Saturday, January 11, 2014

How Much Should a Person Spend on a Wedding Set?

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How Much Should a Person Spend on a Wedding Set?

Famous wedding sets have varied widely in cost. Princess Diana's engagement ring (now worn by Kate Middleton) is an oval blue sapphire from Garrard Jewelers with 14 small diamonds, weighing an amazing 18 carats, and valued at over $100 million. At the other end of the spectrum, the titular character in " The Unsinkable Molly Brown " became engaged with a paper cigar band. We hope that the cigar cost atleast $10, although it is unlikely that Molly wanted to smoke it! (This moment is so famous that a few companies specialize in cigar band engagement rings - made of gold instead of paper!) Of course, most people choose a wedding set priced somewhere in the middle. 

Traditionally, each partner purchases the wedding set for his or her future spouse. Also traditionally, the lion's share of the cost falls upon the man, because his future wife's ring usually contains a diamond. ( The diamond often represents the dowry that use to accompany a marriage proposal. In some cultures, this symbol of the future husband's wealth was represented by cattle -- most agree that a diamond is a significant improvement! ) 

Traditional Cost 

For many decades, the rule of thumb for the cost of a wedding set was two month's salary. For a yearly salary of $30,000, this produced a cost of $5,000. Of course, even in the 1950's, this amount would comprise most of the disposable income of even the most conscientious saver, and then some. Most today would immediately react with two words: credit card. The onus of the two-month salary rule seems to imply that a manly man would be able to come up with that money for the women of his dreams, and that his future wife would be insulted if he did not. It may help get perspective to know the origin of this rule of thumb. It started with the diamond supplier DeBeers as part of their  " a diamond is forever " marketing campaign. 

Realistic Cost

A man wishing to reserve the debt power for buying a home may want to purchase a ring within his budget. However, he knows that he wants a beautiful set that lets his bride know how he feels. When shopping for wedding sets, the future groom will want to choose the best diamond he can afford, and then set it into a ring that shows off the diamond. Generally speaking, the diamond represents the majority of the cost while the band plays the biggest part in how the wedding set will look. A good starting point for price is between $1,000 to $2,500.

Start by Choosing the Diamond

Diamonds are specified by cut, clarity, and carat. In general terms, the cut specifies the look, the clarity the diamond quality, and the carat, the size. A good clarity is S1, a very good clarity is VS2, and an excellent clarity is VS2. Shoppers should realize that the difference between these clarities is nearly indistinguishable to the naked eye. The average diamond size for a wedding ring is less than a carat. Stones larger than this may be considered ostentatiously large. Perhaps the most critical factor is the cut, which determines the diamonds brilliance.

Modern couples choose wedding sets with both tradition and budget in mind. Along these lines, it is good for each future spouse to research the details of wedding rings in order to get the best value possible. 

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