This Is Why You Don’t Need to Spend 3 Month’s Salary on An Engagement Ring

Engagement ring shaming is apparently a thing with people feeling pressure to show off the biggest possible diamond or boast about the value of their ring. 

Before my own engagement I spent weeks looking at jewellers’ websites and in shops and I couldn’t find a single ring that I liked the look of. Even when totally ignoring the absurd prices of some engagement rings and looking at rings costing several thousand pounds, places like Beaverbrooks and Ernest Jones had nothing at all that was ‘me’.

I turned to Etsy and immediately found heaps of rings that I loved, handmade, full of character, utterly beautiful and most of them were a fraction of the price of rings on the high street.

If you find a ring that costs £150 and you like it, don’t fall into the trap of feeling like you need to go for a ring that’s more elaborate or expensive. What you choose to spend on a ring has no bearing whatsoever on love and yet the old adage of needing to spend 3 months salary on a ring persists. Bafflingly, Craig Bolton of Goldsmiths states that there are people who are willing to spend a year’s salary on an engagement ring.

Cost of an engagement ring UK

Insurance company Protect Your Bubble carried out research in 2018 which found that the average cost of an engagement ring is £1,483, and whilst this is far lower than the traditional 3 month’s salary, it’s still in my mind, pretty steep.

Of course you want to feel like you’re worth more than a £15 cubic zirconia ring from Argos, but seriously, please can we not get so fixed on the monetary value or size of the stone?

If you feel like you’ve got to prove your love in monetary value, then there’s something seriously wrong

Is it really necessary to go into debt because you feel pressure to make a grand gesture? The mainstream wedding industry perpetuates the notion that spending more equals love, which is utter nonsense.

Of course if you can afford to, by all means, spend as much as you like, but the point I’m making is when the average salary in the UK is £35,423, most people clearly won’t have vast savings at their disposal. In fact, I’m willing to bet that most working people don’t have even a single month’s full salary available as truly disposable income (and if you do, well done, you’re clearly far more adept at this adulting lark than I am), which means the purchase of an expensive engagement ring is highly likely to require financing.

The Bohemian Bride Guide to Engagement Rings

Brides, you have nothing to prove but your love to each other. Love is special, often intangible and there’s definitely no monetary value you should place on it.

Getting engaged is about making a pledge that you want to spend your life with someone special, and that gesture shouldn’t lead to debt. If you move in circles where the cost of your ring or size of your diamond matters, might I suggest you step out of that circle.

Seriously, who cares if a friend or colleague has a more expensive ring with a bigger stone in it? As long as you like the ring and it means something to the two of you, that’s all that matters.

So please, if there’s one thing you take from this article, let it be the understanding that your ring is a personal choice and it’s symbolic of the way the two of you feel about each other. Using your engagement ring as a status symbol smacks of the worst kind of insecurity and materialism, so please don’t let wedding industry propaganda make you feel bad about your engagement ring, or indeed any choices that you make.

It’s not about anyone else’s opinion or societal pressure, it’s about the two of you as individuals who love and have chosen to commit to each other.

Whether it’s handmade by a local artisan with a semi-precious stone, something beautiful and bespoke or whether it’s an enormous mass-produced diamond ring, it just doesn’t matter, it’s the symbolism and sentimental value of the ring that matters most.