Ethical Jewellery Australia is an online, bespoke handmade jewellery company.
We make any kind of jewellery, but specialise in engagement and wedding rings. Every piece we make is for a specific person. We source the materials (recycled metals and ethical diamonds and gemstones) as they are required and handmake the rings in Australia. This means each ring is created based on a specific set of criteria – taste, lifestyle and budget.
Often when I post pictures on social media of rings we have made, I get the question ‘how much?’ This is a question I don’t answer publicly for two reasons:
- The price paid for the ring is private information, as the rings have been custom made especially for a customer; and
- Apart from the privacy issue, there are so many variables (particularly with diamond rings) that the question is really difficult to answer and can be misleading. A similar piece may seem out of reach when the reality is, there is often a way to tweak something to fit a (realistic) budget.
The short answer to the ‘how much is an engagement ring?’ question is:
- A promise style ring could be made (in most cases) from $1300 – $2000
- Simple handmade (non-diamond) rings, such as a half bezel style with an Australian sapphire, or maybe moissanite in gold or platinum average around $2500 – $3500 depending on the detail.
- A fair trade or larger Australian sapphire ring in 18 carat white gold or platinum with diamonds and engraving would likely start at $3000
- An elaborate saw pierced and engraved setting could cost $3500 just for the metal and manufacturing. To this, you add the cost of the diamonds and gemstones.
- Halo style rings start at $3800
- A half carat solitaire (colourless diamond ring starts at $3700 for lab diamonds, $5200 for recycled and $6000 for Argyle origin diamonds.
- A one-carat lab diamond ring could cost anything from $7500 to $12000+ and a recycled from $15000 – $25000+ for anything from G Si to D IF grade.
Here’s a collection of rings under $10,000
This promise style ring is great for a low key lifestyle. Depending on the metal, you could expect to pay $1300 – $1800.
Our most popular style to date. The half-bezel is a practical and customisable design. A single stone, the non-engraved version set with an Australian sapphire, starts at $2300. Embellished with diamonds and engraving from $2600.
Keep the design simple – as in this North Queensland Yellow Sapphire in a 4-claw setting – and make the gemstone the hero. From $2800.
Choose Argyle Cognac diamonds and get more bling for your buck. From $4000. Choose a sapphire instead – from $2500.
The ever-popular halo. Set with a Queensland parti sapphire and Argyle diamonds. Create your own from $3500. Diamond haloes start at $5000 with a half-carat lab created centre.
Nature-inspired rings from $3500.
The intricate detail in this handmade, recycled platinum engagement ring makes the manufacturing cost above average. This is set with a lab diamond. Priced from $6500 if the diamond is around 3/4 of a carat (75 – 80 points). A one carat diamond of similar quality would be $10,000+.
Rings over $10,000
This is where it becomes less predictable. Usually, this would be a larger diamond or a special coloured gem. Each is priced according to their unique characteristics.
L to R (all made with recycled platinum) – vintage diamonds, Argyle origin diamonds, a lab-created blue diamond with Argyle origin diamonds, vintage diamond.
Diamond (and gemstone) pricing
Cognac and champagne diamonds usually cost less than colourless diamonds.
Yellow and colourless diamonds are similar in price.
Pink diamonds are expensive – sometimes eye-wateringly so.
Australian sapphires are usually less expensive than fair trade/fair made options. Yellow Australian sapphires are more expensive than blue, green or parti colours. White sapphires are rare and (when real) are not cheap.
Good rubies cost a lot – particularly if you want a bright and fairly clean one. You could pay $25,000+ for a gorgeous ruby in the one to two-carat range.
There are lab-created versions of many gems available at a much lower price point. Some look better than others.
On top of that, design matters. A solitaire style will cost a lot less than a halo design, or one with a cutout undercarriage or lots of little diamonds etc.
I told you it wasn’t an easy question to answer!
Why do rings cost what they cost?
There are many components to ring pricing:
- main diamond/gemstones
- accent diamonds/gemstones (if applicable)
- metal: gold (white, yellow or rose) or platinum
*as our jewellers are also setters, we usually don’t separate manufacturing and setting – however, many jewellers outsource setting so it is often treated as a separate charge.
The things that most influence the cost of a ring are the type, size and quality of the main diamond or gemstone and the metal type. The metal type is determined by both the design of the ring and the size of the finger. Click here to learn more about choosing the right metal.
The easiest way to explain metal is to use wedding ring pricing as an example.
A woman with a size I or J finger (approx 15 – 15.5mm internal diameter) looking for a 2mm platinum wedding ring is going to spend around $400 on metal, whereas a larger male with a size W finger (20.73mm diameter) looking for a 7mm wide ring could spend $2000 (depending on current metal price and the design, of course).
On top of this, you have the cost to manufacture the ring. For the same couple, the metal cost (in platinum) would be $150 and $735 respectively.
Wedding rings: A petite 2mm milgrained edge and a 7mm matte middle polished edges handmade in recycled platinum
Wedding rings are really pretty straightforward, but engagement rings have so many variables – particularly if the main gem is a diamond.
More on diamond pricing
Often I get asked the question ‘how much for a diamond ring?’ and I have to ask:
- how big do you want the main diamond to be?
- what colour diamond do you want?
- what clarity do you want for your diamond?
- do you have the ring design sorted out?
- which metal do you want?
- what’s your finger size?
Because the diamonds we sell fit specific criteria (Argyle, vintage, recycled or lab), our pool of available diamonds can be quite limited and it isn’t always possible to match every aspect of the wish list.
That’s when we need to work out what the most important aspect is. (Learn more about diamonds here.)
For some, it’s ‘whiteness’, for others, it’s size or even the values on the laboratory certificate. In the ethical sourcing world, availability isn’t like the long lists of diamonds you can find online – the seemingly endless array for sale.
We work with only a handful of suppliers and stock is limited. This sort of information can’t easily be conveyed when quickly answering the ‘how much’ question.
How to stay at the lower end of the price spectrum
Depending on the size of the main stone, moissanite or Australian sapphire in nine carat gold is where you will find your best ‘value’.
The most predictable (price wise) options would be a solitaire moissanite or Australian blue, green or parti coloured sapphire in a simple bezel or claw setting.
Pricing for the gems is standard for each shape and size – we know how long they take to make and the only variable is metal (type and quantity depending on size).
If you are looking for something that is somewhat conventional, i.e. a gem in a traditional claw or bezel setting, then these are the lowest cost options. This is where the $1800 – $2500 budget comes into play.
The only way to spend less than this is to adapt a wedding band style ring and perhaps use an accent sized diamond or gem and enhance it with some engraving.
As you can see, pricing is a very tough question to answer without clarification of many different elements. If you want a bespoke engagement ring, it’s good to have an open mind and work out what the most important feature is for you.
That way you can ensure that you use your money wisely.
Ethical Jewellery Australia is an online engagement and wedding ring specialist. Every ring is custom designed and made to order.
We take our customers through the whole process from design to sourcing and finally to manufacturing.
Likewise, we only every use ethically sourced diamonds and gemstones. You can choose from Argyle, recycled, vintage and lab-grown diamonds, Australian, US, Fair Trade, recycled and lab-grown coloured gemstones.
By the way, we offer an Australia-wide service.
If you would like to learn how to start your engagement ring design adventure, get in touch today.
If you would like to learn more about designing an engagement ring, download a copy of our free 70+ page design guide.
About the Author: Melinda Bailey