Decades ago, the rule of thumb was that a man should spend two months’ salary on an engagement ring. In recent years, experts have started leaning towards three months’ salary rather than the traditional two months. Because I am a jeweler, I am frequently asked questions about this topic by friends and family. In all honesty, I do believe that two to three months’ salary is a very reasonable amount to spend on an engagement ring.
There are several reasons I feel that spending this amount of money on an engagement ring is important.
● The ring you purchase is going to be worn for a lifetime. You want something that is high quality and is made to last.
● While size of the stone is not as important to some couples as it is to others, you do want to purchase a high quality certified stone. This means choosing a stone with as high a color as possible (no lower than J) with a clarity of at least SI2. In addition, there should be no inclusions visible with the naked eye.
● Although it is a matter of taste, I always recommend choosing a higher quality smaller stone rather than a poorer quality large stone. This is because lower quality stones often appear dull or yellowish, especially in certain lighting. You want your fiancée to wear a ring she will be proud to wear for the rest of her life.
● Despite the fact that the economy is tough right now, there are still ways to successfully budget for an engagement ring. Getting engaged is an enormous commitment. A high quality ring tells your fiancée that you worked hard to give her the best because she deserves it.
With that said I understand that many couples now are struggling financially and wish to spend less on an engagement ring. In addition, it makes no sense for a man to spend three months salary on a ring if he has a soon to be fiancée who does not want a large or flashy ring. It is important to keep in mind the style and taste of the woman when planning how much to spend. When a man comes to see me about purchasing a ring, I usually ask him what he is comfortable spending. Despite the fact that I make a living selling jewelry, I do not want to see anyone get in over their heads and go into debt because of purchasing an engagement ring. There are some things I suggest to men who want nothing more than to buy their fiancée an enormous, flawless diamond but just can’t afford it.
● Some men choose to buy their fiancées a band, similar to a wedding ring. Bands can be personalized and engraved, and there are many stones that can be used in a band.
● Consider using a stone other than a diamond. This is becoming an increasingly popular option. This allows many buyers to purchase a high quality stone that will serve as a unique engagement ring.
● If a couple simply can’t afford a high quality ring worth three months’ salary, there are lay-away options available. I don’t want to see people go into debt, and I know how hard it can be for a young couple starting out. My job is to work to create a package that is comfortably within your budget and make sure paying for it isn’t stressful.
● If you are unable to purchase your dream ring at this time, make a commitment to put aside a certain amount of money a month. Come in to our store and let us help you figure out exactly how much your dream ring would cost. You can purchase your fiancée a smaller stone or promise type ring and make a commitment to her that you will be upgrading her ring on your one year anniversary, or however long it will take you to save enough money.
I have been helping couples figure out how to afford the perfect ring for decades. I do not use hard sell tactics and I believe it is irresponsible for any jeweler to ever push a ring on a customer that is beyond a budget he is comfortable with. One of the reasons Gale Diamonds has maintained such a strong relationship with our customers for the past 25 years is because we truly view our customers as family. I wouldn't want a member of my family to go into debt over a ring, so I certainly wouldn’t do it to a customer I view as family.
Gale Diamonds is far different from the jewelry stores you pass in the mall. When you walk in our shop, you will be presented with many options and designs. We custom design your ring according to your desires rather than giving you a showcase of preset rings to choose from. We understand that spending a large amount of money on an engagement ring is something many approach with apprehension. Let us set your mind at ease by allowing our team experts to choose a ring that fits your budget and style.