One question we hear over and over at the Haltom’s counters: How much should I budget for this purchase? There are no hard and fast rules on spending, but there are other considerations to keep in mind.
For engagement rings, the traditional budget is three months of the groom’s salary. Today, as many couples are older and further in their careers, expectations have gone up! Many brides think of the carat weight (read: BIG) of the center stone instead of the budget. We have no problem with that, but in some cases, the prospective groom looks like he could use a drink – and a visit from Boomer, our Haltom’s dog.
We always love working on a big diamond engagement ring, but it’s equally satisfying to use a family diamond. There is something so meaningful about placing a family heirloom in a beautiful new setting – and it doesn’t break the groom’s bank account.
Family diamonds – meaning several diamonds or a band of diamonds – can also be placed in a gorgeous new setting. This creates a truly meaningful wedding ring and can leave more of a budget for a large, center diamond or a diamond setting.
For fashion jewelry budgets, my best advice is to relate the jewelry budget to your clothing budget. A fashion earring purchase should probably be the same amount you would spend for a handbag or a new pair of shoes.
Thinking about a special occasion? A gorgeous bangle or a long necklace would probably equal what you paid for your special occasion outfit. And for many of our female customers, they are not waiting on a man to give them jewels. Today, women work and reward themselves in a budget-conscience way, choosing a pedicure or a new pair of designer sterling earrings. For others, the choice could be between a new Lexus or a new gold Rolex!
There are times when the occasion dictates the budget. A high school graduation may call for a watch. Some customers will choose from a $395 Luminox and others will consider a $1400 Tag Heuer. We see lots of young ladies use their graduation budget for a class ring on an iconic necklace (or bracelet) that they can wear for years.
By their nature, baby gifts are petite and that seems to trickle down into affordable price points for gifts. However, in my experience, new grandparents will usually spend to the moon for their grands!
Important occasions like big anniversaries, birthdays that end in a zero, and corporate awards may have jumbo budgets that reflect the importance of the occasion, and the status of the recipient. We find that our true competition isn’t other jewelers, but other luxury items.
Houses, art, cars, boats and fine furs are choices that leave us out. As you can imagine, we always suggest that a precious jewel or timepiece can be worn every day for a lifetime, hold value, and be passed down to the next generation.
We realize that many affluent buyers choose ALL and give different pieces in different years. The appropriate budget for a new diamond ring for the 25th anniversary may be similar in budget to the luxury sedan he drove to our store.
These are just a few budget examples, and again, I want to stress that there is no right or wrong answer. We work with customers who have a limited budget, to those with an unlimited amount to spend. This is why we curate our inventory selection very carefully to provide amazing choices from $100 to $200,000 and more.
No matter the occasion, and no matter the budget, we hope you will consider Haltom’s the next time you are making jewelry purchase.