To ring or not to ring? The new engagement trends of the UK


Did you know:

  • Just under 17 million Brits proposed or were proposed to in the last year, but only attained the ring after the proposal

  • Nearly 2 in 5 (37%) Brits picked their own engagement ring

  • The average cost engaged Brits spent/will spend on an engagement ring is almost £1,650.00

With wedding season coming to an end along with the warm summer evenings, the attention of the nation turns to hot chocolates, snow covered hills and glittering baubles. Being such a magical time of year, it comes as no surprise that Christmas is statistically the most popular time of year in which to get engaged.


With this in mind, jewellery retailer Diamond Heaven, has researched the UK’s engagement traditions; discovering whether the classical customs have remained constant over the years or changed and modernised with the times.

Considering that it is a long standing tradition for a man to spend one month’s wage on an engagement ring, which is around £1,990 a month*, it’s interesting to note that the actual average cost of an engagement ring is around the £1,650 mark.

Furthermore, when asked how much they would spend/expect to be spent on a ring, women appeared to adhere to ‘tradition’ more, stating an average expectation of £445 more than men when asked the same question.


However when it comes to engagement ring costs, it’s London that tops the price list, with Brits either spending or being expected to spend an average of almost £4,700.00 on a ring. This is in stark contrast to the East Midlands, where the average spend or expectation of expenditure per engagement ring is just nearly £600.00.

While it’s clear to see that traditions are most definitely changing in terms of the costs of engagement rings, perhaps the biggest change in proposal customs, is in the actual ring itself, with only just under 3 in 10 (29%) Brits being proposed to with a physical ring over the last year.


Rather than being proposed to with a ring, most Brits are instead choosing to purchase their own ring, with 2 in 5 of Brits (37%) who got engaged over the last year having bought their engagement ring after the actual proposal. Rather than buying a ring before getting engaged, it appears as if the British public are favouring personalising the experience and making an occasion of it by purchasing their rings together as a couple.

The average duration of an engagement is, or should be two years according those surveyed. Considering all the time, money and planning that goes into a wedding, this seems more than sensible.

Nicholas Carter, Head of Retail & Development at Diamond Heaven says: “We see people coming in daily to buy engagement rings and it’s plain to see from their faces just how special a time it is in their lives, in light of this we decided to see what engagement traditions have changed and which have remained constant over the years. The survey has revealed some interesting results, namely that many still see the engagement ring as an integral part of the engagement, and an everlasting symbol of love!

“We believe that everyone deserves the engagement ring of their dreams, and that’s why we offer a payment plan to help those who might not be able to splash one month’s wage on a ring straight away.”

For more information please visit:

Engagement Traditions 2017

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