General Question

bostonite's avatar

How much should I spend on an engagement ring?

Asked by bostonite (15points) October 5th, 2007

I’m in love! Divorced male proposing to a never-before-married woman.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

11 Answers

robmandu's avatar

Whatever you’re comfortable with. Forget the “3–4 months salary” bit.

But… that said… realize that your fiancé will be comparing her new rock to her girlfriends’, her mother’s, random folks in the checkout line, etc.

So, do your best and seek out a good value (the “four Cs”: carat, clarity, color, and cut). In that regard, shop around, and try shops where they make their own.

And, this is important, she knows what shape rock she wants (round, princess, emerald, oval, heart, etc.)... you better find out what it is!

Best of luck!

occ's avatar

The jewelry industry says 2 months salary is the appropriate amount (!) but then again that is coming from the industry that is taking your money! Really you should think about your girlfriend’s tastes and values and figure out what she would personally find appropriate. She might be the kind of person who cares about having a large rock, or she might prefer something smaller and more subtle but more original (an unusually-colored diamond, or even a conflict-free diamond). If you think her best friend or sister can keep a secret, the best thing to do is take them ring-shopping with you and have them help you pick out one that fits your girlfriend’s tastes (no matter how well you know her, there are things that women talk about with their girlfriends that they might never mention to their lovers for fear of “scaring them off”...i.e. she may have mentioned to her best friend that she’d “never want a ring like so-and-so has” and you might not know that she cares about it.

occ's avatar

and congratulations!

flameboi's avatar

for me it’s not about the ring (i love david yurman though) It’s the moment, forget the highest building/fanciest restaurant whatever the case, do not spend a fortune in the ring, its just a thing that can be gone in the first fight or even worse, while walking on the street. Take her somewhere far far away to propose, use your friends and make her go somewhere, like a fake prize trip to some fancy city in a fancy hotel, then you just show up and pop up the question, cities like las vegas are forbidden… its the moment that will always remain, not the ring…
all the best

andrew's avatar

I remember reading an article (though I’ve looked for it and cannot find it for the life of me.. maybe Money ?) that talked about how you can really rachet down on clarity and color (they gave a specific value for both)—since the diffference between the highest categories and the nearly-as-high categories is indistinguishable to the naked eye.

dust's avatar

I made the conscious decision to purchase something I could easily afford. There are a ton of bills to be paid when you get married, and the last thing you want to do is start your marriage off with money stresses hanging over the relationship.

Since you’re asking for prices, I paid about $1800 for a small solitaire in a platinum band. At the time I made about $40,000/year, so according to the jewelry industry, I’m a cheap bastard. We splurged on what was important to us: a great photographer and food and wine at the reception.


hossman's avatar

The 2 month salary thing has always amazed me. First, I’d like more precision. Is that 2 months of my gross, or of my net? What if my income is low, but I have a high net worth?

More seriously, what other industry gets away with setting their own arbitrary standard of how much we are to pay? Does Detroit tell you that you should buy a car costing 1/2 of your annual income? It used to be that mortgage lenders would say you shouldn’t have a mortgage payment higher than 25% of your net monthly income, but those days are long gone.

gailcalled's avatar

Just a thought; some women love antique rings or rings that have belonged to a family member…New is not necessarily best…you surely know something about her taste in jewelry…occ had a good suggestion about discussing this w. her sister or best friend, if you are sure that they can keep a secret. And not all women like to flash huge honkers to the world. IAC, much happiness to you both.

artificialard's avatar

As with other posters forget any generalised rules – the only one’s opinion that you truly care about is your girlfriend’s. Some people would rather spend it on others things while others would want an extravagant ring.

Try to do some social sleuthing – get one of your friends to ask one of her friends in a subtle way to get a ‘read’ on her friends’ and your girlfriend’s opinion.

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Mtl_zack's avatar

3–4 months salary. Congratulations!

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