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It’s not the size of the bling that counts

February 14, 2017 Business News No Comments Email Email

As Valentine’s day approaches, it’s a time of year when many couples seal their relationship with a marriage proposal. There may be good news for the wallets of the men buying the rings, according to a study from London Business School’s Dr Gabrielle Adams.

Dr Adams, Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour, and co-author Professor Frank Flynn from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, analysed the correlation between the value of a gift and level of appreciation. They found that although givers think that more expensive gifts will be more appreciated than inexpensive ones, receivers don’t appreciate expensive gifts that much more than inexpensive ones.

“Men think that a really expensive ring will signal thoughtfulness, when in reality their future fiancées don’t differentiate between the thoughtfulness of more versus less expensive rings” says Dr Adams. “Other studies show this isn’t just a gender difference – it highlights the differences in whether givers and receivers base their appreciation on the costs of gifts.”

Through surveying engaged couples online, the study found that men thought the more they spent on their rings, the more their fiancées appreciated them. Fiancées, on the other hand, were not any more appreciative if the rings were more expensive.

In Hong Kong, the average spending on rings and accessories for marriage was HK$49,568 in 2016, while the market value was estimated at HK$2.6 billion, according to a survey conducted by wedding website ESDLife.

However, it is not all bad news for those already in the queue at Tiffany. What the study suggests is that gifts with heftier price tags are not necessarily more thoughtful than ones that are lighter on the wallets, in the eyes of the receiver.

So for those romantics, keep in mind that it really is the thought that counts.

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