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Do Brits still spend three-months-worth of wages on an engagement ring? It seems this ‘unwritten rule’ is becoming a thing of the past according to the new average cost of an engagement ring…

Do you agree that an engagement ring should cost an average of three months’ worth of wages? Some says it’s been an unwritten rule for decades, and yet according to new findings on the average cost of an engagement ring in the UK, this notion may be a thing of the past.

The UK’s leading Hatton Garden jeweller, Diamonds Factory, have surveyed over 2300 people to find out a series of truths about the costs of engagement rings. This includes how much people actually spend, how much they think they should be spending, and the regions that spend the most. They’ve also identified whether age, or gender plays a part in how much you think you should be spending on a ring.

The Average Cost of an Engagement Ring in the UK

The report found people on average spend a massive £1865 on an engagement ring in the UK. While this is still a significant amount, it’s dramatically lower than the average 3 month salary in the UK – £7650.

Who Spends the Most?

As the average wage differs greatly around the country, so does the average cost of an engagement ring.

According to the survey, proposers in the South West spend the most on engagement rings, with an average total of £3784. Next is those who are from Greater London spending an average of £2335. In third, we go to Northern Ireland, who spend more than the national average, at £2272. The South East comes in next, with an average spend of £1877, followed closely by Yorkshire and the Humber with an average spend of £1769.

Surprisingly, the South West exceeds London as the place that spends the most on rings, despite Londoners typically earning the most in the country. In contrast, almost every region thinks they should be spending more than they actually are, apart from those generous west-country folk.

When it comes to attitudes to the cost of an engagement ring, it’s the men who actually think they should be spending more. Think they should spend at least £3354, while women think a ring should cost around £2760.

Is Age a Factor?

It appears so. The study shows that over 55’s are spending the most on rings despite the fact that they think it should be significantly cheaper. In contrast, Millennials feel they should spend more on a ring (around £3045, which is more than any other age group).

  • 18-24 years olds spend on average £1446, but think they should spend £2714.
  • 25-39 year olds spend on average £1911, but think they should spend £3045.
  • 40-54 year olds spend on average £1283, but think they should spend £2903.
  • 55 and overs spend on average £3610, but think they should spend £2237.

In 2018, a report from online gift shop Hipper revealed that the average Brit spent £1,042 on an engagement ring, which, at the time was 0.57 times the monthly wage and equated to roughly 12 days work / 98 hours of pay.

It was also found that partners in specific cities are more generous than others, with those in Belfast being the biggest spenders, splashing out an average of £1,567. Gloucester then follows as the second most generous city, with an average spend of £1,350.50.

At the bottom was Norwich, who apparently fork out an average of £614.10 for a ring, while for Worcester, who placed second from bottom, came in at £675.50.

Engagement ring cost

Engagement ring cost

“We believe there is more and more pressure to splash out on an engagement ring,” said a spokesperson from Hipper. “And we think the three-times-monthly wage ‘rule’, which originated from an advert in the 1970s, should be banished. Engagement rings, like wedding rings, are personal; no one can tell you how much you spend.”

Do you think three-months’ worth of wages is still a reasonable cost for an engagement ring? We want to hear from you. Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page, and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account to join in the conversation.