According to JCK, a study by two economics professors at Emory University says “YES.” The study surveyed 3,000 U.S. adults who had been or were still in a heterosexual marriage and found that the cost of the engagement ring (and even the wedding!) did have a bearing on the longevity of their union.
The study is creatively titled “‘A Diamond is Forever’ and Other Fairy Tales: The Relationship between Wedding Expenses and Marriage Duration.”
The study aimed to “evaluate the association between wedding spending and marriage duration using data from a survey of over 3,000 ever-married persons in the United States. Controlling for a number of demographic and relationship characteristics, we find evidence that marriage duration is inversely associated with spending on the engagement ring and wedding ceremony.”
According to the study, men who spent $2,000 – $4,000 were 1.3 times more likely to have marriages end in divorce than the guys who spent between $500 and $2,000.
However, those who spent under $500 also had higher divorce rates (and we’re not saying that had anything to do with the size of the diamond, but we’re not not saying it.) Men who spent over $8,000 also had lower divorce rates, so that’s a handy figure to remember, gents (kidding, kidding.)
So it seems that the engagement ring factor is perhaps not as big of a factor as the other surprising finding.
The study also found that women whose weddings cost more than $20,000 were three and half times more likely to end up divorcees than those who spent $5,000 to $10,000!
The authors concluded, “Overall, our findings provide little evidence to support to the validity of the wedding industry’s general message that connects expensive weddings with positive material outcomes.”
On the plus side, to those 3,000 respondents, if your expensive ring caused your divorce, at least you’ll make more selling it after you finalize the split.