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How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?

An engagement ring is a symbol of your love and promised commitment to the person you love. So how, exactly, do you put a price on it? Let’s try.

How much should you spend on an engagement ring? Why two months' salary is an old wives-to-be tale!
Thinking of popping the question? You’ve probably asked yourself: “How much should you spend on an engagement ring?”

I’m sure you have heard the old tradition that you need to spend two month’s salary on a diamond engagement ring. I’ve even heard somebody say it’s now three month’s salary.

(Screeech!) Stop right there.

Do NOT let anybody else tell you what to spend!

How much you should spend on an engagement ring is entirely up to you and your fiancée. And while you may not want to tip off your beloved that you’re about to make the big purchase, it would be wise to feel out how much she expects you to spend ahead of time. If that amount is either much higher or lower than your expectations, now’s the time to discuss it — not later.

Choose meaning over price-tag, every time

In my opinion, your engagement ring should be meaningful more than expensive.

Consider this: Which of the following scenarios is least meaningful?

  1. You use an heirloom ring, rich with family history, that doesn’t cost you a dime.
  2. You sacrifice to set aside cash every week for a year to buy a ring.
  3. You forgo a diamond altogether and get a less expensive stone but work with a local jeweler to create a custom design.
  4. You use three credit cards to immediately buy the biggest diamond you can charge.

You get the idea.

Yes, an engagement ring is a symbol of love and commitment. Sacrificing things you might like to buy in order to buy a ring is part of the tradition. But sinking yourself into years of debt just to buy the flashiest ring on the block is not.

Why two months’ salary is outdated

Two months’ salary has always been a lot of money to set aside for an engagement ring. I would argue, however, that this old benchmark is hardly realistic today for couples who want to marry in their twenties. (If you’re 35, 40, or 45, it’s another story, but hey, this is Money Under 30).

We’re not in the 1950’s anymore.

Our generation is graduating with more and more student loan debt and facing diminutive entry level salaries. We’re facing costs of living that are so high that we either have to move back in with mom and dad or bunk up with a half dozen random roommates. Almost all women are working (at least before having kids) and often earn more than men. And even with two incomes, most of us can’t afford to go from college to married homeowners with kids in less than five years.

The median age of first marriage in the United States is rising. That means many of us won’t even marry in our twenties. But those of us that choose to should not be forced to wait just because we can’t afford the “traditional” definition of what getting married—from the diamond to the altar—should cost.

Should you borrow money for an engagement ring?

Remember that when you get married, what’s yours becomes your spouse’s. That includes debt. You want to give your betrothed a big old ring, but do you want to hand her (or him) a big old credit card bill?

As I’ve written before, these days it’s unreasonable to think that you’ll be debt-free before getting married. Most of us have at least student loans that we’ll be paying for years. Still, the less debt you bring into a marriage, the better. If you don’t have to tack on several thousand dollars worth of consumer debt before tying the knot, don’t.

So you can see where I’m going here: If your plan is to finance the engagement ring either through a jewelry store’s line of credit or on a credit card, be careful.

If your situation is such that you want to propose soon but don’t quite have the cash available, borrowing just enough that you can pay back in 12 months or less isn’t the worst thing. If your credit is good, credit cards with 0 percent introductory rates can be an excellent way to do this. 

Just avoid carrying that debt into the marriage.

How much should an engagement ring cost?

Here’s the cop-out answer: Whatever you think it should cost, that you can afford. That last part’s important. It makes little sense to start your married life deeply in debt. Period.

If you think you should spend as much as possible on an engagement ring and can afford a six-figure rock, go for it. If you think you should spend two months’ pay on a ring but you’re already ensnared in credit card debt, you can’t afford it. Readjust your expectations or wait until you’ve improved your financial situation.

How can I save on an engagement ring?

Whatever you decide to spend, you can cut the final cost of your diamond by 40 to 50 percent by doing your homework and buying online. Also, it’s NOT all about size. Learn more here at a micro-site I built just on buying diamonds:

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About David Weliver

David Weliver is the founding editor of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues we face during our first two decades as adults. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.

Comments

  1. Ugh, I wouldn’t want him to something stupid as get into debt over just a ring. I agree that rings should have more meaning than financial worth; he can propose with a spaghetti-ring for all I care. And no, I wouldn’t postpone an engagement/wedding over it either. There’s more than enough mandatory things that require money to worry about – physical manifestation of your love should not be on that list.

    • David Weliver says:

      Wow. Well put, Shery!

    • Sherry, don’t we all wish every woman was like you.

      • No One Special says:

        I think the most important point is to know your woman and her expectations. If an expensive ring is important to her and you are OK with that: wonderful! If not, then it’s the perfect opportunity to see how negotiation and compromise is going to work in your marriage.

        However, some women, like Sheryl and I, could not care less about the ring. In that case, you pretty much wasted your money when you could have used it in ways you and your life partner could have enjoyed much more.

        David is right. There is no one right answer. But it is a great opportunity to learn what each other values. Don’t pass it up!!!

    • Jane L. says:

      @Sherry,
      Let your guy propose to you with a spaghetti ring. I’d love to hear from you about it. There are plenty of ways to buy a beautiful ring that will last a life time without going into debt or resorting to kindergarten crafts to make it happen. If he can’t budget and plan ahead for a simple ring, do you have faith that he’ll do so for a wedding/house/kids/vacation/retirement/etc? Don’t fool yourself, your ring is a symbol of his faith and investment in you and your marriage. Are you as cheap as spaghetti?

      • I LOVE what you had to say Jane L. My husband did not buy me a ring, instead I used MY grandmother’s ring and I still do to this day. What bugs the crap out of me now and again, is the fact that he can afford the best cell phone on the most expensive network, the fastest (most expensive) internet, a new laptop, and much much more technology gadgets, but he can’t invest into a wedding ring. Had I realized before getting married that the guy was spending all his $$ on himself (cigarettes, energy drinks, fast food), and internalized the reality that this type of immature spending would continue on into our marriage (sigh). Maybe I am just a bit peeved while writing this and BTW this is ALL just my one-sided side to the story but men, please spend your hard earned $$ (even if it’s not that big of a ring; you can always upgrade later on in life) on a token that will symbolize how hard you are willing to work to make her the most happiest women on this earth! And ladies, please don’t do what I did. The wise (wo)man learns from the other (wo)man’s mistake, the foolish one (me) has to learn from his (her) own.

      • True that Jane, I agree! It shows commitment and if he’s willing to save it shows he’ s really ready to invest and you can probably bet he won’t be wandering around looking at other prospective women when he is reminded every month with the bill how much he’s committed to you. lol It also shows he’s a good money man and can save!

    • I have to agree with Jane L. If he cannot put enough forethought into saving money for a ring and making the proposal match the importance of the event it says a lot for how little forethought or effort he will put into your marriage.

      Of course, having been through a failed engagement with a man-child who proposed (no ring) then refused to set a date; I have a little different perspective.

      Marriage can be spendy or thrifty, it depends on the choices you make in planning it. However the ring and his own tux are typically the main expenses for the groom, whereas the bride or her family has the wedding venue, reception venue, his ring, her dress, invitations, flowers, decor, food…let’s just say everything else.
      Really, if you think about it, even if he uses the “old” standard of 2 months salary he is still getting off CHEAP!

      • Lorenzo says:

        Since when was a 5k ring being cheap. I think Americans (me being one) are so lost it’s pathetic. 5k will get you a nice VVS pave setting with 1 carat in the center. I can’t see any problem with that. Besides most guys will up that a carat after 10 years and maybe a second time putting you at 3 carats. That’s overkill but it’s not uncommon for someone to have when they have 30 years in a relationship.

        Just so you know saving for a ring has nothing to do with saving for a house or future. It’s funny to me because the importance is in who your with not what you carry on your finger. I’m not an extremist so I wouldn’t say get a woman a .25 carat ring but 10-15k for a ring when your under 30 is overkill. I make 85k a year which is enough to buy a ring at that price point but why?

        Think about it. 10k in your child’s college fund or an extra 10k on a ring. It’s up to you but that ring won’t pay bills, save for retirement or get you through hard times that this country has gone through for the last 10 years because we continuously over extend ourselves on things that don’t matter. Just an observation.

        • Maximo Gemmill says:

          That is right, Lorenzo. 2 month’s salary for me would be (gross) mean a ring over $12,000. that is ridiculous. Better to put a down payment and buy her a car. Thankfully, my partner is not so materialistic. That being said, I asked her would she liked and she said “sapphires” which is perfect since her favorite color is blue. So I got her a unique design with sapphires and small diamonds (she gets compliments on the ring), nothing ridiculous. Her little brother thought I was cheap, but I told him good luck with the 2 months’ salary thing. What I did instead was buy his sister/us a house less than two years later. Spent over a thousand dollars (and my labor) to keep her car going until we can afford to get a new one. After our baby, I work and have money saved to allow her to work part time to stay home two days per week with our son, put more money into our retirement, and contribute money into our son’s 529 college savings plan. Two years ago, I went to see a financial advisor and he was impressed about the amount of money I had in my retirement accounts (and lack of debt except for my car which I will pay off this year). He said I was ahead of most people my age that he sees. Sure, guys have flashier cars and go clubbing and to Vegas all of the time, but that is where their money is. They have no thought for the future. My wife appreciates that, and that I manage us well (since I make twice her salary even with her working full time). Losing money is not smarter than making money, but a lot of people seem to think so which is one reason the US is in such dire financial straights.

          • I dont think a 5k ring would make the difference between a house and a ring nor a college fund….Im sorry but my ring better be nice and it better be pricey thats a reflection and a symbol of my soon to be husbands love for me! He better not skimp on something that is to be cherished for a lifetime and is a symbol to the world that I am off the market!

          • A symbol that you are off the market? How about using your mouth for that. A ring isnt to symbolize you are taken, it is something that the man your with wants to share with you to show YOU that he wants to spend the rest of his life with you. If you need a flashy expensive ring on your finger to warn off other guys, my guess is your probably not someone to be trusted anyways and you dont deserve the ring. Be happy with what your man can afford, its not about the money.

      • wowlorenzo says:

        “if you think about it, even if he uses the “old” standard of 2 months salary he is still getting off CHEAP!”

        I wouldn’t waste a single day’s pay on you.

        • You are clearly not the type of man she would want anyway!!! lol

        • Stephanie says:

          The annual price of a wedding is $27,000. Much of which is paid by the brides family. Even without something flashy it can get pricey. My friend is getting married but the date has been moved back due to finances. She bought a wedding dress for $500, and it was on sale. Her brother was going to pay for the photographer but they put off arranging it. The couple is paying for most of the wedding though and ironically the groom was the one jacking up the price. He has a large extended family and wanted them all invited. That request was turned down because of the price. Still, a ring doesn’t need to be pricy and expensive. If he handed me a $30 dollar ring that suited my particular taste, then handed me the key to the house he put a good down payment on. I would consider him a good provider and good husband material.

      • What about if it is a second wedding for the bride (obviously I think if a first for her, a nice ring is in order)?

        In addition what if the bride’s family believes they paid for the first wedding, and all subsequent ceremonies are on her (and the groom)?

        Do either of these factors (or both) have an effect on the price of the ring?

        Just interested in a woman’s thoughts on the subject as this is likely to be my situation.

        Thanks

      • I agree. You are wearing this ring on your finger for the rest of your life. It may not seem important to a man, but it is important to a woman. If you love your girlfriend and want to impress her and start your future together in a good way, BUY HER THE BEST RING YOU CAN AFFORD!! Just don’t buy anything you can’t. She knows how much you make and will know whether you are being cheap or are being too extravagant.

  2. as a woman – 1) any guy who would go into debt over the engagement ring? would be a guy I wouldn’t marry – because he probably has other needless (consumer) debt, and 2) even if I married a rich guy – I don’t want a ring so expensive I have to worry about losing it. (If only QVC made diamonique rings that were actually the size of reasonable diamonds instead of huge honking rings, I’d prefer a fake actually)

    While I like traditional rings – I have large knuckles for the size of my fingers, so rings with traditional kinds of settings generally spin badly on my hands (I have a birthstone ring set similarly to many engagement rings, and I almost never wear it because it spins and then it ends up hurting my other fingers, etc). So I’m personally thinking I may actually suggest to forgo the engagement ring, because I just want a nice wedding band with some decorative engraving on it…

    • Honey Smith says:

      My husband bought me white gold with CZ. I think it was about $350. No one has ever said anything except it was stunning. And there are lots of options besides QVC. Google “CZ engagement rings” and a ton of sites come up. If my center stone was a diamond, it’d be .75 carats.

  3. I don’t think the 2 month salary is a must anymore. If you shop competitively and be a little creative with the design you can get a very nice, good quality, ring for an affordable price.

    I spent about one and 1/4 months salary on my wife’s engagement ring 4 years back (which at the time was more than I could really afford) and she gets complements on it at least once or twice a week.

  4. We’re not engaged yet, but my boyfriend and I have talked about this extensively and both because of the cost and because of the ethical problems associated with diamonds, we are going with a CZ “diamond” in a white gold band. There are a lot of them out there that look identical to “real” engagement rings. I think the one we decided on cost $350 or so, and if I didn’t tell you it was CZ you wouldn’t know (it’s a .75 carat center stone with two small baguettes on the side).

  5. It just wasn’t worth it to us to wonder how many 15 year olds died or lost their hands so that my boyfriend could spend $5,000 on a hunk of carbon :-)

  6. And 2 months’ salary for him would be $10K!! That’s just insane.

    • Believe it or not, some people spend way more than $10k on an engagement ring, many of whom don’t even make that much in six months! A friend of mine recently proposed to his girlfriend (now fiance) and presented her with a ring that he financed at about $12k, and he makes less than $30k per year.

      I can see it now: “Happy 20th anniversary, sweetie. Did you pay the engagement ring bill this month?”

  7. Actually, the two months’ salary “tradition” isn’t really a tradition in the time-honored sense of the word.

    It is however, one of the most ingenious marketing campaigns of all time, started by De Beers shortly after World War II.

    In my opinion, you should spend what you can comfortably afford. If your intended bride is so superficial that she’d say “no” because you didn’t go go into debt to buy her a “big enough” diamond, I think you might want to consider whether she is really the person you want to be sharing the rest of your life (and finances) with.

  8. Not to be a killjoy but recently a member of the family went through a divorce so we were looking at issues regarding the rings. In my generation the ring was the symbol of the covenant and if a divorce occurred the rings went back to the giver. They could choose to regive as a gift if they wanted but it was the property of the giver to decide. Somewhere along the way the law was changed so that the rings were considered a gift and therefore were not required to be given back if the marriage did not work out. Why is this important in the decision making process? During my first marriage my mother-in-law had given me a very expensive emerald ring that had been her’s forever. I would have never considered keeping it when we split and gave it back. She was so grateful because it meant so much to her. These things are important to know with family heirlooms as I have lost some of my own.

  9. No blood diamond for me! No going into debt either. I like the idea of a family heirloom, but I’d worry so much about losing it.

    A simple Irish claddagh that can be worn with the wedding band is fine for me.

  10. I’m with Shery. Buy what you can afford. You shouldn’t put off proposing because you can’t buy a huge rock. My husband bought me a beautiful ring, it’s beautiful because it came from him. He could’ve gotten it out of a cracker jack box for all that I care. He is and will always be the right man for me. I didn’t need a flashy ring to let me know how much he cares.

  11. I recently graduated college and thanks to my parents didn’t have any school loans. I was making about $48k at my first job and got engaged in the spring. I bought a ring that was $3100, but I had saved up for a while and paid it off all at once. So technically I only spent a little over 1 months salary and I probably wouldn’t have wanted to spend much more even if I had the money. We are both you and just out of school so both of us would rather have an extra couple thousand dollars for saving for our future and our wedding than a huge rock on her finger, and I definitely didn’t want to buy anything I couldn’t pay for in full

  12. I recently proposed to my girlfriend a few weeks ago and was very concerned about how much I should spend on a ring. I came to the conclusion that I loved my girlfriend so much and knew she was the one for me and knew that I wanted her ring to be something that she loved, that I wouldn’t ever have to “upgrade,” and that I would be proud of. I did some shopping around and found an amazing deal on a beautiful diamond. I am 26 years old and I spent about 2.5 months salary. I think the best advice I got was that whatever you spend on an engagement ring (whether $1,000 or $25,000) that you should feel the effects of buying the ring in your finances. Not saying that you should go into debt, but that you should have saved up the money to buy it with cash (like I did) and feel a little strapped after making the purchase. Let’s be honest, if you love your girlfriend, you want to make her happy and what girl doesn’t want a nice engagement ring and what guy doesn’t want their fiancé/wife to show it off? My fiancé loves her ring, looks at it all the time, and constantly gets compliments. I definitely made the right decision. I’m not saying you should spend 2.5 months salary, but I think you should be able to tell that you just bought an engagement ring when you look at your budget.

    • I am the recent recipient of a gorgeous ring. I know my fiance spent some time saving up to buy it in cash and that it is worth a few months’ salary; it did not add any debt to our relationship. I don’t think that having a diamond ring or a ring that costs x dollars automatically means that you are wearing a blood diamond, that people died for you to have this ring, or that it was a waste of money. Buy the ring you can afford, whether it be $500 or $50,000 or no ring at all.

      • Unfortunately, unless you buy an ethical/conflict-free or lab-created diamond (all of which are significantly more expensive), it is extremely likely that you are wearing a blood diamond. More than 2/3 of the world’s diamonds are extracted in areas of Africa and are used to fund insurgencies and/or wars.

        • Jane L. says:

          Unfortunately, unless the hardware of the computer your currently using does not contain any coltan (a key element in computer chips, cell phones, game consoles, etc.), you are also contributing to war and strife in central Africa, namely the DRC. What do you think Americans buy more of every month, engagement rings or electronics?

        • There are several companies that have conflict-free diamonds, if you do your research. Robbins Bros. happens to be one of them; also there is brilliantearth.com. Their diamonds are run through the Kimberley Process and are certified by law to be conflict-free. I would wager that most major jewelry dealers have been processed by way of KPCS. You run the risk of a Blood Diamond typically only if you have purchased an antique ring or have found a to-good-to-be-true deal at a jewelry store. You can’t and shouldn’t automatically assume that just because someone has a diamond ring a child in Africa died for it. Some people care to do the research for things like this.

          And the simple answer to the question for this entire article is: Spend however much you damn well please. If you’re set on marrying a high-maintenance girl that needs a 12,000-20,000 dollar ring to be happy, then that is your choice. Or if you spend that much because YOU want to, that is your choice. No one should make another feel as though their love is invalid because a spaghetti ring or a silver band didn’t suffice as a symbol of their love. There are amazing finance plans out there. If you don’t get approved then you probably had debt problems to begin with and probably shouldn’t be getting married for the time being anyway. There are wonderful rings out there that are affordable AND conflict-free AND worth the smile on your girl’s face.

          Also, Robbin Bros. has 100% Warranty on lost diamonds – if you lose a diamond, they replace it. Swear I am not being paid to endorse them, I’m just saying that there are businesses out there that actually make it their job to sell risk-free, satisfaction guaranteed, affordable, blood-free diamonds that can make everyone happy.

        • I dont think “more than 2/3″ qualifies as making it “extremely likely” that your diamond is a blood diamond, but that’s just me.

    • Bob-

      I’m glad somebody else has taken this stance. My theory was: this is a once in a lifetime purchase. I didn’t want to have to “upgrade” at some point on down the road, because that would infer that there was something lacking in this one.

      I ended up spending a little under 2 times my monthly salary, or $5,000. I felt the ring I got was perfect, and I know she felt the same way. Any time she gets compliments, I feel like I get them too!

    • I agree with you….my boyfriend makes about 38K a year. Found out he was getting and enagement ring and he was spending 1,400 on it…on a payment plan…I couldnt help but feel disappointed…I have supported him for much of the relationship…I feel that he could have made a bigger sacrifice…I didnt have to be something he totally couldnt afford but I feel like if Im your wife and you want to give me the world maybe just maybe you could have made more of a sacrifice….

  13. As a jeweler and a woman I don’t think you can put a number on it. It varies for each person. Some people go into a marriage with children or extra finances. However with that being said, the man should take a little time saving so as to get something they both appreciate. Buying a junk diamond or cz won’t last a lifetime they will most likely break, you’re probably better off getting gold bands instead. You can get a small but beautiful diamond for $500.00.

  14. Going into debt is ridiculous. One of the number one reasons people divorce is due to money issues, so going into debt at the very start of your marriage seems like a bad idea.

    For those who are concerned about environmental/ethical impact of diamond rings, get an estate/antique ring. You still can get a beautiful diamond, but it’s recycling and a bit romantic to think about who wore it before. Additionally, much of the time it’s more unique looking and less expensive than what you’d get at a typical jeweler.

    • I have to agree that getting an antique/estate diamond is a very reasonable option. My (now) husband purchased a beautiful ring from the 1920s for under $1000 and it is absolutely perfect. Also – I know that no new diamonds were mined and used to finance any human suffering… And, it’s a little unique… not what you see everyday. There are certainly options for those who don’t want to go spend far more than they can really afford!

    • Absolutely agree with you. Estate/antique/vintage rings are a much better value, have more character, and are (probably) conflict-free! Personally I love the idea of wearing something that is over 100 years old on my finger!

      • “Absolutely agree with you. Estate/antique/vintage rings… are (probably) conflict-free!”

        I absolutely disagree with you. While they may have character and value, they certainly aren’t conflict free. No by any means at all! The Kimberly process was just enacted 2003.

  15. Another option you guys might want to think of is buying the engagement ring *after* you pop the question. That way you could get exactly what she wants OR she might not even want a ring… as was the case with me!

    Instead, my guy invested his $5k in the business I was starting up. It’s something we are both ready proud of and will (fingers crossed) bring us a lot more future happiness than a pretty piece of bling! Of course, that’s our specific case, but do talk to your sweetie about what is right for you both…

  16. As a fairly active (and sometimes a bit scatterbrained…) woman, the idea of wearing a ring around every day worth 2 months salary (in the $5-10k range) is absolutely terrifying. I don’t care how shiny it is, wearing a $5,000 dollar RING when I might bust it up or scrape it against a wall or lose it is objectively the craziest thing anyone could ever ask me to do. I just want it to still be shiny in 50 years, that’s all. :)

    • Yes, I would rather go on a $5K honeymoon than worry about losing something, breaking it, or being the target of a mugging (scary!).

  17. I agree you shouldn’t go into debt for something you can’t afford. However this is supposed to be a lifelong token of your love & commitment to the woman you plan to spend the rest of your life with. People spend more money on a car every 5-8 yrs that will break down than they do on this token for the future mother of their children. Call me old-fashioned…but I see something wrong with that. Using that example, I’d rather buy a cheaper used car and a better lifelong ring.

    • stassi says:

      I completely agree with you. I’m not saying a ring should cost a large amount of dough but it should be something a little investment has gone into. It should also depend on ur mans spending habbits if he spends his whole check away on useless toys(games conclles computer suff and such) then yes he sould be encouraged to save a liltte and make a sacriface on his end to get you a nice ring but, if he is one to live pay check to paycheck barely getting by after rent don’t be selfish and go into debt over it a girl should appreciate any ring she gets and not be hung up on the price tag remember ladies its a symble of ur love for eachother not a symble of how much money he is willing to spend on you.

      • I agree as well Im dont think you should break the bank but it should be a nice ring after all this is our soon to be wife we are talking about…marriage is a serious commitment and one of the ways to show your love is with the engagement ring….if a man proposes to me with a $500 ring I would just get up and walk away. Seriously, guys put some effort, thought, consideration, money, and time into something that you are going to give supposedly the woman of your dreams!

  18. Honestlty – I have been waiting a long time for my ring – I think 5 years – 5 carats! looll

  19. Though my ring is very modest (under $500 for the set) I would still have preferred a CZ/stainless steel ring for oodles less. The “lifelong token of your love & commitment” was his signature on our marriage certificate. A ring is just a thing. I wanted a husband, not jewelry and a marriage rather than a wedding.

  20. The wedding license isn’t a “token” of your love, by any stretch. It’s what you physically, legally, MUST do to complete the process of marriage. The ring is the token. Whether it’s a diamond, a sapphire or just a plain band, it’s the ring that says “I’m married”. It’s the ring that you will look at every day for the rest of your life. It’s your wedding ring. It’s on your hand. It’s not a pair of shoes you will change day to day. It’s forever- every day. It’s worth thought, consideration and money.

    • Pretty in Pink says:

      Rachelle,

      I can’t help but feel like you are a little bit materialistic. You basically just said that the ring means more than the wedding license. A ring is worth thought, consideration and MONEY? Hmmmm, yea you seem like one of those women that wants a man to figure out a way to get you something to show off everyday to other people, even if it hurts him financially.

      • Pretty in Pink,

        Rachelle mentioned a plain band. Don’t be ridiculous. A plain band isn’t something to “show off everyday to other people.” It is something to tell people without words “I am taken.”

        If you choose to be non-traditional and forgo the ring, then that is what you and your future husband decide. Don’t criticize someone just because they hold a different opinion or are more traditional.

    • I don’t think that wanting an engagement ring of value or sentiments makes you material. I would want a size-able or attractive ring in the hopes one of my future children could cherish it the same way I would cherish being able to wear it everyday. Knowing that my husband had put that much thought and effort into getting something that truly does label you “married”. You don’t wear your marriage certificate to bars, you don’t see it in pictures, you don’t get to share it with family, and you don’t get to feel it on you every moment of every day. Sure the love makes the marriage. But what about if he’s military and overseas or just has to travel in general? I would like to think he’s there with me a little more by having something he, personally, picked out and put so much consideration into. Actions can speak louder than words and they idea of someone kneeling down in front of me and giving me a token of their love that they are proud of and can share with me is just something I don’t want to give up. I’m not asking for a bank breaking ring. Simply, a real ring, not even diamond, but at least inscription that’s undeniably “ours”.

      • Nathaniel says:

        Being military, I can tell you that most service members cannot afford to put that much into an engagement ring. We honestly do not make very much. Personally, I’ve got student loan debts and am working at just having a good savings. I firmly believe that my girlfriend would rather me put thought and effort into savings so she could live comfortably rather than be able to show off in a lavish fashion. There are a lot of other things I can personally pick out for her to hold onto when I am gone. I hope she will love the ring because it will tie us together and she knows I gave her the best I could, but I think she’d rather hold something from Build-A-Bear when she misses me than stare a hunk of pressurized carbon and metal.

  21. I made it clear to my boyfriend that I am not concerned about the price of the ring, so as long as it’s something I can wear everyday, won’t hurt my students (i’m constantly holding tiny hands), and will last a long time. Sure enough, he spent an evening looking at rings online and kept calling me over to look at different rings (while covering the price with his hand haha). I am on the same page as everyone else about the ring not being essential but I can’t help wanting the world to know that I’m engaged. It’s exciting! (:

  22. my Girl fiend showed me a ring which will cost 4 months salary. I am sure she wouldn’t want/let me buy that, But i relly wish i had that kind of money to buy that for her. After all you dont get engaged every day. Its once in life time

  23. What my husband and I did was go fake. We purchased a cubic zirconia ring and made an agreement that in time, once we saved enough money together, we would get a real diamond ring. All I have ever heard about my ring is that it is gorgeous! I was even asked if it was a family heirloom. Plus, if it gets lost or damaged, it isn’t such a horrible loss!

  24. What we did was a little different. I decided on a budget of $10,000, or about 2 months salary. I looked around for mountings and found one I liked, and then started my search for a loose stone. Although I’m changing the world by any means, I try and buy free trade coffee and so the amount of information online about blood diamonds was disturbing. The solution I found were lab diamonds. They’re made in a lab, so they definitely didn’t come from any conflict area. They’re cheaper, and no one save a jeweler can really tell the difference.

    When I proposed to my finance, I gave her the lab diamond. Later that day we went to the jewelery store, and showed her a natural diamond side by side, and she decided the lab diamond was fine. And at 15% of the cost of a natural diamond, we saved $6000 which we decided to spend on our honeymoon. Diamonds are great, but memories are more important.

  25. I , personally, think that 1. with the trends this generation is setting and 2. being under 30 , that the engangement ring would suffice with ONE month’s GROSS salary.
    personally that would be a $1700 dollar ring. that would be fine with me.
    besides us ladies, dont want that ring to be the most valuable thing we will ever own. tacky.

  26. Jessica says:

    As a 28 year old military member, I can see both sides…yes, I want something that I can look at while I’m in the desert that says “I Love You”, but no, I don’t want anything that’s going to put our relationship into a difficult financial position from the beginning. Having said that, a lot of the women who GO overseas only bring a ring that cost $25 because having it lost/stolen/damaged is a SERIOUS possibility. It’s enough to say “I’m married” and anything my boyfriend gives me is going to say “I Love You” because he is asking me to spend my life with him. My boyfriend and I have already discussed rings…and I told him NO DIAMOND. I want a moissanite ring, and the wedding set is pretty comparable to a name brand designer for 10% of the cost. We’ve got student loan debt, both of us, at almost 30 years old. I’m not handicapping my financial solvency or stability for an expensive ring. We have far more serious things to worry about in our lives!

  27. jonathan says:

    She doesn’t know that she’s getting a ring yet. I am still going to talk to her father first and request his permission (just to make all the old timers in her family happy). Then she’s going to get one of those man-made black diamonds. Just as sturdy and beautiful as the traditional ones… Just made quicker with compression. I’m spending about 3k on the ring. I’m 27 and don’t make a salary. I get an hourly of 15 with overtime and work about 60 hours a week

  28. An engagement ring is totally worth the extra money. Some of the posting make it seems like it’s a horrible thing to get an expensive ring, but it’s not. A diamond is an investment, the old fashion way, like gold or sliver. Carat size is not actually as important as the quality of the diamond purchased. It may seem like a lot of money up front, but so are many other investments in life – car, house, etc.

    • In my opinion, a diamond is not a true investment… it has terrible resale value. It is in no way comparable to gold or a house. A diamond is only worth so much when sold new by a reputable dealer. If you are selling your own diamond, you will either a) be quoted a terribly low price by diamond dealers, or b) face distrust and again a terrible price when trying to sell it yourself.

    • Diamonds are a horrible investment. Sorry to say but you have been brainwashed by the diamond industry. For one, they are not rare and precious as they would like you to think, and the only reason they cost so much is because the supply is artificially controlled. Most of the alternatives are just as nice looking, at least to the point where most people can’t tell.

      My fiancee actually picked her own right out. It’s white gold with several small diamonds, but the main stone is CZ. We have only told a few people it’s not real, but everyone else thinks I must have spend $$$$ on it, and she gets compliments all the time on how pretty it is.

  29. After reading this I thought I should say this, I am 27 years old and today I went out and spent $9700 on a 1.31 carat stone with a costume made setting. It took me 15 min of looking threw stones to choose the one I did. As I walked outside a big smile came over my face just thinking of how she will react when I give it to her. First of a ring is an investment being scared to wear your ring is just dumb to me rings can always get insured. Second how can some people say CZ or Lab made diamonds are perfectly OK? do you really think it is appropriate to start of your lives together on something fake? and would you really feel good to receive compliments knowing its not real? Buying the love of your life a nice rock is the right thing to do, this is the person you will spend the rest of her life with you. I love knowing that every time she looks at her ring or receives a compliment that she will fell good and that makes me feel go and you can’t put a price n that. I am in no way rich or make cray money but it makes perfect sense to me to splurge on a loved one and all of you people who says they really don’t care I say your full of crap…… P.S. Estate/antique/vintage rings are USED rings and its bad luck to wear someone else s ring.

    • Art you are 100% right I wanna see the faces of those people years from know passing the ring down to there family saying ” here you go honey a beautiful $300 CZ” A ring is a investment.

      • I am thrilled to accept every compliment on my $350 engagement CZ without telling them it’s a diamond, because that’s another $5000 we can spend on something we care about more.

        “This is a story about us, people being persuaded to spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t need, to create impressions that won’t last, on people we don’t care about.” – Tim Jackson

        Yeah. Not gonna fall into that trap.

      • Who says your children will have the same tastes as you? Trends change. Many antique rings are still considered beautiful, but there are so many more that aren’t marketable today because they are no longer considered fashionable.

        I know I’m not interested in any of my mother’s jewelry, and she is not interested in mine. We have different tastes. My ring is for me, not for handing down to my future children.

      • I agree with you two! lol Like really? Im going to accept a guy asking my daughter to marry him with a cz? Get real and speak the truth…thats tacky. If your so “scared” your going to lose the ring then thats what insurance is for. Im not saying break the bank on a ring but something decent and for god sakes REAL is definitely the way to go when you are starting off a life long commitment. Not to mention you should only be getting engaged one time…so what is really the big deal on spending at least a decent amount of money on a ring?

    • Relationships are not built or established on luck or the size of a stone but devotion and generousity.

  30. Heather says:

    My dad was broke when he married my mom and gave her a $300 onyx ring because that was what he could afford. She got lots of compliments for its uniqueness, and they have now been married for about 21 years. I would much rather my man keep his money in the bank and buy me the cheapest ring possible that will still look reasonably nice, and then he can spend that money on something that we can actually use in a few years- down payment for a house, etc.

  31. Many of the issues here could be solved via some simple research and communication. The ring should reflect both parties; the purchaser and the person that must wear it forever. If there is a discrepancy in what he wishes to buy and what she would like to wear…how about a compromise? You have no business getting married if you can’t compromise during these initial steps. In my case, my fiancee wanted something that would stun my folks and friends but I was uncomfortable with that idea. We went to the jewelers and tried things until we were both happy. And if she really wants a meteor? Okay, but if money’s an issue then she needs to be well aware that she will either have to wait or will be forgoing fancy dinners, vacations, and other gifts for a (potentially long) while.

  32. Crystal S says:

    I think that if you love somebody- all you need is a ring that will last until death do you part. No matter how it looks, its what it symbolizes, not how much it costs.

  33. I’ll give you my opinion as someone who definitely wants a ring, and a diamond, but wants to be reasonable. Sorry, I don’t want a “spaghetti ring.”
    I don’t wear rings normally so I do want the two rings I will wear every day (engagement + wedding ring) to be really pretty. Yes, I like sparkly and gorgeous rings, but it comes down to the style not the money spent (although they can be intertwined). I hate rings that consist of a band and a huge, honking diamond… it looks awkward. On the flip side when I see the rings of friends from high school that got married when they were 20, their head-of-a-pin sized diamonds look a little bit sad in their gold band setting.
    I think the key is talking to your fiancee and getting something reasonable based on the look she likes.
    The rings I have browsed through and picked out based on their style and look have been a lot cheaper than what my guy has picked out (I think he was choosing based on his price point).
    I don’t need the price tag. I care more about the style (shape of the stone, color of the band, the setting I like) than what he spent; if it looks good, it looks good. If he couldn’t afford anything over $500 and it turned out that I wanted something a little more expensive, since I am wearing it every day for the rest of my life I am happy to help pay for it. I don’t say that to be emasculating, but I would hope he’d understand that I want to like the style of the ring I wear every day.
    I also do NOT want him to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a ring. I am a saver and pay off my credit cards in full every month, have no unpaid loans on anything, and have a lot put away in a 401k, emergency fund, and investment account. If he thought he should blow all his money on one big purchase and put himself in debt, he would not be the guy for me.
    I am content knowing that the rings I have looked at are a reasonable enough price (either for him or for me and him to pay off together), so I am not worried. Not sure if the style I like happens to fit in my budget, or because of my natural saving tendencies, I have started liking the rings that fit in my budget( I make 80k but the rings I like are definitely less than 2 months of my salary).
    Is that reasonable enough for you guys?

  34. I recently got engaged and had the opportunity to help pick out my own ring. We went to Kay jewelers and picked out a 1 total caret ring for $1400 on sale. In fact, my boyfriend had saved $2500 so we bought the band for $899 on the spot. BTW my band has 1/2 carat worth of diamonds in it too! I feel this was reasonable, I get compliments on it all the time, and now I have something beautiful to wear everyday for the rest of my life. It is a symbol of consideration, married status, stability, and love. Call me what you will, but I did not want an ugly small ring on my finger representing our commitment. I didn’t want to break the bank either. I felt I got the best of both worlds.

  35. Ummmm, often women are making more money than men??????????
    Where the HECK did that come from! You need to do some major FACT CHECKING!!!!

    • Lyndsey Wall says:

      I have heard that in this generation, before marriage women often do make more money than men. On average, a 20-somthing single woman in New York (and many other major cities) currently makes more than a 20-something single man in New York, according to Time magazine. In rural areas, young men still earn more money then young women. However, after marriage (and specifically after children) woman’s earnings sometimes dip.

  36. Why everyone buys into this ‘symbol’ that was started by the diamond industry is beyond me.

    I look with pity on the girls that agreed to marry guys stupid enough to spend $5k+ on a ring.

    If my man did that, I’d send him packing. Lucky for me, he spends his time and money on things of real value.

  37. I’m surprised more responses don’t make a bigger deal about the couple talking about price before the engagement. Once you’re in a serious relationship most people begin to share their money. This can include paying for their apartment/home, groceries, car insurance etc. I would guess the majority of people live together before marriage in this day and age and thus money sharing begins to occur naturally. If this is the case for a couple the price of an engagement ring would be talked about prior to marriage I would assume. The couple should decide the basic price range they consider smart just as they would go over what cell plan to get or what apartment they could afford. Even if a couple isn’t already living together discussing and probably beginning to combine their finances makes sense. It allows a person to see if they agree with their partner on how much they spend on stuff and also what they spend their money on. Money is a huge cause for fighting in a marriage, so before you legally become bound to eachother you should make sure you have similar values. If the couple doesn’t come from a similar socioeconomic background then they’re very likely to split. I say this based on my own parents failed marriage, my boyfriend’s first marriage, as well as multiple friends breakups. Once you’re married you are entitled to half of your partner’s estate and with the percentage of people who divorce why risk that?

  38. Personally, my boyfriend and I have gone to look at rings and have talked about what I’d like and what is a reasonable amount for him to spend. I want my ring to be worth around $10,000-15,000, but even if it’s worth that he thinks he can get the same ring for $8,000 since he has a friend who is in the diamond business and will give him the diamond wholesale. I think my boyfriend might be majorly overestimating the markup though. Anyone know? Anyway, I want him to spend a decent amount because it shows he is committed to the relationship 100% and he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. He makes a lot of money a year so it’s a very reasonable price (2 months salary is actually $28,000 for him) but for us $10,000-15,000 is still a lot because I have major debt from school, and he was in real estate and lost all his money and has been lucky with his change of career. He was married before me and when the market crashed was hardly bringing any money home for about 3 years. He was supporting his wife and his kids completely (paying all the bills for them to continue living in the house they had lived in for 13 years, but he also moved out a year after the market crashed, so he had to pay foe his own living expenses as well. His wife worked part time and probably made $12,000 a year, which she put towards herself and the kids fun stuff, Curt literally paid ALL the bills. He’s an idiot and did this for almost 2 years which totally depleted him of his savings and caused him to rack up even more debt then they already had ($25,000 at least). Right when he was probably 3 months from bankruptcy he began working on opening up a restaurant with an old coworker. It ended up taking longer to renovate and get the place open and he had nothing left. He was also only able to be apart of this deal because the guy who started it had a partner who fell through last minute and Curt had been working all along for free, trying to work his way into the deal somehow. Because he had been working 80 hour weeks to get the place open, and because (luckily) the other guy fell through he was able to become a partner. The other guy had secured most of the financing and Curt is a salesman so he somehow came up with the small amount that was left. The restaurant opened a year and a half ago and is doing awesome. My point in telling all this is to explain how even though 2 months salary for my boyfriend equals $28,000, $10,000-15,000 is still A LOT for us right now as he gets back up on his feet. Plus I owe close to $48,000 in student loans and haven’t been able to get a “good” job (payment wise) due to some ongoing psychological problems and that my degree is in psych. I have my BA but that’s not enough to get a job that pays over $13/hour in this economy. And going back for my masters unfortunately isn’t an option because 80% of my debt is due to graduate school already. I did a year of law school ($35,000 total) and dropped out, then just ignored my loan payments when they began 6 months later. I mean totally ignored them for almost 2 years. I’m just now getting back on track. My monthly payment is a lot for me considering what I make though and my other bills. I negotiated it down to $380 because of my current employment situation. I need some luck with a job basically. So my boyfriend and I will probably be tight financially (at least somewhat) for 10 years I’d say.

    I still want him to spend a decent amount on the ring though and I think other men should spend a similar amount, in line with their financial situation of course. So if your man’s 2 month salary is $15,000 and you have no major debt, but want to buy a house soon after getting married, and you make $8,000 every 2 months and also are good with your debt and savings, your partner should spend $6,000-8,000 I think. Still a significant portion of your potential future downpayment for your house (say a $130,000 pricetag for a cute small condo), which would be maybe $15,000. Your ring will last forever, longer then your first house, hopefully longer then your life because it’ll be buried with you. It’s something I want to love forever. When I look at it later in life it will hopefully make me look back at our life together, a life full of love and similar morals and goals we will have accomplished together. I would want to leave it to my child with the hopes they would then wear it (maybe make it into a necklace or something) and have it continue to be something that stood for our family life together. In order for it to look nice still that long down the line it would have to be a decent quality diamond.

    This was silly for me to write out on here, but I like telling my story to others and comparing life values. We all are so different, but of course I see a lot of my morals as totally right. I don’t mean about things like what one should spend on an engagement ring because that is subjective and not a true moral issue. I mean more in terms of basic human rights for all people and how we should treat one another as human beings (ie discrimination due to race, or sexual orientation never ok). Most other things are at least slightly debatable. That’s my rant, I need to sleep. Buy your future spouse a ring you’ll be proud of! You should think she’s worth it, no matter what your situation. If you don’t feel that way you shouldn’t be getting married.

    • Karina23 you sound like a complete fool who has no idea how to manage debt or income, you shouldn’t be trying to give advice on a ring. You just went on a long tangent about how your boyfriend was almost broke, and is just now out of debt. Now you want him to spend $15,000 on jewlery for you, and you’re not even working? Your boyfriend was a fool for taking care of his real family? Wow must be easy for you to say. You should be throwing up red flags for him, you sound like a spoiled little whore with no idea of the value of a dollar. You just admitted that you have a bachelor’s degree, but you wont’ try for a job, you ignore debt collectors completely, you gave up on your goal of law school after just one measly year, and that you have no idea what money is worth, or really how to even earn it at all.

      I hope your boyfriend sees the light. A girl like you doesn’t even deserve a $100 ring.

    • I do agree with one of your statements. You should definitely be proud of the ring you buy your girlfriend, and she should be proud of the ring she receives. In my case, I am proud to buy my future spouse a $2,000 ring, and I make 130k+. Does that make me a bad person? Does that mean I love my girlfriend any less? You speak of morality and values. How about your boyfriend split the difference and spend $7,500 on your ring, and $7,500 sponsoring 15 kids through Compassion or World vision for a year. Feeding the kids does not “last forever” like the ring, but I’d imagine that would make you just as proud of your man than a slightly bigger rock on your finger.

      I really hope you are just drowsy. The way you write your post suggests you are narrow minded, irresponsible in your finances, and lack the necessary drive, ambition, work ethic, or skillset to be employed.

  39. You can’t put a price on love. Or can you?… If you can afford it go big. Just keep in mind that if it doesn’t end up working out in the end. You both can always get cash for your gold :p

  40. 2 moths’ salary is ok only if you are in your 30′s, making well over 85K/year and COMFORTABLE with spending it… to each his own. Some people spend way less and some spend way more. Personally, I think it’s up to the couple to decide together what is reasonable, whether it be 10K, 2.5K or a bent nail. :) I prefer the bent nail or a creative/reasonable solution. In my first marriage I got a 10K ring, fur coats, silk rugs, etc… and he treated me like crap. He abandoned me and our daughter completely, we saw him maybe a total 3 months/year, never called, never helped with daily life/groceries/expenses and when I asked for money for bills while home on mat leave, questioned every penny I spent. It was pure hell. I was young and inexperienced when I married and believed love would be enough. Since he flattered me verbally and with gifts consistently, I believe he loved me. Now I know better. Money never brings happiness and an expensive engagement ring is at the bottom of the list in comparison to having a caring, generous (with their TIME and of SELF) partner. The guy should only spend what he thinks is reasonable, in consultation with his bride, but for someone in their 20′s, living off 30K/year, with student debts and wedding/home/kids plans, a down-payment on a home might be a more romantic expression of your commitment (from savings!, not some Line of Credit). If you can’t have that conversation, your relationship may need a serious review.

    P.S. An if it doesn’t work out, you can’t get full price back for the ring… best you can do through jewelery buyers is 1/8 the retail cost (unless you manage to sell privately, which is very hard). Some food for thought. :)

  41. I spent $3300 14 years ago on a diamond ring for my first wife. I think I made $31k before taxes that year. So I guess it was less than two months salary. In any case, when I got engaged I really felt it was a waste of $ and that it would be better spent paying off student loans or improving our house. But that was what my X wanted, so that is what I got her.

    I got engaged to my wife a year ago and thankfully she just wanted a simple band with small diamonds. I think it was like $600. I make a lot more than $31k now. My ring cost about $180 as it is steel and not gold. It does not match my wife’s at all, but it matches my personality and we both love it. We took the money we saved and put it towards our new home.

    I think the latter case is a much better use of funds. However, if your fiance is going to feel slighted or upset, I guess you gotta pop for the diamond. Lest you comment that such a woman has the wrong priorities, remember that when a woman gets engaged in this country, all her family and friends want to see THE RING. So that puts a lot of pressure on a person to have that diamond ring. Cheers, –Mike

  42. I would rather he wait on engagement until he has enough money for buy me the clarity and carat I want.

    • How about getting a job and buying your own ring?

      It’s funny to see how some here are essentially demanding a significant amount of cash if you want to spend time with them. Hmmm, what profession does that remind you of?

      • “It’s funny to see how some here are essentially demanding a significant amount of cash if you want to spend time with them. Hmmm, what profession does that remind you of?”

        LOL!!! Love it Tom…

  43. From reading this I have seen people say that a token of a relationship is the ring. I see people saying it is the wedding certificate. I think it is neither. I think the token of a marriage is the smile you get everytime you see your significant other or the feeling get everytime you hear her/him say I love you.I usually side with girls on issues as this because guys do tend to be shallow and closed minded, but this is absolutely appalling. I saw where a girl said that if some guy propsed with a $500 ring she would walk away. Well guess what? A proposal isn’t going to come from some guy. It will come from someone you are in love with. It seems as if a lot of these posts are coming from someone standing in a jewelry store picking the best ring. That isn’t the factor of importance. I feel sorry for anyone that would walk out on love for a couple thousand dollars. I would spend every penny I have to make my girlfriend happy. So, are you saying that you wouldn’t sacrifice as much for your significant other? Not only will you not sacrifice, but you require a $5000 minimum just to tag along. Most of these posts are pathetic.

  44. Wow, i’ve never really sat and read so many responses to such a “revealing” question. To state the rumored fact, 2 month’s salary is the norm. 2months out of 12 months is 17% of your salary…hmmm is that too much i ask? Whether your younger professional or not, that is alot of money. In this day in age more and more people are worried about esthetics rather than then the true value of ones worth. Can this spill over into a budding relationship, maybe? Not to mention our economy and the rising cost of loan debt for all students and young professionals, these are dangerous facts. I’m not a pessimist guys, quite the contrary, but i am a realist. 17% of ones salary will only place one in more debt, especially for a young person who really doesnt know how to manage their finances yet. Even if one is financially secure its still alot in my eyes, whethere you make 100K/yr or 1M/yr. Instead of pricing on 17%, i propose a 5% of one’s salary to be spent on a ring, i think in this range one covers all bases. Just my 2 cents into this arena. Retort?

    • I really think it shouldn’t have anything to do with gross salary. What about taxes? Cost of living? Fixed expenses? I think it should be 4 months “disposable” income. Let’s assume I make $130k/year. 2 months salary is a $21,666 ring! If I am a young professional with a stable career and no debt, then maybe a 20k ring is acceptable. However, if I have to take care of my parents, pay for a sibling’s college, live in a higher tax state, or my income is unstable, then how does a $20k ring make sense? If I have a disposable income of $2000/mo after fixed expenses, then I say the ring should be $8k. If I make $35k/year and have a monthly disposable income of $500, then i say the ring should be $2k.

  45. You could easily turn around the notion that if a guy doesn’t buy the nicest ring she’s ever seen, he is going to be unable to provide well later in the marriage. Jane said that she didn’t see how spending a $5,000 would affect having a car or a college fund. As adults that are responsible with money, we know that every bit counts. A women with the attitude that spending thousands of dollars on jewlery won’t affect fincances, may be the kind of wife that spends money irresponsibly through the marriage. Guys that want to save & invest, and be financially stable might wanna take this attitude from a wasteful materialistic woman as a major red flag.

  46. If you can “bust” or “scrape” your ring on a wall, it’s likely not a diamond =D. Still, I can understand the reluctance to wear an expensive ring daily. Whether you consider $2,000 or $20,000 “expensive” is really up to the person. Most of my friends make 30% less than I do, and they spent $10k on their rings! I have no idea how much to spend, but I know my girlfriend does not want anything expensive. How do you go about talking about this topic with my girlfriend? Doesn’t talking about pricing/style/preference kind of ruin the surprise?

    • Haha, if *I* am talking about this topic with *your* girlfriend, then there *might* be a problem! ;)

      But seriously, if you don’t know how to bring it up, then why not send your intended the link to this webpage?

      So much thoughtful discussion and stories, it would be worrying if you *didn’t* have a lot to discuss afterwards!!!

  47. Reading all of these posts really does help but I still feel sort of slighted. My boyfriend says he makes around 40K but I’ll just call it 38K and he lives with his mother, doesnt really help her pay any of the bills, he told me he pays his car notes well in advance…like until the end of the year. He does have minor credit card debt…like around 3K and student loans of about 10k which he pays about 200 a month for on a payment plan. He has wayyy less expenses than I do and probably more disposable income than I do yet I feel I would have spent more than 1,400 on a ring for him if the tables were turned. I have never been a materialistic person so I feel awful for not liking the ring but I cant help how I feel inside. Truthfully speaking, it is not something that I would be really proud to show others and I cant help but feel he’s being a little cheap. I graduated before he did and would always give him money “just because”. He was still a student in college and I’m young professional. I have probably in the course of our relationship spent close to that amount on him…when we go out I would pay for both of us etc, if I saw something on sale that would look nice on him I bought it…I am by no means rich but I loved him and the thought of doing things to make him happy. I kind of feel like he wouldnt do the same for me…he’s out of school now and working with little expenses…why cant he make a little sacrifice…Did I mention he put the ring on a payment plan??? Yes $1,400 ring on a payment plan….:(

    • Sounds like you need to talk to him about this, not write about it to strangers….

    • Recently engaged says:

      If he put a $1,400 ring on payment plan, then he obviously couldn’t afford paying for it in cash….I personally think its soo wrong if you tell him. I think that there may be something missing and you dont know much about his financial situation. I understand, as a girl, that we all want a beautiful ring.Sometimes you see those itty bitty rings and your like oh no, I wouldnt want that. But when you look at the man that you love and his intentions are genuine, that stuff doesnt matter. What is more beautiful, is that he wants to spend the rest of his life with you. Especially if you know that he really loves you

    • So he owes you money is what you’re saying. Well, sit down, write up a bill and present it to him. Itemize how much your time was worth, cost of gifts/meals/whatever you gave him, etc., but be fair and deduct what he’s spent on you. Obviously he needs to understand that the meter is running & nothing is for free, right?

      BTW, how much did you plan on spending on his ring?

  48. Recently engaged says:

    I make approximately $8k in 2 months, no credit card debt. But, arent there monthly expenses and/or bills that should be taken out, if you’re using your head? Including recurring expenses such as rent, utilities, savings, retirement etc…In that case, I wouldnt spend more than $2-3K. The ring should be a symbol. I think some women find security in the size of their ring, since its going to be seen by friends, family, etc. And if the marriage for some reason does not work out, well atleast you got a NICE BIG ring…lol. But if you’re genuinely focused on your love for each other which should include the rest of your life together. THe man that proposes and wants to spend the rest of his life with you, should also ensure that he can care for you (financially) and your future family together. I dont want to know that he is still paying for the ring 5 years down the road, prob by the time we begin establishing a family together. If we so happen to have money that we can spend in the future (25 yrs, 50 yrs), then maybe we can upgrade.

  49. We women have to wear that ring every single day for the rest of our marriage, hopefully our lives. I want to look at it & love it every time. The average life expectancy rate for women in the U.S. is close to 80 years. Now look at this context subtract the age your fiancee from her expected mortality rate that will give us how many years (if everything goes right) she will have that ring on her finger. It looks as if I will be wearing my ring for roughly 50 years. Let’s spare ourselves the calculation of how many days one will look at that purty ring.

    So my advice, find out exactly what she likes and look forward to getting the ring she will cherish for 50+ years. A couple thousand isn’t much when you think about the longevity of the return.

    • No One Special says:

      A lovely thought perhaps, but terrible advice. The reality is 40-60% of all marriages end in divorce, even thought almost every one thought it was going to be “forever”. The median length for a marriage in the US today is 11 years, not 50 years.

      And if your marriage does last longer, I sincerely hope you have other things to cherish rather that just a ring.

      My advice: do everything you can to understand her expectations and make sure they match yours. As long as exceptions are met (or surpassed), it doesn’t matter what the ring costs.

  50. I was just recently engaged and was disappointed in the ring. I love the man to pieces, but I really just cannot get over the lack of planning. He asked me what I liked and I said I wanted something a little different, maybe even a sapphire. That’s all he asked. I was not expecting him to propose so I never brought up the subject. I figured he would figure out what I actually wanted. Needless to say, I was really upset that he didn’t take more time to ask my friends or family exactly what I liked. I was not about to bring up the subject. The sapphire ring is pretty, it just doesn’t look like an engagement ring. I told him how I felt and he was really hurt by it. I figured if I couldn’t tell him the truth we had no business getting married. Well, to save his feelings I decided to keep it. I mean it’s just a ring….but now I am wondering why doesn’t he want to make me happy? Does he think that just any old ring will do? Maybe we don’t belong together after all. I dunno..I feel really dumb for caring about a ring, but I can’t help it.

    • You should definitely dump him.

      Why? Because it’ll make him far, far happier in the long run. You’re talking about a stupid piece of jewelry, yet it’s far more important to you than the relationship, or how he feels.

      Plus, no man is going to read your mind, nor should you expect them to. You should grow up further before you consider marriage, or possibly forego the idea altogether.

  51. i wouldnt ever consider myself an extremely materialistic person, but i do see the point in making a good investment. Men probably think of a ring as some outdated tradition. dont get me wrong, to each there own. A traditional engagement ring is actually 3 months pay. A quarter of a man’s annual salary. Not saying that should be the standard, but if a man can’t spend one months pay on the gift for the love of his life, as he asks to be the only man in it… come on. You’re telling a woman that she means everything to you and nothing is more important. you want her to bear and raise children, be there for you unconditionally. you show your appreciation and love through that ring. I do believe the proposal is much more important than the ring. but that ring will be her memory of that proposal forever.

    • How you feel about a woman has nothing to do with how much you spend on her engagement ring. You do not show appreciation and love with money, that is absurd and completely materialistic.

      What you should do as a couple is decide what you can afford to spend on an engagement ring, and avoid going into a marriage with debt. If you are with a woman like Katie_Abby who judges your love by the price of the ring, you need to sit down and figure out if this is who you really want to spend the rest of your life with.

      • Stephanie says:

        Most men don’t think about it until they are ready to propose, and then they start saving, and decide it’s really hard…and go cheap. If they spent HALF the time saving that the WOMAN did planning what ring she wanted…they would have started saving so LONG AGO that it wouldn’t matter anyway. They’d have enough.

        • Well said stephanie. I’ve spent two years saving for the ring i am about to buy for my girlfriend. I have enough

          • Katie doen’t love his boyfriend, he loves his money. I guess he’s an old rich guy? Gold digga! haha

    • One month’s pay for a ring is goddamn ridiculous. I’m struggling with debt (student loan debt, credit card debt, my fiancee’s car loan, etc) right now and I only pay down about $100 in debt per month. If I were to put a full one month’s pay into a ring, it would put me 2 years back in my debt. TWO FUCKING YEARS. This is not about commitment, this is about you and your stupid status symbol. I’ve worked long and hard to be where I am today, and I’m not about to introduce more financial instability into my relationship just because you want to show off to your girlfriends.

      • Well, if you are financially unstable maybe you shouldn’t be getting married in the first place…love is great-don’t get me wrong but isn’t one of the leading causes of divorce financials matters? From the sound of it maybe you should get your house together first before wanting to merge with someone else. Marriage is a partnership and like any other partnership I sure as hell wouldn’t want to get into one with someone who wasn’t able at the time (and why can’t your gf /wife pay her own car note?)

        • Wait, you are saying to AVOID money problems, the couple should BUY A HOUSE TOGETHER? I am sorry, but that is completely insane. Talk about an emotional, financial and legal commitment. My husband and I bought a house recently, and although it is fun to work together to get everything set up, it has certainly been a financial strain and we’ve really had to work together to make budgeting decisions and trade-offs. We were together for a long time and very committed before we got married, but I can’t even imagine being a homeowner with him without being married.

        • Sorry, I totally misread your comment! I think I’m projecting my house stress.

      • Stephanie says:

        Starting to re-think buying that ‘vette and that spending the weekend in Vegas, huh Ben? heh heh

    • Valeria Gonzalez says:

      Katie_Abby is completely right. Men shouldnt even talk about whats right or wrong in this situation. or to say that its materialistic. because it is not That’s just being cheap and not caring enough to spend all the money in the world for the woman you love. in my opinion, and usually every women’s opinion, that shows that the guy cares and thinks of what his love would want. smh at you dumb idiots.
      guys are stupid and dont see the point in anything. getting the cheapest thing just to save you some money not to hurt your pocket.. when it comes to buying yourself shit, you dont care if it is 13,000 worth of cars. idiots.

      • Stephanie says:

        If they saved the $100+/month they spent on Xbox games, cable, the new iPhone, comics, tickets, books, magazines, tattoos, cars, etc. for the entire time their soon-to-be fiancé was “dreaming” of her engagement ring, they’d probably have enough to get themselves the ring, an insurance policy on said ring, and still swing by GameStop for the latest Call Of Duty….new copy.

        • Most of the guys that buy all of that don’t have to worry about getting married…

        • Well then women can save the same &100 a month they spend on their hair and nails and makeup and extra clothes and spend 2-3 months of their annual salary on a nice diamond for their future hubby. I am a woman and I would like to get married one day, and I really like sparkly things. I am hoping to have a nice engagement ring and wedding band someday, but I would much rather have financial security to begin my marriage. Isn’t it a bit archaic that we still expect the men to save for these things as a symbol of their love? Shouldn’t their love be enough?

          • Morgan,

            I think you have a great point. You seem to have a great head on your shoulders, and that’s one of the biggest things I look for in a female.

        • ur a moron. I feel sorry for your lesbian partner. No guy would spend a dime on a person like you.

        • I have say in what I spend. Well I’m spending. I honestly don’t think I could ever spend three months salary let alone one month. I don’t watch tv or have one. I don’t spend money on cars. They are tools I have a truck to drive because I need a truck. The best part is she understands that. In society things are expensive. I spend 300 a month in insurance on two vehicles, one for driving to work another for my house. I am not being cheap I’m bring realistic. Yes I could have made better decisions with my money when I was younger. We are talking about joining in life not in a ring here. Really. That means so little. Yes it’s tradition. But I would hope she sees that a home is safe and it’s in an safe area. Where it’s comfortable. where she has to see me everyday and remain happy. That’s what it’s about. Thanks for the post but I’ll spend what I can afford to make sure there is food on the table and a roof over our heads, with a warm bed. Also still enough cash that we can get away and see this planet we live on.

        • First, sacrifice is one thing but even a man needs to have a little enjoyment in life.
          I love my girlfriend with all my heart, she is beautiful both soul and body. I truly feel fortunate.
          I am a college graduate student in the MBA program, I work a full-time job as an automation engineer (entry-level). My student loans represent $1200 after taxes of my monthly salary. I have a low end car and live with my parents. We are planning to move in together after I am done with college (9 months). I save every month to be able to pay half of our down payment. We also have a travel fund that we both place $50.00 a week. A just because fund, travel fund or whatever you want to call is extremely important. I find it to be an anchor. A way to ensure relaxation occurs. We are both young but we need time together. Sometimes we save enough to go to Niagara Falls for the weekend, right now we are getting close to be able to go to Paris, France next fall. She found the travel fund to be a brilliant idea. Since it is the only extra money I have there is no “ring” fund (no video games for me, no iPhone, etc. for me). I love her. I want to marry. I do. She knows due to communication their is no “ring” fund. We intend to get married. I purchased that is modest, 750.00 which I was able to save. Not asked yet. HERE IS THE BRILLIANT IDEA FOR THE GUYS (stolen from my father). Buy a modest ring, love her for years to come through it all, and when you are established, debt free, and enjoying life show her again what she means by adding a second ring that actually wraps around the first. He did this at 15 years. She has two rings but they appear as one, it is actually quite beautiful. There are rings are made by jewelers for this vary reason! Good luck all… I am just waiting for that right moment.

        • I don’t have cable, don’t play video games, have a phone, but no data plan, my car is 8 years old, I haven’t bought a comic since I was 10, I do read books, and I have two tattoos that I’ve had since she was 10 years old. What I have is the best girlfriend in the world with whom I’d like to share what little I have for the rest of my life. I work 60 hours each week so that I can afford to pay my bills, save something and pay off what little debt I have.
          Maybe you’re right – I shouldn’t marry her because I’m not wealthy enough to afford a top-notch ring.

      • How can you call some one an idiot, yeah we buy cars and bullshit but you girls do the same thing with cloths and what not. how about you show your man how much u love him by buying him something that cost twice your monthly salary. God you are as materialistic as there can be. This is why i find out exactly a girls take on money before i ever consider being with her long term.

        • I feel like I just read an exert from Jerry Springer! and I liked it..
          All to say that communication and having the couple on the same page seems to be by far the most important factor on the ring buying process. I for one am 23 and will be proposing to my girlfriend in the next 2 months. I will probably end up spending about $11K once it is all said and done and am getting a huge discount on it though buying through a manager of Diamonds Direct who is taking out his commission costs and selling me everything for what he pays (always try to find these deals through friends/coworkers that have connections… saving me about 5K)
          My girlfriend is so unbelievably low maintenance and non-materialistic but to be honest the fact that she doesn’t want me to spend a lot of money makes me want to spend much more than if she was needy and demanding about what she wanted me to spend on her.

          All to say every couple is going to be completely different and most guys view this as an “unneeded expense that they could use for something they can actually enjoy” and some girls view it as a ” you better spend enough money to prove that you love me.”
          If you find the right person for you this topic will never be an issue!!

      • As a woman I also find this point of view to be horribly materialistic. I do not measure my boyfriend’s love for me by how much he spends on me. He tells me he loves me through his actions, not through his pocketbook. I feel sorry for women who feel that they only way to prove to society that their man loves them is by how large a rock he bestows on them. Ben is totally right, engagement rings are nothing more than a status symbol, and they are a relatively recent tradition on top of that. The whole thing was invented by jewelers in the first half of the 20th century. I don’t want my boyfriend to buy me a beautiful gemstone to show off that was mined by abused children in Africa whose profit is used to fund warlords. If my man chooses to spend his money on me I’d rather it be on a vacation we can both enjoy and cherish. But I don’t need him to spend on me and I’m just as happy with him saving it up for our future and showing me he loves me in more meaningful ways.

        • amen

        • My boyfriend and I are going through this talk now. I don’t reallu want to get married. I am wishy-washy on the whole situation. I have been married and I have divorced…. Definitely do not want to go throuh that again. BUT, I did tell him IF we ever do get married, he can propose with a boat and we will both pay halfs on it and we both get to enjoy the “ring.”

          Sounds fair to me! Lol

      • Valeria,

        Con todo respeto, eres una imbecil.

    • John_doe says:

      Shallow.

    • The prospect of buying an engagement ring should NOT make a guy feel bitter or pressured about expectations. So, I think communication between you and your love should occur, not only to determine what her expectations are, but realistically, what you are financially comfortable with. Communicating is an integral exercise of a healthy marriage, so start now! Women are more reasonable than many men would like to think so. I think the sentiment and symbolism of what an engagement ring stands for is what matters most to women, and in that vain, people should want to give their fiancees all the money in the world if that meant symbolizing your love. In the real world, though, 2 or 3 months salary is a lot of $$ that not everyone has the opportunity to save up for. Making or getting a ring that is PERSONAL to the both of you will earn you HUGE points, more than a gigantic diamond even. Having it be BEAUTIFUL is NOT the same as really expensive. I love the posts about people getting gemstones other than diamonds in their engagement rings. Great idea, and a wonderful opportunity to do something personal and creative for the woman you want to marry! So, take home message: 1. COMMUNICATE with your lady so you can determine something for YOURSELVES, and screw everything else. 2. Make the ring PERSONAL, not necessary super expensive. 3. Let your lady know how much she means to you and how important her happiness is to you!

  52. Jonathan Fussell says:

    I think the amount you spend on a ring does relate, somewhat, to your level of commitment. I am about to get engaged so for the last 6 months I have been trying to live on $100 a week, thats gas, groceries everything. I think the tight budget has caused me to really think about marriage and the sacrifices it will entail. Fyi I am a Civil Engineer so its not like I’m poor, but I am budjeting for a ring that would be out of my price range if I did not have such a strict budjet.

  53. My fiance works for a nonprofit organization, but he got me a beautiful sapphire engagement ring for less than $500. (I helped pick it out, so I know how much it costs.) I also have a friend who got a ruby engagement ring instead of one with diamonds.I don’t think you should go into debt to buy an engagement ring!

    • C kiser says:

      I’m fortunate enough to be well off, but the women I date usually aren’t interested in Jewelry. It seems a lot easier then to take them along to pick the ring and at the same time allows them to manage expectations with there friends.

      I do recognize that just because a women wants a nice ring she isn’t materialistic. Often our society tells them this is very important, and they have grown up thinking and dreaming about events surrounding marriage and you don’t want to disappoint the dreams they may have had.

      How do you manage not spoiling the surprise of asking them to marry you if you take them along ring shopping? How does this part work? Do you propose without a ring? Do you get the ring and keep it to surprise them later?

      Obviously I’m only planning to ask a women who would say yes. But wouldn’t she be upset that I ruined the surprise if I asked her to go ring shopping?

      • I would graze over the topic with some of your friends. Perhaps even your mom, or sister if you have either. If you guys are serious and have talked about the idea of marriage before, then bring the topic up in nonchalance to see her ideas on it. If you know her well, you’ll be able to see a ring and picture her with it on her finger. It’s your symbol of affection for her after all… if she’s not pleased with whatever it is you decided to give her as a vow of your love for her eternally… then she’s not the right women for you. I would pick a proper proposal over ridiculously over priced diamond any day. Wish you the best!

      • My sweetheart and I just had this conversation (hence the web browsing). He wanted some reassurance that we are on the same page and he wouldn’t be buying a ring I would refuse, but he wants it to be a surprise. So, although I’m a bit of traditionalist and like the idea of him being in suspense, I don’t want to cause him unnecessary stress. I told him I would/will say yes if he asks me and we came up with the idea for me to send him pictures of rings I like. Being the nerd I am (and he is too), I put together an Excel spreadsheet with different tabs for engagement rings, wedding bands, and ring sets with the clear message that the images are meant as a guide, not as expectations. I also made sure he knew that while I love pretty sparkly things, I don’t equate his love and commitment with his financial investment and I made sure to include images across a range of budgets. This way it’s a surprise for me, but he knows what I like.

      • My boyfriend and I have recently started talking about marriage. We live together, share a bank account and work together for everything. That being said-an engagement ring is a joint venture for us. I found a beautiful London Blue Topaz and diamond ring that costs $418, and I adore it. Absolutely nothing else catches my eye and it’s all I want, do I know that when we have the money together, he’ll buy it. The surprise element? He’ll hold on to it and plan a special way to actually propose to me. I am not at all disappointed with this. Lots of women want a fairy tale, but I live in my fairy tale everyday just having him by my side. I don’t need fancy rings and surprises, I just need the love of my life. I wish more women felt the same way-it’s amazing to live in bliss.

  54. Love has nothing to do with how much you spend on a ring. My ring and my husband’s combined only cost us about $60. We are very much in love and very happy. Just because you are broke doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get married. Yes, money is one of the leading causes of divorce, but not because of being broke. It because you can’t agree on how to spend or save your money or who should cover what. Just talk with your soon to be spouse and find out what each is willing to spend.

  55. I don’t know what I will spend on a ring yet, but I like reading all of your comments. They help. I love you Lacey!

  56. a ring is a symbol of your intentions and the seriousness of what you intend to give to you partner and uphold in the marriage (a promise to take care of them physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially). The ring is an eternal symbol of your love. When there is a proposal there should be a ring.

    [ I personally settled and did not receive that symbol and even though I did receive the wedding band (it was given by his sister, he left me three years later), it's his intentions that matter. Secondary reasons to go into a marriage other than for love should not be acceptable. So, if a girl needs an expensive ring you do need to question that. But for me twenty years later, I still long for a proper proposal.]

    Now diamonds as an engagement ring really only boomed/started in the 1950′s, commercialized by the company that owns 80% of the world mines. One wonderful movie that you will remember is “Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend” did just that for them. Before that though a ring was a rare gem with other accent stones and usually a family heirloom was used. Truly a diamond is not worth as much as a piece of glass if it doesn’t have a certificate of grading. Now when it comes to cost it should not matter, but as someone else has commented the ring has become a vanity staple for everyone else to see. So does that matter to you, is the question. From last year the price of a ring has tripled, so yes the rule of two months may not even cover the cost of what is being asked for in the market for a diamond or a synthetic. If you have been together for at least a year (which I believe is time a man knows whether he wants to marry a girl or not, and then more than that he is just settling) he should know her tastes, favorite color, and his and her financial situation to be able to but into consideration of how much they can afford to spend putting the future into account (loans to pay, house, car, wedding expenses, etc.)

    Whatever stone you choose put the 4 C’s into evaluating your purchase:
    Carats
    Color
    Clarity &
    Cut
    but don’t forget the type of metal silver, gold, or platinum.

    “Where your treasure lay there will your heart be also” She should be your treasure shouldn’t she???

    • Jonathan Fussell says:

      Yep, thats why I’ve been eating beans and rice for the past 3 months (see earlier comment).

      • Stephanie says:

        Just wanted to input, thought put into a ring is far more important than price. My best friend doesn’t really care for diamonds but does have favorite stones. If her fiancee is smart he will get her a ruby stone with a few emerald accent stones. Random information, the diamond industry was actually booming a bit before the 1950s. There used to be laws on the books that if a man broke an engagement he had to pay the woman a fee for potentially ‘ruining’ her. When that law was struck down the diamond industry stepped in. Instead of money she would get to keep the ring, which was quite pricy in those days. That’s the purpose of the 2 or 3 months thing. The expensive ring is basically compensation if you decide you don’t want to marry her after all.

  57. Lol, katie_abby where does 3 month salary come from? What tradition? Originally, it was 1 month salary from the marketing material of De Beers, then later decided they can get more money if they say 2 months salary. Yeah, that’s some tradition right there.

  58. hey this was a great refresher for me. Me and my fiance have been thinking bout tying the knot the only thing is i have only a part time job and i don’t want her paying for her own ring i think that is very disrepectful to her if i told her she would have to buy her own ring. i know she keeps looking at this one ruby ring and keeps going into this shop every week. so i’m guessing that she wants this ring cause she is sending all the right clues. i looked at the price yesterday and figured out it was only $ 350. i now just hope the reason she picked this one is cause she knows i’m a little tight on money.

  59. My boyfriend and I have decided to get engaged. I’ve always told myself I wanted a ring for under $250 and we are doing just that. I have a very strong dislike for anything that is common place. Roses, diamonds, and gold are among those. So we are getting a bronze ring that’s over 1000 years old and placing a neptune’s garden topaz in the middle. Truly unique and one of a kind. A special ring unlike any other. Honestly, I’m more excited to be marrying my best friend than having a ridiculously expensive ring like every other girl out there. After buying the ring and loose stone on ebay and paying a jeweler to resize and add the stone, this should be around $250.

  60. I spent $21,945 on her ring and band. I’m not rich, I’m a SSG in the United States Army it took me some time to save that money (some of that time in combat). I seen the ring as an investment, symbol of love and my dedication to her. She is the girl of my dreams, the only regret I have is that I didn’t have more money to spend on her

    • You, sir, are retarded.

    • That was a horrible idea, what an incredible waste of money. Thats like, what, 50% of your annual salary post-taxes? Are you insane?

    • Haha! Oh man, really? My girlfriend would kill me, she wants to go to Paris, Rome, explore the world. Enjoy life. She would have looked at that amount and said why aren’t we on the Swiss Alps (she loves to ski)?

  61. Love is a choice. It doesn’t cost anything and is not a feeling either. That being said, I think we as guys should choose to put in a decent amount of responsibility for the ring. It should be a project of saving and investing to show intention, dedication and dependability to the wife that we will marry. Should it cost $21,945?? Hey, if you can swing it, do your thing. But that’s a nice car, which would be much more useful than the ring. Making regular money, should you scrape up $200 last minute and buy it?? All things considered, would you scrape up $200 last minute to buy anything worth while?? Probably not. This is the fact of the matter. As much as women talk about the ring being the “symbol of your love” for her, it sounds nice, but your love for her should just be your love for her. Hardly any person in the world would take a REALLY expensive ring over a PRETTY expensive ring PLUS a nice, paid-off car. That way you can show love ONCE by handing her the ring and MANY times by running errands for her when she’s sick, picking up her favorite movie when she’s had a rough day, taking her on a random trip to the beach for a much needed getaway. For all you know, she could end up blind while you’re married and never even be able to see the ring. Will you CHOOSE to stay with her (in sickness and in health)?? That’s the “symbol of your love”. The ring should be partially a love thing, but more so a lesson in thoughtfulness and provision from the man. We as men have an uncanny ability to be selfish. More so than women actually (it may or may not have something to do with child-bearing). Saving for a ring (or getting it and paying it regularly and on time) will be an example of what to do for a wife and a family with needs: save and buy, pay bills on time, have discipline, develop self-control, be considerate, etc. Think about what love means to you and what forever means, not just a moment.

  62. If you are in debt or tight on money but you and your partner still want to tie the knot, just buy a quarter machine ring and tell her you’ll buy a better ring once you’re more financially stable. Be smart, don’t add debt into a relationship, we don’t go around buying things we cannot afford. If that women really loved you and wants to spend her life with you, she won’t care how much you spend on a ring. You can’t NOT get her a ring though, so spend that quarter and turn that knob.

    • (Almost) exactly what my fiancee and I did. He bought me a nice $50 ring and told me he’d get me a better one later. It could’ve been a quarter machine ring and I wouldn’t have cared; the fact he proposed was what really mattered. I honestly don’t care for another ring since this is the one he originally proposed with

  63. I would definitely not want a guy to go into debt to buy me a ring. Yes, I want a ring with the proposal, for sure. But I don’t think it needs to cost a ridiculous amount of money. Going into debt over a ring is not really a great start to your future…

    Honestly, I would prefer a more unique, non-diamond ring than an expensive, cliche, diamond one. I don’t like solitaires, but I would love an eternity band or a prettily designed ring with rubies, sapphires, or even CZ!! But sterling silver or white gold or something… NOT gold!

    GUYS–most girls of our generation much prefer silver to gold. Gold reminds us of our great grandmothers’ generation and seems gaudy. Silver is much more sleek and modern.

    To me what would be more important (speaking of the ring obviously–because the most important thing would be marrying the man I loved) would be that he put a lot of thought into it, and tried to pick something just for me!! Even if that means the ring he fell in love with for me cost $20!! (though that is a bit of an exaggeration because a ring at that cost would probably fall apart after a month) :P

  64. I think Stephanie in her responses was very sexist, but had a valid point: If the man wants a woman – he usually knows at least (or most) 6 months into it. I have multiple career venues and have dated my GF for the past 3 years. She brings two children to the table, but no debt. I love her dearly and want to propose soon. I’ve taken her to get her opinions, ring size, wants, etc. over the past few years and have been saving for the past two. There seems to be a lot of undo pressure on guys to be the provider – unfortunately evident by the look/cost of the ring. I agree with Madame A who says it’s not about the size of the ring or cost – it is a symbol of love and dedication. And for Stephanie – if your man is out buying xbox games and fancy tools or cars – is that to say you skimped on your last pair of shoes, lunches with friends, spa’s haircuts or handbags? It’s a two-way street – just make sure it’s fair..

  65. millionaire_at_35 says:

    Just to give some perspective. Two month’s salary in my case would mean over $25k for a ring. Do these girls really believe that showing off to their girlfriends and family is worth that much? I have a liquid net worth of over $1.5M because I didn’t spend money stupidly on stuff like that. I drive a 10 year old Mercedes, and my total monthly expenses come to about $2k/month. And I love my girlfriend dearly, but I’m not about to start spending that kind of money on jewelry. Two thousand, maybe even three thousand dollars? I’ll buy that. Anything over that, in my opinion, is just ridiculous, and irresponsible even.

  66. Are you guys serious, I believe in pleasing a women but come on. Two months pay is a ridiculous standard. If I spend two months pay on my girls ring I would have to much fear of her being robbed. I believe an engagement ring should average around 1000-2000 dollars and the reason why is because think about it, why spend more then that! Yeah more gives u more to show of to your GF but any man who is willing to drop 2000 dollars and have a chance of you saying no deserves some credit, he is making a gamble and not to mention even if you say yes he still may have to front other cost, hell you both well and if a girl is so damn set on a man blowing two months of his income on her to show his love. Then why not have the girl do the same, next time your man blows a couple months of pay on you how about u do the same and see if u still agree with that hole two month rule.

    • I agree with the fairness of what your saying and many girls i know would gladly spend two months of their pay on their husbands or boyfriends if he was willing to do the same. My husband spent 2 months of his pay on my ring and I spent two months of mine on a bespoke italian made tuxedo for him.

  67. I think a guy should spend money on a ring because why wouldn’t u want ur new wife to show how special she means to u and that u be willing to do what ever it takes to make her happy. If she is gunna marry u don’t u think she will do what ever it takes to make u happy also and in the long run guys toys cost way more then the ring u r gunna buy her guys want motorcycles, boats and new cars and her ring would say look people I’m a married women I have a husband and a loving family. Guys toys don’t say hey look I’m a married man or that u have kids, besides women sacrifice way more than man would for a women.

  68. I think a guy should spend money on a ring because why wouldn’t u want ur new wife to show how special she means to u and that u be willing to do what ever it takes to make her happy. If she is gunna marry u don’t u think she will do what ever it takes to make u happy also and in the long run guys toys cost way more then the ring u r gunna buy her guys want motorcycles, boats and new cars and her ring would say look people I’m a married women I have a husband and a loving family. Guys toys don’t say hey look I’m a married man or that u have kids, besides women sacrifice way more than man would for a women

  69. I was just browsing through. I’m 26 years old and have a thriving business. This whole 3 months salary crap is garbage! There is no way in hell I would spend $25k+, nor would my soon to be wife let me! You women claiming a mans love is shown by the amount of money he spends on a ring just goes to show your character. Are you actually saying that a man doesn’t love a woman that much if he didn’t spend his life savings on a ring? You feed into everything that is wrong with this country! Spend unnecessary amounts of money to “show” you care… Nothing but a status symbol for all you self absorbed individuals. Reverse the roles and I’m sure the story would change. But hey, it’s only money, they print more everyday right?! Dumbasses!!

    • The 3 month salary is a guideline for the average working person. The amount you spend is really what you are comfortable with.

  70. And to the sensible women that have commented.. Thank you! I’m sure you are very much appreciated by your men!

  71. Brendan says:

    Wow! Holy high maintenance women! You’re going to make some poor bastard miserable one day.

  72. Shannon says:

    It’s almost humorous to see how upset people are getting about this- from both perspectives. Truthfully the reality of the situation lies somewhere in the middle of this argument. The point of a ring is to be a symbol of love and life long commitment. Should it cost multiple thousands of dollars? No probably not. Materialism isn’t the point of an engagement ring. However, a man showing that he has the ability to put his future spouse and family first is. I think an engagement ring is meant to show that a man can put his priorities in order and has the ability to save up for important purchases- however this tradition was started in another time. Now a days couples are more involved with each others finances and often live together prior to marriage. The man’s ability to save is becoming more and more obsolete, and couples are often picking out the engagement ring together according to their price range. There are truths to both sides of this argument, and in the end it comes down to personal beliefs. The person you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with should share the same core values as you- so there’s no point in arguing about it with random people online. Do what’s best for you and your future spouse and let the rest of the population do as they damn well please.

    • Only comment to your statements, engagements rings were a tradition amongst royalty but didn’t hit main street until this past century via excellent marketing campaigns by the jewelry industry in order to sell more diamonds. I say successful because since it began less than a hundred years ago (yes that recent) it has cost men billions of dollars. Food for thought, but I did buy one myself (very modest).

  73. Flowy_flo says:

    I regret coming on this site.. some of you guys have done a great job confusing me instead of helping out. :(.. if it wasnt for Shannon, i wouldve hanged myself. thanks for your sensible opinion shannon ;)

  74. Shannon says:

    Not a problem Flo. Good luck figuring out what’s best for you.

  75. Half the people that get married get divorced. 80% of marriages end because of money. Best option. Save your money, work hard, and marry a woman that is easy to please and doesn’t care about the Jones’.

    • I read an article about divorce recently, and it said that it isnt half of people who get married getting divorce, it’s half of marriages ending. Apparently a lot of serial-wedders (?) throw off the average by having five or six divorces themselves.

  76. I don’t care if my ring comes out of a Cracker Jack box. I love my boyfriend so much that I don t need trinkets. That is how I know that I truly love him, and some of the women posting comments really need to examine their relationships if they truly feel that a sparkly ring is the only way their man can prove his love. Puh-lease! Make me a ring out of tin foil for all I care.

  77. When my now-fiance proposed over a year ago, he used a ring that I had recently bought for myself, and I was thrilled. I adore jewelry, and my future husband knows me well enough to know that I’d want to have a say in what ring I’d be wearing every day for the rest of my life. So in lieu of an expensive engagement ring, I’m wearing a ring of sterling silver and lab-created white sapphire (which looks like a diamond) that cost me about $45 at my local Sears. Everybody comments on how beautiful it is. They don’t need to know it’s not a mined diamond! While I do want a fancy-schmancy and somewhat expensive ring on my finger eventually, I don’t expect for my future hubby to pay for my ring by himself. We decided to save up TOGETHER to pay for it and get it for our first anniversary. We agreed that there are more important things for us to put our money towards right now, like our wedding, a savings fund, and a down payment on a house. The bottom line is that a woman shouldn’t marry a man based on his ability to buy her an expensive ring. She should marry a man based on his level of commitment to her, and that isn’t indicated by the cost of her engagement ring.

    I can understand where the 2 months pay “rule” came from. Traditionally, the bride and her family paid for the majority of the wedding, so because the groom’s family didn’t have to spend as much money as the bride’s, it wasn’t unreasonable for the rings to be so expensive. But these days, it seems far more common for couples to pay for their own weddings (which is the case for me), and couples are living together and sharing finances before even getting engaged (again my case). So the cost of the ring is actually coming out of the couple’s adjoined pockets. If my fiance had gone out and spent a couple thousand dollars on a ring, I might have wrung his neck. Couples should make decisions on large financial purchases together. Sure, it takes away the element of surprise. But when it comes to money spent, surprises aren’t always good. If you want the proposal to be a surprise, take a note from “Knocked Up” and propose with an empty ring box and a promise to buy a ring in the future. Then if she says no, you’re not actually out an money. =) Or just buy an inexpensive ring at a department store jewelry counter and tell her you can pick out a nice ring together within a set budget. If a girl is going to get angry about not having a super pricey ring with the proposal, are you sure you want to marry her in the first place?

  78. i think it’s hilarious to even have a topic as traditional as “how much should you spend on a ring” this day and age you can’t even tell someone what kind of food or clothes to buy. TO EACH THEIR OWN, assuming you are with the person you love and you are going to marry FOR LOVE, then if you’re balling outta your ass then sure, go buy a ring worth as much as a small island in the Philippines. If you got school debt and car debt and all kinds of debt… consider something that’s more affordable. this is the part where you’ll see just how perfect you are for each other. there is absolutely no right or wrong amount.

    and for those of you who said “traditionally its 3 months salary” well then think about this.. **(disclaimer: some points might be offensive but necessary for some close minded people to understand)** Traditionally, women are not allowed to work, the blacks are slaves, the asians are in asia and homosexuality is frowned-upon.. if THAT is still true now, then traditionally you are correct.

    To each your own.

  79. Mr. Sess says:

    My father always taught me that you treat your woman like a queen, or someone else will, and “that one and only” woman should have that “rock that’ll break her arm”, haha ..yeah my paps is pretty old school, but I believed this to be true.

    Recently, I stumbled upon that perfect woman for me and ya know, I could spend a million dollars on her every day and it wouldn’t come close to symbolizing my love for her. I want her to have the biggest rock they got on earth, but ironically enough, She would rather me put an onion ring on her finger than to wait for me to buy her something worth thousands of dollars. I saved anyway, just because it’s a pride thing to me, I want my baby to have the biggest ring round town!

    Honestly, different couples value different things, If you see a ring as the symbol of your love for your soulmate, by all means save and splurge as much as you can to seal that deal, but if your more realistic and about the simple things in life, and would rather spend that money on a mini vacation, pack your bathing suits.

  80. I think one thing to remember as well is that rings are not always permanent!
    My mom lost her first wedding ring in the river while we were boating, then on the second one my dad got for her, she banged up her hand in a car accident and the diamond fell out and was never recovered. My dad replaced the diamond as an anniversary gift but this just goes to show that stuff happens, and spending an outrageous amount might not be best because you could lose the ring. Overall this worked out for my parents (married 32 years and counting!) because their financial situation has improved since they got married so they got the chance to upgrade the ring each time something happened, but it would be devastating to lose something that someone paid multiple thousands of dollars for.

    • Jewelry insurance!….I’ve had it on my ring for 25 years. The diamond setting has come off twice and each time I’ve been fortunate to find it. But the insurance is there if I ever need it.
      I think 1 month salary is plenty, or maybe even less and get a ring that can be upgraded at a later date. Don’t go into heavy debt. Not a good idea!

  81. There are other options other than buying a ring.
    Perhaps, you can be progressive and do something else to symbolize your love and commitment.
    Many people dont stick to traditional marriages anyway. May as well do something different for an engagement ring as well.

  82. Spending three months of your salary on a ring is stupid, plain and simple. Spend what you can afford on the ring and use what you would have spent on the down payment of your first home. Reducing the mortgage payment you’ll wrestle with for 30 years is more important than catering to the misguided, Disney Princess inspired fantasies of a woman who has never had the burden of a three decade debt on her back. If she can’t accept this, she’s not worth marrying because she’s materialistic, unappreciative, lacks longterm vision and intelligence.

  83. I’m a woman who knows what she wants — and most of the time, I get it. I’ve always dreamed of the man opening a baby blue box from Tiffany’s and seeing an impressively sized rock glittering back at me when he proposed.

    Since I’ve found the man I know I can spend the rest of my life with, the idea of what I want has changed. At this point, I would say yes even without a ring. I know what he makes, and I know what he can afford. I would kill him if he spent two months’ salary on a ring. I would feel incredibly guilty.

  84. It breaks my heart that so many women seem to think that buying something expensive = proving one’s love. I do think about my future ring sometimes, and my future wedding, and my future cake, my future dress, whatever. But that stuff is just stuff (and all of the rings I want are worth less than $500 anyway, because I’ll be damned if I’m going to wear something worth more than a car around my finger). If someone ever decides he wants to spend the rest of his life with me, and I feel the same way about him, the amazingness of that occurrence will be enough for me. I’ll take a plastic ring from a Cracker Jack box if I can experience that miracle.

  85. It breaks my heart that so many women think that buying something expensive = proving one’s love. I do think about my future ring sometimes, and my future wedding, and my future cake, my future dress, whatever. But that stuff is just stuff (and all of the rings I want are worth less than $500 anyway, because I’ll be damned if I’m going to wear something worth more than a car around my finger). If someone ever decides he wants to spend the rest of his life with me, and I feel the same way about him, the amazingness of that occurrence will be enough for me. I’ll take a plastic ring from a Cracker Jack box if I can experience that miracle.

  86. DJOldStyle says:

    I work at Jack in the Box and in three months, I make $2400. My girlfriend, is a successful licensed physical therapist and makes that in about two weeks. She is all about jewelry, and has many rings worth more than three months of my salary.

    I chose a ring for her, and she bought it. Then she bought me a mazarati!

    Guys, this is the kind of girl you want.

  87. Idk. I have been looking around at engagement rings. Some of them are absurdly priced to be sure. I think that the man should get what he can afford with his girlfriend’s taste in mind. I would be ok with a 1 ct solitaire with some nice filigree on the band. To some ppl that would seem fair, others might think I was asking for too much and others still might opine that I’m settling for less. But honestly that’s just my style. I can’t help what I like. My boyfriend knows that I don’t even really wear jewelry. I just want to make sure if I am going to be “stuck” with something (for lack of a better word) for a long time I’d better be in love with it!! That goes for my guy too! Haha Actually I would rather follow Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russel’s example but my guy is traditional. So he’s the one concerned with these things… Not me :) If he said he had a problem with spending the money I would be like: thats a-okay ;)

  88. Melissa says:

    Im in my 20′s about to be engaged to my boyfriend who is in his 30′s. A big age difference but before anyone comments, age is nothing but a number.
    I have never had a credit card, finished college without having any debts, just an overdraft which I paid off after working 3 jobs, and still having enough to start saving.
    I am currently unemployed/occasional temping, whilst my future husband has a very well paid position and he didnt even go to college.
    People say a lot has changed since the 50s but at the end of the day it all comes down to men getting better opportunities than women.
    He on the other hand, lived for the moment, living a lavish lifestyle whereas I only really “splashed out” on a car and although I dont earn a lot, I still surprise him with small thoughtful gifts. Dont get me wrong, of course I have received a lot in return as well.
    What I am trying to say, is that an engagement is a beginning to a marriage. If you think about it, all the money you have previously spent on your exes (holidays, birthdays, christmas, dates) it would probably amount to the right amount your future wife deserves to receive in an engagement ring.
    2 or 3 months is definitely the price you should pay for an engagement ring, whether you earn $100 a month or $10,000 a month.
    Think about it, the wedding alone will probably put the brides parents out more than that money anyway, never mind the fact that you will be spending the rest of your life together and her bearing your children.

    • C kiser says:

      I’m not sure if your realize this but it is not tradition anymore for the brides parents to pay for the wedding. That’s on your future husband.

  89. If you want to talk about a traditional marriage in the seance of spending 3 months salary. Also remember that the woman’s family traditionally paid for everything else so it was an equal sacrifice. That doesn’t usually happen any more. Women want the man to buy the ring and pay for their dream wedding. If you are gunna go traditional I will get the 25k ring but you need to pay for everything else.

  90. burntromantic says:

    Let me tell you a little story: I was a nice middle-class girl with a good education, a good job and excellent credit. I dated mostly nice upper and middle-class boys, simply because those were the people I knew. However I never felt money was so important, and I never got on well with those who were truly materialistic or status-driven. I knew I could be happy as long as I had the basic necessities covered, and that seemed easy enough, even doing a job I loved. I thought it would be nice if I ended up wealthy or at least more comfortable via marriage, but it was certainly not a prerequisite with me.

    Then I fell head over heels for a man who had no money whatsoever. I did not care that he was penniless–I knew I could make good money so I wasn’t worried about him providing for me. I was just thrilled to be so in love.

    Then the unthinkable happened–his carelessness caused an accident that left me crippled. I was too disabled to work and in a very short time, I had spent all I had on hospital bills, with no end in sight. I thought he would change directions a bit with his spending and earning to help me out, but he continued to play the starving artist. Eventually some ghastly things happened as a result of our lack of finances, and I think by any measure, most people would say he ruined my life and my future.

    I realise that I haven’t gotten to the ring yet, but there is a reason that came up— long after the accident, as both our lives were spiraling rapidly downhill, he proposed to me. He had bought a $10 ring which was several sizes too big for my finger, and he delivered his proposal–drunk(!)–in an awkward moment, with absolutely zero effort to make it special. I was so upset I said no, even though I was hardly in any position to turn down a proposal. (I also thought he was proposing out of guilt–which was the main reason I said no.)

    the upshot of all this? I now live a truly miserable existence–disabled and in poverty etc. And so, after many long bitter years of contemplating how my life ran afoul, I’ve decided that it can all be summed up in one basic problem–CARELESSNESS. I fell carelessly in love with a careless man who carelessly caused an accident that wrecked my entire life. His careless proposal was perfectly matched with the rest of his conduct. In retrospect, I wish he had proposed before the accident, because if he had, I hopefully would have had the sense to RUN from this man.

    The fact that the ring was inexpensive would never have bothered me, but the fact that it was literally $10, the wrong size, and offered to me in the way it was, felt like he was hitting me over the head with the fact that he was a sloppy, careless, reckless jerk who had no respect for me or himself.

    I do believe symbolic gestures matter. Not just because it’s nice to have these ceremonies, but because it truly does reflect on who we are. A man who can spend a couple of years saving money for a ring can also save money for more essential things like a house, an insurance policy, etc. A man who wants to show his wife-to-be that he cherishes her, literally VALUES her, by giving her a ring of real value, is proving something of himself to her.

    Back then, I was hopelessly romantic and I suppose more than a little foolish. Now I see that the girls who had a more pragmatic view than I did, and who wanted an expensive ring, weren’t all gold-diggers (although some obviously were.) Most of them were just more insightful than I was that a proposal–ring and all–is often a window into the character of the man and one of many possible predictors of what kind of marriage you can expect. I can’t have kids because of what this man did to me, but if I could have a daughter I would tell her–follow your heart, but make damn sure to use your head too, and steer clear of a man who doesn’t have it together, no matter how adorable or sweet he might be. Look for a man who works as least as hard as you do, and who puts care and effort into all his endeavours.

    To those men out there who think the ring doesn’t matter, I say, everything we do matters. Those who understand this don’t need to be told to get a nice ring. Those who don’t understand this are far more likely to end up leading tragic lives, as I have.

  91. Ok to be honest a lot of you women are ridiculous and have ridiculous expectations. Your absurd argument as to why a man should buy such an expensive ring is to show his outstanding commitment to you and to show that he knows how to handle finances? Have you considered that both of those arguments can also be easily explained away when you consider the fact that he is proposing to you at all. That in itself shows that he loves you and wants to be committed to you alone. Also maybe the reason why he may be buying you a less expensive, more affordable ring may be due to the fact that he realizes that the money could be spent on creating better opportunities for you to spend time together. Please honestly tell me what that ring does for you in terms of building your relationship? It truly is a status symbol. Will it make you feel as endeared as him taking you on a nice vacation with the money or putting it towards your first down payment on a house together? Consider a man who makes 4,000 a month which adds up to 48,000 a year. Is he to spend 12,000 on a ring alone? Then afterwards he has a wedding to pay for because the family of the bride rarely does that anymore. And if the bride’s family does pay for the wedding how far should they go in spending money on the wedding to show “love” for their daughter? What if they have numerous daughters and a modest income? Would a double standard arise then? I truly am sorry if you’ve suffered a bad experience but truth be told, if you have to question a man’s loyalty and stability strictly based on the price of the ring of which he wishes to be engaged to you with, then you are not prepared to be married. That’s what dating is for, to get to know your potential future partner!

    • “I truly am sorry if you’ve suffered a bad experience but truth be told, if you have to question a man’s loyalty and stability strictly based on the price of the ring of which he wishes to be engaged to you with, then you are not prepared to be married.”

      Josh, I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m embarrassed about this topic! As a woman, I’m generalized in the same category as the large majority who truly believe status is a symbol of love and eternity. I would never expect a man to spend 3 months of his HARD earned salary on something as flippant as a piece of jewelry which is meant to be a symbol of infinity… (which has further implications that I mentioned in my separate comment below). It’s refreshing to hear a real argument against this archaic burden being placed on men. Finances should be held to an importance being as they’re one of the top reasons behind divorces in this country. We’re no longer thinking about our selfish impulses as detriments to our vows.

      • Thanks for your comment Brit. I believe most men realize that most women do not feel this way but I just had a culture shock at how many actually do think this way. Whatever happened to courtship and love? I’m not asking anyone to be so “blinded” by love as to not recognize when a man is lacking in drive to reach his goals and aspirations. But isn’t that the WHOLE purpose of dating? I personally don’t believe in divorce, however I don’t knock anyone else’s views on the issue, but at the very least isn’t marriage still a sacred commitment to be taken seriously? Isn’t the goal to hopefully find a life long partner? If that still holds true and we’re not testing the waters just to see if it works or not then there should be some intense dating/courtship going on to truly determine whether your man can handle finances or not and whether he truly is committed to you. By the time he proposes (if you’ve given him the time of day till then based upon how your dating went) you should already be clear on these things. A ring shouldn’t be a factor at all by that point in your decision to marry him or not. I plan to be engaged to a young lady whom I love very much soon. She’s knows that I love her and want to spend the rest of my life with her and she knows that I am responsible enough to take care of her. Why? Because we’ve established that in our dating. When I propose to her I know that the only thing that will matter to her is that I’m ready to take that next step with HER and only her. I plan to spend between 3 to 4grand on the ring because I love her but not because that’s what she expects or because that’s the only way she’s gonna know I can handle my finances and want to be committed to her. NO! Ring or no ring she KNOWS these things already. I could honestly buy her a gumball machine ring and it will not change what I know her answer is going to be.

  92. I’m shaking my head in discontent as I read through some of these comments. As a 22 year old single woman, I understand the desire to plan a lavish and meaningful, well-thought out wedding. Just like many others, I’ve dreamed of a beautiful wedding day my entire life. With that, comes an engagement ring. I would hope that you have all understood what cost goes into a ring. I’m not talking about how much your man should be expected to pay, but rather, what the ring has cost prior to ever being placed on your finger. The blood diamond trade is ravishing right now and it is nearly impossible to tell what is coming from where by the time it even gets placed in a jewelers hands. I couldn’t stomach having a symbol of broken families, tortured humans and death on my finger. Nothing about that screams “WAHOO, I’M GETTING MARRIED!!” to me. To be honest, the circle is what is most important. It’s the sign of eternity… a never ending circle, which is what marriage is meant to be after all. It’s a promise, unending, as well as a reminder of the vows you take to love and cherish one another (not a piece of jewelry. It’s not about the wedding… it’s about the marriage. Plenty of beautiful gem stones can be set in recycled golds, cutting down on support of the blood trade as well as refinery and pollution. If we don’t stop arguing for our selfishness, we’re never going to get anywhere as a human race. It’s time to start thinking about the importance in everything instead of the importance of things.

  93. burntromantic says:

    “I truly am sorry if you’ve suffered a bad experience but truth be told, if you have to question a man’s loyalty and stability strictly based on the price of the ring of which he wishes to be engaged to you with, then you are not prepared to be married.”

    @ Joshua

    You sound like you have your head on pretty straight.

    In fact, I wasn’t prepared to be married–I was not even engaged when my then-boyfriend disabled me–permanently. And yes, you’re right that if we had dated longer, I probably would have realised that he had some problems and ended things long before either of us were thinking wedding.

    However, I wrote my post because I think a lot of young women have been taught, as I was, that they’re not supposed to expect men to provide for them these days–and I think this is a dangerous way to think.

    Prior to becoming handicapped, I was also of the school of thought that an expensive ring was merely a status symbol. However, ruinous life experience has taught me that something like that is not merely a status symbol–it is in fact a very real demonstration of financial capability and of commitment, care and responsibility, and no one–man or woman–should underestimate how important these are.

    I was not looking for someone to provide for me– I was an independent woman with a real career and I was not especially worried about that. Sadly, I turned out to be wrong. After leaving me disabled, I was completely dependent on others for everything, and the man in question, as you can guess, was not capable of providing one quarter of what I needed.

    Fortunately, most people will never have to face such an awful situation. The only problem is, no one can know for certain when life is going to splatter you. I sure didn’t see it coming. One minute my life was wonderful and amazing—the next it was toast. I’m not advocating that women demand some obnoxious rock that costs half your kids’ college tuition. But I am suggesting that both partners take the commitment seriously—it’s in sickness and in health. If a guy can’t save up a little money to buy a ring, what is he going to do if his wife ends up in the hospital for a year, like I did? My man and I did love each other, but love couldn’t pay my hospital bills, and neither could he. Marriage ISN’T just about love and romance. It’s also a business partnership and a legal contract. That might sound unromantic, but the stability needs to be there as the foundation for love and romance to flourish.

    The ring isn’t an empty gesture–it’s one form of assurance that you’re for real. I think women need that more than ever these days when marriages are so often treated as disposable, and maybe the men need it too–because having to save up all that money is really going to make you stop and think, how serious are you? It’s easy to feel committed when you’re young and in love and you haven’t endured any real hardship. Most couples get married without ever having endured any real test of their commitment, and a lot of those marriages crumble when the first big problem hits. A ring not a bad test, and I don’t say that out of crass materialism–I say it from a place of true life experience.

    • Burntromantic thanks for your response. It’s hard for me to respond as you have suffered an unfortunate situation and I really don’t want to come off as insensitive. My reply, however, will be slightly addressing your situation but will more be directed at the women who have spoken out on here as a whole. Let me start off by clarifying that the offering of a ring is not an empty gesture. It is however in my opinion a traditional and unnecessary gesture. Why? Well I’m an old soul when it comes to things such as tradition. I do believe in the man being the provider of the home. I believe in the woman nurturing her family and tending to the house. Can she step outside of those roles? Sure. Can she get a job and help contribute in other ways. Sure. But I still believe those roles to be the basic roles each gender should hold in a relationship. Before anyone comments below and tries to make me seem sexist, I am not. Furthermore, those are just strictly my views and do not need to be adhered to by anyone else. However, I think we can all agree that those were the views of the majority of people when traditions such as an engagement ring and the time allotted to saving for one were established. But living in the 21 century and realizing the present culture of women seeking roles outside the home and their strong desire for independence, it’s hard to justify that tradition being necessary. Sure, when the man is strictly seen as the provider then it makes sense (although not necessary) for more to be desired of him in terms of a proposal and an engagement ring. But holding to that tradition then the woman’s family should pay for the wedding. That’s where I haven’t seen a single woman on here mention tradition. The truth is tradition is not held to because in some ways it’s not realistic. There’s too many unsaid factors affecting that tradition. What if her parents budget can’t afford a wedding at the time? Then even if they do split the cost of a wedding, the man is put out of a ridiculous amount of money. Again, a man making $4,000 a month saves up 3 months income. That’s $12,000. Also, on a modest end, if they have a $15,000 wedding and he pays half that’s $7,500. That totals $19,500 from him alone. Almost half his yearly salary. That doesn’t mean he just saves up 3 months of his salary back to back because he also has bills to pay. Rent, electric, water, student loans maybe? Given our current economy it’s unlikely that you’re going to find a job paying $48,000 without a college education. Even if he does find that job or have it all paid off due to scholarships, age still plays a major factor. If he’s a middle age to older gentleman then he might have that amount of money saved up due to time. However, if he’s just starting out but is stable and trying to establish something. Then I’m sure he could reason as to why $12,000 in just a ring alone is outrageous. Maybe he’s trying to save up for a house someday or a car. Would you consider your average working man having saved up $20,000 who is 25 or under pretty stable and responsible? If so, then you’ve just asked him to dump a good chunk of that into a ring alone. Not to say that the ring isn’t important but on the scale of establishing one’s self that just isn’t a smart financial move. There’s a difference between what one can pay for and what one can afford. Or should he go into debt and really establish the statistic as to why many marriages end in divorce? What level of income is the man making? If you’re middle class or lower, 3 months salary may just not be plausible, but if you’re wealthier it may seem reasonable. There are also many other factors that go into why that tradition isn’t realistic or logical for many people that I won’t get into and you can’t just pick and choose the ones you want to adhere to. Regardless of all that here’s a question. So the man chooses to prove to you in the way that you desire that he can save and provide and that he’s committed. He buys you this extravagant ring. What assurance does he receive in return? What tangible item (saved up over the course of 3 months of course) does he receive as an expression of your commitment to him and assurance that you won’t blow hard earned money on shopping sprees and salon visits? Or what if he gets seriously injured or sick, how does he know that you’ll stick by his side and take care of him? If it’s all based on the gesture of an engagement ring, then essentially you’re saying he’s left with no assurance (insurance). Is he walking in there blindly because of this? No! Again, I repeat that’s what dating is for. From your own admission, you should have probably dated him longer. Not to mention he didn’t have a penny according to you while you were dating. It seems from your total description of him (not just the one I briefly offered) that this guy had no ambition whatsoever and you two fell into being comfortable with what seemed to be a good situation at the time. I agree love is great but it doesn’t pay the bills and like you said stability needs to be there as a foundation. However, he never offered you this even prior to his lame proposal. I personally go by the rule of thought that you shouldn’t expect a person to change once you marry them. You can hope they do but if they didn’t offer the qualities you wanted when you were dating and they were trying to prove their love to you, then you shouldn’t expect it to change now that they have you. Unfortunate and unexpected situations happen that can hinder even the best of plans. However, you still must plan to the best of your ability. So he saves up and buys you a nice ring and gives you a romantic proposal, does that make up for his frivolous spending and irresponsibility? Or he’s been an amazing, committed, responsible guy with his priorities straight but he buys you a more modest ring with a romantic proposal, do you turn him down because it’s not 2-3 months of his salary? If your answer to both of those were no then you’ve just agreed with me essentially. The only way you’re gonna know the “weight of your man in gold” is through the dating process. Getting to “KNOW” that person and how they handle their finances and developing a strong bond with them through dating is the only way to know who they are in relation to commitment and responsibility. If you’re so unsure about your relationship that it comes to a toss up on how much they’ve spent on an engagement ring, then I don’t care if they spend $30,000, you’re already headed in the wrong direction.

  94. Dan Whittier says:

    How much to spend on an engagement ring? I think the first question is whether your intended fiancee is traditional or modern. In a traditional marriage, the woman earns less than the man, assumes domestic responsibility and has to depend on the man for financial support. If she depends on his financial support, it is appropriate to spend two months salary on an engagement ring because, in a divorce, she can sell the ring to support her as she readjusts.

    If she is modern, you should view her expectations in a modern way: She might earn more than you, assume no domestic responsibilities, and has equal opportunity. Assuming she is fully financially capable as an independent person, the cost of the ring completely irrelevant. The main thing is that the ring has a certain kind of beauty and meaning that represents his love for her. It’s symbolic, not monetary.

    If cost is the real factor for an engagement ring, you are dating the wrong person and you will be doomed to heartbreak down the road. By the way, I love the comment “I’m not materialistic but… the guy should spend a lot of money on a ring.” Assuming you are a middle-class person, two full months of salary is close to a down-payment on a house. I think it’s more important to provide her with a house than a fancy ring. If she has good values and she has a good head on her shoulders, she will love a small ring that comes with true love.

  95. When I was 26, I thought I found my dream girl. After 2 1/2 years I spent $3,800 on a ring. She loved it. We were to get married once she was done with college. During her senior year, she felt that she needed to “sow more wild oats”, and ended up getting pregant by another man. That crushed me. This was back in the 90′s.

    I planned on being alone until I died. But now I found a woman that has knocked down my protective wall, and she stole my heart. I would love to spend a million dollars on a ring, but I’m not a rich man. I love her more then myself and am willing to save for something special.

    With my love so strong, I’m not sure if I can wait to save for 3 months salary. I want to be her husband & life-long partner now! I plan on saving what I can, and then going for it. If she sticks nose up at what I buy her, then she doesn’t love me for me, she loves rocks, and rocks only.

    I’m far from “cheap”, but I am a proud blue-collar worker. I’ll buy what I can afford.

  96. My salary is significantly higher than my husband’s. The ring I received is less than 1 month of my salary. I also do all the cooking and most of housework. Am I crazy to want a bigger ring?

    • Sounds like you may have a resentment forming … chat with your husband about it. I wouldn’t be concerned about the ring so much as him not pulling his weight domestically. At the end of the day a ring is just a ring and perhaps he’s planning to buy a bigger one when he could afford to or maybe not. If he makes significantly less than you than it’s pretty safe to assume you knew that when you agree to marry him. The fact the ring costs less than one month of your salary is irrelevant assuming the ring is probably 2+months or more of his.

  97. For me personally, i’m all about style. My boyfriend and i recently went engagement ring shopping -he doesn’t want to buy a ring that i wouldn’t like, so i picked my own ring, he paid it and now im waiting for him to purpose (i dont know when so thats the surprise part lol)
    Anyways, i was after a specific ring style and as we shopped, we found the styles i was after which came at different price ranges. For me, an engagement ring is not as important as the wedding ring, so i chose the cheaper version of the engagement ring i was after. My boyfriend was abit unsure of buying it cause nowadays, most women base the value of the ring on the price. My ring cost $150 + 30 to resize so total, less than $200.
    Im happy and satisfied because for one, its the style i love and two, my boyfriend and i can put the money to the actual wedding and our wedding rings.
    At the end of the day, you got to look at the big picture and see whats more important – love and planning your wedding day. Spending 1000′s of dollars on an engagement ring is pretty stupid in my opinion.

    • Oh and one more thing, no my boyfriend is not cheap nor am i! lol I just think its pretty selfish for me to expect him to buy me such an expensive engagement ring.
      We want to get engraved, gold wedding rings so i prefer that more investment is put towards that.

  98. I read the article and read many comments. I am a woman in my early 30′s getting married for the first time. I don’t think an engagement ring needs to be an insane amount of money, but it there should be a lot of thought, research, and care put into the purchase. I recently became engaged, and I got to tell you, when your boyfriend proposes, and you are so overcome with happiness, only to see the ring and be completely disappointed, it’s a major freaking bummer. Guys, the best advice I can give is don’t be frivolous, but jeez, don’t be cheap. It’s (hopefully) a one time purchase of something your wife-to-be will wear and look at everyday for the rest of her life. Make sure she likes it and is proud of your selection. Best of luck to everyone….

  99. Does anyone know why we give rings? I have no objection but it was a successful marketing method the jewelry industry put together to sell more… diamonds. Since the marketing campaign it has cost men… billions. Nicely done!

  100. As a non-US born female, I didn’t know how important was the ring. My ex-husband didn’t even bother to get me a ring. When my friends talked about engagement rings I was amazed. I am no longer married, he wasn’t just cheap but not even a decent husband. Now, I am dating again and hopefully my new bf will pop the question and hoping for at least $5,000 ring. If he doesn’t spend that much I will be disappointed but will still marry him. I hope he doesn’t spend more than $10,000 or I will be mad at him. And why do I want him to spend couple of thousands?! Just because I know that he can afford it if he just cut the beer and all the other things where he waist his money. If he was a 23 year old out of college a $1000 ring would be fine.

    • From a NO ring to at least $5000 ring!?!? Gold digga! hahaha

    • Should we anticipate you buying him at least a $5000 watch to match the investment he’s making in you? Why should either person need to cut out anything they enjoy just to please the other … your getting married because you love each other, and that love should be founded in what the other is about not what you hope they will eventually be. It doesn’t matter how much a person makes when it comes to how much “the ring” costs … common sense would dictate that the marriage two people are about to be part of is based on much more than a piece of jewelery and 2-3k is plenty. Anything more a person had planned to spend can go towards something that both people can enjoy like travel, new car, how about a healthier deposit on a house/condo.

  101. phil mcrackin says:

    “Ben Dover” hahaha am I the only one that laughed at that?

  102. gordon burkholder says:

    Another thing – diamonds look nice, but they are not investments. Don’t get fooled by a salesperson who tells you to spend more because it’s a good investment. It’s not.

    If you sell a ring purchased at retail on the open market, you will be lucky to get 50% of the retail price. 25% is more common.

  103. Thanks for nothing…. a lot of reading to be told “Pay whatever you want”.

  104. I think that if the girl/guy has high expectations for a ring, and/or the couple isn’t’ in a terrible hurry to marry, then the guy should just save what he can when he can. Whether it be months, or years. If the wait is worth it, then it’s worth it. Love is an investment, it is hard, but also easy. The ring should be the same. But that’s just me.

  105. Lets be honest and to the point
    The real answer is $5,000

  106. Guys! It does NOT have to be expensive! I mean yea sure any girl would love to have a big huge rock on her finger but honestly any simple but elegant ring my boyfriend who I loved picked out for me I would be overjoyed to have it. I guess some girls are not easy to please but most girls I know would be more than pleased just knowing that you want to symbolize your love with a pretty little diamond and you want to spend the rest of your life with her. Jus make sure how u propose is reallllly romantic!

  107. Good article! Spend whatever you and your fiancé agree on spending. That’s not what getting married is about. For those of us in our mid 20′s who don’t want to wait to have a better ring.. upgrade in the future once you have really made something of yourself!

  108. Regardless of how much you choose to spend on a ring, make sure you stay alert for all of the “hidden” and/or “ongoing” expenses that are associated with the purchase. These expenses may include any surcharges that the jeweler adds to the ring: some jewelers may add a “setting fee” or a “re-sizing fee” to the initial cost of the purchase. Also, if the ring is sufficiently valuable that you need to get it insured, remember to factor for the cost of that insurance as an ongoing expense after you buy the ring.

  109. The “ongoing expenses” are the money spent by the other partner. After that, alimony and child support. Budget for that!

  110. wow, buy an engagement ring online was one of the tips…..if you do that you are not very smart

  111. My husband was 52 when we got married. He got me a $9-10k ring. His salary at that time was approx $290-300k. Was he being cheap, generous, or extravagant? You tell me. Btw he recently gifted his 26 year son (my stepson) $25k cash. Simply a gift (no special occasion.) You do the math.

    Engagement rings are a measure of his love and commitment … within his means. It’s perfectly acceptable if he makes $50k and gets a 4-8k ring. It’s all about what he can do within his means that counts.