How much cash should you pay on an engagement ring?

Since employed in the jewellery industry virtually all of my friends have asked for my advice on exactly how much they should spend on an engagement ring for their partner-to-be. Putting a price based on how much love you have for another individual may seem quite cheap. However, you’re also about to buy an object that will be a long lasting symbol of the most important relationship of your life and you want to make this one of the most beautiful gifts you have ever presented to your special someone.

For those of you thinking where the trend began, legend tells us that in 1477, a lovestruck Austrian, Archduke Maximilian, emerged with a gem of an idea: why not give Mary of Burgundy a diamond ring to celebrate their forthcoming engagement? He placed it on the 3rd finger of her left hand – the finger believed by ancient Egyptians to have a vein that led straight to the heart – how inspiring!

In February 2009, the Daily mail suggested that a young guy with marriage on his mind should be looking to invest between one and three months’ earnings on an engagement ring. One of the reasons for this is that it acts as an honest gesture of a mans commitment to his soon-to-be wife. In other words, pretenders need not apply. Whilst investing the traditional two months’ salary on a perfect engagement ring works for some, it might benefit you to learn that the two months’ earnings principle was first launched by a De Beers marketing promotion during the 1920s to get people to spend more money. Nevertheless, in the same way that people do not always leave 15% of their bill as a tip and are likely to adjust it up or down as a function of other elements (for example service and food standard) it’s estimated that the expense paid for an engagement ring may too be connected to multiple variables.

During a period when earnings are stretched and vicars look to be establishing a fee as much as £1,000 to officiate at a wedding ceremony, plenty of couples are economising where they can on dresses, the reception, cars, flowers and the honeymoon. On many occasions, dewy eyed brides-to-be will have to acknowledge that their engagement ring will have to have a little bit less twinkle than they may have dreamt of as little girls. New research shows that the average cost of an engagement ring today translates to a more modest three weeks worth of earnings. According to the Daily mail (Feb, 2009) less than four in ten men tell their partner what they have spent on the ring, while some accepted that they even lied to their partner and magnified the real cost. In 2009 the average price was put at £1,231, however this may have been a large underestimate as the price of precious metals such as gold have shot up in price over the last 10 years.

The conflict on how much to shell out on an engagement ring has been raging on for decades. While most still say you are supposed to invest between one and three month salary’s worth, a few are debating that the income used to purchase an engagement ring could possibly go toward a down payment on a home. So, when it comes to how much you must spend, what’s the final answer? It’s really down to your own preferences, your budget and your future plans. A good number of people are starting to give their partner-to-be their budget and go ring shopping together – let’s face it, if she has a dream ring in mind, then you’ll win brownie points by letting her to pick out her perfect ring and you get to keep your burning money intact – a happy bride and groom!

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