Not Engaged Yet

How much should a ring cost??

So that thread the other day about the girl with the pro-athlete boyfriend worried that he wouldn't spend enough on her ring got me thinking...

You girls ever hear that old 'rule of thumb' about that he should spend 3 months of his salary on an engagement ring?  My interpretation of it was not an acutal dollar amount to spend, but more of a "if you have 3 months salary worth of disposable money, then you are financially secure enough to get married".  Any thoughts?? 
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Re: How much should a ring cost??

  • edited December 2011
    That's a dumb and antiquated rule. A ring should cost however much the guy (or in some cases, couple) think it's appropriate to spend and still be comfortable financially.

    ETA: I do think, however, that if you buy a ring that you can't pay for, you're not ready to get married.
  • edited December 2011
    I don't think anyone should ever go into debt for a ring.  But we've talked about the "three month rule" on here before, and I don't think too many (if anyone) were in favor.

    Personally, I think it's dumb to have a benchmark.  It's a personal matter between the couple - what they can afford, what she would want to wear, what he wants to give her, and what their priorities are.  It will be different for every couple.  Sometimes the guy wants to pay a lot, sometimes he can't imagine putting that much down for jewelry.  Sometimes the girl wants a huge ring, sometimes she prefers the look of something more subtle.

    For me, I'd rather save money and put it towards the honeymoon than on a ring.  Even if I was told to pick out any ring in the world for free, I really am not much for large or flashy rings - I have a more subtle style, so it's not going to cost as much as the giant rocks some celebs have.  I probably would spring for platinum instead of white gold, but other than that I don't think there would be any upgrades to the style we picked out.
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  • motoLynmotoLyn member
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    edited December 2011
    A ring can cost as much or as little as the guy or couple feel should be spent.  I even know guys who want to the biggest and best for their girlfriends, even if it means more than he can afford.  Debt is not a way to start off a married life together.  
  • jemmini6jemmini6 member
    5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment First Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    I agree.  Going into debt over a ring (or a wedding) is a stupid way to start off your lives together.

    I'm with ya Cate, I'm not a flashy person either and I'd definitely rather have a nice honeymoon than a huge ring.  BF has joked about spending 3 months salary because he knows I definitely wouldn't be comfortable with it (and he sure doesn't make 7 figures either).

    BTW...I don't agree with the 3 month thing, I mostly brought it up because of that post the other day.  I've also had a friend of a friend of a friend say how pissed she would be if her BF didn't buy her at least 2 carats, because that's what her sister had, and she couldn't have a smaller ring than her (her BF was still in college and obviously couldn't afford even half that much, but she thought it was perfectly normal and even expected to go into debt for a ring).  I just thought to myself...are people really THAT selfish??  I guess so...crazy
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  • edited December 2011
    My ring is not huge in the least. It's small. But it IS what I wanted, and all he could afford at the time. We didn't want to spend tons of money on a ring and then be hurting in other areas of our lives that were actually imporant.
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  • leia1979leia1979 member
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    edited December 2011
    That "three months salary" thing (I actually thought it was two months) is just diamond industry marketing that was so successful, it's now considered a "guideline."  I personally would not want to spend that kind of money on something that serves no function--its value is purely sentimental. I know a lot of people disagree, and that's fine.

    My BF felt like he had to spend a lot more to "prove his worth" or something stupid like that. A friend's husband had to buy her an engagement ring that was 0.01 carats bigger than her friend's ring. I hate that some people think it's a competition.

    Anyway, I managed to convince BF that I really didn't want to spend a lot, so we ended up getting something right around $2k. It will still be the most expensive thing I own (other than my car).

    ETA: When we were at Shane Co, the salesguy showed me a $6k diamond. All I could think was "That tiny chunk of rock costs how much??" I love pretty sparkly things, but I'm going for the low-cost manmade version. I can't tell the difference.
  • KatyRoseMKatyRoseM member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    It seems that many men believe they have to prove something with the ring.  I think the ring should be what you can afford and what she wants (or if he has a strong opinion what he wants). 

    Fi wanted to get me a big ring, it just wasn't what I wanted.  So we spent more on quality.  But again we spent what we could afford. 
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  • desertsundesertsun member
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    edited December 2011
    It's about making smart financial decisions for your particular situation, not sticking to an arbitrary "rule."

    My H ran into a 0% interest rate when he went to buy my ring. So he put a small amount down in cash, and used the rest of his ring savings to pay off his higher-interest car loan instead.

    So he techinically "went into debt" to pay for my ring. However, it was an intelligent use of credit, in my opinion.

    Many people have student and car loans going into a marriage, and some people have mortgages or credit card debt they're working on paying off responsibly.

    Should a couple wait until they have zero debt to get married? I don't think so.

    Again, it's about knowing your situation, discussing it with your partner, and making smart decisions that work for YOU.
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  • PaigeMcCPaigeMcC member
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    edited December 2011
    I think it's about what is comfortable for you as a couple (and especially him!) FBD and I discussed ring price before we got engaged.  Where we're comfortable and where someone else is comfortable is totally different.  So, I think a discussion between the couple is a good idea and settle around something that you're comfortable with. 

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  • heyimbrenheyimbren member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    BF's friend told him that the guy HAS to follow the three month's rule. When he told me this, I was just kinda like Surprised 

    I did correct him! 3 months would buy a pretty ring, but that's a LOT of money. I think whatever the couple, not just the guy, feel comfortable spending is good.

    That girl with the pro athlete boy clearly didn't even understand basic finances considering what she was expecting.
  • Ana_2985Ana_2985 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_much-should-ring-cost?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:719a1c14-7998-48fb-892a-4b56e7f23190Post:0a9674ea-bd24-48ba-90c6-278348e3cbfe">Re: How much should a ring cost??</a>:
    [QUOTE]It's about making smart financial decisions for your particular situation, not sticking to an arbitrary "rule." My H ran into a 0% interest rate when he went to buy my ring. So he put a small amount down in cash, and used the rest of his ring savings to pay off his higher-interest car loan instead. So he techinically "went into debt" to pay for my ring. However, it was an intelligent use of credit, in my opinion. Many people have student and car loans going into a marriage, and some people have mortgages or credit card debt they're working on paying off responsibly. Should a couple wait until they have zero debt to get married? I don't think so. Again, it's about knowing your situation, discussing it with your partner, and making smart decisions that work for YOU.
    Posted by desertsun[/QUOTE]

    I agree with this completely.

    FI likes to buy things with credit cards that offer this type of deal because it's a great way to build good credit - IF you're smart about it.  He never makes purchases on a credit card that he wouldn't be able to pay for with cash.  It's really worked out well for us and when it comes times for us to make big purchases like a house or another car we will have both a decent savings and great credit.

    Men piss me off.  I think it is absolutely ridiculous the way some of them think of this as a competition.  When we got engaged, the first thing FI's friend said to him was "How much did you pay for it?".  FI lied, but I guarantee that that douche will spend more for his GF just so he can say that he did.  But probably only more by $1.00 because he's a douche and a cheap asss.
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_much-should-ring-cost?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:136Discussion:719a1c14-7998-48fb-892a-4b56e7f23190Post:0a9674ea-bd24-48ba-90c6-278348e3cbfe">Re: How much should a ring cost??</a>:
    [QUOTE]It's about making smart financial decisions for your particular situation, not sticking to an arbitrary "rule." My H ran into a 0% interest rate when he went to buy my ring. So he put a small amount down in cash, and used the rest of his ring savings to pay off his higher-interest car loan instead. So he techinically "went into debt" to pay for my ring. However, it was an intelligent use of credit, in my opinion. Many people have student and car loans going into a marriage, and some people have mortgages or credit card debt they're working on paying off responsibly. Should a couple wait until they have zero debt to get married? I don't think so. Again, it's about knowing your situation, discussing it with your partner, and making smart decisions that work for YOU.
    Posted by desertsun[/QUOTE]

    This.

    My FI also got a credit card with a 0% interest rate, and he used the money he had saved up to pay off the ring. I wasn't worried about it, because I knew he had been saving for a while and had most, if not all, of the money in the bank to pay for it.
  • edited December 2011
    I would have been relly upset if FI spent 3 months salary on ring.  That would have been a huge chunk of the wedding budget. 

    When FI asked me wht kind of ring I wanted, I told him whatever he is comfortable spending.  He chose a modest amount.  I love the ring, that's what matters. 
  • ki10ki10 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I actually rather like your method. Though I believe a ring should preferably cost as little as possible to get the best durability and couples' ideal design, I can see how using it as a meter of financial stability worked at one time. Now I much prefer cost-effectiveness as a measure of good financial decision-making.
  • Elle1036Elle1036 member
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    edited December 2011
    Yeah...  I'm pretty sure (someone correct me if I'm wrong) that the 3-month "rule" was initiated by DeBeer's, who also controls about 85% of the world's diamonds and therefore controls their prices.  Convenient, no?

    Personally, I would be ticked off if BF spent more than about 2K on a ring.  I've already told him that, if he feels the need to spend a lot of money, I would prefer an engagement jet-ski or an engagement convertible.
  • deburnindeburnin member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    BF and I went to look another ArtCarved ring today and while there the owner was explaining what to look for in a diamond. He pulled out a "bad" two carat diamond that still cost about $6,000 and then a nicer one that cost $15,000. Surprised I thought I was going to die. That's almost as much as the down payment on our house will be! 

    Half carat or less for me please. I'm not a blingy person. I'm VERY picky about jewelry. I wear two pieces on a regular basis. One is a dragon claw necklace I found while helping BF clean his room and number two is a claddagh ring that I picked out and asked him if he would get it for me as a gift. 

    The two rings I like right now have me really freaked out on price. Not because it's out of our price range, but just because I come from a background where very little is spent on stuff because there's little money to be had and wearing something that's 1K on my finger is intimidating! I'm very glad that BF doesn't feel the need to compete.

    But as to the question of this thread, I think it should cost what people are able to afford and comfortable with. There's no need to feel like it's a competition in my opinion. Going into excessive debt so you can have the biggest bling doesn't make sense.
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  • edited December 2011
    The 0% interest rate where you use the savings to pay off a higher interest rate debt is smart.  That's not increasing your debt for a ring - it's just moving debt around in a smart way.  My boyfriend did this with his law school loans to pay off his car loan.  And as long as someone pays off a 0% interest rate responsibly, it's a great tool.  It's when people don't make a rational payment plan or start saving to pay it off, and just treat it as free money, that it becomes a problem.

    Also, if we followed the "3 month rule", I'd get absolutely nothing.  My boyfriend is a full time student, so doesn't make a penny.  Three times $0 is still $0!  Luckily we already have a diamond from my great-grandmother, and he's got $1,500 savings budgeted to buy the setting.


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  • edited December 2011
    My DH spent 3 months salary on our new roof, and $0 on my rings.  I wouldn't have had it any other way.  Even if we would've had to buy rings, I probably would've beat him senseless if he'd spent 3 months salary on them.
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  • desertsundesertsun member
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    edited December 2011
    Well, you know, there is nothing WRONG with spending 3 months salary if that's what you want to do.

    I don't know exactly how much my H spent, but I'm pretty sure it was about 2 months salary. My ring makes me happy every single day. Maybe that makes me materialistic. But lots of people spend money on gaming systems, flat-screen TVs, nice furniture, whatever. I don't really see a difference. There's no sense debating how others should "best" spend their own money.

    Again, what matters is being financially reponsible and being on the same page as your significant other.
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  • edited December 2011
    FI is quite a saver.  We'd been ring shopping and I guess it will suffice it to say I have expensive taste.  Once I realized how much money the rings I was looking at would cost, I told him I'm totally fine with a smaller stone or moissanite or hell, even a ring pop.

    BF insisted that he wanted to get me the type of rings we initially looked at because he really liked them too.  So, FI decided to buy my ring at Diamonds International while we were in Mexico.  The thing is, if you walk into Tiffany, the price is the price.  In Mexico (or the Carribbean), the price is more a jumping off point for negotiations.

    The original price for my center stone was $9,000 (what it was appraised at).  FI got them down to $5000.  The original price for my setting (which is part of a bridal set that has a TCW of 1.32) was around $7800 (if memory serves me right).  BF got the bridal set for $2200.  So, a ring that would have originally cost him over $15,000 cost him a little over $7000...AND I have a wedding band already.

    Not cheap, but a hell of lot cheaper than if we'd bought it from Tiffany.
  • edited December 2011
    We aren't engaged yet, but we've gone looking at rings. We didn't really discuss price much, I felt that ring shopping was just to give him an idea of styles. Then I asked for the price of one of the rings I was trying on, and she told me it was $6000. I gasped and told bf in no way would I want you to spend anywhere near that much. He told me to stop looking at prices and just look at styles. Then one day he asked me what price range I would feel comfortable with for a ring. I was so caught off guard, I didn't know what to say. I want him to spend as much as he feels comfortable with and wants to spend, without going into debt over it. I told him I feel comfortable with what his wallet feels comfortable with :P
  • JeanninePC99JeanninePC99 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    DeBeers has changed things a bit in recent years!  When I was a teenager, I remember hearing that TWO months salary was the norm.  How funny that they are now pushing for three.

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