How much do Belfast lovers spend on engagement rings?
It’s the most nerve-wracking moment for anyone in love - getting down on one knee, looking into the eyes of the person you love and asking if they will stay with you forever?
And while it’s important to pick the perfect time, and the perfect place (is black mountain too far? Is the zoo too obvious?), the one thing you absolutely have to get right is the ring.
Despite this however, it seems Belfast romantics are not too concerned about splashing out on the brightest bling or the fanciest band, with new data showing couples in the city spent an average of £995 on their engagement ring.
With the average annual salary currently £25,579, that works out at around half a months wages - a far cry from the perceived wisdom that you should spend at least two months wages on your engagement ring.
How does the rest of the UK compare?
It is also below the UK average spend - but while Belfast lovers might be frugal, they are not the lowest spenders when it comes to the big question. That dubious title has been taken by Burnley couples, who spent just £347 - the the least out of the whole UK, followed by Wigan and Bradford.
Belfast was tenth in the study, although had one of the highest average salaries out of the bottom ten, showing that local romantics are frugal with their money.
Romantics in London are the biggest spenders, paying an average of £8000 for an engagement ring, while Oxford was second in the list at £7,600, and Edinburgh third at £6,980.
The average cost of a wedding ring in the UK in 2018 was £1,483, and while still considered the etiquette, the old tradition of spending two months salary on the lifelong investment is being increasingly ignored in these days of austerity and Brexit uncertainty (in 2017, the year that delivered the brexit verdict, the average spend was just £785).
And increasingly couples are considering other factors such as where the diamond in the ring may have come from, and whether they should go for a diamond at all.
The new data was compiled by national antique silverware and jewellery outlet AC Silver, who analysed the price of engagement rings purchased through its site from customers across the UK over the past five years.
Andrew Campbell, founder of AC Silver said: “Much pressure is placed on individuals when planning a proposal, including finding the ‘perfect ring’.
“We believe wherever your location and whatever your budget, you should be able to treat your special someone to a stunning ring. Thankfully, long gone is the rule of having to spend the equivalent of two or three months salary to buy an engagement ring.
“Interestingly we have seen different spending habits across the UK. Buying an antique diamond significantly reduces the impact of precious stone mining and predominantly will ensure you gain the best value diamond or gemstone for your budget.”
London – £8,000 (£35,235)
Oxford – £7,600 (£29,495)
Edinburgh – £6,980 (£28,100)
Brighton – £6,442 (£25,356)
Bournemouth – £5,000 (£24,267)
Cambridge – £4,895 (£30,914)
Bath – £4,699 (£24,595)
Peterborough – £4,200 (£21,500)
Manchester – £4,125 (£32,500)
Salisbury – £3,988 (£24,127)
Burnley – £347 (£19,368)
Wigan – £600 (£27,283)
Bradford – £654 (£20,991)
Barnsley – £730 (£24,449)
Blackburn – £849 (£20.082)
Sunderland – £900 (£20,918)
Newcastle – £935 (£25,033)
Newport – £940 (£22,893)
Gloucester – £965 (£24,212)
Belfast – £995 (£25,579)