There comes a time when it seems like everyone is getting engaged and you can’t escape the conversations around ring size, styles and the cut that suits you best. We live in a world where we can access celebrity engagements with a quick online search, producing photos upon photos of oversized diamonds, 24 carat gems and custom-made jewelry. Combine celebrity engagement rings with the constant competition of the freshly-engaged and you’ve entered a dog-eat-dog world of comparisons.
So when one bride-to-be took to Mumsnet to express her disappointment with the ring her fiancé chose to propose with, she was met with mixed reactions.
“I was so happy and excited to accept but was disappointed when I first saw the ring. The first word that entered my head was ‘small.’ There’s nothing to dislike about the type of ring per se, as a diamond solitaire would have been my choice, but it’s the whole thing – the colour of the gold, the setting, the small stone… His salary is nearing a six-figure sum and he’s usually very generous. Having seen the receipt I know he paid £1,300 ($2,100 CAD) for it – which is a lot less than I would have imagined he would have spent on such a significant piece of jewelry.”
Some commenters sided with the poster, agreeing that it is a piece of jewelry that should be timeless while others left nasty messages, wishing a failed marriage on her.
“1,300 quid is a lot of money to most people… and you sound like the worst person imaginable. I hope he dumps you,” one commenter said.
“You’ll (hopefully) be wearing it for the rest of your life, so you need to like it. That doesn’t mean you’re making it ‘all about the ring,’ you just want to love something that will be highly visible to you for many years,” posted another.
“No wonder so many marriages don’t last! It is irrelevant how big the stone is and mentioning the price displays an unflattering greed on your part,” said another forum frequenter.
While some users suggested ways to help the poster get the ring she truly wants, others discussed how bringing it up to her fiancé is a bad idea.
“…if this is the man you intend to spend the rest of your life with you should be able to have a conversation about this. If it can be returned and you can pick something you like better, together, then do that, but I would probably try and stick to his budget or put the extra to it yourself if you chose something more expensive,” offered one poster.
“To everyone who said be ‘honest’ with him because you are going to spend the best of your lives together, I would say, if you truly hope to spend the rest of your life with someone, do not be ‘honest’ about this,” countered another.
Some users felt the cost of the ring was irrelevant and what truly mattered was that the poster’s fiancé took the time to pick something he liked – and as a result, she should love it as well.
“I got engaged as a student, so my ring was not at all expensive. It’s a simple diamond solitaire. I love it because my husband chose it, and he knew I would love it. I don’t care what size it is or what it cost,” said one user.
“This man wants to marry you, why does it matter how much he’s spent on a ring?” asked another.
There are various “rules” about how much one person should spend on an engagement ring, including the one, two or three-month salary rule. While not everyone agreed with the bride-to-be, many were quick to debunk the requirement that the engagement ring should equal the sum of three months’ salary, noting that was actually part of a marketing campaign started in the 1930s by jewelry giant De Beers.
“They would release a certain number to the market and then expect the man to pay a three month salary price tag for one of them. This is how diamond ring prices became artificially elevated and the price of diamonds has been kept high ever since,” commented one user.
While there isn’t a strict guideline around the cost of engagement rings, should there be? In a world of social media engagements and custom jewelry, should the price be calculated based on the salary of the purchaser? What is the right amount to spend on an engagement ring?