Engagement is a promise of a life spent together with love and commitment. If you want to take your relationship to the next level, you want to make sure you have the perfect ring to support your proposal. Choosing the engagement ring to seal this promise is a serious matter. There are many things to consider, one of them and maybe the most important is budget. How much should an engagement ring cost?
You may have heard of the rule saying you should spend one or two months’ salary on a diamond engagement ring. This rule is the result of De Beer's ad campaigns back in the late 1940s. Another ‘rule’ is you spend the national average cost for an engagement ring.
How much you spend on your engagement ring is up to you. There are three factors you may want to consider before settling down with an engagement ring budget.
What Your Partner Wants
No one knows your partner better than you do. You know her preference and expectations by now. Is your partner into grand accessories, simple rings or will she be fine with any as long as it's from you?
If you have already spent a long time together, the topic of engagement might have already been brought up a few times. Your partner would have dropped hints of what she wants for her engagement ring. She would be the one wearing the engagement ring for the rest of your lives, it is only right to take her expectations into consideration.
What You Can Afford
Think of your current income, savings and expenses. Do you have enough money for your expenses and extra savings for the engagement ring? You must also remember to treat your partner as you treat yourself. Are you the type of person who spends on hobbies, collections and toys? Spend for your loved one as much as you spend for yourself.
Before making your purchase, think about your future as well, your future expenses like your wedding, or large investments like buying a house or car. Plan for other avenues your money will go, so it will be easier to choose the perfect ring later on.
What You Will Be Paying For
Engagement rings cost you money for a reason. The usual centre stones for engagement rings -- diamonds and coloured gemstones are graded and valued based on the 4Cs (colour, clarity, cut and carat weight). When purchasing the ring you must take these into consideration.
For clear white diamonds, colour refers to how “white” or colourless the diamond is. GIA uses a colour grading of D (colourless) to Z (strong yellow or brown). Colourless diamonds graded D, E & F are considered high quality. G, H and I graded white diamonds are on the near colourless category and are more affordable.
For coloured diamonds and precious gemstones, the value goes up with the intensity of the colour. The presence of secondary hues decreases the value of a coloured gem. Gray, brown and fancy yellow diamonds can cost less than white diamonds taking the other 3Cs into consideration while pink, purple, green and diamonds are more expensive.
Clarity measures the inclusions and blemishes present in a diamond or precious gemstone. Diamond clarity ranges from Flawless--completely free of inclusions--to Included, which has large inclusions visible to the naked eye. Flawless diamonds and gemstones are rare and a lot more expensive. Diamonds with VVS (Very, Very Slightly Included) and VS (Very Slightly Included) clarity grading are great choices if you want something stunning and more affordable.
Cut refers to brilliance and how much the diamond or gemstone can reflect light. Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor are the standard cut grading. Excellent cut diamonds or gemstones will cost the most money.
Carat weight refers to a gemstone's weight not its size. Larger diamonds and precious gemstones are found less frequently and will cost more compared to smaller ones. The standard unit of weight used in the industry today is 1 Carat = 0.2 Grams. The heavier the diamond or precious gemstone is the more expensive it will get.
Determining how much to spend on the engagement ring is just as serious as planning the proposal itself. Finding the right balance between your partner’s expectations and your financials and knowing what you will be paying for are important. You don’t have to follow any specific rules. Instead, make your own rule based on your partner’s expectations and what you can afford.
Affordable, beautiful and meaningful aren’t mutually exclusive. Personalise the engagement ring with her birthstone, favourite gem or an heirloom. With a custom made engagement ring, you can modify the ring design according to your preference and budget. Nothing beats sentimental value. A well thought out ring will be the perfect engagement ring for your proposal.