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What should your engagement or wedding ring budget be?

A quick guide to budgeting for handmade, ethical  rings

We’d love to be able to give you an easy reference guide to how much you should budget for handmade ethical engagement rings and wedding rings. But that’s really difficult in our kind of business because we don’t sell stock designs off-the-shelf.

Everything we make is custom made with unique designs, diamonds and gemstones so no two rings are the same. Often that means there can be a really big difference in price between two rings even though they might look very similar.

Still, we want to help you  as much as we can. So we’ve put together a bunch of examples with price ranges so you can get at least some idea of what your budget should be.

*By the way, for non-ring things like earrings, pendants, cufflinks, bracelets and other types of jewellery, the price depends entirely on the design. Contact us if you’d like us to quote something like this for you.

Engagement style rings

Engagement-style rings are the most difficult to suggest pricing for because there can be so much variation in design. Plus the cost of diamonds and gemstones can often differ by many hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on the size, number and quality.

When we quote on an engagement ring, we take three things into account:

  1. Which precious metal you want (gold, platinum or palladium*) and how much is needed to make your ring;
  2. The cost of the diamonds and/or gemstones you want to go into your design; and
  3. How much labour will be required to make your ring.

To give you some kind of starting point, the engagement rings you see in this section typically cost somewhere between $2,500 and $7,000. But you could make any one of them cost a lot more by upgrading the quality of the diamonds and gemstones.

Likewise, on some of the rings you could bring the price down a lot by substituting lab-grown diamonds or gemstones, or by using a diamond alternative like moissanite.

How much will the metal and manufacturing cost?

Generally, a simple engagement ring or average size will take around 12 hours to make. And when you add on the cost of the precious metal/s, the approximate manufacturing and metal cost of a simple ring will be as follows:

  • For 9 carat gold, start at $1,800;

  • 18 carat (white, rose or yellow) gold will start at $2,200; and

  • Platinum will start at $2,400.

For a more complicated design, add another $750 to $1,500 to allow for extra metal and more labour for things like setting more stones, saw-piercing, carving and engraving.

*A quick note about Palladium: Due to a big increase in demand from the automotive industry, the cost of palladium has surpassed platinum in the past 12 months or so (since 2018). As a result, palladium no longer offers a meaningful saving over platinum. And because platinum is a tougher metal better suited to securing valuable diamonds and gemstones and wears better day to day, we tend not to recommend palladium. 

How much should you allow for diamonds and/or gemstones?

Scroll down to check out the budgeting guides for these items.

Examples of simple ring designs

Embrace style parti sapphire solitaire ring with matching wedding ring

Embrace-style solitaire sapphire ring

Embrace-style diamond solitaire ring in recycled platinum

Embrace-style diamond solitaire ring

Four claw solitaire ring with a cushion cut diamond and round profile band with matching wedding ring

Four claw solitaire diamond ring

Six claw round diamond solitaire ring in recycled platinum

Six claw solitaire diamond ring

Examples of more complex ring designs

Ring image: Handmade engagement ring. This ring features a claw set sapphire front and centre, with white diamonds arranged in a crossover pattern on either side. The crossovers sport milgrained edges and the ring has an engraving.

Claw set sapphire with accent diamonds, milgrain and engraving

Ring image - halo style engagement ring. Central Queensland parti-coloured sapphire surrounded by Argyle diamonds. Handmade in recycled platinum by Ethical Jewellery Australia

Parti sapphire oval with Argyle diamonds halo ring

Ring Image: Round blue sapphire ring with saw-piercing and engraving - made in recycled platinum

Sapphire ring with saw-piercing and engraving – made in recycled platinum

Side view of a diamond solitaire ring with saw-pierced, engraved and milgrained undercarriage

Diamond solitaire with saw-pierced, engraved and milgrained undercarriage

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Due to the volatility of the precious metal markets and international exchange rates, all prices are subject to change without notice

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You can read more about engagement ring pricing in this blog post.

Wedding and commitment style rings

Simple half round or flat wedding or commitment bands are a lot easier to price, even with minor variations like adding a beaten finish, matte finish or wire-brush finish.

This table should give you a good guide if you know your size. (The size range J to O suits most women. The size range P to X suits most men.)

Plain Handmade Wedding Ring Price Guide

Simple wedding/commitment bands

Rings image: Handmade wedding rings. Made from recycled 18 carat yellow gold, these wedding rings feature polished finishes and half-round profiles.

Recycled 18 carat gold flat profile polished wedding rings

Ring image: Handmade wedding ring. With a simple design, this wedding ring features a polished finish and a half-round design.

Half-round profile polished palladium wedding ring

Ring image: Handmade wedding ring. Crafted from recycled 18 carat yellow gold, this simple wedding ring features a beaten texture across the band.

Recycled 18 carat yellow gold ring with a beaten texture finish

 

Fitted wedding/commitment bands

Expect to pay $200 to $350 more than a plain ring for a fitted band. For engraving, fancy shapes and diamond setting please ask for a quote.

Image of a cut out style simple wedding band fitted to a simple bezel set oval sapphire engagement ring

Cut out style fitted wedding band

Image of a gently shaped engraved and fitted wedding ring in recycled white gold

Gently shaped engraved and fitted wedding ring

Image of a fitted wedding ring made with recycled platinum, diamond set and engraved

Fitted wedding ring, diamond set and engraved

Complicated wedding/commitment bands

More elaborate wedding or commitment rings are difficult to price because there are so many variables when it comes to design and the cost of manufacturing and materials.

The rings you see below each cost several thousand dollars, yet could be made more expensive by using higher quality diamonds. Similarly they could be made less expensive by using diamond alternatives or lower cost coloured gemstones.

The best thing to do is ask us for a quote if you have something like one of these in mind.

Image of a shared-prong, half eternity style diamond ring made with recycled platinum

Shared-prong, half eternity style diamond ring

Image of a crossover-style diamond set wedding ring in recycled platinum

Crossover-style diamond set ring in recycled platinum

Image of a simple half-round polished platinum wedding band hammer set with evenly spaced white diamonds

Simple half-round polished platinum band hammer set with white diamonds

Image of a recycled 18 carat yellow gold commitment ring featuring 5 claw set white diamonds

Recycled 18 carat yellow gold ring featuring 5 claw set white diamonds

Looking for more ideas? Check out our gallery to get some inspiration.

Engraving

Engraving is often a fairly inexpensive way to add a completely unique dimension to your design.

We often suggest it to ‘bling up’ an otherwise fairly plain design and it can often totally transform a ring. Taking it from ordinary to outstanding.

Of course, we also often do simple things like include a personal message on the inside of the ring.

How much does engraving cost?
  • Prices start at around $30 for adding the date to the inside of the ring;
  • Engraving wedding rings just on the outside face starts from around $175 and varies a lot depending on the complexity of the design;
  • To engrave three sides of a ring (outside face and edges), prices start at around $450; and
  • Highly detailed and precise micro engraving (done under a microscope) is priced on application.
Within reason, the possibilities are endless …
  • words on the inside
  • fingerprints
  • symbols
  • full band engraving