Simon Wood

Hump Day: Engagement Ring

Engagement rings confuse me. Well, I know what an engagement ring is. What I don’t get is the guideline on how much I’m supposed to spend on an engagement ring.

In the UK, the guideline is that an engagement ring should be in the range of one month of the groom’s salary. In the US, it’s three months. My response to that is–is that before or after taxes? It makes a difference.

And who sets this guideline? DeBeers. The diamond people. Hmm…might they possibly have a vested interest in how much a guy spends on an engagement ring? It would be like me saying you have to buy two copies of each of my books because it’s customary. That would be wrong (although I’m not stopping you from doing that if you feel so inclined).

Now, I’m not tight with money. Just practical. Yes, a diamond is forever and an engagement ring is a symbol of love and all that, but I can’t justify dropping 3 months salary on a ring. The money could be better spent on putting a down payment on a house or on a new home theater system or something for me and not her.

Essentially, I’m saying I’ll spend what I want on an engagement ring and I won’t be swayed by custom.

Julie would like me to remind everyone that I didn’t actually get her an engagement ring. Yeah, I know, but she said she didn’t want one and I took her at her word. Yes, Julie, I’ll sleep in the garage tonight.

10 Responses to “Hump Day: Engagement Ring”

  1. Roy L. Carroll

    Not to mention that the prices are artificially inflated by the diamond companies by only releasing a certain number of diamonds for sale every year. Kinda like OPEC.

  2. Rhiannon

    I am a firm believer in the engagement car, or some other such practical gift. Then again I’m not married. I also don’t believe in the obscene cost of weddings. Twenty thousand dollars to have a dinner for 400 people you barely know where your new mother in law makes you cry 4 times, no thanks I’ll just elope in Hawaii. Last time I said that my best friend said “you can’t do that I wouldn’t be able to afford to go to your wedding” my response, my wedding is about me and the groom, not you (something far too many wedding guests and sobbing bridezillas forget).

  3. Kathy Delaney

    40 years ago when we were shopping for rings, there was no rule on how much to spend. At least I never heard it. So maybe the rule came about because people were expected to spend even more and level heads spoke up with the 3-month suggestion to tame the debt a bit.

  4. Gwyneth Queener

    I don’t know where the so-called guidelines came from either. One would think that getting engaged is big a personal investment already. The engagement ring my husband gave me is very simple; it has a round-cut stone that’s under a carat, and it’s not diamond. I prefer it over the multiple-carat, multiple-stone rings because it suits me best. That and I was just happy that the man was finally willing to commit after being together with me for nearly a decade.



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