Is spending two months of your salary on an engagement ring still the rule? Or the exception?
Updated: Jul 8, 2021
Oh marketing, you may have won some battles but not the war... yet.
While I'm not in business to turn away a client's budget, I also have to sleep at night with a clear conscience. I contemplated writing this post because I feel that as soon as I do, jewelers all over the world are about to come knocking my door down, asking me if I am trying to ruin it for everybody.
With that said, here's my two cents on what the rule of thumb should be.
1) No one knows your finances like you, and maybe your accountant, do. Ultimately, you know what you can and can't afford. So start with that. While engagement rings can be an investment, it doesn't mean a hill of beans if that two-carat means you eating just beans (and rice) for the next year. Buying something that you can't afford causes stress and anxiety, and that's all you will feel every time you see that ring. Why go through that when there's SO MUCH out there in all price ranges? Our job is to give you options, so don't ever be hesitant to be upfront with your budget. It's important. You would be surprised at how creative we can be in an effort to help!
2) Do you know what your future fiancée wants? I only say this because over the, almost twenty, years of being in this business, I can't tell you how many times the couple is on two totally different pages. Sometimes, they aren't even in the same book! For example, the guy is adamant that the diamond has to be within a VS color grade or higher, with a certificate and he will expect nothing less for his fiancée. Meanwhile, she wants a garnet. Different pages, different books. So don't set yourself up for this massive bill when she would be happier with something that naturally, is less expensive, and exactly what she wants!
Now, don't get me wrong, if two months of salary is within your budget, and it covers the exact ring that your partner wants... great! There will always be people who want to spend more and people who want to spend less.
To wrap this up, my rule of thumb is... your purchase should be what you can truly afford. It's just that simple.