How much should I spend on an engagement ring?

Ok, so ever since I started talking about possible wedding plans with my girl the topics of rings have come up.

She really wants a Tiffany’s Legacy ring, starting price around 18K (goes up to 50K). Which I think its insane, but I really care about her and I really want to make her happy.

I’m about to graduate soon and become a dentist and I know I will have a decent income but still, thats a LOT of money…

Loans? Should I get her a cheaper ring? Should I take a picture of the ring she wants and have some other jeweler fake it?

You should find another woman to marry, if she is expecting a fresh-out-of-school graduate to buy her a ring valued at 18k or better. Seriously, did she suggest this, or did she just make a casual mention that she liked it?

That is a serious chunk of change for a guy just starting out. How big is the diamond?

Here’s a link to the actual ring:

Seriously, discuss this with her in realistic terms. If youa re getting married you need to discuss your finances together and she needs to understand whatthis will mean for YOUR future together. Maybe it will mean not getting ahouse for a couple of years, maybe it means you can’t get a new car when you want, or whatever. Just don’t buy her the ring because she likes it, it shouldn’t be a test of your love for her.

Personally, I think it looks hideous, save for the center diamond, but I’m not a girl either, so…

I have to believe that she didn’t seriously suggest that you buy her an 18K ring, right? She couldn’t have suggested it. I’m guessing that fresh out of dental school you are going to be making about 100K (likely to be significantly lower) max right? Can you justify 20% of your first year salary, at best, for an engagement ring?

I am a girl, and I think that’s hideous.

One commonly used figure for how much one should spend on a ring, invented and promoted by the sellers of engagement rings, is two months income. I am NOT saying that you need to spend two months income on a ring, but if you anticipate two months income being significantly less than the value of the “ideal” ring, the “ideal” ring is too expensive.

Talk to her about Big Picture Finances–will spending 18 K on a ring make it harder to put a downpayment on a house? Buy a new car? Pay off your student loans?

I’d be uncomfortable knowing that my fiance/husband was paying off loans on my engagement ring. Then again, I wouldn’t demand/suggest/covet a ring worth 18K.

(Also, although I hope you’ll love her forever, and vice versa, have you looked at the divorce rate lately? Do you want to be paying for a ring for a woman you no longer like, let alone love?)

Another option is the buy her a ring that you can afford now, and suggest that maybe you can upgrade down the road ten years, or twenty or something.

Talk to her about what she most likes about the ring you mention. The Tiffany Name? Do they have something with a smaller diamond she could like? The Setting? Does a similar setting exist from a less pricy designer? The size of the diamond? Could she settle for Cubic Zirconia? (I wouldn’t, and I’d be pissed if you suggested it. But that’s me. I’d settle for a gold or silver engraved band that wasn’t wedding-y a whole lot sooner than I’d settle for a fake stone. But you aren’t buying this ring for me.)

18 K is a whole lot of money for a engagement ring, regardless of your future earning potential. And sadly, the mark-ups on jewelry are such that if someday want to sell the ring to get some cash, the cash you get will be far, far south of 18 K. So, either your lady has no clue about the value of money, has eyes bigger than her/your budget, or is someone so greedy you’d be better off splitting up now. I’d assume cluelessness rather than greed, but I still think you need to talk finances before you do any major ring shopping.

Supposedly, I think that the guideline is about 2 months salary?

ETA: oops, beat to it

Casually rent Blood Diamond and then go shopping the next day.

Off to IMHO.

Also, now that I’ve looked at the ring, it doesn’t do a thing for me. Looks horriblely gaudy. And I don’t think I’m all that keen on the “cushion-cut” center diamond. (Yes, I’m female).

Still, remember, while we may be able to give you good advice on how much money you should spend on an engagement ring, we should not be as important in figuring out what kind of ring you should buy. She gets to/has to wear the thing, after all.

Of course, then there’s the opinion of the guy who gave my aunt a diamond. “I’m paying for it, my opinion is the only one that matters”. I think both the ring and the attitude are icky. My aunt was thrilled by the ring, thought the attitude was kind of “cute”, but their relationship has not progressed to marriage. I bet that’s unrelated to the ring though.

Fooking hell? That is the most garish ring I’ve ever seen outside of the NFL or rap videos. If my intended wanted something like that I’d give serious thought to joining the other team.

Go to and ask there. They have lots of diamond suppliers and designers and just people generally interested in e-rings and stones and you will get a better idea of how much a stone you can get for what price. I guess if your heart is set on Tiffany than you have to pay the extra for the name.

eta: the Halo with the pave is beautiful, BUT you can get that ring for much cheaper elsewhere. Leon Mege does some very fine halo work if your SO is set on a Halo pave ring. I have a pave ring myself but from a different designer. But I bought my stone from GoodOldGold in Long Island.

I’d say don’t go into debt to buy it.

I’d also say don’t lie to her about what the ring actually is. If you do get it from some other jeweler, don’t tell her it came from Tiffany’s.

I’m a girl with a $600 wedding set and mine is 100 times more attractive than that.

What many couples do is buy a ring that is within their budget (and is supposed to be equavilant to 3 of 4 months salary if you’re following the stupid arbitrary “rule”) and upgrade her on a big anniversary.

I’d be more worried about your lack of communication regarding finances than I would about getting that butt-ugly ring. But, to each his own and all that.

This statement is the most perfect example of “foreboding” that I think I’ve ever read.

Well, I too have a uterus and I think that ring is gorgeous. Absolutely stunning.

That said, I would NEVER expect my fresh out of school fiance to buy me something like that. I mean, unless I’m marrying into money and $18k is his weekend booze budget or something.

She needs to be a little more realistic in her wants and you need to look at the situation. If the first thing she wants is an 18k$ ring, how much is she going to want you to spend on a house? What about a new car?

Perhaps she’s been lucky enough to not have to know much about money, but this would be a good time to learn.

And, for what it’s worth, you can get big, beautiful, vintage rings that are the same size as that Tiffany ring for well under half the price. Beautiful quality, great craftsmanship, etc.

I second this opinion.

Mostly, though, I question how any girl in their right mind could possibly expect the man they love to fork out a minimum of $18,000 that could go toward a new car or the down payment on a house. My wedding ring cost $10 and it means loads more to me than $18,000, and we didn’t bankrupt ourselves in the process.

Also, that ring is fecking ugly.


First of all, that’s bloody effing hideous. But to each his own…

however…dude, TIFFANY? Look, if she wants a bigish ring that’s one thing, but she does realise Tiffany is old people’s jewellry and you’re not paying for the quality of the diamond, right? You’re just paying for the Tiffany name.

I’m not going to be all anti-engagement ring/jewellry because I’ll admit that I like both…but you could save SO much money just going to BlueNile. The cheapest legacy at Tiffany is still going to be a smaller diamond than what you’ll pay elsewhere, even at a quality online diamond retailer like BlueNile or whatsit, the one my brother-in-law bought my sister hers at (I can get you the name if you like).

Another option you might want to look into are synthetic diamonds-these are real diamonds but they’re lab manufactured. They’ve been able to make industrial grade lab diamonds for a while now but they recently just perfected the technology for jewellry quality diamonds. They ALL come without inclusions, however, the majority of them will have slight colour, which is actually rarer in nature.

Lab Diamond