How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?

You’ve found the woman of your dreams who you know you want to spend the rest of your life with. You’re ready to make that big commitment and tie the knot. What’s more, you want to make a big demonstration of that affection and commitment with a lavish proposal. And, of course, you really want her to say yes!

There is a lot to think about when putting together the perfect proposal – finding the ideal romantic setting, deciding whether you want to declare your love in front of all your family and friends or to do so in a private setting, and the ring. Choosing an engagement ring is a major challenge for most men. After all, jewellery is not generally our forte.

Which ring should you choose? And how much should you spend? The ring you choose is something very personal, and this will depend on your fiancée. However, we can give you some advice on how much to spend.

The 2 Months’ Salary Rule Doesn’t Work Anymore

It used to be generally accepted that you should spend two months’ salary on an engagement ring. However this rule is out-dated and doesn’t work anymore. Or, rather, it could be said that it never really worked. This rule was actually created by jewellery makers De Beers in the 1980’s (the same company that came up with “A Diamond Is Forever”) as a marketing ploy. The idea of two months salary was to get consumers to spend more and buy more expensive rings, rather manipulatively trying to tie how much a man was willing to spend on a ring to how much he cared about his relationship.

How much you spend on an engagement ring is very individual and will be different for everyone. So rather than spending an arbitrary amount on the ring, you should consider your loved one’s expectations, and, above all else, how much you can afford.

How to Set Your Engagement Ring Budget

In coming up with an appropriate engagement ring budget you need to balance what your fiancée wants and expects with what you can afford to spend. There is literally no point spending a large sum of money because a marketing company tells you to if your future wife would be equally happy with something less expensive. On the other hand, if your beloved really wants a particular kind of ring you should try to give that to her, if you can afford it. Critically assess your budget based on not only your income but also regular expenses and debts you have, and keeping in mind that you’ll have other expenses coming up like a wedding and possibly a new home.

After all, arbitrarily spending a certain amount on a piece of jewellery is not important compared to being a great husband in the long term, which means being supportive, caring and emotionally available. Destroying your savings on the engagement ring will mean that you won’t have enough money to start a great life together, or will have to work so many hours to pay it off that you’re never around for your new wife!

How to Save Money When Buying an Engagement Ring

There are also a few hacks you can use to get the best of both worlds, and buy an exceptional ring within your budget. When you buy a diamond ring, the price is largely determined by the size of the diamond, though other factors like clarity and colour also affect the price. The size is measured in carats, which is the weight of the diamond: the average size of the centre stone on an engagement ring is around 1 carat, according to USA today.

Because of how diamond sales work you can save a lot by simply buying just under a carat: so buy a stone that is 0.9 carats instead of 1 carat, 1.4 carats instead of 1.5 and so on. No one will be able to tell the difference and you have a bigger, more sparkly stone for the same investment! Another tip is to not worry too much about clarity – jewellers will try to sell you a high clarity diamond which is much more expensive. However often the “flaws” in lower clarity stones are not visible to the naked eye, and if it is cut well it will sparkle the same.

What You Should Never Skimp on

According to diamond specialists DC Jewellery, you should always make sure the diamond is certified by a respected diamond certifying board. This certification will guarantee the colour, clarity, carat and cut you are buying is as advertised, and is essential so that the diamond holds its value over time.

It is also important to ensure you make an ethical purchase, and make sure that you are buying diamonds that is mined ethically. You’ve probably heard of “blood diamonds” and this problem very much still exists today, with diamonds and other precious stones mined using child labour, smuggled illegally, or funding conflicts. Again, buying a certified diamond is the best way to know where it comes from and that it is an ethical product.


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