Engagement Myths: There is no ‘standard’ cost for a ring

Q: How many weeks’/months’ salary should the engagement ring cost?

A: The myth that you have to spend a certain amount of money on an engagement ring – anywhere from one to three months’ pay, usually – is just that, a myth. It was created by the diamond industry and should be completely ignored. What you spend is what you can afford. It is great to buy the nicest ring you can within your budget. Sometimes that means you might sacrifice a little on size in order to purchase the stone with the best cut, clarity, and quality that meets your financial plan. Be sure to work with a reputable jeweler and pay no attention to those who tell you that there is a standard for how much you pay.


  1. jojo

    My husband proposed with an aluminum and glass ring and a promise for a ‘real’ one at a later date. I was thrilled with it. We were both in college and in no position financially for him to purchase extravagant jewelry. Later he did buy me a new ring, with cubic zirconia, which cost about $150. ( and which, by the by, he let me pick out). You would not believe the sneers and comments it gets. However, I love it, as the important thing to me is not the monetary value, but the value of the love it symbolizes. Therefore, I don’t feel it is anybody’s business what he paid for it, and I wear it proudly every day.

  2. Deb B

    Is it bad luck to use an engagement ring from an ex-spouse or one a widower has. My boyfriend wanted to sue both of our “Used” rings and make a new one. I say sell them and just buy a new one. I don’t want old connections and would like to start fresh without old memories.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      Etiquette does not concern itself with luck. There is nothing improper about reusing rings as you suggest. If you think it is bad luck or just weird, you can do whatever makes yourself happy.

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