How Much to Spend on an Engagement Ring


Look, she’s not going to say “no” on the basis of how big the diamond is, but I do understand that you want to get something nice without

looking like you’re trying to “buy her love” or something, plus, no matter how much you don’t want it to, there’s a good chance that it will become a status issue for her with her friends–she’s going to want to show it off. Two months salary? Three months? This is no longer the de facto rule to follow, as a matter of fact it never was:

it was a marketing campaign by De Beers. You don’t want to get manipulated into blowing more money on something than you should by someone’s marketing department, right? Good, then screw the diamond cartel and just use your common sense plus the few tips and advice I’m going to give you here. Also, something a lot of guys don’t think of when they’re trying to work this out, is that you can always upgrade later when you’ve got more money–a lot of people do this, they’ll get engaged with whatever they can afford at the time, and then a few years later when they’ve got some spare cash the wife will end up getting an upgraded ring as an anniversary present, makes perfect sense. Ok, here’s how to figure this out.

A few tips

  • Take into account the bride-to-be’s personal tastes: if she’s got a thing for diamonds then your wallet might have to take one for the team, whereas if she’s a bit of a hippie and hates the diamond cartel because she thinks they use diamonds mined by slave labor in Sierra Leone (yes, it’s possible you could inadvertently buy a blood diamond, but unlikely), then you’ll be better off NOT getting a ring with a big chunk of ice in it. Also, some girls simply don’t like diamonds as gemstones go in general, so you might be better off getting her a ring with a ruby or emerald or other gemstone in it.
  • You definitely need to be thinking about upcoming expenses that you’re going to have such as wedding costs, the new home that newly weds often purchase for themselves, a new car, and any children that might be joining you soon (I hate to be the one to break it to you if don’t already know but: kids are expensive).
  • I highly recommend you go to Amazon and have a look at their list of bestselling engagement rings just to see what’s popular and how much other people are spending (a LOT of people are buying rings online now and Amazon is by far the most popular retailer), have a look here:’s engagement rings sorted by bestselling.

Advice from a professional

Ronnie Mervis is co-owner of Mervis Diamond Importers – the leading diamond dealer in the Washington D.C. area for the past 30 years, here’s his advice on how much to spend for an engagement ring:

Additional Resources and Further Reading

If you’re willing to spend a penny to save a dollar, as any intelligent person is, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of The Engagement Ring Handbook (click here to check it out) where you’ll learn how NOT to get ripped off, how to get special deals and discounts, where to shop, how to learn precisely what your fiancée wants in an engagement ring, etc. I highly recommend it, it’ll save a lot of money and trouble, believe me.

Here’s an excellent and very detailed article over on about how much to spend on an engagement ring. Here’s another similar article from

Also, check out this post at this financial advice blog not so much for the article itself but for the comments that come after it from the readers, that’s where there’s some really useful information.