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A Real Gem  

Red hearts...dark chocolate...diamond rings: Valentine's Day.

With so many getting engaged on February 14, I could hardly resist sharing the findings of a new report from Atlanta's Emory University.  Titled, A Diamond is Forever—and Other Fairy Tales, the report features a survey of 3,000 once or still-married American couples.

Maybe you've heard the “two-month's-salary rule” that jewelers love to foist on couples.  According to this “rule,” you are supposed to save up (or at least spend) two months of your salary for an engagement ring.

Turns out that little rule has worked well for jewelers.  Not so much for couples.

The Emory University report reveals that couples who spend $2,000 to $4,000 on an engagement ring were 1.3 times likelier to end up divorced than couples who spent $500 to $2,000.  These numbers are troubling, given the 2013 national average.  According to TheKnot.com, the average American couple drops $5,598 on a ring.

Apparently, spending big bucks on a wedding holds similarly disturbing results.  Couples who dropped more than 20 grand on a wedding ceremony face a divorce rate that is three and a half times as high as those who spend between $5,000 and $10,000.  By the way, the national average—according to TheKnot.com—is much higher: $29,858.

Big rings and big parties don't appear to guarantee anything more than big debt.

Rather...dis-HEART-ening, wouldn't you say?

As pricey ring is a thing of beauty.

But for beauty that lasts—and almost guarantees happiness—look for a heart.  Not the dark chocolate kind.  But the heart that Ephesians 4:2 describes when it says, “Be completely humble and gentle.  Be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

If you can find that kind of heart (and I have, in Diana), you've got yourself a real...gem!


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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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