Are you looking for the perfect engagement ring for your fiancé to be? Curious about the average engagement ring price in Canada?
The average engagement ring costs $3,500 in Canada. However, this can vary greatly, depending on the quality, size, and cut of the stone, the type of wedding band used, and where you buy the stone.
Around 64.6% of Canadians are married, according to a recent survey by Cardus Research. If you plan on joining their ranks, it’s important to budget and figure out how much you’re willing to spend on an engagement ring.
Below, I’ll outline key cost factors and offer some budgeting advice to help you make the right choice.
Average Engagement Ring Cost
Although new marriages are declining, engagement rings are still a high-ticket investment. Whether you’re looking at a diamond ring or a lower-cost alternative, many factors determine the average engagement ring cost. Some of the key determinants that come to mind are:
- Mined vs lab-grown diamonds
- Small vs large engagement ring
- Material of the wedding band
- Type of stone used
- Brand-new vs secondhand
The average engagement ring cost in Canada is $3,500, according to Weddingstats.org. Interestingly enough, the same article mentions that the perspective prices are $5,000 in the US and $2,000 in the UK.
Don’t forget to factor in additional costs, such as insurance and potential ring resizing. It’s a good idea to insure your engagement ring to protect your investment against theft, damage, or loss.
Lastly, you should also consider sales tax. Depending on the province or territory you’re ring shopping in, you may have to pay an additional 5% to 15% in GST/HST taxes.
For example, if you live in Ontario, where the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is 13% and purchase a $3,500 ring, you’d have to pay an additional $455 in sales taxes, for a total of $3,955.
How Much Should You Spend On An Engagement Ring?
Your engagement ring budget largely depends on your financial situation. I strongly believe that nobody should break the bank and hurt their (and their future spouse’s) financial future just to buy a ring.
Ultimately, the ring symbolizes your shared love and commitment, and you shouldn’t go outside of your comfortable spending range to conform to social pressure.
When setting your budget, consider your salary. A common rule of thumb is to devote three months’ worth of your gross income to an engagement ring. This is referred to as the three months salary rule.
However, the three months salary rule is only a guideline. You should evaluate your current expenses, savings, and any outstanding debt to determine a comfortable budget for the ring.
Most women would rather their partners be financially responsible when ring shopping so they can afford to pay for a wedding and a honeymoon. Experiences and memories last a lifetime; a beautiful diamond engagement ring is just the cherry on top.
- Related Reading: Maldives Vacation Cost (It’s a perfect spot for a honeymoon)
Not to be negative, but you should also consider that there are over 42,000 divorces per year. If the relationship sours, you could be left in debt, as most jewellers don’t take returns.
Are There Financing Options?
Many jewellers offer financing plans that allow you to pay for the ring with monthly payments. This can make the perfect ring more attainable by reducing what you have to pay all at once.
While financing offers a great degree of flexibility, you should still be cautious.
Interest rates can vary significantly, and the cost can quickly add up. This is especially true for longer-term payment plans. Before deciding on a jeweller, compare the interest rates and terms from various sources, including:
- Personal loans: credit unions may offer better terms than your jeweller
- Credit cards: if you’re approved for a lower-interest credit card, it may be a better option than jeweller financing
You’ll want to pay off the ring as quickly as possible to reduce your total interest payments. If you take out a personal loan or take advantage of the jeweller’s in-house financing, make sure that there aren’t any early repayment penalties.
If you go the credit card route, consider that some credit cards offer introductory benefits, such as free air miles or extra cash-back bonuses when you spend a large amount within the first few months of card ownership.
These extra rewards could be used to reduce the cost of your honeymoon vacation or could help offset the cost of the ring itself.
- Related Reading: The 10 Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards In Canada
If you have poor credit or aren’t comfortable with the high-interest rates that you’re offered, you can also consider a layaway program.
Layaway is the opposite of financing. Instead of taking out a loan to purchase the ring upfront, you’ll make steady weekly or monthly payments to the jeweller for the ring. As long as you make all the layaway payments within a certain period, the jeweller will set the ring aside so that nobody else can purchase it.
Once you’ve finished making your layaway payments, the ring is yours to take home, and you don’t owe anything more for it. Another key advantage of layaway programs is that they’re interest-free, which can save you even more money.
Of course, layaway programs take patience. If you want to propose on a special date, then you’ll need to plan accordingly to ensure all of your layaway payments are complete by the date you need the ring by.
Average Engagement Ring Cost: Considerations
Now that you know a little bit more about budgeting and saving for a wedding ring, let’s take a few minutes to discuss a few factors that determine the overall cost of the engagement ring.
The more knowledge you go into your engagement ring shopping with, the more likely you are to get a deal on a stunning ring she’ll love.
The price difference between gemstones is one of the biggest factors determining a ring’s cost. Precious gemstones like white diamond (typical for engagement rings) are far more expensive than low-cost alternatives such as moissanite.
Diamond prices are some of the highest among gemstones and can fluctuate greatly depending on the stone’s quality.
There’s also a considerable price difference between mined diamonds and lab-grown diamonds. Although a lab-grown diamond shares the same physical composition and looks identical to the naked eye, a mined diamond is rarer and thus more expensive.
Stone Quality And Cut
Within each category of stone, there are a number of quality-related factors that determine the cost of the gem. Jewellers typically refer to “the four C’s“:
- Carat weight: Carats measure the weight and density of a gemstone. Diamond retailers typically charge more for high-carat stones.
- Clarity: Gemstones are so visually attractive because they can refract light. The more clarity a diamond (or any stone) possesses, the higher its value. A stone’s clarity can often contribute to cost more than its carat weight or carat size.
- Colour: Did you know that diamonds come in different colours? White diamonds are the most popular, but diamonds can also be red, yellow, and even blue. These rare colours can drive the cost of the ring up. In some cases, colour can result in a lower-costing stone, which is the case with white sapphire – an alternative to diamond engagement rings.
- Cut: The cut and shape of a stone can significantly impact the cost of a ring. Cutting stones requires intense focus, craftsmanship, and attention to detail by the jeweller. A unique diamond shape typically comes with a higher price tag.
A ring’s carat weight typically refers to the weight of the center stone. Many engagement rings also include smaller, lower-carat stones that surround the center. Your jeweller should be able to identify the carat weight of the surrounding stones.
When comparing various wedding band materials like white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, silver, and platinum, you should consider the differences in cost, value, and overall quality.
White gold, yellow gold, and rose gold are all alloys of pure gold. They’re typically mixed with other metals to enhance durability and create a unique colour.
Rings are never made of pure gold, as the metal is too soft and malleable for long-term durability.
- Yellow gold: The most traditional choice, it retains its value over time because it has the highest pure gold content. Unfortunately, this also means that yellow gold is more susceptible to scratches due to the higher gold content.
- White gold: Made by combining gold with palladium, silver, or nickel, it is slightly lower-value than yellow gold. However, it’s more durable and scratch-resistant, which makes it one of the most popular choices.
- Rose gold: Incredibly eye-catching with its copper-red sheen. It’s created by blending gold with copper and is typically more affordable due to the lower cost of copper.
- Sterling silver: The most cost-effective wedding band material. It comprises 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals (typically copper) to strengthen the alloy. Silver is less expensive than gold, but it can tarnish and scratch more easily, meaning that you’ll need to polish it periodically.
- Platinum: Considered the most premium choice due to its rarity, durability, and hypoallergenic properties. It is approximately 30% rarer and denser than gold, making it more valuable and expensive.
Brand-New vs Secondhand Engagement Ring
If you’re shopping with local jewellers, you may come across secondhand engagement rings. These are typically discounted, making them an appealing choice for budget-conscious shoppers.
While they’re more affordable, they may also come with natural wear and tarnishing from the previous owner. They may also be harder to resize if they’ve been previously resized.
Buying a brand-new engagement ring allows more room for customization, allows you to choose between a wider range of designs, and you may also get a manufacturer’s warranty.
Alternatives To Diamonds
Those who don’t want to buy diamond engagement rings and pay the higher costs associated with high-quality diamonds may consider purchasing a diamond alternative. These offer the same clear brilliance as diamonds at a fraction of the cost.
- Moissanite: Lab-created, nearly as hard as a diamond, has a brilliant sheen, is affordable, eco-friendly, and almost as durable as a diamond.
- Cubic zirconia: Synthetic, affordable, diamond-like appearance, less durable than moissanite and susceptible to scratches. This alternative is the most affordable but offers the lowest quality.
- White sapphire: Natural gemstone that offers similar weight and durability to diamonds. However, they can tarnish over time and need to be polished more frequently.
Conclusion – Choosing The Best Engagement Ring
Today, there are virtually limitless options on the market, making it easier than ever to find a beautiful engagement ring. The average engagement ring in Canada costs $3,500, and many use the three months salary rule to determine their budget.
However, these numbers are arbitrary and depend on your financial situation, the type of ring you’re buying, and the payment options you’re looking at. Just remember to do your research, compare options from multiple jewellers, and don’t be afraid to check with online retailers.
Are you and your partner saving for your first home? If so, be sure to check out my post on the brand-new First Home Savings Account (FHSA) program that allows you to save and invest up to $40,000 in a tax-free account.