By Erika W.
The average price for an engagement ring is $5,200 according to a survey by XO Group Inc., owners of TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com. The company’s Engagement & Jewelry Study, a survey of 10,000 U.S. brides and 1,000 U.S. grooms, polled those who were married or engaged in the last year.
Rounds and princess cuts are still the most popular diamond shapes, and white gold reigns supreme as the metal of choice. Custom designed settings are growing in popularity as are “man-gagement” rings in alternative metals.
From the press release:
2011 Average Engagement Ring & Wedding Ring Statistics
1. Engagement Ring Cost: $5,200
Carat Size: 1 carat for center stone; 1.4 carats total stones
Most Popular Engagement Ring Shapes: Round (53%) and Princess (30%)
Most Popular Engagement Ring Metal: 73% of rings are made of white gold
Time It Takes for Groom to Find Engagement Ring: 3 months
Wedding Band Cost: $1,126 for brides; $491 for grooms
Most Popular Wedding Band Metal: For brides, 70% are white gold; for grooms, 34% are white gold
The Luxury Ring Segment: About 12% of couples spend more than $8,000 on the engagement ring
Luxury Engagement Ring Cost: $13,500
Luxury Engagement Ring Carat Size: 1.5 carats for center stone; more than 2 carats total stones
Luxury Wedding Ring Cost: $1,560 for brides; $731 for grooms
Key 2011 Jewelry & Proposal Trends
Majority of Grooms’ Ring Selection Not Affected by the Economy. Only 14% of grooms claimed to have downsized the engagement ring due to the economic climate. In fact, one in four grooms spent more than he originally budgeted. However, they are spending less than couples did a few years ago. On average, couples are spending just under $5,200 on the ring (compared with $5,800 for couples engaged in 2008).
Luxury Ring Segment Spends an Average of $13,500. Although round diamonds are the most popular cut for brides overall, they’re even more popular with luxury ring brides (57% versus 53% of the non luxury segment). However, cushion-cut diamonds are a trending favorite among luxury ring brides (8% versus 3% for non luxury segment). Nationwide, the luxury segment tends to be older, lives in the Northeast and is more traditional — nearly 80% of grooms asked the bride’s parents for permission before proposing.
Customization Is Key, Especially for Luxury Ring Couples. Whether they completely designed the ring on their own with a jeweler or made custom changes to an existing design, approximately two out of five grooms (41%) are choosing to add personal elements to the engagement ring. Customization is even more popular with the Luxury Ring segment as more than half (59%) choose to incorporate custom design elements.
Alternative Metals Increasingly Popular for Grooms. Although white gold is still the most popular wedding band metal, with approximately one in three grooms (34%) choosing it, alternative metals are becoming increasingly popular. In 2011, 27% of grooms chose tungsten (up from 19% for grooms married in 2008) and 16% chose titanium (up from 13% for grooms married in 2008).
Where Are Grooms Buying? Approximately two in five grooms (39%) purchased at least part of the ring from a local or independent jeweler, while one in three (35%) purchased at least part of the ring from a national jewelry chain. And nearly 1 out of 10 grooms (9%) purchased from an online retailer. No matter where it’s purchased, are brides helping pick their own ring? Yes. The majority of brides are at least somewhat involved in the ring selection (65%), with nearly a third (31%) ‘very involved’ — that is, they shopped for and/or purchased the ring with their groom. Additionally, 21% of brides will actually visit a retailer in-person without her fiancé, a decrease from 30% for brides engaged in 2008.
Tradition Is Making a Comeback. The majority of grooms are taking tradition to heart when they propose. In fact, 77% of grooms proposed on bended knee (compared with 70% in 2009) and 71% asked the bride’s parents for permission (compared with 62% of grooms engaged in 2008) before popping the question.
Proposals are Becoming More Public. While a proposal’s always a private moment, they’re increasingly becoming more public affairs. In 2009, 68% of grooms proposed privately, while that number dropped to just over half (57%) in 2011. Perhaps that’s why 43% of grooms meticulously planned the proposal down to the last detail and only 10% of grooms “winged” it.
Man-gagement Rings Are the New Trend. Brides aren’t the only ones with engagement rings these days. Grooms are now opting to wear “man-gagement” rings; 5% of grooms wear an engagement ring along with the bride.
ave e-ring stone size where you live