The old tradition says that man should spend two months of his annual salary on an engagement ring, but more couples (and specifically women) are bucking the trend by going for rings with more unusual gems and metals than your typical gold and diamonds—and lower price tags.
In 2011, the average amount spent on an engagement ring was $5,200, according to a survey by The Knot, which is down more than $600 since 2008. But brides-to-be aren’t trading in wow-factor for savings.
And it’s not just the recession that’s lowering the amount couples are willing to spend. Couples are more actively picking out their rings together, meaning compromise may be a factor in the amount spent.
“I really felt like it was ridiculous for the man to have to be responsible for spending all of this money on a ring,” Carolyn C., who split the cost of her engagement ring with her fianc?, told Cosmo.com. “We opted to buy the ring together and went with a small wholesale jeweler, designed our own ring and spent less.”
And it turns out going out it on their own was a smart investment, too. “We got a gorgeous diamond that appraised for more than $4,000 more than we paid.”
Other women are going the Kate Middleton route and using a family or vintage ring, or opting for a gemstone instead of a diamond. Why? It’s cheaper and more unique.