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How much should you spend on an engagement ring in South Africa?

This a complicated question that many struggle with.

Here’s our advice:

You may have heard that tradition demands you spend two to three months salary on your engagement ring. Or a friend boasts (inflates?) the amount he has spent, which puts you under pressure.

Others say your engagement stone must be at least half a carat and flawless to symbolize your love. The reality is that nobody should be telling you what to spend on your engagement ring. Buying an engagement ring should be one of life’s defining experiences, pleasurable and without stress. Firstly, base your decision on how much you can afford, considering your upcoming wedding expenses. Ideally, you want to purchase a ring without financing. Thus, do the maths. Determine your fixed monthly fees such as rent, car payments, insurance, healthcare, and the minimum for food, clothing, and entertainment.

Consider your savings and monthly income (after tax) and determine what you can afford. If you need to borrow or pay with a credit card, be sure you can pay off the amount in a couple of months. Secondly, an engagement ring will be the first and most important financial decision you and your fiancé make. Have an open and honest conversation together about finances and ring expectations. Knowing how each of you feels about spending money on a diamond and jewellery, in general, is necessary. Thirdly, understand their expectations. Many women have dreamed about their proposal and ring since childhood. And she may already have a collection of Instagram pictures of her dream ring. Ultimately, you want to give her a ring that she wants. After all, she will wear it for the rest of her life. It is also good to know what shape of stone she likes and if she prefers size rather than top colour and clarity. Our educational pages provide guidelines for selecting diamond and ring styles.

Please Note:

The size of the diamond you buy does not reflect the size of your love. The time you
spend together deciding on and finding the ultimate ring is precious and provides a
life-long memory. A personalized ring is always more memorable than one off the rack. Find a designer and goldsmith you can trust, select a diamond within your budget, and have something specially made for her.

We have created dream rings for thousands of couples and know that most women
prefer a reasonably large diamond with a whitish colour and without visible
imperfections. Those with no budget restraints typically buy the largest, whitest, and
purest stone they can find. 

What if I cannot afford the ring he or she wants?

Our advice:

  • If you cannot afford it, do not buy it. Instead, wait, plan, and save until you can
    afford it. Some people will advise buying a lab-grown diamond or a diamond
    imitation (moissanite or cubic zirconia) instead.
  • Avoid imitations or lab-grown stones for an engagement ring. They have no rarity or symbolic value, demand no respect, and will never be an heirloom. Instead, buy a smaller natural diamond, ruby, or sapphire as a center stone, and embellish it with smaller, less expensive diamonds. Black or salt and pepper diamonds are less costly but still natural.
  • Remember, platinum is less expensive than 18k white gold, especially if made by CAD/CAM methods.
  • Yellow gold is less expensive than white gold, and you can compromise by choosing 14K or 9k alloys. If your fiancé loves a bulky design, why not combine silver and gold?
  • A clever design can make your diamond look more prominent.

See our blog: How to make your diamond look bigger. Whatever your favourite design, whaterever your budget, designers at Prins & Prins will guide you with expertise and understanding towards your dream ring.

Wanting to custom design your own ring? Pop us a message below