Last updated: February 29, 2024

How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring? Aussies Reveal!

Thinking of popping the question? We got the data from Australia’s biggest engagement ring study – find out much Australia spends.

How much should you spend on an engagement ring? While social media and celebrity engagements showcase massive sparklers, that’s all well and good for those with a cool $1 million to spend… what we really want to know is, how much the does the average Australian spend on an engagement ring?

We put together Australia’s Biggest Engagement Ring Survey to get all the details. We asked how much people spent on their engagement rings, which style of engagement rings are the most popular, who’s popping the question, and how happy people are with the 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 hunting down the one ring to rule them all.

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 (Well, Almost Everybody)

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.

One Cut Above The Rest – Brilliant Round

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.

The Most Popular Engagement Ring Styles

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.

Thinking of popping the question? We got the data from Australia’s biggest engagement ring study – find out much Australia spends.

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.

3 winners - solitaire, halo & centre stone engagement rings

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.

The Proposal – Who’s Asking Who

Now we’re getting to the fun details – who proposed to who, how and with what.

80% of proposals were made using the actual engagement ring, so 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.

While women surveyed proposed 10% of the time.

But most interesting, is that of everyone we talked to, 5% said the proposal was mutual.

So, with men proposing most of the time using the actual engagement ring, it seems their partners are letting them know what type of ring they’d like, and leaving it to him to plan the actual proposal.

Buying The Ring

It seems many are still buying rings the “old fashioned” way, with 84% visiting at least one jeweller, with 20% visiting four or more jewellers before deciding on the perfect ring.

What’s most interesting, is the amount spent on an engagement ring increases with the amount of research done by the purchaser. As people learn more about what goes into a quality engagement ring, they see value in spending a bit more. It could also suggest those with a larger budget want to make sure their money is well spent, and do more research.

How much do aussies spend on an engagement ring

How Much Are Australians Spending On Engagement Rings?

Let’s talk dollars.

First up, we should start with 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.

An increase from $2,579.65 about 10 years ago.

Aussies spend $2700 - more on an engagement ring than they did 10 years ago

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.

From our research, it seems the rule was originally three months until the 1930’s Depression, when it was  De Beers Diamonds who, feeling a pinch in diamond sales, suggested men scale back and spend one month worth of salary instead.

What do we think? Take it as a rough rule of thumb.

At the end of the day, these ‘rules’ for buying an engagement ring were devised generations ago, when people married younger, home ownership was more affordable, and salaries more uniform, and it shows in the numbers – 72% of people completely ignore any ‘rule’ when buying their engagement ring.

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.

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.

It sounds like we are very happy with our rings! Over 80% report they are happy or very happy with their engagement ring – 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 has become 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 higher in reality.

So – The Big Question, How Much Should You Spend?

You’ve seen the data, now you need to figure out a budget that’s right for you. We sum up our best advice to ensure you find the perfect ring, for the right price.

Find A Jeweller You Can Trust

To find the right jeweller, there’s no better review than recommendation. Ask recently engaged friends who they used. If you’re in Brisbane, book an obligation free appointment at our studio for an engagement ring consultation.

“There are no hard and fast rules anymore, dictating how much you should invest in your engagement ring,” says Ashley Portas, Diamondport founder.

“It’s very much a personal decision and there’s no shame in prioritising other financial commitments such as home ownership or travel. I’m privileged to meet all sorts of wonderful people who are ready to get married. Some guys can invest in incredible jewellery, but I’ve also been lucky enough to create beautiful diamond rings for people who weren’t sure what they could afford.”

At Diamondport, we’ve created rings at various price points; from $2,500 to $56,000. We’ve made many rings around the $5,000, $15,000 and $25,000 price-mark. Our average price for a custom made ring is around $9,200. 

At every price point, whether your budget is relatively modest or generous, Diamondport is able to create a ring that surpasses expectation, and is better value than you’d find at high street stores.

“Ash was great at listening to our requirements and delivering a superior finished product which was more cost effective than other bigger branded options.” – Customer Nicole Foyster

Don’t Go Into Massive Debt

Be realistic in your budgeting, so that you buy a beautiful diamond ring without any stress. Your partner deserves the best you can afford – not the burden of a huge credit card debt. Figure out what you can afford and stick to it. A great jeweller will find something you love without breaking the bank.

Use The Exciting Life Events Rule

At Diamondport we’re in the business of selling exquisite diamonds, and we love it. But we know there’s plenty of other exciting things happening in your life; maybe you’re buying a house, planning an engagement proposal or party, paying for an incredible wedding, travelling then starting a family. These are significant expenses that will bring you joy.

If you are debating about how much should you spend on an engagement ring, you should weigh up how much you value an engagement ring, versus all the other exciting things you are planning.

For A Superior Gemstone Buy Diamonds From A Specialist

Some jewellers will sell diamonds that appear great on paper but are a bit lacklustre in on your finger. Diamonds can tick all the GIA boxes, commanding a high price, yet have quirks that should see them discounted. In fact, we’ve written a whole eBook on the subject – and you can download it free. Hence, it’s best to find a trustworthy diamond expert with access to the highest quality stones.

Always Choose The Diamond First

Buy the best diamond you can afford and design a ring around it. Design the right ring for your budget. Complex designs cost more to create, so if you’re on a budget consider an elegant solitaire. Solitaire rings are sophisticated, timeless and chic, and their relatively simple design means they cost less to create.

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. Diamondport founder, Ashley Portas sums it up best;

“At the end of the day, we are so lucky to meet ‘the one’ and ask for their hand in marriage. Whatever amount you decide to spend on an engagement ring it’s going to be the right amount. It might be one or two months’ salary, or what you’ve managed to save. Spend what you can afford, be kind, and love them.”

Book a consultation with us today to begin creating your dream engagement ring with Brisbane’s premier engagement ring jeweller. Conveniently located in the Queen Street Mall, we’ll even organise parking, so you enjoy this special moment – finding the perfect engagement ring.

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