The home of UK weddings

11 August 2014

The biggest myth you've ever been told

The biggest myth in the history of engagement rings has got to be this: A man should spend three months’ salary on an engagement ring. This widely held-on-to myth actually originated as a result of a marketing campaign by diamond producer De Beers in the 20th century. At the start of De Beers’ campaign in 1930 a month’s salary was the stipulated spend on an engagement ring, by 1980 it became two months’ and the three months’ salary spend was born after the marketing campaign conquered Japan in the 1970s.

Cost isn’t the only thing the advertising campaign established, the very idea of diamonds as a necessary part of an engagement ring which is so embedded in western culture was also born of a marketing drive by the diamond producer. It was the advertising team at NW Ayer and Son which dreamt up the renowned tagline, ‘diamonds are forever’.

These two achievements – inexplicably linking diamonds to declarations of love and setting a financial expectation – vibrated through the decades and today there are actual debates over whether George Clooney spent enough on Amal Alamuddin’s ring (answer: I think we can safely say that £450, 000 is more than ‘enough’).

So, in case you haven’t gathered from all the above, boys, you definitely do not need to spend three months’ salary on an engagement ring (unless of course you want to), if she loves you she’d say yes regardless. And girls, a diamond really is basically just a very hard collection of carbon atoms and how much he pays for one really is irrelevant in the face of true love.

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