How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring in NZ?

The old rule was an engagement ring should cost two months’ salary. Clearly, these people did not have mortgages or rent to pay in Auckland. What’s expected these days? Lavish or low-cost?

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Aside from the cost, you need to consider what type of ring your future partner will want. Do they like clean modern designs, something vintage inspired, or something with all the bells and whistles? What shape diamond do they prefer? A classic round brilliant, princess cut or something a little more adventurous like a pear or marquise shaped diamond? Should you even be making these decisions unattended?

So many questions—but we have the answers. There is a wide variety of engagement rings in NZ, and we can help you choose the perfect one for your future bride.

At DOR we've made buying the perfect engagement ring stress-free. Choose from our Engagement Ring Collection, pick up a Proposal Ring or have a Custom Ring made with us. 

Are you confident you know what they will like?

Is your love the type who appreciates sparkle, or do they prefer more delicate jewellery? Knowing their taste is really the first step. Take a look in her jewellery box. If you are unsure, take advice from their friends and close family—their bestie will be stoked to be invited on a ring-shopping expedition. If you are still unsure or if you think you shouldn’t leave this to chance, then don’t pick the ring without your partner there. Propose with a DOR Proposal ring, or just propose without a ring. 

How much to spend on an engagement ring in NZ?

De Beers, famed diamond merchants, dreamed up their campaign for the two months salary rule. This is considered by many men to be the rule of thumb they have to follow. Did you know that when De Beers first came out with the slogan, it was “how can you make one month’s salary last forever?” This two month measure was totally arbitrary, and these days there is no ‘right’ amount to spend on a diamond engagement ring.

Rather than telling you how much you should spend on an engagement ring, we prefer to give you an idea of the average amount other people choose to spend, so you can make a more informed decision for yourself. No pushy salespeople here!
Budget-Conscious Price Range
For the more budget-conscious, we help many Kiwis who are looking for a truly unique made-to-order engagement ring in the range of $3,000 to $6,000, often with a much higher-quality diamond than they would otherwise get from an off-the-shelf jeweller. 
Mid Price Range
The average engagement ring spend at DOR is between $7,000 - $10,000. For this range we’re able to help clients create a one-of-a-kind ring, usually with a high grade 1.00 to 2.00 carat lab-grown diamond, or 0.50ct to 0.75ct mined diamond. 
Top-tier Price Range
For people looking for larger labs, or higher quality mined diamonds, the upper range is anywhere from $11,000 to $50,000 but we also regularly make engagement rings up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

You Choose the Price (Not Us)

Michelle Wobcke, Director at Diamonds On Richmond says “We’ve seen every kind of budget possible over the past 15 years and we’ve never tried to convince anyone to spend more than they can afford”.
At DOR, our Client Managers wont push you to spend more than you are comfortable spending, but rather will try to find you the best quality diamond(s) available for your price point. 


If you are at the budget-conscious end of the range, you may want to consider what influences the ‘starting from’ prices for our engagement rings. Our engagement rings start at around $2,900 for simple solitaires and start from around $3,500 for rings with halos or with diamonds in the band. 
For more elaborate designs with both halos as well as side stones or three-stone rings, you’re looking at starting prices of around $3,500-$4,500. 
These starting from prices make some assumptions about diamond grade and assume 9ct gold rather than platinum or higher grade gold. 
For more specific price estimates, see our Price Estimator on the product page of every engagement ring in our Collection.


The Centre Diamond
The carat weight and grade of the centre diamond has the biggest weighting on your overall ring cost. 
Side Stones and Small Diamonds
Although side stones are often nowhere near as much as your main diamond, they still contribute to the overall cost and are the next biggest contributor to cost. Small diamonds, like the ones used in a halo or as diamonds in the band, are cheaper again, but because there can be quite a lot of them (15-40 stones) per ring, can also add cost. 
Custom Design
Custom-designed engagement rings will incur a custom design fee for the additional CAD design work and rendering required. These fees can be reduced by using design elements from our existing Engagement Ring Collection, which is pretty extensive, with over one hundred different designs. 
Metal Colour
The metal colour also changes the price very slighly, with yellow gold being the lowest price metal, followed by rose gold, with white gold being the most expensive of the golds. Although white gold is a lower upfront cost than Platinum, it does require regular (yearly) rhodium plating, so many people prefer Platinum if they want that white metal look, that doesnt change colour over time.
Metal Grade
The grade of metal used also has an influence on the price. For gold, 9ct is the cheapest, followed by 14ct, with 18ct being the most expensive. Platinum is usually slightly more expensive than the 18ct gold options, but does not require the regular rhodium plating that white gold does. 
Purchase Duty Free
Travelling internationally? You can reduce the overall cost by purchasing Duty Free. Just bear in mind that you can only purchase duty-free if the traveller is the intended wearer of the ring. Learn more about purchasing jewellery duty free

Buying an engagement ring does not mean going into debt

Decide how much to spend and don’t worry about the two month salary rule. Start saving money towards the ring once you have decided to pop the question. Then, choose what you can afford, and what they will love. Don’t feel you have to spend huge amounts on a ring unless you want to.

Instead, focus on choosing the best quality diamond within your engagement ring budget. A one carat diamond on its own runs anywhere from NZ$5000 to NZ$40,000, based on the quality. The 4C’s of diamonds will affect the price dramatically; it’s not all about size.

We do offer finance (12 months interest-free) for those who prefer to pay the ring off,  we encourage people to buy within their means. However, financing is also a great option for partners wanting to keep things a surprise and hide the transaction from their joint account!

Do you know the ‘4Cs’ of diamonds?

Before you go shopping, understand the ‘4Cs’ of diamonds. They refer to the cut, clarity, colour and carat weight of a diamond.

The cut of the diamond gives it its fire and brilliance and determines how much it sparkles – a well cut diamond is like a prism, shining light through and then reflecting it back through the surface of the diamond.

Clarity refers to the inclusions in the diamond – almost every diamond will have some inclusions, but the lesser they are, the higher the quality and they are usually not noticeable to the naked eye.

Colour actually is a misnomer since what is most desired is no colour. D is the highest grade of diamond colour and the lower down the alphabet you go, the more noticeable colour will become in the stone.​​​​​​​

Carat, the fourth and best known of the ‘4Cs’, refers to the weight of a diamond. Picking a smaller diamond with better clarity rather than a bigger carat with less clarity will give you a high-quality diamond.

It is also worth knowing that there are numerous shapes that diamonds are cut into. The round brilliant cut is a universally popular choice for diamond engagement rings. The princess cut (square shaped) is next in line. Emerald cut (rectangular), cushion and oval are others that make their way onto ring fingers.


If you’re shopping for an engagement ring in Auckland, NZ and all this talk of cut, colour, clarity and carat is a bit overwhelming, then get in touch and one of our expert Client Managers can guide you through the process of choosing the right diamond(s) for you and your partner.

Diamonds on Richmond’s store in Auckland have an amazing ring selection, and all the advice and help you need to choose your fiance's diamond engagement ring. Book an appointment or give us a call on 09-3769045 and set up a time to visit. Your future wife or husband will thank you for it!


At DOR we've made buying an engagement ring stress-free. Simply choose from our Collection, start with a proposal ring or customise one of our classic designs.


We've made it easy! Browse our designs, then tailor to your price point.


The choice is yours! At DOR we offer both lab-grown and mined diamonds.


Want a surprise proposal but don't know what design to choose?


Feeling creative? Tailor any ring in our Collection to suit your individual style



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