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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 pretty much the same.

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 palladium, 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.

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

Metal TypeSize J to O, 2 to 4mm wideSize P to X, 5 to 7mm wide
Recycled 18 carat Gold$700 to $1,100$1,400 to $3,000
Recycled Platinum$800 to $2,000$1,550 to $3,500
Recycled Palladium$500 to $750$800 to $1,500

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
  • part band engraving

Image of engraved wedding rings featuring vines and leaves and flower petals around hammer set diamonds

Vines, leaves and flower petals

Image of a simple recycled 18 carat rose gold and cognac diamond stacking ring featuring wheat sheaf engraving

Wheat sheaf style engraving

Image of elaborate scroll style engraving on a matching his and hers platinum engagement and wedding ring set

Elaborate scroll style engraving on a his and hers engagement and wedding ring set

Image a wide wedding ring in recycled palladium featuring a tractor tyre engraved pattern

Tractor tyre pattern

Image of a wide recycled 18 carat yellow gold wedding ring featuring hammer set diamonds with engraved daisy flowers, stems and leaves

Daisies with diamonds at their center

Diamond price guide

Image showing a variety of coloured diamonds including yellows, pinks, whites and champagne

Image courtesy of Origin Australia – our main supplier of Argyle and other mined diamonds

Pricing your diamonds is really only something we can do once we know what design you want (colour, shape and size) and what budget you have to work with.

Generally we start with your overall budget and then subtract what the metal and manufacturing cost will be. Whatever is left will be your diamond budget. We then work to source you the best possible value combination available. (Taking into account size, clarity, colour and cut).

You can learn more about choosing diamonds here.

 
In terms of what we have to offer, you can choose from:
  • Argyle white diamonds

  • Argyle champagne and cognac diamonds

  • Argyle pink diamonds

  • Ellendale yellow diamonds

  • Australian rough diamonds (Argyle and Ellendale)

  • Recycled diamonds

  • Vintage (certified post-consumer) diamonds

  • Laboratory-grown diamonds

White diamonds

Half-carat Argyle round diamonds are available from around $4,000 depending on their quality.

For a one carat Argyle round brilliant diamond you can expect to pay upwards of $10,000 (not only because they’re bigger, but also because they’re less common and more popular).

By contrast, Laboratory-grown diamonds are usually around two-thirds the price of mainstream mined diamonds. (And around half the price of Argyle diamonds.)

Recycled modern diamonds are usually around 20 – 25% less than Argyle diamonds.

Vintage diamonds that are usually old cuts and in off-white colours start at around $1,500 for a half-carat stone.

Fancy colours

Diamonds that are not colourless (or ‘white’) – are grouped together as ‘fancy colours’.

Those at the brown end of the scale (champagne and cognac colours) are relatively common and tend to be less expensive. For instance, Argyle Cognac diamonds of various shapes start at $1,500 for a half-carat. A one carat Argyle Cognac diamond will price from $4,500.

Yellow diamonds however, are in limited supply and their prices reflect this. They are similar in price to white Argyle diamonds.

Pink diamonds are a luxury item. Pinks over a certain size are often bought as investments as (historically at least) their value rises every year*. The Argyle mine, where most of the world’s supply is found, is expected to run out sometime around 2020,  so it’s reasonable to expect the prices for pink diamonds will only increase.

(*NB: This is not intended as investment advice. It is an observation of the trending of pink diamond prices. If you are interested in diamonds and gemstones as investment vehicles, you should speak with a suitably experienced investment adviser.)

Tiny, 1mm diameter pink accent diamonds can start at $800 each. Larger, good quality pink diamonds can be on par with luxury car prices. Larger ones still can easily cost more than a house.

Please note, the prices above are a guide only

They are subject to change with currency (and other) fluctuations. Current as at 29th August, 2017 with the Australian dollar @ $US0.78

Importantly, you’re always welcome to contact us for an obligation free quote.

Pricing gemstones

As it is with diamonds, we can really only give you a meaningful indication of price once we know what it is you want and what sort of budget you have to work with.

And just as we do with our diamond ring customers, we tend to work out what the metal and manufacturing cost will be first so we can work out how much of your budget is left to spend on the gemstone/s you want.

Prices for gemstones vary wildly depending on type, size and quality.

Common gemstone varieties (like Amethyst and Aquamarine for example) are relatively inexpensive.  Likewise you might pay only tens of dollars for small, locally produced sapphires.

At the other end of the scale you can easily pay tens of thousands of dollars for larger, exotic and high quality gems like Ethiopian emeralds and genuine Russian Alexandrite.

In fact, some gemstones (like high quality natural rubies) are more expensive by weight than fine quality diamonds.

Throw lab-created gems into the mix and that makes things even more complicated.

It really is a “how long is a piece of string” question. Most of our customers spend somewhere between $1,200 and $4,000 for good quality gemstones (most often Queensland or NSW blue or parti sapphires), but we can easily source much higher quality and more expensive ethically-sourced gemstones is that’s what you’re after.

The best thing to do is contact us to discuss what you want and how that will fit into your budget.

Design consultations

Ring designs with custom ‘technical’ (or workshop) drawings are free of charge. As is (of course) our advice.

If you are looking to design something unique and need to see what the finished product will look like, we can produce a 3D, computer rendered image of the piece you’ve commissioned. 

This level of design service starts from $275 (technical drawings plus 3 rendered variations of the primary design).

Typical Technical Drawing

Technical drawing of an engagement ring featuring and Argyle white diamond and four small Argyle pink diamonds in the shoulders

For engagement and more complicated wedding or commitment rings, we produce drawings like this so you can check the proportions and other details. Click on this image to see how the ring turned out.

 
 
Example of a 3D Rendering

3D renders showing three version of a sapphire engagement ring design

3D renders are available too. Fees start from $275 – which we will credit back to your purchase when you decide to go ahead.

Other services

Valuations

Valuations aren’t essential, but they’re very useful for insurance purposes so you have an independent record of the replacement value of your jewellery piece.

Sadly, over the years, several of our customers have lost their rings – one even destroyed hers in a push bike accident – so insurance is a good idea (it may simply be a matter of adding specific items to your home and contents policy).

Independent valuations are $70 per piece (inc. GST).

Postage and transit insurance
Australia Post, postage and transit insurance for handmade rings is free of charge within Australia. If you prefer a courier, charges can apply.
 
Pick up is available for Brisbane residents by appointment.
 
We do not post outside of Australia unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Ring boxes
Image of handcrafted sustainable wooden ring box laser etched with Ethical Jewellery Australia's logo

Presentation box included in our price

All rings or ring sets come with a beautiful, sustainable timber ring box.

Pendants and other significant pieces of jewellery get a timber presentation box too!

Want to get started?

To get the design and quoting process underway, feel free to email us (preferred) or give us a call at 07 3369 2596.

But if you’re not quite ready for that, you might like to download a copy of our Engagement Ring Design Guide.