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It seems the rules for how much to spend on an engagement ring aren’t dead yet — at least to some. 

A woman reportedly returned her engagement ring to her partner because it didn’t cost 10% of his salary. 

The ring, which is made of white gold with diamonds and sapphire, cost the man about $3,000. However, he allegedly makes enough that if he followed the 10% rule, which says he should spend one-tenth of his salary on an engagement ring, he should have spent between $10,000 and $15,000.

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The man posted about his dilemma on Reddit’s “Am I the A–h—” forum, asking if he had done the wrong thing by spending only $3,000 on the engagement ring for his fiancee. 

In the post, he explained that while he does make a sizable salary, this year has been somewhat challenging because he’s been financially supporting his parents, sister and nephew who all had COVID-19. He is also still supporting his sister, who lost her job. 

To make matters worse, he said his job announced that 150 people will be laid off next year, so he wanted to be smart about his spending, though he doesn’t think he’ll be laid off.

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Even though the ring he bought was only $3,000, it was designed in a way that his partner wanted, the man said. He even had the sapphire custom cut into a pear shape as she preferred. 

A woman has reportedly returned her engagement ring because it didn’t cost her partner 10% of his salary. (iStock)

“Initially she was very happy with it until her mother (a jeweler) called it cheap,” the man wrote. “She has since given it back to me and accused me of undervaluing her and what she does for me.”

That includes caring for their 18-month-old and doing most of the cooking and housework, he added.

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Since she returned the ring, the man’s partner is reportedly “refusing” to talk to him.

“Her parents are accusing me of using her and treating her like cheap trash,” he wrote. “I've tried to explain my point of view but they won't listen and are demanding an at least a 10% ring.”

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Most of the commenters sided with the man, with the top commenter asking how $3,000 is considered “cheap.”

Other people chimed in to say that the cost of the ring shouldn’t really matter. 

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“As a proud wearer of a 400 dollar engagement ring I can not fathom wasting thousands on a piece of jewellery [sic],” one person wrote. 

Someone else said: “A ring is a ring. Mine was about £500 I was so totally happy with my ring. It's perfect. Tbh if my husband spent anymore then I would have been so annoyed at him.”

Another commenter even pointed out that the 10% “rule” was a “marketing ploy invented by the diamond industry,” which is true, according to The Knot.

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The wedding website wrote that diamond cartel De Beers created a marketing campaign in the 1930s that convinced men that if they really loved their significant others, they would spend at least a month of their salary on an engagement ring.

By the 1980s, the amount increased to two months’ salary and today, it is three months’ salary.

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