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The Three Month Rule: Does it Exist

by Brandon
Last updated on August 23, 2023

Diamonds have become a cultural symbol of true love and commitment. During the Great Depression, a marketing campaign by DeBeers, the diamond cartel, pegged that a man should spend one month’s salary on making such a gesture.

Thankfully, we aren’t in a depression anymore, but as the economy improved, so has that hypothetical amount. By the end of the 1900s, it was upped to two-months salary. Now the rule of thumb pegs the price of an engagement ring at three months salary, or 25 percent of one’s income. No word on if we’re talking Gross or Net Pay.

Of course, this is merely a suggestion. According to a 2016 survey by The Knot, the national average spent on an engagement ring is $6,163. Wedding Wire trend expert Anne Chertoff puts the number at $5,000.

Truth is, the three months rule started as a marketing gimmick and has been romanticized for decades since. While having a frame of reference is nice for decision-making purposes, there are a few other considerations to account for when determining how much to spend.

Online vs. In-Person Shopping

There’s nothing quite like being able to see a diamond in-person, but you’ll pay a premium if you decide to buy one face-to-face. You also might not get the exact color, style, or size you want at the counter.

Shopping online allows one to comparison shop, save money and avoid letting a buyer’s impulse overwhelm you.

Getting The Most Bang For Your Buck

If you believe in “The Age Rule” (another blog for another day), getting that 2.5 or 3.0-carat diamond is significantly cheaper when you opt for a lab-grown version. They’re indistinguishable from a mined diamond, a more precise cut, shine a little brighter. Also lab damonds are significantly more affordable. In many cases by several thousand dollars.

Don’t believe us? Check out this comparison chart between lab grown and mined diamonds.

Monthly Financing: A Future Investment

Once you pop the question, the financial focus shifts to saving for the wedding and honeymoon. It’s a lot to handle in a short period of time! Thankfully most jewelers offer financing options for those who don’t want to fork over three months salary in one-lump sum.

Whether you use that financing option to buy a more expensive ring is entirely up to you.

What do you think? Does the three-month rule still exist? Or does a round number like Wedding Wire’s $5,000 hold true?

This post has been provided by Clean Origin, curators of 100% lab-created diamonds. We bring our customers exceptional, high-quality jewelry for any momentous occasion–whether you’re celebrating a birthday, graduation, or need a gift for a 2-year wedding anniversary. Our team of experts has been in the industry for three generations, providing superior quality settings and diamonds for a fraction of the price. Clean Origin offers concierge service and a 100-day money back guarantee to back all of its fine jewelry. We’d be honored if you made us part of your life’s journey.