Remember folks, the commercial says that the "Diamond Council" reccomends that you spend two and a half months salary on a diamond engagement band...

This is the marketing equivilent of Ben & Jerry's telling you your ideal weight is 300 pounds.

However despite this purchasing a diamond engagement band is a tough ordeal for almost any man to go through. Besides being innudated with the "two or two and a half" month's salary "guideline". Most guys are just clueless when it comes to purchasing jewelry. Sure many men want to buy their prospective wife the biggest diamond they can afford. But in a diamond's case, bigger is not always better. The most important thing to keep in mind about purchasing a diamond engagement ring (or any other stone for that matter) is the tastes of the woman you're buying it for. Does she even like to wear jewelry at all?

One friend of mine purchased a ring for his non-jewelry wearing girlfriend merely to use as a symbol of proposal, after she accepted they went and returned the ring together and with the money she was able to buy something she really wanted. In the case of my girlfriend, well, she's small, a large diamond is going to look rather akward on her finger, and I know that she prefers jewelry which is more subtle. In this case I'll probably opt for a smaller, but higher quality diamond.

The choice of setting is just as important as the stone you choose. Once again you must check your loved one's preference. Some women prefer silver (in this case platinum is also a good setting, but up there on the expense-o-meter) over gold, some like thicker bands, some like thinner, wide or narrow, side stones or just the solitaire... the list goes on and on. The thing to keep in mind is that while it's your money that's being spent (usually, although I know many couples who decide to get married and split the cost of the engagement ring), she's the one who is going to be wearing this thing (hopefully) for the rest of her life.