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How much should you spend on an engagement ring?

G250

Rough_Rock
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Sep 28, 2018
Messages
13
Is it really worth it to spend 20k on a diamond engagement ring even if you can afford it? Gold jewelry is still kind of an investment but diamond..what can you do with it if you go broke in the future?
 

kindred

Brilliant_Rock
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I agree with what @tyty333 said.

There really is no special dollar amount you should spend. People have different finances and different tastes and desires.
 

holeydonut

Shiny_Rock
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Is it really worth it to spend 20k on a diamond engagement ring even if you can afford it? Gold jewelry is still kind of an investment but diamond..what can you do with it if you go broke in the future?

There was a lot of talk about this here when news broke recently about a man who spent ~$100K to buy a very unique engagement ring for his future-wife, but the wedding was broken off before vows were exchanged.

https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/broken-engagement-100k-e-ring.243840/

Without going into the details too much, the consensus of "how much to spend" basically came down to whether both parties involved were on the same page in terms of what they expected of each other in their relationship.

In a sense, the engagement ring is symbolic of many things... and whether the ring's cost is an important symbol for both the man and woman is not something a 3rd party can provide guidance. Every diamond is unique, every setting is unique, and every couple is unique.

There will be many joint-decisions to make... coming to terms on your unique expectations, risk factors, commitments, opportunity-cost, etc for the diamond and ring are part of the journey.

But, if there's one thing for me to suggest when setting a budget ... a good cut really does make the diamond look really damn good. Make sure you can get the size she's looking for and a great cut :)
 

tkyasx78

Brilliant_Rock
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If you are going to sell the jewelry you intend on giving as a gift, I would recommend buying what you can afford to GIVE instead. It is supposed to be a symbol of commitment and love. It is not supposed to be intended as a conditional gift to take back.
There are very few women who would ever even CONSIDER buying a gift for a friend, family member or spouse and say " If I want money later I am taking this back from you"

While many/ most women if something happened would be ok with selling a ring to take care of finances on the off chance something dire needed it, I do not recommend giving a gift to a lady that you intend on taking back " if you go bankrupt"
 

doberman

Ideal_Rock
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Jewelry is not an investment unless it's Elizabeth Taylor's. It's a frivolous expense and you should spend only what you can afford. Naturally that depends on your means and how generous you are with your spouse.

If you're thinking about it as a backup if you're short on funds, I wouldnt buy jewelry at all.
 

kindred

Brilliant_Rock
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I read the OP's post as just wanting to make sure that there is some value to a used diamond. Not that there is an actual plan to sell it at some point, but that it's nice to know that it could be an option in case of an absolute dire emergency, which could happen to pretty much anyone no matter how rosy things are at the present time. (Even with good health insurance, co-pays could be enormous if you had a very serious extended illness, etc.) That's the way I think, but I could be completely wrong about what the OP meant.

I have not read the $100,000 ring thread yet.
 
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tkyasx78

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I read it as the OP looked at an engagement ring as a conditional gift when they that they said the gold portion of a ring could be seen as some kind of an investment at the end of the post.

Assuming a 14k setting that weighs 6 ounces and maybe 3 grams of actual gold without the alloys, they are looking at a 150$ amount of the cost of the actual gold. That setting will be sold for 300- 600 $ at a minimum ( thinner settings will have less gold )

It is very unlikely that buying a setting from a jeweler today will make the OP money or even cut even, if they try to sell the setting in 5 years.
 

G250

Rough_Rock
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I read the OP's post as just wanting to make sure that there is some value to a used diamond. Not that there is an actual plan to sell it at some point, but that it's nice to know that it could be an option in case of an absolute dire emergency, which could happen to pretty much anyone no matter how rosy things are at the present time. (Even with good health insurance, co-pays could be enormous if you had a very serious extended illness, etc.) That's the way I think, but I could be completely wrong about what the OP meant.

I have not read the $100,000 ring thread yet.

You're absolutely right! I am not planning on selling it or anything like that. I just want to know if it's a wise decision to spend 20k on a ring. I can afford it but is it worth spending it on a ring? What can you do with the used diamond if you want to upgrade it to a different cut and you are not able to afford a new one
 

ice empress

Shiny_Rock
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Sep 25, 2013
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My personal take is that one should spend as much as (or no more than) they’re willing to “lose” and never see again.

I understand that circumstances change and cannot be predicted, but the way I see it, one should think of an ER as a luxury purchase with no return or resell value. If that amount makes you feel uncomfortable, then it is, simply put, too much.
 
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kindred

Brilliant_Rock
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@G250, You might want to focus on a place like Whiteflash, which has a very generous trade in policy (just spend $1 more). Or High Performance Diamonds, who will buy back a diamond at 80% of what you paid. Your best value would be a pre-loved item, though shopping for those is trickier. Also, designer items can hold their value better, but they tend to cost a lot more up front.
 

vintageloves

Shiny_Rock
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May 30, 2013
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I get what you're asking. I actually asked more or less the same thing a couple of months ago. It's maddening, but there's only one answer: no one can answer this for you.

Afford is such a grey area. Obviously you can't afford it if you need to take on debt or are in severe debt. That's an understandable line. And if you're a multi-millionaire, go hogwild. But what if you have 50K in the bank? 100? 300? You have the cash, but does that mean you can "afford" it?

Gold has kept its value... for now, but who knows. Gemstones? Terrible investment. Selling a diamond is not easy and you don't get near what you paid. Then again, I find even trying to sell a vacuum cleaner to be an exercise in futility (anyone in the market for a Dyson?)-- don't buy anything with the idea of selling it later, that's my advice.

My husband and I decided on a budget of 25K for an anniversary ring. I have spent $0. Like you, I question whether it's worth it. I wish I had an answer for you.
 

ringo865

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You could ask HER what SHE thinks is reasonable. And / or do the “if I wanted spend $Xxxxx on you (as a symbol of my love and devotion and lifetime commitment to you), would you prefer a big diamond ring or a big trip to Paris/Rome/Fiji? Or a smaller diamond AND smaller trip?”
 

LaylaR

Shiny_Rock
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I realize that there is a lot of societal pressure to engage in cloak and dagger spy games while hunting down and acquiring 'the ultimate symbol of your love' to prove to your mate you will be a good provider... but for many modern couples that is an outdated concept.

Next to cars and residences an engagement ring will be one of the most expensive and stressful purchases you will make. Fortunately, there is a really easy solution: handle it like you would any other expensive purchase. As a couple.

The ring is not a 'love test' but it is a symbol of partnership and commitment. It's also an opportunity to practice the skills that make marriage work: communication, respect, honesty and consideration.

Take an honest look at your finances, together. Look at rings together. Discuss styles, options, budgets. Research cut and quality and value (with jewelry the lowest cost option can be a very poor value). And then come up with an informed budget together. And execute from there.

Chances are, if you've discussed getting married the cat is out of the bag. She knows a ring is coming her way. And making a purchase like this as couple is great practice for marriage.

As long as the budget is right for the two of you. As long as it fits your budget, values, and tastes, that's all that matters. Everything else- expectations within your socioeconomic bracket or your circle of friends, etc--- that's just noise.
 
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tkyasx78

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You're absolutely right! I am not planning on selling it or anything like that. I just want to know if it's a wise decision to spend 20k on a ring. I can afford it but is it worth spending it on a ring? What can you do with the used diamond if you want to upgrade it to a different cut and you are not able to afford a new one
Oh that is good to know!

Only you can answer if it is worth it to you.

I know people who spend 60K on a truck when they don't "NEED " one , they could just buy a 20K toyota car and be fine, but they buy it just because they want a truck even though it gets horrible gas mileage and they never use it more than they would a cheaper car. They don't need it for work, they don't tow anything, they just want it because they like it.
Some people insist on buying a 1200$ phone even though they really could use a landline or a much cheaper phone. Same with a watch. People can pick up a 15$ casio at walmart to tell the time, but some people want a rolex that is 15K or 40K or what ever. when it comes to need, there is very little that people need. Is it wise to buy a nice bottle of wine if you can get one that is less expensive? How about upgrading airline seats to first class?
People do it if it is worth it to them, but no one can tell you if it is worth it for you!

FWIW, I think all my jewelry is worth it. I am sure there are people who would not spend money on the jewelry I have bought!
 

holeydonut

Shiny_Rock
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Next to cars and residences an engagement ring will be one of the most expensive and stressful purchases you will make. Fortunately, there is a really easy solution: handle it like you would any other expensive purchase. As a couple.

Lol... in my opinion it is the most stressful purchase... because it is the most difficult one to find a representative example and set expectations as a couple.

For cars... you can kick some tires around and sit in cars in the show room. The sales pitch is aggravating, but overall it's pretty easy and a relatively short-term commitment.

For houses... the financing and search is the tough part, but the couple fairly quickly learns "what is right" in terms of location, schools, layout, etc. The stuff with inspections, interest rates, etc are all fairly overt and understandable.

For diamonds and the ring... it's almost all abstract symbolism, allure/emotion, and vague narratives. There's almost no way to get a reasonable set of expectations when sitting in a show-room or jewelry store. And the online-shopping approach becomes a blind-gambit for a fairly expensive purchase. Settings are non-refundable, diamonds are on a very short return cycle, and the things that differentiate "good" and "great" are at a microscopic level. Balancing out expectations between partners and making a decision making felt very difficult to accomplish.
 

nala

Ideal_Rock
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I think go with Whiteflash and start out comfy—maybe on the low end of your affordability budget. If she is a bling addict, that will allow her to upgrade easily. If she isn’t, she will be happy and you didn’t spend on the top end of your budget. My love for diamonds grew exponentially after we were married and so an upgrade policy was crucial in allowing me to go from a .90 princess cut to a 2.52 mrb in the span of 9 years. I never once regret the amount that we spent on the upgrades, all purchased in cash. Each upgrade has provided me with endless hours of happiness. I never tire of appreciating my ering. It is only an investment in my happiness. That said, I know that it would not be wise on my wallet to upgrade to a 3 carat while dd is still in college. But who knows what the fuature holds. I never thought I’d even want a 2.52.
 

Bron357

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Mostly the actual diamond holds its value but it’s usually the setting you take a “hit” on, especially if you go the “designer, hand forged route”. People tend not to want your secondhand setting (unless it’s Tiffany or another high end name).
Your partners engagement ring is normally her best and most expensive piece of jewellery. It is a ring she can be expected to wear everyday for the rest of her life. Usually such a ring is later on handed down to a son or daughter.
Should you spend $20,000?
If it means not going into debt, not compromising other aspects of your life ie saving for a house, why not?
Over the “life” of the ring it’s like a mere $2 a day - less than a coffee.
That said, its appropriate to consider your social circle. Are all her friends and colleagues wearing 2 carat + aka $20,000 diamonds or .5 carat diamonds?
I’ll say it, the truth is women like to be proud of their ring when showing it off. If her “group” all have large diamonds she might feel awkward showing off a very modest diamond. And conversely if everyone else has 1 carat or under, she might feel awkward showing a 2.5 carat diamond.
If you come back here with your budget and preferred shape we can help find you best value, best performance diamond for your money. We can tell you where to buy the best value setting. If you want to go the ‘Custom” route, we can say whose work is highly regarded, whose prices represent best value.
Whether your budget is $1,000 or $100,000 everyone deserves best value, best quality for their money and here on Pricescope there are hundreds of very experienced, very knowledgeable contributors who will gladly, for free, with no vested interest (Trade contributors are identified as such and do not promote their wares) point you in the right direction.
All you need do is ask.:wavey:
 

Polished

Brilliant_Rock
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Feb 28, 2012
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1,152
I concur with the advice of choosing places with a good trade up/buy back policy. Also the discussing it through as a couple. I do think people can get carried away with the whole getting engaged thing and they're not actually into jewelry as much as they thought they were. For instance I read of one woman, a few years after being married, telling a friend that she'd very happily trade her expensive ring in now for a new kitchen if she was able to. On the other hand you read of people who aren't that into jewelry, with the sole exception of their engagement ring which they continue to love. Very individual and like with all expensive purchases worth discussing before deciding.
 

seaglass

Rough_Rock
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Dec 2, 2017
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48
My 2 cents is that your best bet is to ask her. What is she looking for more or less? Has she pointed out any particular rings or mentioned the size? I got off easy by doing this. The now fiance didn't want anything big and gave me a size limit. I was able to comfortably choose one based purely on cut, symmetry, and polish at that point. And really, it all boils down to what she wants and what you can afford. Mine is over the moon regarding our ER, even though it's not fancy or very expensive relative to our means.
 
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MelloYello8

Shiny_Rock
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Jul 6, 2018
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361
My favorite rule of thumb is from a financial blogger who opined that the engagement ring budget should be equivalent to the cost of groom’s car. While I read that blog post many years later, when I got engaged, my husband had no vehicles and took the train on a student discounted pass to work and school. I would have been lucky to get a ring pop. Nowadays, he says I can spend as much on bling as he does on motorcycles. I haven’t gotten anywhere close, but my other girl things (bags, shoes, clothes) do add up.
 

kindred

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Threadjack: @LaylaR, I figured out why it took me so long to catch on. I am usually viewing PS on my phone and I don't see signatures that way. I can see your signature that includes "The poster formerly known as Gypsy" when I'm on my computer.
 

LaylaR

Shiny_Rock
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Threadjack: @LaylaR, I figured out why it took me so long to catch on. I am usually viewing PS on my phone and I don't see signatures that way. I can see your signature that includes "The poster formerly known as Gypsy" when I'm on my computer.

I didn't know that! Hmm. I wonder if that's something they can fix, adding the signatures to the mobile version.
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
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The basic rule is $4,500 per yr. from the time you started dating each other. ;))
 
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