Final Fridays with Cousin Mars – Putting a Ring on It

The Ring Doesn't Mean a Thing...Or Does It? Cousin Mars shares his pov on engagement ring costs.

So, Beyonce said “If you liked it, then you should’ve put a ring on it.” S. Carter turned around and put an 18-carat ring on it. Well, my last name ain’t Carter and unfortunately I don’t currently have his money. However, Mr. Carter doesn’t have Mark Zuckerberg money and it has been reported that Mark spent under $2k for the engagement ring he purchased for Priscilla Chan. Clearly people have different ideas of what should be spent on an engagement ring. It can be extremely stressful for some guys to select the right ring. In my opinion (of course, it’s my post), I think the guy only has one person to please with selecting the ring. Regardless of my opinion, we all know that the whisperings of his and her friends can influence many guys. Enough already for an introduction paragraph…What should be spent on an engagement ring?

Is the three or (six!) month salary still the widespread rule? Has another suggestion become widely accepted yet? It may be clear already, but I don’t subscribe to any one rule for this topic. In fact, I strongly feel individuals should do what works best for them in their situations. By no means am I suggesting a spending limit for a ring. In fact, if you can and it is important to you – BALL OUT…Go Kobe or Jay Z with it. Just be sure to see the big picture. See the entire picture. Understand that the engagement is one step in what should be a long enjoyable journey. Similar to my view on wedding costs, I caution couples to discuss what lifestyle they’re interested in living. At the point of a proposal, one should know what his lady expects and whether that is consistent with what makes cents (intentional error). If there are big differences at the point of an engagement, imagine how conversations regarding strollers, homes, and schools will go.

In case you’re waiting, let me tell you that I’m not actually giving any answers in this post. Instead, I’m offering thinking points. This isn’t a cop-out, but rather proof that I understand that this is too wide of a topic to answer generally. I’m sure the comments will include differing views…These are welcomed. I truly hope more become responsible spenders. Doing so will play a major role in uplifting and advancing “our” community. As we grow together and teach our offspring better habits, we will begin to break the societal and financial shackles that affect too many in many of the communities in which we were raised.

Check out previous posts from Cousin Mars here.

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    1. Erica J. says:

      Alright Mars! Don’t start messing with my rock size. I won’t have my man read this post. Thanks for your opinion, but I can’t agree with this article.

    2. I’m just pointing out what I think the bigger picture is…nothing more.

    3. Rachelle Joseph says:

      I personally feel you shouldn’t break the bank on a ring. The less debt you bring into the marriage the better off you guys will be. You should get what you can afford and is meaningful to you relationship.

    4. SpikesDtr says:

      I’m a non-conformist and don’t subscribe to any formula in determining how much one should pay for anything. What’s more important, the size/price of the ring or the worth of the givers character, sincerity, commitment and love. I’m blessed that my son’s choice of mate is not a material subscriber to society’s stuff meter.

    5. Mars,
      Sorry that I had to miss the twitter-chat last night. I have missed you on this page.
      It’s the relationship, not the ring, that’s most important. Whether it’s a diamond or colored gemstone, large or petite (but flawless!), designed just for his intended or the continuation of a family ring tradition…none of these things should supersede the commitment it symbolizes. Obviously, I’m behind the times since I still thought it was 2 months’ gross salary for rings but, in this era of grooms-maids, open seating at receptions and other customization, no one should not be constrained by any tradition other than love.
      Brothers, if she’s flipping out about the ring, maybe you should re-consider whether she’s the one you want to give it to!

    6. Don’t let tradition, society, or anyone else for that matter, outside of the two in the relationship dictate decisions. Inflation, property prices, cost of living, and salaries have not all increased at a balanced rate so to judge such an investment at a standard is a bit unfair to me.

      All in all, I agree with you Mars. If you got it and she wants it, do it! Meanwhile, if you don’t, or the two decide to invest that money in the wedding, honeymoon, or a home instead, by all means, do it!

    7. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      Once again Mars; you got the people talking! ;-) I planned to post a long winded comment earlier today but my schedule prevented me from doing so. I think that is for the best. I appreciate you all for the feedback. And I’m so, so thankful that my fiance and I don’t have a desire to meet anyone’s expectations but our own.

    8. I love a big rock but realistically speaking, the ring should cost what the man can afford…debt ain’t cool…

    9. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      @Jackie – No debt isn’t cool however many people — like multi-billionaire Mark Z. who Mars mentioned in his post– actually can afford super-expensive rings but they opt against them b/c of sheer preference. Also, the largest stones aren’t always the most expensive ones…

    10. To each his/her own, for sure, but I’d take a great relationship over a huge, pricey ring. I love rings that carry family history or some other type of personal sentiment for the bride and groom…but that’s just me!

    11. I so agree with Regina’s comments, The marriage is more important than any ring……………

    12. Thank you for all of the comments. I didn’t want to hear crickets chirping after this post. Remember, you guys determine the Final Friday topics. Continue sending Bridgette the subjects you want me to speak on.

    13. If you’re only getting married once, why not get the fairy tale ring? Some of us like nice jewelry…I like flashy. When I get engaged I hope the ring meets my expectation.

    14. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      @Brenda – Thanks for stopping by Triple B and commenting. Nice doesn’t equate to expensive rock. I think my engagement ring is nice and nothing about it is large in appearance anyway. “Nice” is quite subjective.

    15. Truth, Balance & Perspective:

      Truth: Be true to yourself (reason, motive and intentions behind the proposal) and embrace your truth. When I connected with my truth, I wanted to do my best to give her the best I could afford.

      Balance: But with that said, as a “grown a.. man” by my definition there is no way that the amount on her finger exceeds the amount put aside towards the rest of our lives.

      Perspective: Though the proposal moment is unforgettable, it is only the intro / prelude to “Always and Forever”, the rest of our lives together.

    16. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      @Brandon – I like, I like! Thanks much for commenting,

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