Fact: More than 85% of American ladies receive a proposal ring when their boyfriend gets on their knees to pop the question. The average size of a diamond ring is around 0.9 – 1.0 carats and costs roughly $5000 – $7000.
If you are wondering how much to spend on a diamond ring purchase, most experts will tell you to spend roughly 2-3 months of your salary. This “tradition” dates back to the early 20th century when De Beers started mass advertising campaigns to convince the public to spend their money on diamonds.
I personally don’t subscribe to the belief of a 3 months rule because I think it is ridiculous. If you equate that with the number of hours spent working to earn it, is it worth it? That’s a question only you have the answers for. In today’s society, that old benchmark set in the last century isn’t going to be a realistic figure for young couples with rising costs of living.
So don’t be misled by what the “experts” or jewelers say. They want you to spend more money to maximize their own profits. You are the expert when it comes to your own money.
Budget is really the first of these as it determines everything. I don’t think it is a good idea to go into debt forever over a piece of jewelry. The key is to enjoy the process of shopping and be happy with the purchased piece of jewelry. At the same time, you don’t want to set your budget too low and get an inferior product in return.
So, let’s get back to answering the question of how much to spend on a diamond. These are the main governing factors for consideration and more questions to ask yourself:
What is the purpose of your purchase? – Is it meant for a gift, an engagement ring, or something for yourself? Obviously, if it is for your significant other, the stakes involved are higher. Your reputation is on the line if societal opinion is a priority and you also want to get something that will please her.
How much do you have at your disposal to spend? – A good piece of advice that I dish to each reader who had contacted me for help is to live within your means. Is it worthwhile to go into debt for the sake of what others might think of you? If love be true, then size or type of gemstone should not count all that much.
What are your feelings governing the purchase? – You should feel good about it. This is your guide to ensure you are on the right track. If you don’t feel good, it is your wise intuition trying to tell you something. Listen.
Check in with your belief system – Do you place much value on the material or are you a more spiritual person? Does public opinion matter a lot to you?
Think long term. A huge deciding factor will be how you are going to feel about your purchase 6 months from now. Will you/her still enjoy wearing the ring? Or will the ring end up in some obscured drawer?
Think resale value. – There is very little demand for smaller stones of less than one carat. Should the need of selling your diamond arise, be prepared for the fact that you will not get a good portion of your money back.
Of course, if you are a habitually big spender, then you will not be mulling over this subject at all! You have probably already bought that diamond! If you are not, the feelings of resentment might already be arising. And this is not the way it should be.
It boils down to this: you should spend what you can afford and still feel happy about it. Positive energy has to be infused into the situation. Think of it as an investment and you want the “returns” to be good. A big measure of the return is the feelings of happiness associated with the purchase and how long they will last. Also, will they increase with time?
If you are not willing to spend a good amount or spending a good sum of money is not an option, then you might want to opt for a simulant or other alternative that does not break the bank. Choose something that you can afford without losing sleep over. After all, it doesn’t make sense to start your new life together in debt and the symbolic meaning behind the ring is more important than carats or color. Period.