The True Value Of The Engagement RIng

Few things in life garner the same type of excited curiosity as examining a friend or relative’s brand-new engagement ring. Even those who are not usually drawn to all things glimmering still want to see the new engagement ring of a friend. It’s no wonder then that we have the expectation that the ring must be pricey to be worth showing off, a view further fuelled by celebrity engagement rings whose price tags are beyond many of our reaches! 

But the beauty of an engagement ring is not in its price tag, but in what it represents. I've teamed up with Angelic Diamonds, specialists in diamond jewellery design and manufacture, to look at the various metals and settings that contribute towards the price tag and why.

Silver, gold, and platinum

The three most popular metals for engagement rings are silver, gold, and platinum. They all have unique traits, appearances, and pricing.

Platinum is usually the more expensive of the three, as it is 30 times rarer than gold. It is so rare, in fact, that it is said that the world’s reserves would only just cover your ankles if poured into an Olympic swimming pool!

It has a white sheen, similar to silver. Its bright base also offers the perfect accompaniment to diamonds. Platinum is a hardy metal too, and it won’t tarnish like silver does.

Next up is gold, which is too soft to be sold on its own. Instead, pure gold is mixed with other metals to create not only a metal hard enough to sell but different hues and shades. The timeless romance of yellow gold is a combination of pure gold, silver, and copper. The copper element gives it its characteristic warm tone. White gold, a popular alternative to platinum, is pure gold combined with silver and palladium, or nickel, copper, and zinc. Like platinum, its hue is the perfect partner for diamonds.

Rising in popularity is pink or rose gold. The inclusion of copper gives the gold a rose-kissed pinkish-red tone. This shade can be made stronger or weaker by the amount of copper included. Rose gold was popular in Victorian times, so if you’re a fan of vintage or want something that exudes classical romance, rose gold is the way to go.

Finally, popular for its brilliant white shine and relatively cheaper cost, sterling silver is a popular choice for engagement rings. It is combined with other elements, such as copper, to improve its strength, like gold, but be aware that silver does tarnish over time.

Gemstone settings 

There are various settings available for rings, and some require more craftsmanship or more gemstones. As such, some settings are more expensive than others.

First up, the classic and most popular setting – a solitaire engagement ring, usually held in a prong setting. A single diamond sitting in a claw-clasp on a metal band, this style is hugely popular as it works well with the addition of the wedding ring later. Of course, you can get additional diamonds in this setting, such as a three-stone engagement ring style. Keeping the middle diamond larger gives off a regal, extravagant look.

A bezel setting is also popular and removes the need for prongs. It sees the diamond framed by a wrapping of metal all around its edge. Whilst more secure than prongs, this comes at the cost of the diamond’s “glittering”; there will be less light passing through the diamond as it is set in a frame of metal.

Tension set engagement rings are up next. This setting gives the appearance of a suspended diamond held between the two bars of the ring. The stone is secured by groves in the metal, the pressure of the metal band, and sometimes has a prong or bezel support. This design is increasingly popular due to its unique appearance and adds less cost to the price tag as, despite its appearance, it is less complicated to create.


The shape and cut of the diamond is next, with some shapes being a little less obvious than “oval” or “round” in their nature: 

Princess – A square-shaped appearance, with the sides cutting down into an inverted pyramid.
Cushion – A square shaped diamond with rounded edges to give it a more antique look.
Marquise – An elongated oval with sharpish tips at the top and bottom.

Though the price can vary between retailers, one US retailer noted the most expensive to least expensive shapes (at the time of this article being written): 

  • Round 
  • Marquise 
  • Heart 
  • Oval 
  • Pear 
  • Princess 
  • Cushion 

The price

Of course, celebrities can afford to be extravagant with their engagement rings; Lady Gaga’s ring reportedly cost £400,000. This matched up to Kate Middleton’s engagement ring, though both were surpassed by Catherine Zeta-Jones’ ten-carat stunner that came in at £800,000.

But there’s no need to splash out to the extreme. According to insurance company Protect Your Bubble, couples are spending 19% less on engagement rings compared to 5-10 years ago. The average spend clocks in at around £1,000, with 18% of people spending less than £500. At the end of the day, it isn’t how much the ring cost that matters, but the question that comes with it!

*PR collaboration


  1. really informative - I didn't realize platinum was quite so rare, nor did I know about rose gold being popular in Victorian times!

  2. Mine is Platinum. I didn't want a big rock stuck in the middle of my finger x

    1. I love platinum, it never changes colour and is a great metal as it's strong and doesn't give a colour cast on the diamond.

  3. This is such an interesting post - I love platinum but had no idea how rare it is. Kaz

    1. Yes it's very rare and much more expensive than gold.

  4. I didnt know that platinum was the most expensive

  5. I still remember feeling so excited going choosing my engagement ring - Just magical!

  6. Nathan is the sort of guy who likes a bargain, so I know for a fact my engagement ring would have been in the sale! LOL. He once wanted to tell me how much he'd spent on it, but I'd rather not know. After all, it's priceless to me :)

    Louise x

  7. We got engaged when we were young, so I know my engagement ring wouldn't have cost the earth. I wouldn't change it for the world though, sentimental value is far more important!