The total amount of engagement ring spending will be a little over $6 billion by the end of this year in the United States. You can add on another $2 billion for the wedding rings (both for bride and groom).
It’s expected for this $8 billion to reach over $9 billion by 2013. This is a growth of over 13 percent over the next five years. As we all know, the engagement ring and wedding ring have diamonds (being the main cause of why they are so darn expensive!) with more than two-thirds of the of them being white gold.
Traditionally, a man is expected to spend at least the equivalent of two month’s salary, although a lesser amount is acceptable these days.
There are several reasons why the engagement ring is so costly.
Historically, the cost of engagements rings was a way for the man to show the woman (and her family) that he could could make a conscious effort at saving. By saving for the ring, he showed that he was capable of saving for a future home.
Should the couple fall upon hard times, there would always be the ring to ‘pawn’ in order to get through. But because most young people no longer live in their parent’s homes but have outgoings of their own, unless you’re an especially high earner, nobody will expect you to “prove your worth” by spending two months salary on an engagement ring these days. What is important is that you spend enough to show her just how much she means to you, based on your own personal budget.
Below are some additional tips on how much to spend on an engagement ring:
Remember the 80/20 rule. Once the budget is set, keep in mind the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the budget should go toward the center diamond, while 20 percent should be reserved for an appropriate mounting.
Does she like expensive things? Everyone is different. Some women are more laid-back while others want the absolute best. If your girlfriend is someone with expensive taste who enjoys designer clothes and isn’t afraid to drop a lot of money on a handbag, then she might expect a pricey ring that’s comparable to the other pricey things that she owns.
Is she plain, more laid back? For some women, an engagement ring will be the only piece of jewelry they will ever wear. These women won’t want a gigantic ring because it will seem too flashy for them. Go for a smaller, less blingy ring for these women
Is she classic? A lot of women like tradition, and when it comes to engagement rings they expect something classic like the Tiffany setting. The classic ring doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive, but the classic girl definitely expects a nicely sized diamond that sparkles and sits up high.
Does she like large diamonds? Consider what your future bride would prefer: If she cares more about a larger stone than a band, spend a little more on the diamond. If she would prefer a setting that really sparkles, opt for a smaller diamond with a more intricate setting.
Don’t forget wedding bands! Don’t forget you will also need wedding bands for yourself and your bride. These can be simple or ornate depending on your style and budget.