General Question

chelseababyy's avatar

What should cost more, an engagement ring, or a wedding band?

Asked by chelseababyy (7934points) February 27th, 2009

Just wondering.

And how much do you think should be spent on the engagement ring?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

57 Answers

essieness's avatar

Engagement ring, I would say, although I’d also like to say I wouldn’t really care but I know I probably would… a little.

KrystaElyse's avatar

I think the engagement ring should be more expensive. I guess how much should be spent depends on how much they can afford.

bigbanana's avatar

The engagement ring usually involves a stone of some sort. That raises the price substantially. If the wedding ring/band is channel set with diamonds then that cost goes up, but usually for a solitaire engagement ring that is where the cost is incurred, the diamond!
I think you should spend what you can afford and not a dollar more. you can always give an anniversary present later :)

bananafish's avatar

Traditionally the engagement ring costs more, as it holds the largest/flashiest stone(s). The wedding band can often just be a complimentary band with no additional embelishments.

…but if you want a jewel-encrusted wedding band, I’m sure there are jewelers who would be very happy to help you out and find one more expensive than the engagement ring.

You should spend only what you can actually afford, no more. Otherwise don’t worry about the cost. Just find a beautiful ring that suits her personality.

Darwin's avatar

The engagement ring, because diamonds can be hellishly expensive.

And how much you spend should depend on how much you have.

20 years ago (THAT long?) we got my engangement ring, and both wedding rings on sale at Sweeneys for $400. OTOH, a workmate’s daughter was given an engagement ring that cost $10,000 (her sweetie was a lawyer).

elijah's avatar

My engagement ring was way more expensive. I love jewelry, and I figured if I was going to wear it the rest of my life I should get something that would excite me every time I looked at it.
I wish I could find an excuse to still wear it, but I guess I will have to wait for a new hubby.

Mamradpivo's avatar

My wife and I designed and picked out our engagement ring together. I spent a lot less than the wedding books said I should, but it was a lot more meaningful because we designed it together and found a great local jeweler to make it for us.

bigbanana's avatar

hey elihasuicide You should take it to a creative jeweler and have them recreate a piece of jewelry that you can wear. Empower your stone, someone worked really hard to mine that diamond, and I am sure they wouldl want you to wear the fruits of their labor :)

purephase's avatar

I totally agree. Do it together. I also don’t feel diamonds are important.

Darwin's avatar

@elijahsuicide – Why not just wear it on your right hand? It’s just a ring, now that you aren’t married to what’s-his-face.

elijah's avatar

@Darwin that’s a good idea.

augustlan's avatar

The first time I was engaged, I had a microscopic diamond chip in an ‘illusion’ setting, designed to make it look bigger. I loved it. The first time I got married, I picked out my engagement ring, and chose a small 1/4 carat solitare. I loved it. The second (and final, I swear!) time I got married, I had no engagement ring at all. I love him.

The point is, it is utterly unimportant in the long run. : )

Hobbes's avatar

Well, given that DeBeers is an evil, bloody cooperation which has artificially driven up the price of diamonds, gold should definitely cost more.

Aethelwine's avatar

What’s this engagement ring you speak of? Really, I never got one. We decided to marry at a young age and didn’t have a lot of money. It would have been nice, but a ring doesn’t make a marriage.

elijah's avatar

@jonsblond unfortunately the ring is one of the only good things I got out of my marriage.

Aethelwine's avatar

@elijahsuicide Wear it, like Darwin said. It’s just a ring, right?

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Is this a trick question? I think both should be much cheaper than they are now.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

My engagement ring was a antique ring from my husband’s family, and we had a wedding band made to match. I know a number of happily married women who do not have engagement rings, but wear plain bands. Others have no engagement rings, but diamond bands as a wedding band. It’s a matter of taste, custom, and what you can afford. The size of the stone has nothing to do with the substance of the relationship.

There has been a tendency for the last decade to throw lavish “events” that often put young people heavily into debt.

dragonflyfaith's avatar

We picked out our rings together. My set cost us $199. I love my ring because it’s a symbol of our commitment, I don’t care what it looks like or how much it was.

basp's avatar

Never had an engagement ring and our bands cost fourteen dollars. Don’t think it matters much…. Our marriage is still strong after thirty years.
(but he did buy me a beautiful diamond ring for our thirtyth anniversary!)

laureth's avatar

My guy asked me to marry him and slipped a $10 silver band on my finger. Four months later, we got married with $100 plain gold bands. They can cost whatever you want them to cost, and whatever you are willing to spend.

Just for us personally, I didn’t want a bunch of flashy jewelry because I didn’t want to start out a marriage in debt – I just wanted to marry my sweetie. Other things are important to other people, you just need to know what’s important for you! :)

(A good friend of mine got spontaneously engaged at a K-Mart with a plastic gumball machine ring. For the wedding, they had the same ring cast in gold.)

elijah's avatar

I absolutely agree that it’s important not to go into debt. Your marriage is the final product, the ring is just jewelry. I’ve always loved jewelry so it was a big thing to me.

dynamicduo's avatar

Jewelery doesn’t mean a lot to me at all, thus I would actually be upset if my partner bought me an engagement ring. We decided to purchase silver bands to wear when we feel like wearing them. They were $200 for the set and I bought them on eBay. This was a good price for me, and I enjoy wearing the ring when I choose to wear it.

Nicole18's avatar


simone54's avatar

The one with the DIAMOND!

Nicole18's avatar

@simone54 both of them sometimes have diamonds in them.. but the engagment ring is usually the one people spend more money on.

ubersiren's avatar

Engagement ring- Though, some real bitches demand that the wedding band have diamonds all around it, too. In that case the band would cost more. I guess it’s all a matter of taste. And bitchiness.

elijah's avatar

@ubersiren wow you really are judgemental. To say someone is a bitch because she likes diamonds?

Nicole18's avatar

@elijahsuicide i agree when your talking about @ubersiren

ubersiren's avatar

No, the bitches are the ones who demand it. As clearly stated in my response. In my opinion, any woman that won’t settle for anything less than their ideal wedding set are selfish and annoying, and are more costly. I’m not saying you’re that way, but to answer the question again, if the “woman” demands a band with another 3 carats of diamonds all around, it’s gonna cost more.

ubersiren's avatar

i.e. the bitchier the demands, the more costly both rings are bound to be. Sorry I came off… well, bitchy.

Nicole18's avatar

you really like the word bitch don’t you @ubersiren ?

Darwin's avatar

You know, the whole goal behind the proposal and getting married and all that is not getting a new piece of jewelry you can show off. It is finding someone with similar life goals to yours so that the two of you can create a partnership that is greater than either one of you, and so neither of you have to face life alone.

Forget the diamonds and the rings – they are just a symbol, and a relatively recent one at that.

ubersiren's avatar

Yeah, it’s bitchin’.

chelseababyy's avatar

Gosh guys, thanks for all the answers. I will reaaaaaaad them all right now!

chelseababyy's avatar

@ubersiren No need for being so judgmental, was just wondering. Just because people want a diamond, or maybe a few, it doesn’t mean they’re bitches, for all you know they could be the sweetest most humble people ever. Just because they prefer diamonds, does not, in anyway, make them bitchy. I would be happy with anything. Although, I know some people know won’t get engaged unless it’s a huge rock, THAT is ridiculous.

chelseababyy's avatar

Has anyone ever heard that the engagement ring should be like, 3 months of the guys paycheck?

Aka, if they make 800 a month, the guy should pay 2400 for the ring.

chelseababyy's avatar

The only reason I ask is because I know some people getting married and the girl was wanting an 8,000 engagement ring. THAT’S ridiculous.

Darwin's avatar

@chelseababyy – I have heard that about the three months salary business, but did not follow it and see no reason to insist upon it.

alive's avatar

yuck. anyone seen “blood diamond”...just sayin’

ubersiren's avatar

Nobody’s judging, dude! I didn’t say women who “prefer” (as you put it) diamonds are bitches. I said those who DEMAND it. Those women who set ridiculous goals for their husbands-to-be and won’t settle for anything less. Take, for example, your bud who wants the $8k ring. It’s ridiculous, but I wouldn’t call her bitchy unless she was demanding it from her man when he couldn’t afford it.

Aethelwine's avatar

The smartest thing to do is use that 3 months salary towards a down payment on a house.

And who made that 3 month salary “rule” anyway?

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I think jewelers made up that rule to stop girls from overspending their boyfriend’s money.

gooch's avatar

Engagement ring was $9000 and wedding band was $300. I rember after the wedding I was be broke and it was not because of the ring.

bigbanana's avatar

DeBeers made up the three month guidline and it is RIDICULOUS! Buy what you can afford and what feels right. Why would anyone listen to a corporation that condones and who practices paid human torture and murder. Period.
PS To anyone who is thinking about buying a ring, please seek out conflict free diamonds, or PM me and I can direct you…

casheroo's avatar

My engagement ring cost more than my wedding band. But, I like my wedding band much more than my engagement ring. I actually can’t wear my engagement ring because I lost so much weight after giving birth.
I think though, that if you’re going to wear just your wedding band, like I do, make sure it’s something you love! You wear it every single day. Mine has diamonds going around it and I love how simple and beautiful it is.

SherlockPoems's avatar

Since an engagement ring is the promise and the acceptance… it is considered to contain a valuable stone… so it is expensive. The wedding band by tradition is simple and made of gold… constant currency. It is much less expensive to purchase and much more expensive to live up to the concept of no beginning and no end.

Sellz's avatar

Price has nothing to do with it. You cant put a price tag on love.


laureth's avatar

You can’t put a price tag on love, but you can put a price tag on a ring. Presumably, the love will remain the same whether the ring is cheap or dear.

Facade's avatar

I know for a fact my engagement ring will cost more because of the diamonds. But it should be the other way around because of the meaning of the wedding band…which will also have diamonds lol

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

This is what is the rule (which are always made to be broken)...and I write this for Chelsea and anyone else who is looking for information on engagement rings/diamonds, etc…..

An engagement ring is supposed to be three months salary of the groom-to-be. That’s what DeBeers say. And they of course, have been the proponents of cruelty in their mines. So who gives a sod about their rule? The band is usually a toss-up. So, yes, the engagement ring is much more expensive than the band. If one works at the Dairy Queen or for AIG…that would certainly make a difference in the price, right? And it shouldn’t matter, really.

However, who needs a band? Or who needs some expensive engagement ring? Some people don’t get an engagement ring and just wear a band when they marry. Others just get the engagement ring and use it again in the wedding and just use that. You can get a lovely antique ring as an engagement ring for a lot less. There are hundreds of options now than there were for our parents. And you don’t need a diamond for an engagement ring. Sapphires became popular with Princess Diana and there are Rubies and Emeralds and other stones, too. Look up the meaning of the different stones and maybe use that to choose something. Diamonds are not mined in ethical ways, so a lot of people are now buying faux diamonds and if you get a good one, only a trained jeweler will be able to tell the difference….this means a great savings, too.

But if a woman is set on diamonds…then, please do your homework. Don’t just go to “Zales” and plunk down your money for an inferior diamond at superior prices. Study “cut, clarity , color, ” which is what diamonds are judged and priced by. Go to an independent jeweler or go to the diamond district in larger cities where diamonds are less expensive and usually higher quality. I’d give her the “do you know how diamonds are mined” lecture first. :) If she still insists…...well…good luck.

I will say this, though….please let the woman help to choose her ring. She will be the one wearing it and it isn’t fair to her to have to wear something that looks like it came out of a gumball machine. This is also for the groom’s protection…he doesn’t want to lay out his savings for something that she won’t ever wear or replace as soon as she can. Some women buy engagement rings for their grooms, too, by the way.

One way to shop for a ring discreetly….is to take her window shopping….“Oh, which one of these do you fancy?” And make a mental note. But that still is not the best as she may point out something in that window, but it isn’t her first choice. I don’t see anything wrong with shopping for the ring together…as long as you decide the ballpark figure beforehand and stick to it.

If what you really want to do is ask her to marry you and surprise her, then purchase a small inexpensive band (gold over silver) or a little faux ring of some sort and when you get down on your knee say, ” I want you to have this one…till we can shop for the real deal…as I want you to have what you really want.” Or you can slip a card of a nice jeweler in the box inside a box from there. Usually jewelers will oblige if they know you will come back. Or you buy the ring and talk to the jeweler and make sure that they will honor an exchange.

It’s a sticky slope…....and a long-winded answer to….which costs more….sorry about that.

I know too much about this subject….<sigh>

PacificToast's avatar

I don’t think the price should particularly matter, because a ring is a symbol of your unity in marriage. My cousin found her wedding ring at a swap meet, so I’m supposing her engagement ring was more expensive. Of course, my cousin was really into the antique setting of the ring, and had wanted one like that since she’s seen our grandma’s.

Coloma's avatar


What should cost the most is pre-marital counseling!

Aster's avatar

I would prefer to do what my daughter decided. She got a very wide white-gold band with a little bit of yellow gold on it and a gorgeous 1.25ct solitaire. That way, she only has one band and they put that money into the diamond. Boy, does it sparkle. thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s ring lol

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Joybird's avatar

Here’s a thought for you. The Amish have the lowest rates of divorce and infidelity and they don’t wear any rings at all…not engagement rings and not wedding rings. They believe that a ring is no measure of how the person wearing it will behave and that real partnership involves having invested in your partner at such depth emotionally and physically that they really have no reason to look elsewhere for what is lacking.

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