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The Globe and Mail

Should a woman buy her own engagement ring?

Kim Kardashian shows off her engagement ring at AmberLounge Fashion Monaco 2011 on May 27, 2011 in Monaco.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images/Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Did socialite Kim Kardashian pay for her 20.5-carat engagement ring herself?

Rumours are swirling that fiancé Kris Humphries couldn't afford his glamourpuss's $2-million ring (U.S.) on a $3.2-million salary with the New Jersey Nets.

Urban gossip website claims the jewel is the same Ms. Kardashian received as payment for promotional work in 2009. Photos snapped then show the gems are very similar: an emerald-cut centre stone flanked by two glittering trapezoids.

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If the reality star earned her own dream jewel, one she'd been fantasizing about since high school, who cares? Given how common it is for women to pick out their engagement rings, is it still taboo if they pay for them as well?

"It's completely against tradition," says Alison McGill, editor-in-chief of Weddingbells. "It's been ingrained in us for so long that men propose and they propose with a ring."

Tabloids have made similar claims about Jessica Simpson, who reportedly bought her own $100,000 ring when she got engaged to former pro-football player Eric Johnson.

"These are high-powered, highly paid women," Ms. McGill says. "In their eyes, they have ideals to live up to. For [Ms. Kardashian]… it was paramount that her ring reflect that."

Citing a survey of more than 2,000 readers, Ms. McGill said that as many Canadian couples share a combined household income before marriage, women may increasingly be funding some of the engagement costs.

"They're sharing money, expenses and wedding costs. … You could say that's partially the bride's money going toward her engagement ring."

What do you make of women paying - in part or in full - for their own engagement rings?

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