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Survey Shows Steady Rise in Engagement Ring Spend

Dec 14, 2015 5:31 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... The average amount men spend on an engagement ring in the U.S. has increased to $5,978, according to the latest survey by popular online wedding resource The Knot.

The figure represents an 11 percent increase on the average spend in 2013, according to The Knot 2015 Jewelry & Engagement Study, which polled more than 12,000 brides and 1,200 grooms in the U.S. who were either engaged or married from 2014 to early 2015.

The results showed 68 percent of women knew how much their husbands-to-be had spent on their rings: 34 percent had a general idea and the remaining 34 percent knew the exact cost. Men took an average of 4.8 months to research the ring and 3.6 months to find the right one, visiting five retailers on average and looking at 25 rings. The Knot claims itself to be “the number one wedding resource” and says the report, which comes out every two years, is “the largest of its kind.”

“With engagement ring spend on the rise, we're seeing men put more thought, time and energy into buying the perfect ring and creating a more memorable proposal,” said Kellie Gould, editor-in-chief of The Knot. “Believe it or not, brides are taking an active role in their engagement, too. In fact, more brides than ever are researching what they want in a ring and dropping hints to their husband-to-be. Our study even reveals that a majority of brides know the cost of their engagement ring.”

While 63 percent of brides were given a clear diamond center stone with side stones or accents, 21 percent got a clear diamond solitaire. Those receiving a non-diamond stone rose from 6 percent in 2013 to 8 percent. The most popular diamond cut was round, accounting for 49 percent of gems, followed by princess (22 percent) and cushion (6 percent). The halo setting has soared in popularity from 7 percent in 2011 to 22 percent in the 2015 survey.

Some 74 percent of women received a ring weighing 0.5 to 2 carats and 45 percent got one carat or more.

Men preferred quality over quantity, with 85 percent saying they would rather buy a smaller, superior-quality diamond than a larger stone of inferior quality. Brides, meanwhile, say they want to stand out, with 33 percent preferring a non-traditional shape. Of men surveyed, 45 percent chose to add personal elements to the ring.

Most brides (86%) received a new ring, while 11 percent were given an heirloom and 3 percent a vintage piece.

When it came to wedding bands, 46 percent of brides said having diamonds in the piece was the top priority.
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