. For example, a $5,000 engagement ring can cost you approximately $165 per year in insurance premiums.

When it comes to jewellery insurance, there are two options.

  • You can insure your engagement ring through a jewellery-only insurance supplier.
  • Add your engagement ring to your existing home and contents policy.

Q report is an Australian jewellery insurance that provides comprehensive worldwide coverage, gives you yearly up-to-date valuations to ensure you’re covered for the correct replacement amount and allows you to return to your original jeweller or jeweller of choice.

Interested in getting a quick quote? Click here to find out more.

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