How much should we spend on an engagement ring? The vital question at the forefront of our thoughts before we think about choosing an engagement ring, is how much are we expected to spend? Tradition dictates the ‘3 months’ salary rule’ but we actually dispute this - these kind of financial traditions come from a place where men worked regular jobs and women’s expectations were also traditional. Fewer people even earn ‘monthly salaries’ these days, and expectations are less standardised - with the tradition of the diamond solitaire ring fading and other more personal and unique options on the rise, the financial implications of buying an engagement ring are based around a mix of the following:
1. Expectations - do you or your partner expect a certain size diamond, gemstone or style of ring?
2. Style and taste - you want something chunky, ornate, simple, minimalist - different styles comes with associated costs.
3. Values - do you want a bespoke, handmade ring that is one of a kind, or are you happy buying something that has been mass produced?
4. Cold hard reality - what you actually have in your bank account.
Once these factors are all seriously considered, how much you can spend on a ring is usually pretty clear - if the realities of your bank account don’t allow for all these boxes to be ticked, you’ll usually have to compromise on something. For example, if your partner is set on having a 2ct diamond in their ring but your budget doesn’t quite stretch that far, you may have to consider a pre-fabricated ring or a ready made mount, rather than going bespoke.
If you care deeply about detail, quality and provenance, you may have to go a little smaller on the stone size to ensure the ring is well made and a one-off. And so on.
The truth is is that you if you can afford it, you should spend it. Some believe that you should even wince a little at the price, but not have anxiety over it for weeks on end. Jewellery made by reputable, independent fine jewellery designers will nearly always be worth it, meaning that you are paying for quality materials, expertise craftsmanship rather than a ‘brand’, which means the piece will hold a lot of its value.
Ultimately, the gesture of a proposal is the romantic part, and the question you’re asking is the most important element of the whole process. The symbolism of an engagement ring is a beautiful one; honouring love, the promise of commitment, companionship and cherishing one person. Finding ways to add sentimentality and meaning to your ring adds so much more value than squeezing another half a carat into the budget.
As engagement ring experts we pride ourselves in knowing how and where to find the best of every option you’re looking for, as well as how to maximise your budget in every instance. In our experience there are usually always ways to lessen the compromises you feel you might have to make, you just need to have the right contacts to feel confident that you’re getting the best out of your hard earned money, whatever you spend.
Speak to one of our ring experts now for a free engagement ring consultation.