Is it traditional to spend 3 months salary on an engagement ring?

July 1, 2013 | By

Question by Aiden: Is it traditional to spend 3 months salary on an engagement ring?
I heard that a man should spend whatever 3 months salary comes to on an engagement ring. Is that true? If that is it's £7000. Seems like a lot. Do you take into account income tax? I need to do what's traditional though because her family will judge

Best answer:

Answer by megalomaniac
Ten years ago, it was 2 months. Funny how 'traditions' change so quickly. So the short answer is no. It's just marketing hype from greedy people selling jewelry and trying to take advantage of your big moment. Tread carefully, the whole wedding game is full of 'traditions' that will cost you big time.

Decide for yourself!

It's nice to have a nice symbol and give your loved one nice stuff but love isn't measured with how much money you spend (but it would sure seem so with what people are selling). If I was the father of the bride (and I'm old enough) I would be more impressed with your personality than your money. (maybe I'm in the minority, but then again there are still some people who think like me)

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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Comments (10)

  1. Perse

    No, that’s hogwash.

    You spend what you can afford to get a quality ring she will love.

  2. cjsmummy

    that’s just a successful jewellery campaign.get her a ring that you can afford without getting into debt or making your life hard.if you have that money,then spend that money on the ring.although 7 grand is insane – you can get some lovely rings for less than engagement ring is a diamond and platinum solitaire,it cost 2 grand – we had it made at a small,independant working jewellers in our home town.the same ring,with a smaller diamond in the jewellers just over the road would have cost us £1,500

  3. Pal

    I still have political trouble with how the diamond mines are run and how the workers are abused so no way I would want to wear a new diamond no matter how much it cost. 40 years ago I chose a jade band set into a gold band that I could wear as both engagement and wedding ring, now I probably wouldn’t that either what with the politics of asia bein what it is. Maybe I would look for an older ring at a pawn shop that I could have set in a new setting.

  4. Nox

    No, it’s not. That’s a b-s lie made up by the diamond companies (mainly De Beers) to get men to waste a ton of money on what is essentially a useless, sparkly rock.

    Spend what you can afford.

  5. Common Sense

    I do not believe this is an actual “rule” of any kind other than what the jewelry store wants you to spend. Who on earth can forfeit 25% of their yearly income to purchase a piece of jewelry?

    Her family cannot judge you unless you show them the receipt.

    Buy what you can afford. Go looking at rings to see what the price points are for various sizes and styles of engagement rings. You may be surprised what you can buy for under what you make in three months.

    Be reasonable and remember. It is how you treat her that counts most of all. Because if she has an expensive ring on her finger and you are not a good husband, what is the point?

  6. Jenny Lynne

    You should buy what your budget can afford. This salary thing is a myth perpetrated by the diamond industry to try to convince people that you should spend xxx amount of your salary. Hogwash!!

  7. La Vie Boheme

    No it’s not. That concept was made up by a diamond company.

  8. ♫♥Red♫♥

    My fiance spent his 2 week paycheck on my bridal set (Engagement Ring AND Wedding Band included) I couldn’t be more happy :).
    If he spent more than that i would have been a bit upset,im a saver and i hate to see money go to waste :/


  9. marys.momma

    That’s total marketing hype. Unless someone in her family is a working jeweller with a loupe in his eye, they won’t even be competent to “judge”, except to see how big the rock is, flaws or no flaws.

    You’d do well to research diamonds and ring settings on the Internet. Two good sites:
    – They have an enormous inventory of diamonds, of all qualities and sizes. You can narrow down your choices by several criteria including size, price, shape, and several more. Each diamond has a complete description and comes with a certification from a respected gemological lab. There are educational materials to help you.
    – This site features many interesting short videos narrated by a gemologist, discussing the different color qualities, clarity issues, shapes, and sizes. One video shows the price points of different sizes and quality ratings. It was evident that the prices go up very steeply for the highest-quality stones. If you’re willing to accept less than total perfection, it’s possible to have a good-sized diamond of decent color, no flaws visible to the naked eye, and set in a lovely ring. I also noticed that the oval cut appears relatively large for its carat weight. So do the pear and marquise cuts, while certain others seem smaller than the standard round cut. The diamonds all have complete descriptions and gemological lab certifications.

    It’s my personal opinion that any diamond larger than one carat makes people wonder whether it’s real. I also think it’s better to avoid the currently-popular rings with lots of tiny diamonds. They can look like costume jewelry by the bright light of day in ordinary circumstances, such as a picnic in the park. But that’s just my own taste.

    When we were married I received a beautiful diamond solitaire and a matching wedding ring. Later on when I became pregnant, my fingers swelled so those rings no longer fit. So my husband bought me a simple wedding band in a larger size to wear. Now I wear that ring in the winter in preference to the diamond ring, because it doesn’t catch on my gloves.

    Bottom line: After your girl says, “Yes!!”, show her diamonds and rings on those Internet sites. There’s no pressure to buy, and you’ll find out about her tastes and the pluses and minuses of each choice. After that you can find out her ring size at a jewellery store, and view some actual rings. I think you’ll find that they’re more expensive than purchasing through the Internet jewellers.

    Don’t even think of going into debt just to follow some industry “standard”. Did you realize that progress in creating synthesized diamonds, physically and chemically similar to mined ones, is continually being made? Some day soon, diamonds won’t be worth anywhere near what they cost today. They’re not a very good investment.

  10. Kelly

    No, and honestly it never has been.

    3 months salary was a marketing campaign that DeBeers did back in the 1940’s aimed at.. selling more diamond rings.

    What you spend is what you can realistically afford to spend, preferably without incurring debt.

    My husband is a doctor and with that he could afford to spend more on a ring than other men I dated. With that, I still didn’t expect or want him to spend 3 months salary on a ring. I did not and still don’t need a ring that expensive. I was/am perfectly happy with the $ 5000 ring he got me and to some level I didn’t want him to spend that much.

    You should care more about what your girlfriend thinks instead of her family.