How much should you spend on an engagement ring?
Have you ever wondered how much to budget for a diamond engagement ring?
The Three Month Salary Myth
I'm sure many of you have heard of the three-month salary guideline for buying a ring. Okay, if you're like me, then you find this kind of 'rule' completely outdated — which it is!
The 'three months salary' guideline came from the imagination of an advertising agency in Philadelphia in the 1930's. And who paid for the concept? You guessed it—De Beers in hopes of getting Americans to buy diamond engagement rings and spend more. That is why it sounds ridiculous.
I've heard some jewellers still uphold this concept. Your budget is not for them to set! Your engagement ring budget should be something you are comfortable with and can afford without surviving on instant ramen for the next year and a half. Engagement rings are far more than the diamond—that's just De Beers rhetoric again.
It's called a ring for a reason
Don't get me wrong. I LOVE diamonds. They are a geological wonder. But contrary to people's expectations, your partner may just want a beautiful ring and not the necessarily largest diamond in the room. Your commitment to your partner is the most important part. The engagement ring is just a symbol for it. Jewellery is one of the things in this world that has no upper limit on price. Can you purchase something meaningful and beautiful on a more modest budget? Of course! Here are some ideas to help you:
Talk to your partner
50% of couples shop together for ideas. The ring is an investment of your time and after tax dollars. You may find out that she prefers coloured gemstone or that a band style ring with low set stones is what he wants. Even if you want a surprise element to your engagement, sharing in the ring choosing process can be a lot of fun; after all, where, when and how the engagement takes place can be the big surprise.
Shop in person
Share ideas and learn about quality. It can be very tempting to shop exclusively online, but seeing rings in person can eliminate costly mistakes and make decision-making much easier. After all, how often do you buy jewellery? Developing a relationship with a reputable store will help you in the long term and make getting the right wedding rings much easier.
Nontraditional is great
That's right, diamonds aren't the only gemstones that are a girl's best friend. Did you know, for the last three generations the British monarchy has given sapphires as engagement rings? Think about different shapes of diamonds, birthstones, or going with a unique vintage treasure.
Make it meaningful
Can elements of your shared life be incorporated into your ring? What represents you both as a couple? Do you love hiking or the ocean? Often these can be symbolized in the ring. These are the kinds of things that can ensure your engagement ring has value beyond just the money.
Buy only what you need nothing more
Does your partner dislike most rings? Do you want something ethically sourced, with high-quality design and craftsmanship? Custom design may be for you. Era Design offers free first consultations. Quite often you can tailor your budget by handcrafting the ring and focusing on the elements in the ring design that are most important to you.
No you are not going to get a 1.00ct solitaire diamond engagement ring for $2000, but you can still have a high-quality engagement ring that will last for generations. A good jeweller can help guide you. You can try vintage rings, smaller Canadian diamonds or a variety of other coloured gemstones like our unique Montana sapphires. Also look around in stores. Sometimes value can be found in a jeweller's older stock—gold and diamond prices sometimes fluctuate, and pricing on stock sometimes doesn't reflect current prices.
Don't hesitate to check out some of our engagement rings online to get a feel for what's out there.
Above all, remember to have fun!