How much should you be spending on an engagement ring? While social media and celebrity engagements showcase massive sparklers, what we really want to know is how much the average Australian is spending on an engagement ring.
So we put together Australia’s Biggest Engagement Ring Survey to get all the details. Not only did we ask how much people spent on their engagement rings, but we also looked at which are the most popular styles of engagement rings, who’s popping the question and even how happy people are with that ring on their finger.
Take a look at all the results of our epic survey and find out how Aussies spend their time, effort and hard-earned cash on the one ring to rule them all.
The Most Popular Engagement Ring Styles
When it comes to engagement ring styles, there are so many options out there – from stunning solitaire rings to classic halo styles and custom designs.
We set out to get the low-down on just what people are buying and compare this to the most popular styles from ten years ago.
Everybody loves diamonds (nearly)
Perhaps not surprisingly, diamond engagement rings remain the most popular choice for engaged couples. We found 80% of engagement rings feature a diamond, while sapphire is the second most popular stone.
Morganite is a relative newcomer when it comes to engagement rings, but has been gaining popularity in the past two years. The results confirm this with 2% of engagement rings featuring a morganite stone.
In total, our survey recorded over 50 different stones. This just goes to show there aren’t any rules when it comes to choosing the perfect engagement ring.
Did yours make the cut?
When it comes to the style of cut, the timelessness of a brilliant round cut diamond was the clear winner, making up 47% of modern stones.
What’s interesting, however, is that this is down from 65% about 10 years ago. It goes to show that people are embracing a larger variety of stone cuts. In fact, princess cut diamonds are twice as popular now than 10 years ago.
And the survey also showed a small number of people are choosing to forgo a large central stone for a cluster of smaller stones placed together to mimic a traditional cut diamond. This is a great way to make the most of your budget and maximise the sparkle factor.
We also found people are buying larger diamonds now than they did previously. Twice as many people had bought a one-carat diamond or larger over the past two years, compared to 10 years ago.
Overall, there was an even mix of stone sizes mentioned in the survey with 55% of engagement rings containing stones between 0.5 carats and 0.90 carats. At the other end, there were 16% of engagement rings with a stone larger than 1.2 carats.
For the ring itself, our survey recorded a staggering 20 different types of metal. The three most common were white gold (49%), yellow gold (30%) and platinum (9%). Two-toned, a combination of white and yellow gold, made up 5% of rings.
Here’s are the most popular engagement rings
Drum roll, please!
When it comes to engagement ring styles, a diamond in a white gold setting was the stand out with 49% of our survey respondents choosing this combination. Diamond and yellow gold engagement rings came in second with 25% of engagement ring styles.
With both these styles being so popular, it can make it easier to narrow down your choices as you start searching for an engagement ring.
For the stone itself, the most popular design was the ‘halo’ setting, which features a large middle stone surrounded by smaller stones. This design has become more popular over the past 10 years.
A three-stone or trilogy design was the second most popular setting. This is an elegant style that pairs beautifully with a diamond wedding band for a complete look.
This setting was closely followed by the classic solitaire ring which has a single centre stone on a plain metal band. A solitaire engagement ring is a timeless design and we’re confident it’ll never go out of fashion.
Almost half of the survey respondents said ring design was the most important criteria when buying their engagement ring. Price (20%) and quality (24%) were also important considerations behind quality.
All the details on the proposal
Now we’re getting to the fun details – who proposed to who, how and with what.
Let’s start by saying that 80% of proposals were made using the actual engagement ring. On the flip side, 20% of proposals were done using a stand-in ring or no ring at all.
So who’s asking? Unsurprisingly, the overwhelming volume of proposals were made by our male respondents. Of the men we surveyed, they popped the question 85% of the time.
Of the women we surveyed, they proposed 10% of the time.
But most interesting was that of everyone we surveyed, 5% said the proposal was a mutual decision.
So with men proposing most of the time using the actual engagement ring, it seems that their partners are letting them know what type of ring they’d like, then leaving him to plan the actual proposal.
Buying the ring
It seems that many are still buying rings the ‘old fashioned’ way, with 84% visiting at least one jeweller. And 20% will visit four or more jewellers before deciding on the perfect ring.
What’s most interesting is that the amount spent on an engagement ring increases with the amount of research the purchaser does. This might mean that as people learn more about why engagement rings cost as much as they do, they see the value in spending a little more. It could also point towards those with a larger budget wanting to make sure their money is well spent and so they do more research.
So what are people spending on an engagement ring?
Now let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of this survey and talk dollars.
First up, we should start with the question of budget. Most people had a budget in mind when they set out to buy an engagement ring. Of the people who had a budget at the outset, 77% stuck to it when buying the engagement ring.
According to our survey, the average amount spent on an engagement ring in 2019 was $5,297.50. This is an increase from $2,579.65 10 years ago.
A total of 4% of survey respondents spent over $20,000 on their engagement ring and 1.5% spent over $25,000.
What about the old engagement ring salary rule?
It seems that while everybody is aware of the ‘engagement salary rule’, our survey respondents were pretty divided on what the rule actually is. We found 20% of people think the rule is to spend one month’s salary, and 70% think the rule is three month’s salary.
But what’s really interesting is that 72% of people completely ignored any ‘rule’ when buying their engagement ring.
So is there a relationship between ring cost and income?
There is a small but reliable relationship between annual income and ring cost. But as we go through the data, there are some individual cases that highlight specific outliers. Some people on low incomes save and spend more than the average while others on a higher income spend less than their peers.
And who’s really paying for the engagement ring?
It’s no longer a safe assumption that the male (or just one partner) is solely responsible for paying for the engagement ring. In our survey, both people contributed to the cost of the engagement ring 20% of the time.
This could mean a few things:
1. The engagement ring is purchased after the proposal (and we know this only happens 20% of the time).
2. Both partners discuss the engagement beforehand and put money towards the ring. And then one partner proposes at a later date.
3. Some couples decide mutually to get engaged.
What we love is that, when both partners pay for the ring together, one partner still plans the proposal 72% of the time. It goes to show that even when you’re being financially responsible, there’s still room for romance.
And a lot are protecting that investment
It seems many of you are choosing to protect your engagement ring in the event something happens to it. A total of 47% of couples take out insurance for their engagement ring, and this becomes more common the more an engagement ring is worth.
Most of all, we’re all pretty happy with our engagement rings
The great news is most people love their ring, with over 80% reporting they are happy or very happy with their engagement ring. This is true no matter how much the engagement ring cost, or the cut of the stone.
People with diamond engagement rings are 8% happier than those with another stone type. But this isn’t a significant reason not to go ahead and explore other stone types if that’s what you want.
But some people are choosing to update or upgrade.
Updating and upgrading engagement rings are becoming more common with 7% of respondents reporting they’ve updated or upgraded since marrying. Keep in mind not all survey respondents were married yet, so this percentage is likely slightly higher in reality.
Are you ready to pop the question?
If you’re thinking about popping the question then hopefully you’ve learnt a thing or two about engagement ring trends in Australia’s Biggest Engagement Ring Survey.
As well as doing your research, listen to your partner’s hints and suggestions – we can almost guarantee they’ll be dropping some. Then consider your priorities and budget to find the perfect engagement ring for you and your partner.
And remember, as long as you do your best to ensure they love it, you can’t go wrong.
Want some more insight? Book a consultation with us today to begin creating your dream engagement ring with Brisbane’s premier engagement ring jeweller. We are conveniently located in the Queen Street Mall and will organise parking for you to take the stress out of designing your engagement ring.