Whether your significant other has already popped the question or you’re discussing marriage as the next step in your relationship, it’s never too soon to think about wedding rings.
Before heading out to your local jeweler’s, however, it’s a good idea to learn more about your ring options and how much you can expect to pay. While the lion’s share of your ring budget will go toward your engagement ring, the cost of your wedding bands should also be factored in.
So, how much should you spend on a wedding ring?
On average, couples spend roughly $1,000 for women’s bands and around $500 for men’s bands but, you may not have to spend that much to get a ring you love. Costs for wedding bands vary wildly from as little as $50 to well over $10,000, so you truly can spend as much or as little as you like.
To help you set a realistic budget for your wedding bands — and decide how and where to buy them — we’ve put together a helpful list of facts to guide you through the purchase process.
How Much Should You Spend on a Wedding Ring? The True Cost of Wedding Bands
The truth of the matter is, there is no magic number on how much you should or shouldn’t spend. The key is choosing rings you like within your budget.
Just like engagement rings, the cost of wedding bands rises with the quality of the pieces you choose. A sterling silver band, for instance, will be less costly than a white gold band encrusted with diamonds.
Let’s take a look at how much you will need to spend for different styles of wedding bands.
Women’s Wedding Bands
The most popular materials for women’s wedding bands are white gold, platinum, rose gold, yellow gold and sterling silver. Here is what you can expect to pay based on the metals you choose:
A plain silver band can cost as little as $30, making it a great option for couples on a tight budget. Even a band with a few diamonds won’t cost more than $300. If you like a lot of bling, however, you can expect to pay between $350 and $700 in most cases, although there will always be a few rings that exceed $1,000.
Here are some of our favorite sterling silver rings at different price points.
Yellow gold wedding bands start at around $50 and go up from there based on size, karat and if the band contains diamonds. A plain 14-karat gold band can cost as little as $200 while an 18-karat band ringed in diamonds can run you more than $10,000.
Need some examples? These rings will give you an idea of how much you’ll need to spend to get what you want.
Offering an antique vibe, rose gold wedding bands can cost as little as $130 or as much as $9,000. We even found a rose gold band ringed in six carats of diamonds for more than $25,000. If you have a slightly more modest budget, you can get a pretty rose gold ring with diamonds for anywhere from $500 to $3,000.
Here are four great rose gold rings for every type of budget.
A plain white gold band can run you as little as $50 or as much as $900 depending upon the karat of the ring. Add some diamonds and that cost can rise to well over $20,000. Thankfully not all white gold and diamond bands are that steep. You can get a lovely band with diamonds for as little as $200 with the average price coming in at between $600 and $1,500.
If you’re a white gold fan, here are a few rings to peruse.
While similar to white gold, platinum has a slightly cooler hue and is considered one of the most durable precious metals for jewelry. This durability translates into higher price tags both online and in-store. A plain platinum band will cost more than $200 while the average cost of bands with diamonds hits between $650 and $3,000.
If you’re interested in shelling out more for a durable wedding band, here are some of our faves.
Men’s Wedding Bands
For men, the most popular wedding band metals are white gold, platinum and yellow gold, although there are other less common choices such as stainless steel, tungsten and titanium.
Here’s a look at each type of metal and what you can expect to pay for each.
When you think of stainless steel, men’s rings probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind. It is, however, a great choice for a wedding band. Not only is it corrosion- tarnish- and scratch-free, it is also incredibly durable, not to mention inexpensive.
Men’s bands start at just $20 and run up to about $500. Here are a few slick examples.
More affordable than gold or platinum, Tungsten is more scratch resistant than any other metal, making it the perfect material for a man’s wedding band. Starting at around $125 for a plain band, tungsten rings can also sell for upward of $2,000.
Here are some of our favorite tungsten rings at different price points.
You can spend a lot or a little on a gold wedding band. Starting at as low as $45, you can also easily drop $4,000 or more. Simplicity of design and quality of gold are the main factors in price point, so, if you’re looking for a low-cost ring look for 10 karats or less.
Need some examples? These rings will give you an idea of how prices differ based on karats.
Just like with yellow gold, the price of wedding bands is directly related to the karat count of each ring as well as how plain or ornate it is. A plain white gold band can cost as little as $45 or you can pay more than $5,000 for higher quality gold and more intricate designs and embedded diamonds.
If you’re a white gold fan, these rings will give you an idea on what you’ll need to spend.
A platinum wedding band can be yours for less than $100, but you can also easily spend well over $6,000 depending upon ring width, clarity of the metal and if any diamonds or other gemstones were used. On average, you should expect to spend at least $500 for a good quality platinum ring.
Here are a few examples to give you an idea of how much to budget.
Titanium wedding bands can be had for less than $100, making them a great option for those who are short on cash or are budget-conscious. Like all other material however, the clearer the metal, the more you’ll pay for it.
Titanium is not only relatively affordable, it won’t rust or corrode and is largely scratch resistant. It is a particularly good material for a man who works with his hands or is afraid of damaging his ring. Here are some good examples of what you’ll get for your hard-earned money.
Can You Save Money Buying Wedding Bands in a Bridal Set or a Wedding Set?
A bridal set is a pair of rings — the engagement ring and women’s wedding band — that were designed to be worn together while a wedding set is an engagement ring as well as matching his and hers wedding bands.
Buying a set can be cheaper than purchasing your rings separately because jewelers can afford to offer a better deal when you buy more than one.
Let’s take a look at the four main reasons to consider buying your rings in a set.
Buying a bridal set or a wedding set rather than separate rings on different separate shopping trips is much easier and far more convenient for guys who don’t enjoy shopping. While this does mean you’ll need to discuss marriage and rings with your partner before popping the question and, likely, go shopping together, this does ensure that she’ll love her rings and you won’t have to worry about returning anything.
Bridal and wedding sets are created to match perfectly to offer a cohesive look not only on your finger but on your partner’s hand.
It also ensures your wedding band will fit well against your engagement ring. This is particularly important if you prefer your rings to be snug against each other.
Bridal and wedding sets tend to offer the best value for your money. Purchasing two or three rings at the same time usually garners you at least some savings compared to purchasing an engagement ring and then going back later to purchase wedding bands.
If you’re worried you won’t have many rings to choose from, don’t. Bridal and wedding sets offer nearly as many options as buying your rings separately. You’ll be able to choose from a wide range of precious metals, gemstones, settings and designs for a perfectly matching set that you’ll be sure to fall in love with.