1 Engagement Ring = 3 Months of Salary?

posted in: Wedding Budget | 0

How much did you spend?

This question goes out to both the men and women. Grooms and brides alike are known for becoming obsessed with the cost of an engagement ring.

Thanks to the early marketing campaigns of DeBeers marketing, in an attempt to boost the sell of diamonds, they had us convinced we needed to spend at least 1 month of salary on an engagement ring.  Now that has tripled to an expected 3 month salary spent on an engagement ring.  I call this great marketing!

A quick internet search will try to convince you to think of your ring like a car (which you will hopefully never sell). If you don’t blink at the thought of spending 30,000 on a car that you will drive for 10 years, you really shouldn’t mind dropping that plus more on a ring you are going to wear for the rest of your life.

Like I said … great marketing!

An engagement ring is meant to be a symbol of a marriage to come. It is traditionally worn as an agreement between the bride and groom as they prepare to be wed. It is not meant as a status symbol or to put a couple in debt.

ken and dana diamond ring
Ken and Dana Design

Let’s talk Bling

In an attempt to clear up any confusion, I love bling. I have no problem with big diamonds or expensive rings, the shiner the better. The catch is, the bling shouldn’t put you in debt and the cost of the ring or size of the diamond shouldn’t over-shadow the commit in the relationship.

What Doe’s your Fiance Want?

Have you talked to her? Even if you want the ring to be a surprise, having an idea of what your fiance expects in terms of wanting bling on her finger, or a simple diamond, can save a lot of stress.

Cut, Color, Clarity, Carat

A lot of what goes into the price of a diamond ring is how you play around with the famed 4 C’s.

I was always told to not compromise on Cut.  The cut of a diamond is where the sparkle comes in! The cut makes the diamond look really good and all of your friends and family go Wow!

You can save some money by not insisting on the clearest, largest and most transparent diamond in the store.  Most flaws are hard to detect without the help of a jewelers loupe, so by picking a lower clarity on the scale, you can save a good amount of money but still not be able to see an imperfection with your naked eye.

In some situations you might see a big price jump from a .96 carat ring vs a 1.0 carat ring (when in reality the sizes are similar).  You can help save some money by asking for just under a carat and use the extra money to upgrade in color or clarity.

Do the research prior to shopping for an engagement ring,  and make sure you trust your jeweler to help guide you to the best ring for your budget and taste.

I’ve attached a survey below to get a real idea of how much people spend on engagement rings. It’s anonymous, and will help settle they myth of your ring having to be equal to a down payment on a house.