There is a lot of conflicting advice when it comes to engagement rings. How much should you spend? Which stone should you choose? Should you design your own ring? The questions are almost endless and the advice seems to contradict itself at every turn!
Unfortunately, we can’t solve all of these problems in one go. For a start, the ring you choose is a completely personal choice. However, we can shed a bit of light on the cost of an engagement ring and what you should expect to pay.
THE AVERAGE COST OF AN ENGAGEMENT RING
Interestingly, the average cost of an engagement ring isn’t just about fashion – it can also be influenced by the economy. This is why the average cost of an engagement ring went down a couple of years ago with Brexit anxiety but has steadily risen once more to settle at around £1,500.
Millennials getting engaged tend to spend a little less than older couples on their engagement ring but they have also started a trend for ‘placeholder rings’. This means that millennials are buying two rings, one to propose with and one, more expensive ring, they can choose together at a later date.
In reality, the average cost of an engagement ring doesn’t really matter to you. Everyone has a different budget and you should keep that in mind. While some people may be happy to spend upwards of £50,000 on a ring, there’s nothing wrong with spending as little as £500.
DOES THE 3 MONTHS’ SALARY RULE STILL APPLY?
If you are a traditionalist, you will be familiar with the rule that an engagement ring should cost around 3 months’ salary. This tradition, you will be pleased to know, is nothing of the sort. It actually comes from an advertising campaign from 1930s America, when diamond merchant De Beers wanted to encourage people to buy diamonds during the depression. The initial suggestion was to spend a months’ wages but this went up in the 1980s.
Given that this ‘rule’ isn’t really a tradition, you don’t need to set much store by it. Work out how much you are comfortable spending and you will find that there are plenty of rings that suit you and your budget.
SO HOW DO YOU WORK OUT YOUR BUDGET?
Ultimately, averages and monthly salary are irrelevant to your ring search. When you get engaged, it’s not about what other people do; it’s about what makes you happy as a couple. This is why so many couples now choose the ring together.
The best way to work out your budget is to consider how much your fiance would be comfortable carrying around on her finger every day and what you can reasonably afford. While you shouldn’t be scrimping – you get what you pay for – you also mustn’t break the bank or put yourself under undue financial pressure.
The best thing to do now is to start looking at rings and see which styles and stones appeal to you. From there, you can decide how much you want to spend and start saving accordingly.