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I’m looking at mine right now: White gold, a peridot, two tiny diamonds. I’ve been wearing it for almost 10 years and I still sometimes catch myself wiggling my ring finger around just to see it sparkle. I don’t know the exact cost, but it came in under $1,000 – and that includes the wedding band, too. My husband picked it and paid for it himself. On the other end of the spectrum is socialite and reality star Kim Kardashian, who, in case you managed to miss it, got engaged this week. Her NBA player fiancé Kris Humphries proposed with a 20.5 carat, $2 million dollar sparkler – and rumor has it that the bride-to-be paid for the gigantic jewel herself. After all, those in the industry say that an engagement ring should cost about 2 months’ salary (a ridiculous guide, if you ask me), and even with Kris’ $3.2 million annual paycheck, Kim’s diamond shatters that cap.

The rules of engagement do seem to be changing. While none of my friends have actually paid for their rings, most of them had a hand in picking them – some just offered up descriptions and pictures of their dream diamonds, while others took their future husbands down to the jewelers and showed them exactly what to buy. I’ve heard stories of brides returning the rings their grooms picked out, exchanging them for something more their style, or waiting a couple of years and then melting them down and re-designing them entirely.

But back to Kim Kardashian, you know what they say: First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a custom-made diamond-encrusted BMW baby carriage… we’ll be eagerly awaiting that news! What do you think? Did you have a hand in picking your ring? Did you/Would you pay for your own engagement ring?

I have two engagement rings and three wedding bands. I know that makes me sound ridiculously spoiled, but here’s how it worked out… My husband proposed with a ring that I mentioned liking. It was a simple round solitaire set in a plain white gold band (the stone is not a diamond, because I am personally not a fan of the diamond industry). This is the ring he purchased and proposed with, it cost about $250-$300. When we were planning our wedding, two years later, his grandma passed on her old wedding set to us to use for the ceremony as our “official” ring set. The entire set was appraised at $1500. I didn’t want to wear the $1500 set on our honeymoon to Italy, so we got me an inexpensive, very thin, yellow gold comfort fit band (I still wear this ring in the summer when my fingers swell up). It cost less then $100. After our daughter was born, I kept scratching her with my “official” ring set, because it has a total of eight stones. My husband took it upon himself to buy me a lovely antique-style white gold band, that he had engraved on the inside. This became the band I wear everyday, and when I need to dress it up, I am able to wear my original engagement ring with it. I don’t know exactly what this band cost him, but I’m sure it was under $200. So, in total, we actually spent less than $1000 for all five of my rings.