If you’ve ever thought about getting engaged at any point in your life (spoiler—Christmas is one of the most popular times to do it), you’ve probably at least pondered how much you and your potential betrothed should be expected to spend on an engagement ring. While there is certainly no set-in-stone amount, there are so many different rules and expectations when it comes to the cost of the bling that it can be overwhelming, confusing and downright frustrating (especially for the person making the purchase). There are even online engagement ring cost calculators that have been set up to help you navigate the process—but we also have some pretty solid answers to help you on your way.
According to an expert-fuelled report on Brides.com, the purchaser should spend about three full months’ salary on the ring. This is more a rule of thumb, however, and if the person buying the ring is “heavily in debt or concerned about job security,” he or she might want to scale back a bit.
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You may have heard the more prevalent rule of thumb that a person should spend about a months’ salary on the ring—and you have diamond manufacturer De Beers to thank for that little wisdom nugget. Back in America’s Depression Era, De Beers started running an ad campaign suggesting that men spend one months’ salary on the ring to save money, and the idea stuck.
If three months seems like a stretch for your other half, but one month seems a little skimpy, there are some contemporary ways of thinking that suggest you compromise and spend two months’ salary on the rock. This can be a good option if you’re looking to spend a small fortune without potentially wrecking your finances.
In 2016, the average amount spent on an engagement ring in the UK is £573. You always have the option of presenting your potential fiancée with this information and suggesting he or she spend the average amount. It’s a fair number, but you should keep in mind that it has nothing to do with his or her own personal financial standing.
There are some pretty savvy things you can do to make sure you get the most bang for you engagement ring buck. Many would recommend shopping online (remember that at least you’ll find it easier to return something!), but there are also tricks such as opting for a lower-carat diamond (many stones look exactly the same, unless you’re an expert with a magnifying glass in hand) and deciding on a style that has a solitaire diamond rather than lots of little stones that add up.
If you’re concerned about authenticity online aim to browse retailers that are trusted and well-known (such as Ernest Jones, for example) and look out for brands carrying IGI certificates, as they are a sure-fire way to know that something is legit. Find out more information on being a confident diamond buyer from the International Gemological Insitute.
In our minds—and we assume the minds of many cash-strapped UK millennials—the amount spent on an engagement ring should be 100% up to the person buying it. Of course, the input of the intended is always welcome, but if you aren’t the person actually making the purchase, at the end of the day it’s not really up to you. “A lot of women wouldn’t want their fiancé to spend that much money on a ring,” Kit Yarrow, a former jewellery dealer turned professor of psychology at Golden Gate University, told AskMen.com. “Make it a personal decision.”
Go through the gallery below to shop eleven beautiful engagement rings in a wide range of prices.