Do people really spend 3 months salary on an engagement ring? How much do you think people should spend?

Pricing out engagement rings online and I see articles on Google saying you should spend 3 months salary on a ring. That's just absolutely insane to me. 3 months would be about 22 to $24'000 for me. I was thinking more along the lines of $3000 for a ring. How much would you spend?


In the 1930s the De Beers diamond cartel started running adverts about spending a months salary on an engagement ring. In the 1970s De Beers changed it's advertising to 3 months salary. It's all advertising, a scam. Spend what you think is right, a month's salary seems about right to me.


Never believe any number you read online (this includes weddings). Wedding industry people just pull this out of their asses. The one sane recommendation I always see is that you want to avoid adding consumer debt, meaning it would come from cash on hand. Also, it's a bit backwards to set a dollar amount before getting an idea what she likes. In movies, all of this is supposed to be a big surprise, but in real life, this isn't true. You want to get something she likes, and you learn this by looking online w/ her or going shopping for one.


Buy only what you can afford.


I'm sure some do. You have to realize that "estimate" was instituted some 40 years ago as a diamond sales campaign, and has little bearing on today's world. Regardless, I think you should steer clear of making such purchases online. You never know what you'll get, and who wants to be ripped off that way?

Common Sense

That three months of earnings for a ring purchase was nothing more than a suggestion from the diamond industry. There is no way you need to follow that "advise" from the very people raking in the diamond sale profits. Spend what you want to spend. It really is as simple as that.

Kim R

As many others here have pointed out, that number is just diamond industry advertising. They'd say it was a year's salary if they thought people would believe them. How about if you ask your family (as well as your spouse-to-be's) if they happen to have great-grandma's old ring sitting around doing nothing in a safe deposit box at the bank? That's how I got mine. It's 2 carats, which we never could have afforded, and is 116 years old. It's a cool way to "recycle", and it was free. You could also check into police auctions or pawn shops, but make sure you're getting the real thing.


You should spend what you can afford, not what some silly article says.

Oh Boy!

The articles were created by the diamond industry to get you to pay more, and for them to get more money. Spend what you're comfortable spending without using credit.

Anonymous: I think you should mind your own business

I think you should mind your own business :) also, most people don't make $24,000 in 3 months. so again....

Suzy Q

No, normal people spend that kind of money on the down payment of a house. You know, for married life, not a piece of jewelry. You know, in the 90s there was an ad campaign for toilet cleaner over here in the Netherlands. Roughly translated the slogan said, 'We from Toilet Duck, recommend Toilet Duck.' And then the Internet started really happening, and naturally this slogan became a meme. Well, the jewelers from Toilet Duck recommend spending the down payment for a house on an engagement ring sold by Toilet Duck instead. Oh, and I don't have a separate engagement ring. My husband and I have wedding bands. We wore them on our right hand while engaged, and switched to our left when we married. THAT is an actual tradition, at least among catholics over here. The set cost us hundreds of dollars, not tens of thousands.

Barb Outhere

Do you know who invented the three month rule? Those selling the jewelery - the jewelers. What is important is how you feel about the girl and how she feels about you. Maybe she wants a ring that JUST shows you are thinking of her. Maybe she wants a ring that is big enough to dazzle her friends - watch out for that one, she may make your life a misery. I never had an engagement ring cause I didn't wear much jewelery and couldn't see the sense in spending that sort of money on a stone and some gold. Still feel the same and am married to him over 30 years. So in the general scheme of things it doesn't mean as much as some might think.


3 months salary was a marketing campaign by DeBeers in 1940 aimed to sell more diamond rings. That was it, it's never been a tradition. The only thing you should spend is what you're comfortable with and optimally without incurring any debt for, in a nutshell a ring you can actually afford. My husband is a physician, 3 months salary for him is more than I make in a year. I'm pretty low maintenance so I wouldn't have wanted him to spend that much on a ring. He was practical and bought something he hoped I would like, he didn't care what anyone else thought.


Spend what you're comfortable with, that's an out dated tradition that you don't have to follow. I found the receipt for my ring one day, my husband spent about the same. I could care less what it costs, I love my ring and wedding band.


No, the three months salary number is a self serving formula created by the diamond industry. Spend what you are comfortable with.


Only the stupid ones who fell for the deBeers marketing scam.


You spend however much you want. Asking google for your answer gets you nowhere lol


Some do. Buy whatever you can afford. It's just a ring.


First of all, speak to your partner and find out what she wants. Her family or yours might have an heirloom ring just waiting for the occasion. If you are going to buy a ring, talk about the style and stone she would like- she may not even want an engagement ring, or she may not want a diamond. In truth, any ring can be an engagement ring, but it should be something that is going to last a lifetime. If she intends to wear it (some women don't), it should be sturdy enough to hold up. As for the price, you need to budget and not spend all of your money on a ring. Be aware that this is NOT an "investment" in anything but her sense of being appreciated- whatever you pay at a jeweler will be twice what you can get for it after that, no matter what. The markup is considerable- especially at any of those sparkly mall stores and chain stores, so don't darken their doors. Sit down and see what you can afford to pay, without putting anything on credit, even for one month. You're going to have a ton of bills to pay, so treat this as if you wanted to go on a really great trip together- how much could you afford without coming home to trouble. You're right- you should be able to get something pretty for around $3k. Talk to the local family-run jeweler about their estate collection, and see what they've got. Check out some of the specialty antique dealers who carry fine jewelry. Just stay out of the big splashy stores that advertise on TV. They're marking things up, and often selling inferior diamonds. You don't need six month cleanings. Those percentage discounts are scams. And don't touch anything online. Find out what she wants, and then put your heads together about how you can get the most for your money. Talk to your parents first. Propose to her, and THEN go shopping for a ring. You won't risk getting something she doesn't actually like- and this will be one in a log line of important decisions you work on as a team. But you're right- not 3 months salary. That's just what DeBeers wants you to give them.


I'm sure some do, but that is diamond industry advertising, not real life. People spend whatever they are comfortable spending based on their income and tastes. Some people forgo engagement rings altogether. The point is that this ring is a symbol of your commitment and will, in theory, stay on her finger for 60+ years. If you both agree that you want nothing, that is fine. If you both want to send 410K, feel free.


3k is enough


What? 25% of your annual income on ONE piece of jewelry? I'd have serious misgivings about marrying a man who would allocate his income in this way. My educated guess is that this "25% of your annual income" idea is another Wedding Industry invention. Do YOU know many people who could effectively skip 13 weeks of pay for the sake of buying ONE piece of jewelry? Without those around them righting thinking "Are you crazy?" Maybe you know people that wealthy, but I don't.


Some do, but there are certainly no hard and fast rules on this. The important thing to remember is that more couples divorce over money problems than for any other reason. So spend your money wisely because you never know what the future brings.

Just Mopar

that's about average...but in any case buy what you like and can afford


That’s a stupid tradition. Don’t be cheap, get something nice but don’t spend your whole paycheck on it. Also try getting the ring in a pawn shop, they have better prices than many fancy jewelry stores. Most people don’t know about diamonds so don’t bother getting a fancy big rock, try getting something tasteful. Bring a female friend or family member to choose the ring ;)


Don't spend. It's a scam


Spend what every is needed to purchase at least a one caret diamond. It does not have to be a perfect diamond. Anything under 1 caret is less of an investment. Look for sparkle. I know a woman who has about a 1.5 caret diamond. Probably pretty good quality, but I looked across the room at her hand the other day and the thing could not have looked more dull. I have a 1.25 caret diamond that has imperfections, but man does that diamond just sparkle and glow. I have had many jewelers interested in getting their hands on it. No you don't need to spend 24,000, but I would consider spending 5-10,000.


I don't think you should buy a new diamond ring. You buy a 30,000 new car, drive it off the lot it's still worth 27,000 if you sold it the next day, 90% of what you paid. You buy a ring for 5K and try to sell it the next day.. You'd be lucky to get 15, maybe 1,800, about 35% of what you paid. Look on ebay and see the selling price of the few out of thousands that actually sell. (look for "completed listings") .Or go to a few pawn shops and price that ring you could have bought from a jewelry store yesterday. If she loves you enough to marry you and she's not dumb as a box of rocks, she'll want to save 2/3 of that ring money for a down payment on a house. Buying diamonds is about the worst investment you could make. Read about how the market is controlled and kept ridiculously high.