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Ask Dave

Buying The Rock

Dustin has been dating the same person for three years. They're considering marriage, and he needs some guidance on how to spend it on an engagement ring.

QUESTION: Dustin in Shreveport is 22 and has been dating the same person for about three years. They’re considering marriage, and he has some money saved. He needs some guidance on how to spend it on an engagement ring. Dave doesn’t recommend spending above one month’s pay on an engagement ring.

ANSWER: A good rule of thumb on engagement rings is a maximum—if you have a full-time job and you’re working and that kind of stuff—of one month’s pay. Jewelry stores will tell you in some cases two months’ pay, and that’s just too much. Lots of people get married on a very cheap ring, and it lasts very well.

There is no correlation between the size of the ring and the length of the marriage. There is absolutely no statistical correlation on that. You want to do something that’s fun and so forth.

Diamonds and furniture are the items that have the two largest markups. You do not want to go to the typical mall franchise jewelry store. You are looking for a deal. You’re looking for someone who is either a diamond broker or a high-end, well-run, clean pawn shop. In either case, you need to gather a little bit of information about diamonds. You need to learn a little bit about them. You need to get someone you trust or somebody that you know trusts a lot since you’re probably not a diamond expert. I’m not a diamond expert, but I’ve got a couple of different people that I trust their integrity completely when it comes to guiding me in something like that.

Diamonds are not an investment. I have yet to see the diamonds Sharon owns go up in value in two decades. This idea that diamonds are a girl’s best friend is an advertising slogan. Don’t get caught up in that crap, either. But it’s a great thing to buy the lady of your life a big rock.

You can literally save 50% by going through a broker or going to a high-end pawn shop with someone or through someone that you can trust their process.