When it comes to buying an engagement ring, there are likely a few burning questions on your mind. While picking the perfect ring style probably tops that list, alongside it will no doubt be how much you should spend. Whether you're thinking about popping the question or are eagerly waiting for your significant other to do so, you might have discovered that there's no easy answer to the 'how much' question, with spending coming down to your individual circumstances.
But can where you live also affect how much you'll fork out for an engagement ring? In this article, we'll take a look at the states that spend the most on engagement rings and which spend the least. We'll also attempt to answer the question: how much should an engagement ring cost?
Tips from the engagement ring experts
Here at Blue Nile, we're proud to play a part in more than 20,000 proposals each year. That's a lot of love! With that number of engagement rings sold, we've discovered a thing or two about the engagement ring buying process. From how much residents in each U.S. state spend on a ring to the type of rings that are real crowd-pleasers, we've crunched some numbers to shed some light on what your family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors are spending on engagement rings.
The states that spend the most on engagement rings
Hey, big spender! While some may (very reasonably) have modest budgets when it comes to an engagement ring, others may prefer to splash serious cash on this once-in-a-lifetime occasion. We've taken a closer look at the top five states that spend the most on engagement rings.
1. Vermont – $9,329
By a landslide, Vermont comes out as the most spend-happy state when it comes to engagement rings, according to our data. Residents living among the rich New England landscapes are spending on average $9,329 to propose. Given the abundance of rustic-chic wedding venue options in the state, we wouldn't be surprised if Vermonters also topped the list for spending the most on a venue.
2. Washington D.C. – $6,810
Residents of Washington, D.C. are spending around $6,810 on average on an engagement ring, according to Blue Nile data. Our research has revealed that the most popular ring choices in this region were the French Pave Diamond Engagement Ring in Platinum (¼ ct. tw.) and the Classic Six-Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring in Platinum.
3. Nevada – $6,660
Blue Nile data has found that those living in Nevada are spending on average $6,660 on an engagement ring. Despite this, the most popular ring purchased on Blue Nile from residents of the Las Vegas state is the Classic Simple Solitaire Engagement Ring in 14k White Gold. This ring provides ultimate versatility, allowing you to choose any stone you or your partner should fancy!
4. Colorado – $6,639
The Centennial State averages a $6,639 spend on an engagement ring. Much like their neighbors in Nevada, Coloradan engagement ring buyers also most often purchased the Classic Simple Solitaire Engagement Ring in 14k White Gold, adorning it with a center stone in a carat and shape of their choosing.
5. New Jersey – $6,631
Beautiful beaches and beautiful rings are abundant in New Jersey, where the average spend on an engagement ring from Blue Nile is $6,631. Our data has also revealed that the most popular ring choice in this state was the Petite Micropavé Diamond Engagement Ring in 14K White Gold, which comes with a stunning half-circle of petite micropavé diamonds to frame your choice of center stone.
Blue Nile's most popular big-ticket engagement rings
Getting engaged is one of the most precious moments in your life, so if you don't like the idea of holding back for this momentous occasion, don't! Here are our top three best-selling engagement rings.
Classic Pear Shaped Diamond Engagement Ring in Platinum
Average engagement ring cost with diamond: $12,364
There's something truly special about this show-stopping ring. This beautifully crafted engagement ring showcases two pear-shaped diamonds prong-set in platinum, which creates the perfect setting to complement any stone of your choosing.
The price tag on the Classic Pear Shaped Diamond Engagement Ring in Platinum is $3,790 for the setting, but the overall cost will naturally vary based on the center stone chosen. Blue Nile found that lovebirds were spending $12,364 on average for this engagement ring.
Riviera Pavé Diamond Engagement Ring in Platinum
Average engagement ring cost with diamond: $13,086
Showcasing a half-circle of breathtaking Riviera pavé-set diamonds complemented by enduring 5/8ct. platinum, the Riviera Pavé Diamond Engagement Ring in Platinum is an elegant and timeless choice and the perfect frame for any center diamond.
On average those that purchase this engagement ring from Blue Nile spend $13,086, factoring in the cost of the starring diamond. The setting cost for this ring is $2,790.
Petite Twist Diamond Engagement Ring in Platinum
Average engagement ring cost with diamond: $5,863
The Petite Twist Diamond Engagement Ring in Platinum comes with an incredible and interesting twist—literally. A row of delicate pavé-set diamonds is entwined into this petite band, providing a captivating setting for your choice of center diamond.
Blue Nile data suggests this ring is purchased hundreds of times in a year, with a wide assortment of diamonds to suit any style and budget. With this in mind, the average total spent for this setting and stone is $5,863.
The states spending the least on engagement rings
When it comes to figuring out how much to spend on an engagement ring, everyone will have their own opinion. Smart savers are more likely to spend less on a ring and more on future investments to benefit their married life. Here are the five states spending more modestly on engagement rings from the Blue Nile.
Wyoming – $3,406
When it comes to engagement rings, residents of Wyoming are spending the least, according to our data. On average, Wyomingites spend $3,406 when proposing, which is still far from modest. To put things into perspective, that's around the cost of 100 passes to Yellowstone National Park!
Alaska – $3,446
While Alaska is best known for its grand landscapes and plentiful wildlife, it's comparatively modest when it comes to engagement ring spending. The average amount Alaskans spend when popping the question is $3,446.
Nebraska – $3,584
According to Blue Nile data, Nebraskans spend on average $3,584 on engagement rings. The gorgeous ring that most Nebraska residents went for is none other than the unique Petite Twist Diamond Engagement Ring in 14k White Gold. This ring features a delicate twist of micropavé diamonds to complement any center stone.
Kansas – $3,663
Dorothy may not be in Kansas anymore, but people who are good at saving certainly are. Kansas residents spend around $3,663 on an engagement ring, according to Blue Nile data. The Petite Micropavé Diamond Engagement Ring in 14k Yellow Gold emerged as a crowd favorite in this state, likely thanks to its classic charm.
South Dakota – $3,682
While you're probably familiar with Mount Rushmore, what you may not know about South Dakota is that its residents spend on average $3,682 when purchasing an engagement ring. That's just about a thousand dollars less than what their neighbors in North Dakota are forking out.
Blue Nile's most popular budget-friendly engagement rings
With a mortgage to service, a wedding to pay for, and everything in between, spending big on an engagement ring may not be a wise move for some couples—but that shouldn't stop you from making your move. Take a page from Wyoming's book and find an engagement ring that's sure to impress without breaking the bank. Here are the most popular Blue Nile engagement rings below $3,500.
Classic Simple Solitaire Engagement Ring in 14k White Gold
Average engagement ring cost with diamond: $1,742
Not only is this ring the top affordable engagement ring on Blue Nile, but it's also the most popular in general. It tops the charts as the most-purchased ring in nine states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas.
The diamond options are endless with the Classic Simple Solitaire Engagement Ring in 14k White Gold, as its simplicity will allow for any stone of your or your partner's choosing to truly take the spotlight. Blue Nile data shows that on average $1,742 is spent on a ring with this setting, although this price naturally fluctuates with the choice of stone.
Classic Four-Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring in 14k White Gold
Average engagement ring cost with diamond: $1,912
Lovers of healthy budgets and modern simplicity need not look further than the Classic Four-Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring in 14k White Gold, with the average purchase price on Blue Nile totaling $1,912.
This ring showcases a single stone set in four white-gold prongs, drawing attention to the diamond and allowing it to dazzle. With its everlasting charm, it's no wonder this style of engagement ring is highly sought-after.
Classic Six-Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring in 14k White Gold
Average engagement ring cost with diamond: $2,099
Six-prong rings are celebrated for their ability to make a circular diamond look rounder and even bigger from a distance, which naturally makes them a popular choice for future fiancés. In fact, In Alabama and Missouri, the Classic Six-Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring in 14k White Gold is the top choice, according to Blue Nile data.
On average, those that purchased this ring for their loved ones spent $2,099, although this figure can change drastically depending on the diamond it features.
How much you should really spend on an engagement ring
How much do engagement rings cost? This is a question as old as time— yet it remains mostly unanswered. This is because there is no right answer, as an engagement ring can vary from $8 to $8,000 to $8,000,000 (we're looking at you, Elizabeth Taylor).
According to our data, the U.S. state average engagement ring spend is $5,839, but given the varying populations between states, the actual national average is likely to be higher. So, given a lack of clear direction, how do you figure out how much to spend?
1. Get your finances in order
The last thing you'll want sneaking up on you are expensive bills after you've coughed up thousands of dollars on an engagement ring, so make sure you're ahead of any major payments before you go ring shopping.
2. Forget the two months rule
The 'two months rule' has been widely adopted by boyfriends (and girlfriends!) everywhere, with two months' salary heading toward the engagement ring budget. But given the majority of proposals occur in your 20s and early 30s, before you've got much to brag about, this may leave you with a budget that doesn't meet up to expectations or could leave you in serious financial trouble.
3. Have an honest conversation
Whether it's with your significant other or your partner's mom, a second opinion on how much to budget for an engagement ring will set you on the right path. If your partner isn't a jewelry person, a large rock may not be as meaningful to them as investing in your joint financial future.
4. Do your research
Online engagement ring cost tools may give you a ballpark figure on what to spend, but if you don't think it'll work for you, get a second opinion. If it's appropriate, ask your married and engaged friends how much they spent to get an idea of how much people around you set aside.
5. Respect your budget
Whilst we'd probably all like to buy the most expensive engagement ring on the market, very few of us will actually do so. If you're not already doing it, a budget spreadsheet is a great tool to help you understand just how much wiggle room you may have for expensive purchases.
Find the perfect engagement ring for you
Whether you live in bustling New York City or in rural Arkansas, deciding how much to spend on an engagement ring is the same. Where you live may have a marginal impact on your spending, but the choice really comes down to the ring that symbolizes your union and fits your budget. The good news is that sentimentality doesn't come with a set price, so whether your budget is grand or modest, your partner is sure to love your choice for its sentimental value above anything else.