Every year around Christmas, The Knot – a huge wedding online resource in the US – publishes results of The Knot 2015 Jewelry & Engagement Study. The report, the largest of its kind, surveyed more than 12,000 brides and 1,200 grooms engaged or recently married from 2014 to early 2015, and found some very interesting diamond-related trends.
For example, spending on the engagement ring is at an all-time high. Men spend an average of $5,978, up from $5,403 in 2013 and $5,095 in 2011. 68% of women know how much he spent on the ring, with 34% having a general idea and 34% knowing exactly how much their intended paid. Couples spend an average of $1,417 on her wedding band (up from $1,126 in 2011) and $558 on his band (up from $491 in 2011).
That kind of money doesn’t get spent as an afterthought, and men say it took them an average of 4.8 months to research and 3.6 months to find the perfect engagement ring. They also visited five retailers and looked at an average of 25 rings before purchasing “the one”.
Another interesting trend relates to the type, cut and setting of the diamond used in engagement rings. 63% received a clear diamond center stone with side stones and/or accents, and 21% received a clear diamond solitaire. The most popular diamond cut is round (49% received this shape), followed by princess (22%) and cushion (6%). The trendiest engagement ring setting was the halo, which tripled from 7% in 2011 to 22% in 2015. 33% of brides said they’d prefer a different shape stone than the traditional (and most popular) round shape.
As to size, 74% received a ring weighing in at .5 to 2 carats, and 45% received a ring sized at 1 carat or more.
The quality of the diamond was more important than the size of the stone for most men. 85% of men would rather buy a smaller, better quality diamond than a larger stone of lesser quality, and 57% of brides admit that they’d rather have a smaller, better quality diamond than a larger stone of lesser quality.
And finally, 45% of men chose to add personal elements to the engagement ring. Eighty-six percent of brides received a new ring, 11% an heirloom and 3% a vintage piece. When choosing a wedding band, brides preferred a white gold (68%) wedding band above all, while men opted for a variety of metals including tungsten (30%), white gold (27%), yellow gold (12%) and titanium (12%).