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Engagement Rings and The Famous Two Month Salary Rule

While popular culture from the west has pushed our societal mindset into the longstanding trend of diamond proposal rings, the specifics of such purchases can be very daunting to those who are just planning out the next step of their life's journey.

You might often hear the usual advice that's often shared by relatives, and sometimes their private jewellers. The "two months' salary rule" as most would call it, advises that a ring's value ought to be somewhere around twice the monthly salary of the groom to-be. Some may agree, others might not. This simple rule tries to adapt itself very generally to the financial situation of the couple, so that at the very least they don't overspend or underspend, but does it really make the most sense?

It really depends. The purchase of an engagement ring should be more of a sentimental endeavor, rather than a necessity. Some people see it as an investment, others see it as a symbolical heirloom, and some even feel like its should be one of the biggest purchases of their lives. No matter who you ask, answers will always be subjective at their core. (Photography Credit: Jean Dousset Jewellers)

If you're earning a six or seven figure salary, then two months worth of funding can be quite substantial for buying a diamond of one carat size or higher. People earning slightly less may be tempted to dip deeper into their savings for a large stone, but balance of budget should always be kept in mind. Know that if in case you need to liquidate in the future, don't expect a pawnshop to pay the same price as you did to the jewelry store in return for your precious jewelry. Retail prices and pawnshop offerings are often very far apart in value.

In 2019, many Filipinos and Chinese-Filipinos are deviating from the normal expectations of what an engagement ring should be like. Cost may sometimes be a factor, given that diamonds are quite expensive, but alternative gemstone choices such as white sapphires and lab-grown diamonds are indeed options to some part of the consumer market. Others who prefer the standing of natural, earth-mined diamonds, can opt for multiple smaller stones to be mounted on their ring. There is simply no governing rule for the type of ring you should choose to represent your feelings for the person you love.

Did you know some people even choose to use tatoos for their rings instead of buying actual bands? Others think of creative themes to personalise their proposal jewelry- such as rings that are cast from the sound-wave graphs of each partner saying "I love you" in their natural tone. It's not the biggest spender that wins in the end. While a larger diamond can indeed command the attention and awe of everybody in the room, the only attention you need to capture is that of your partner's. Tradition is there to guide us, but not define who we become, even in simple choices like this.

Choose your engagement ring and stone, based on what you and your partner want. Take note also of your financial situation, so as not to prioritise bling over budget. Make it a ring that symbolises love rather than impression, and you'll never go wrong.
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