Should Couples Go Dutch on Engagement Rings?

So, for a while we have heard murmurs that the whole man-buying-an-engagement-ring-for-a-woman tradition is a little outdated in this era of both sexes in the workforce.

Last week, the Today show brought up a possible solution—one that may surprise jewelers:

[T]here’s one new trend on the horizon: couples who split the price of an engagement ring.

Wedding website The Knot posed the question of whether it’s a good idea to split the cost, and the response was varied. 

“I put money down on my ring,” said a respondent named Jessica. “My fiancé and I have been together over 7 years now. We work together for what we want and need. We are a team.”

Samantha Daniels, professional matchmaker and founder of Samantha’s Table matchmaking, has noticed more couples paying jointly for a ring.

“Today, because both the man and woman earn money and contribute to the financials and the decision-making, it’s not surprising that both of them are involved in all aspects [of choosing and paying for the ring],” she told TODAY.com. “I think it makes for a better connection between the two people.”

This also dovetails nicely with another long-term trend: Men and women shopping for—and picking out—the ring together. According to The Knot, some 64 percent of brides are involved in some way in picking their rings, and some 27 percent helped shop for it. And one third of brides were involved in figuring out the ring budget. 

The industry would probably prefer its own solution for this: man-gagement rings, which it appears a growing number of men are open to.

While that might be a little ways off, I think we can all see the going-dutch trend picking up steam. Some jewelers—and apparently some brides-to-be—might argue that it takes some of the romance out of the ring purchase; one woman wrote on The Knot’s Facebook page: “When my hubby popped the question I had never even discussed rings with him. He had been talking to my mom and she told him what I liked. It was a moment I will never forget.”  

Still, economics have typically been—and likely will always be—a factor in engagement ring shopping. It’s still tough times, and for most grooms, the engagement ring is the biggest purchase of their lives. Everyone could use a little help these days—even people who didn’t traditionally receive it.

What do you all think? Have you seen this? 

JCK News Director