We often get asked the question "how much should I be spending on this engagement ring?" and we are going to answer with another question: “How much do you want to spend?”
At True Curated Designs, we take pride in helping design the most gorgeous and perfect ring, while keeping you on budget and elated about your experience. Our virtual consultation process starts with you. Unlike traditional diamond stores that hold specific designs and diamonds in inventory and sell that stock, and their price points on you, we flip that model upside-down. Starting with your budget and values, we first curate a design with you, and then select the hand-picked diamond, or gemstone, that suits you best from our global network of suppliers.
You’ve probably heard a few “rules” about how much to spend on a ring. So before going through some key considerations and guidelines when you're’ setting a budget, we thought we should first bust these myths.
Myth #1 - The 3-month Rule
You may have heard people say it’s a good rule of thumb to spend one-, two- or three- month’s salary when buying an engagement ring. The truth is, that budget was a marketing slogan in the times of World War II, when the cost of living was significantly different, as were many people’s life goals! At True Curated Designs, we know that everyone has different expenses and different values - perhaps you would prefer to spend more money on a wedding or honeymoon, or buying a house, or travelling the world. So while we do recommend you have a budget in mind as you start the process, we don’t like to tell you what that budget should be as a percentage of your salary.
Myth #2 - Engagement Ring Calculators
There are so many of these on the internet! Calculators that let you populate your salary and expenses and produce a number that you should spend on a ring. Proceed with caution! There are algorithms built into each calculator that encourage spending, and that don’t know what you can afford (we recommend an accountant may have a better idea what you should spend, than an online quiz). Dig in to how much you feel comfortable spending, and the value that you’re getting from the ring - emotional and tangible - to feel good about your investment, rather than an online tool.
Myth #3 - People Will Judge Me
It is important to call this out because so many ring buyers feel as though the world will judge their choice. A couple examples that demonstrate it’s more about your partner and yourself than it is about what other people can see: Example 1: Does your partner prefer sapphires over diamonds? Nobody is judging you because sapphires are less expensive than diamonds. You got exactly what your partner wanted. Even Princess Diana wore a sapphire engagement ring. Example 2: Does your partner have a job that demands that they use their hands all the time like a doctor, paramedic or preschool teacher? Perhaps they want to wear their ring all the time and not take it off, so it is a lifestyle choice to get a smaller diamond. Again, that decision was one that was so valuable to the both of you and nobody outside can judge. Example 3: Do you and your partner value purity in a diamond and want a FL or VVS diamond that has almost no internal inclusions (or flaws)? Perfect! It may be a smaller diamond for your budget but you’re getting exactly what you want and people can’t judge that with the naked eye. Stay true to you.
When it comes to buying an engagement ring, then, if you're setting your budget you may want to put some thought into the following things.
Important Factors to Consider When Setting A Budget
Both diamonds and gemstones are commodities that hold value over time. At True Curated Designs we do offer an appraisal with each ring, so that you can see what the market retail value of the ring is (compared to what you spend) so you can truly feel confident in what you have spent and that what you’re receiving in return is good value. We are happy to educate you on the value of diamonds, or, to learn more about this topic, read our page about how ensure you’re getting good value.
Think about your partner’s value and lifestyle. An engagement ring should be able to be worn every day, and this is why we only produce the best quality craftsmanship! When buying a ring, consider your partner’s lifestyle and career where they may need a ring that has a more practical design or diamond size. Your partner may also be a person who likes more or less bling as a matter of personal taste! If that is important to you, talk to your True design consultant about how to get the most sparkle, or size, out of your budget. If you want to really ensure you’re on the same page as your partner, do ask them about budget expectations so you know that you’re on the same page.
Financial Situation - Value, Salary, Expenses:
We often get asked “what do most people spend?” We advise to steer clear of what others are spending, because everyone has a different financial situation based on salary, income, expenses, debt and preferences. If you do want more of a guideline, The Knot has some wedding industry statistics from 2019 that may help.
Current financial considerations like a down payment on a home or student debt may be considerations impacting your budget now. Consider getting a diamond that will have a really good grade (read about diamond grading, here) and increase in value over time, so you can sell it and upgrade the diamond at a later date! Alternatively, consider a more cost-effective lab-grown diamond if you want more carat weight for your dollar, now.
Finally, if you want to get a bigger ring and the current budget doesn’t allow, financing may be right for you. Talk to our team about our easy online financing options, like Pay Bright.
Emotions & Meaning Of the Ring:
Finally, remember that a ring that speaks to your partner’s individual personality will be the most meaningful and thoughtful ring of all. Sentiment is the most important feature of an engagement ring. We know this is a very emotional and scary decision to spend this much on something that you may not know much about. Talk to our consultants to walk you through all the considerations and they can help guide you to selecting something that meets your goals on what is important.
Ultimately, when she says yes, you’ve already won.