Excerpt from our local news article at The Vancouver Sun
How much should you budget for a diamond engagement ring?
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 Okay, if you’re like me, then you find this kind of ‘rule’ completely outdated — which I’m glad to hear it is! It turns out that this ‘so-called’ guideline came from the imagination of an advertising agency in Philadelphia in the 1930s. 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’s why it sounds ridiculous.
Rosemary explains: “I’ve heard some jewellers still uphold this concept. Your budget is not for the jeweller to set! The cost of your engagement ring should be something you are comfortable with and not need to live on instant ramen for the next year and a half. Remember, engagement rings are far more than just a diamond — that’s just De Beers’ rhetoric again.”
It’s called a ring for a reason
Don’t get them wrong, the staff at Era Design love diamonds. The gemstones are geological wonders. But according to Rosemary, your partner may just want a beautiful ring and not necessarily the largest diamond in the room. As she points out, your devotion to your partner is the most important part. The ring is simply a symbol of that commitment. 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 of Rosemary’s ideas to help you.
Talk to your partner
More than half of couples shop together for engagement ring ideas. The ring is an investment of your time and after-tax dollars. You may discover your partner prefers a coloured gemstone or a band-style ring with low-set stones. 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 perfect wedding bands much easier.
Non-traditional is great
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 symbolised in the ring and ensure your engagement ring has value beyond just the money.
Only buy what you need
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 one-carat solitaire diamond engagement ring for $2,000, but you can still have a high-quality engagement ring that will last for generations. A good jeweller can guide you. You can try vintage rings, smaller Canadian diamonds or a variety of other coloured gemstones like Era Design’s unique Montana sapphires. Also, look around in stores. Sometimes value can be found in a jeweller’s older stock — gold and diamond prices fluctuate, and pricing on stock may sometimes offer better pricing.
Enjoy the process
The engagement ring you choose is going to be in your lives for many years, and it should, above all, be a symbol of your love and commitment. Era Design understands that. Since 2003, Era has offered Vancouver’s best selection of locally designed and crafted rings in a hassle-free environment. Shop Era online, stop in to see our full collection or book your appointment today.