Tradition states that a man should splurge three months’s salary on an engagement ring before he pops the question.
But now, new research has shown that couples are spending 20 per cent less on engagement rings now than they were a decade ago, with Scots likely to fork out the least.
Almost half of those who were recently engaged said they spent less than three weeks’s salary on a ring. Meanwhile, more than one in ten spent less than they earn in just one week, according to a survey by jewellery insurer Protect Your Bubble.
The cost of a typical engagement ring has slumped by 19 per cent to £1,080 over the past ten years, the report said. North of the border, an average wedding and engagement ring costs just £563 and £862 respectively - compared to a total of £2,778 in London.
Romance expert Tiffany Wright, of The One Romance, said that while in the past, people liked to flash a showy diamond ring, couples were increasingly opting to spend their cash on something they could more easily display on social media, such as a lavish proposal or wedding.
She said: “More and more people want something to share on social media so instead of splashing thousands on the ring, couples are more likely to put their money into an extravagant proposal than on the diamonds. Flashmob, helicopters or fireworks proposals are now being seen as more impressive than a big piece of bling.
She added: “It’s also now possible to get rings that look expensive, but actually are not. For example there is a huge craze for a diamond with lots of little flecks of diamonds around it - which makes the ring look huge and flashy - however, it’s one of the cheapest ways to get an engagement ring as the “flecks” aren’t actually that expensive.”
Younger would-be married couples are spending more on rings than older brides and grooms to be. Over the last decade, the average 16 to 24-year-old has spent £1,473 on an engagement ring and £2,827 on a wedding ring – making them the biggest spending age group. In contrast, 45 to 54 year olds are spending the least on wedding bands, averaging out at just £691.
Rob Basinger, head of UK at Protect Your Bubble, said: “Brits getting ready to take the plunge might have smaller budgets today than they did 10 years ago, but that’s not to say wedding and engagement rings are any less important now than in years gone by.
“It’s always worthwhile shopping around for rings – even if you’re looking for something in a more modest price range – as cost doesn’t always equal quality. You can save hundreds of pounds by shopping online and spending time looking at what is on the market, or going to an independent expert who can offer guidance and advice to help you pick the right ring for your budget.”