Two months’ salary is a lot of money. Is that really how much I have to spend on the engagement ring?
We’ve heard a lot of different stories about where that “two-month salary” rule originated, but the general consensus is that someone in the diamond business came up with it. So the short answer is: no, you don’t have to spend that much.
It all depends on the woman you’re proposing to, and the kind of ring she wants. Like any other big purchase, the “right” amount to spend on a ring depends on balancing a number of factors. These include the diamond’s cut, the band material, and the setting design.
This is why we’re fans of buying the ring online. The best online retailers, like Blue Nile, have ring-building tools that allow you to see all the elements in one place, and play around with them until you get the exact right combination.
What’s more, the service provided by an online site does not end once the ring is delivered. Down the line you may want to upgrade–in celebration of a significant wedding anniversary, for instance–so Blue Nile and other online dealers have diamond upgrade programs to make this easy as possible. Blue Nile’s program will credit you the entire value of your old stone (with certain limitations) if you opt to purchase your new stone with them–always a good idea, as they will know the setting, ring size, etc.