Figuring Your Engagement Ring Budget…

Not everyone can afford massive engagement rings like celebrities. The standard rule of thumb is what’s known as the “two-month salary” guideline, that the engagement ring cost should equal two months of salary for the groom-to-be. While some may cling hard and fast to this number, my thought is that this figure should be used as a “guideline” only and not as a “rule”.

The engagement ring should be a meaningful and appropriate symbol of one’s most significant experiences, but you shouldn’t have to go broke in the process. I suggest starting with this figure and then augmenting it or tailoring it to fit your individual goals.

The center stone/setting guideline

  • Although there are some large jewelry chain stores that sell engagement rings complete with the setting and center diamonds included for one price, most stores and online sites will sell an engagement ring in two parts.
  • Usually the center diamond or gemstone will be offer at one price, and then the setting is offered at another price, depending upon the metal used and number of side diamonds the setting contains.
  • Your budget number will now need to be divided and allocated appropriately toward these two elements. The guideline is 80/20. Approximatively 80 percent of the budget should be allocated toward the main diamond or gem while 20 percent is reserved for the setting.
  • As with the “two-months-salary” guideline, these two percentages can be augmented or tailored as needed.

The color gemstone option

  • If you are on a limited budget, color gemstones are a great option!
  • With all those large celebrity rings, some women may love the idea of wearing a large “rock” on their hand.
  • Fortunately, there are many celebrities today getting engaged with color gemstones like sapphires, rubies or emeralds centers instead of diamonds.
  • A colored gemstone can be far less expensive than a diamond.
  • Additionally, some colored gemstones may have personal meaning to a couple, such as a birthstone or gem symbolizing the month that they met.
  • If you’re considering a colored gemstone for an engagement ring, it’s a good idea to ask your jeweler to research the hardness and durability of the gem to ensure that it will stand up to daily wear.

Remember to consider the wedding band

  • When choosing an engagement ring mounting, remember that you will also eventually be choosing a wedding band.
  • If she wishes to wear both rings on the same finger, you need to choose a setting that either has a matching wedding band or will allow a wedding band to fit next to it.
  • You may want to ask your jeweler about putting the matching wedding band on hold or layaway at this time to ensure you get a proper ring that fits well with the engagement ring.

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