The million-dollar question that no one really knows the answer to, is there even a right answer? Many moons ago De Beers, the world’s leading diamond company came up with the “2-month rule” in their 1930’s ad campaign stating that the man should spend 2 months of his salary on the ring. Considering the fact they are the world’s leading diamond experts, people listened and took this ad campaign as gospel. Through the decades, 2 month’s salary even turned into 3 month’s salary. A made-up rule like this puts people under immense pressure to conform to social pressures which are just no real.
Nowadays as we enter into 2022 the rules have changed slightly. Basically, there are no rules. We now live in a world where every bride/groom can have a stunning diamond on their finger, for a price that suits them without having to eat beans on toast for 2 months!
The world is now in a totally different place than we were in just 2 years ago. A little virus called Covid 19 totally rocked the world as we knew it. As a result, the way we spend money has shifted slightly. Some consumers are now more price conscious, well because they have to be. Jobs were lost in the pandemic and rents and house prices just got higher and higher.
Others now live with the YOLO attitude, the bigger the better, more is more etc. According to the most recent CSO report released the current average full-time salary in Ireland in 2022 is €40,283 per year. So technically if you were going with the 2 month rule, the average engagement ring spend in Ireland would be €6,713. This is certainly not the case in Ireland as confirmed by industry experts who cite more along the lines of €2,800 as the average spend.
So, when it comes to that important life decision to propose in 2022 people are spending what suits them. This is a deeply personal purchase and everyone’s budget will vary. There is no longer any rhyme or rhythm to spending patterns on engagement rings and that’s the truth! Some people will have a budget or €1,500, others have a budget of €10,000. It is definitely rare to see a budget of above €12,000 on engagement rings these days however.
With a budget of €1500- €2500 you are still in the running to purchase a really beautiful diamond. A lab diamond would be your best choice when purchasing within this budget range. As of January 2022, naturally mined diamonds have increased in cost by 19%. As we move towards a more ethical, sustainable industry, the popularity of lab diamonds is most certainly rising fast among millennials and Gen Z. A lab grown diamond is a diamond that is grown in a man made, lab environment over time from a natural diamond seed using carbon atoms and intense heat pressure. Once the diamond is fully grown in the lab the process of preparing the diamond for selling is 100% the same as the naturally mined diamonds. A lab diamond can take up to 6 weeks to grow.
A classic one stone solitaire, round brilliant or oval-cut are popular within this budget, usually ranging in size from 0.40ct to 0.80ct. As you move into the 1.00ct and above size, prices will rise anywhere from €3500 and above.
A poll carried out by Independent.ie and TheVow.ie in recent years revealed some interesting stats from the Irish public. The results may surprise you slightly that even pre-pandemic “what you can afford” was a clear winner. Following behind was “1 months wages” and “3 months wages”, not so shocking. As the saying goes you cannot put a price on happiness but can we put put a price on love when it comes to splashing out on the ring?