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The New Rules of Engagement for 2023

Times are changing, and so are the antiquated traditions of engagement rings and proposals. Discover the new rules of engagement for 2023.

As a fine jewellery company who has helped thousands of happy couples find the dream engagement ring, we’d say that we know a thing or two about the engagement journey!

From planning to research, to shopping and to eventually popping the question - it’s an absolute pleasure for us to be a part of our clients’ love stories.

What are the rules of engagement? Emerald and Diamond emerald cut Trilogy ring from Fenton

The engagement ring and fine jewellery industry is still plagued by traditions and myths such as “a ring must cost 3 months your salary” or “the bigger the stone the better”. But we’re here to change that!

Love is about more than just the price tag and should be celebrated however you and your partner want. It shouldn’t be held to antiquated rules, especially in the 21st century!

The New Rules of Engagement in 2023

Couple proposing with a Blue Sapphire engagement ring

We’re here to create the NEW rules of engagement. We’ve compiled a list of tips, tricks and advice to guide you through the engagement ring journey, which is all to help you become a smarter shopper!

Before you read on, we’d like to caveat that, really, there are no real rules to engagement ring shopping. If anything, it just completely depends on you and your partner!

However, it does help to get a better picture and understanding of what you should consider before purchasing your forever piece! So, discover our top 4 rules of engagement for 2023!

The three month salary rule is over

Aquamarine and diamond emerald cut Trilogy and diamond chevron band from Fenton

One of the first things you’ll see when you start researching engagement rings is a supposed rule that you must spend between 2-3 months salary on an engagement ring. But how much should you actually spend on an engagement ring?

This notion is a relatively new creation and was introduced by De Beers as part of their wider advertising campaign to establish the diamond as the primary choice for engagement rings. The campaign was born out of response to The Great Depression of the 1930s, which was a disaster for the industry and company. As the business struggled, this campaign was created as a ploy to get people to spend more on natural diamond rings.

Initially, the campaign suggested that one months’ salary was an appropriate amount to spend on an engagement ring, which saw huge success and is when the rule stuck. It wasn’t until the 1980s where they pushed the rule to two months’ salary, and later, three months. We’ve run the numbers and can’t say we agree!

Three month salary rule infographic with average uk salary

On an average UK salary of £30,000, this would be a massive £7,500! This is simply greatly unrealistic or even financially irresponsible for many couples considering a proposal.

The research shows that the average amount spent by most couples in the UK is nowhere near this figure. In fact, the average cost of an engagement ring in the UK is £1,800 with a large number of people opting to spend between £2,000 to £3,000 on their engagement ring.

Consider all the design options

De Beers are also responsible for another engagement ring stereotype: the 1 carat Diamond Solitaire! We have nothing against solitaires or natural diamonds and think both can be lovely. But we disagree that one size or style should fit all.

There are a range of options apart from natural diamonds, both ancient and modern, which we think customers should consider too. Then, they’ll be able to find a better fit for their taste, budget and lifestyle.

Blue Sapphire and Diamond cluster engagement ring from Fenton

Before diamonds became popular in the 20th century, precious coloured gemstones such as Sapphires, Rubies and Emeralds were the most popular choice for engagement rings dating all the way back to the Roman era.

In more recent years, lab grown diamonds have also become a popular choice for couples searching for an alternative option that offers better value for money per carat and all the same benefits of beauty and durability as natural diamonds. We have our own fully eco-friendly twist here at Fenton in the form of Solar Diamonds.

Solar lab grown diamond and gemstone rings from Fenton

Solar Diamonds and natural precious gemstones are a great choice for anyone considering the sweet spot of a £2,000 to £3,000 budget. To put this into context, a natural 1 carat diamond Solitaire costs around £6,000 (more than triple the national average!).

On the other hand, here at Fenton, we’ve priced a 1 carat Solar Diamond Solitaire at £2,600 or an equivalent sized 9x7mm Aquamarine Solitaire at £2,750. What’s even better, prices for these styles start at £1,450! So, it pays to think outside the traditional box.

Make it personal

Engagement ring with engraving from Fenton

We believe that engagement rings should be a symbol of love between the wearer and the giver. The process of designing and perfecting your ring together can be just as important as the end piece itself.

Instead of offering off the shelf pieces, at Fenton, we’re focused on allowing our customers to design their own piece from thousands of options including centre stone, setting, metal and accent stones.

One last tip - don’t forget the engraving! We recommend getting your initials rather than a date in case your plans change at the last minute.

Ask for ethical

Ethical and Sustainable engagement rings from Fenton

Unfortunately, it is still the case that the majority of jewellers do not have proper oversight of their supply chain or the provenance of their products. Because of this, customers unwittingly purchase a piece without knowing that the object that symbolises their happiness has in fact been created in a supply chain that perpetuates either unsafe or exploitative working conditions or irresponsible environmental impact.

Fenton is a certified B Corp and aspires to a new ‘gold standard’ of ethical production. Discover our how our smart supply chain works.

Plan ahead

When to order your engagement ring from Fenton

Our last recommendation for anyone wanting to get engaged this year is to plan ahead! At Fenton, we suggest the following timeline:

3 to 4 months to go 

Start researching jewellers and styles you think your other half might like.

3 months to go

Choose a jeweller and ask them any questions you might have.

2 months to go

Place your order making sure you leave a little time to spare in case of any delays or last minute changes you might like to make.

2 to 4 weeks to go

Receive your ring! If you're happy and don’t require any further changes then you’re ready to propose!

Our favourite engagement ring styles

Discover some of our favourite engagement ring styles.

Whatever your style or budget, we can make it happen. Customise your ring from £1,250 or up to a 12x10mm ring in size Grand with Fenton. 

Still unsure? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert concierge and gemmologist team via Call, Email or Whatsapp. Or book your personal or virtual appointment here.

Create your jewellery

Explore our collections. Customise the dream jewellery piece with your choice of style, gemstone, metal and cut.

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