How Much Should You Spend On An Engagement Ring? | ewmoda

How Much Should You Spend On An Engagement Ring?

Fergus Appleton, CEO Fergus James, has the answer!

Posted on

1 June 2017

Contributed by

Fergus Appleton

How Much Should You Spend On An Engagement Ring?

image courtesy Fergus James

To say that an engagement piece is an important piece of jewellery is an understatement. And if you are lucky, you will only have to buy an engagement ring once. You want the ring to be special, but not impractically unaffordable. So, how do you know what is the right amount to spend on that special ring?

Fergus Appleton, the CEO of Fergus James, sheds light on how much people should spend on an engagement ring and he had some very interesting answers for us!

There is an unwritten rule that says that you should spend between 1-3 months’ salary on your partners engagement ring. But where does this link between salary and engagement rings come from? You never hear people talking about spending a certain number of months’ salary on a car for example.

Linking monthly salary to engagement ring spend comes from a very clever piece of marketing from the De Beers diamond company. As a result of the Great Depression, the diamonds popularity waned dramatically towards the late 1930’s.

Along came a change in focus and the advertising campaign ‘A Diamond is Forever’, with this consumers started to associate engagements and diamonds. De Beers simultaneously launched a campaign that read “two months' salary showed the future Mrs. Smith what the future would be like”(pictured below). This clever piece of marketing created the link between salary and the amount you spend on an engagement ring and is still discussed almost every time an engagement ring is purchased.

de beers mrs smith campaign

The infamous De Beers campaign that links engagement rings to two months of salary. (image credit: Pinterest)

We’re going to apply the 1-3 month test to Great Britain.

The De Beers 2 months’ salary RULE: Taking the UK average annual salary of GBP 27,500 (AED 132,000) gross this would equate to the average British citizen spending approximately GBP 4,483 (AED 21,518) on an engagement ring if the gross salary is applied and around GBP 3,362 (AED 16,137) if net salary is applied.

The above does not really stack up when you look at the UK average engagement ring spend which has a range between GBP 1,000 – GBP 3,000. However when you look at the average spend in the states, it starts to make more sense – I guess the Americans are more easily led with socially aspirational marketing ploys.

What’s the conclusion?


The amount that you decide to spend on an engagement ring should be entirely up to the person who is spending the money. It’s much more important to put thought and personal customization into the design, for example, than to totally overstretch yourself trying to keep up with the Joneses. The reality is that, if she loves you, she’ll be delighted with anything.

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