Majority of engagement ring buyers shun online websites: study finds

Despite the growth of specialist diamond jewellery websites, and the general increase in online shopping over the past two years, a new study has found 67 per cent of people who decided to marry purchased their engagement ring in-store, from a jewellery retailer.

In addition, the 2021 Jewelry and Engagement Study – conducted by US-based digital wedding resource The Knot – found that about 50 per cent of the sales took place at local jewellers after the proposer visited 2-3 jewellery stores before making a purchase.

The study concluded that engagement ring shoppers favoured visiting a jewellery store: “While online channels, such as social media and jewelry websites, continue to be the leading resource for ring research and inspiration, proposers value the importance of in-store shopping.”

Diamonds are still the most preferred engagement stone, with moissanite catching up as a popular alternative and yellow gold making a comeback. 

These findings were some of the highlights from a national online survey of 5,000 US adults who became engaged between January to November, this year.

“We’re thrilled to see that proposals are returning to pre-pandemic behaviours. The majority of couples are already booking their weddings for 2022, as the wedding boom is upon us,” Shelley Brown, senior fashion and beauty editor, The Knot said.

She noted there has been a “renewed excitement” on proposals and the market has shown increased interest in custom engagement rings.

According to Brown, “Oval diamonds, yellow gold settings and alternative centre stones like moissanite and sapphire are all gaining popularity, speaking to couples’ increasing desire to invest in wedding traditions that represent their specific love story and personal taste.”

Diamonds are forever

The study revealed that 93 per cent of respondents exchanged engagement rings of which 83 per cent were diamond-set with an average size of 1.5 carats, while one in four ring designs were more than 2 carats.

Shape and setting were considered important features with round cut diamonds as the most popular at 41 percent, while oval cut diamonds have also seen an increase by 2 per cent in 2015 to 19 per cent this year.

However, ring size has become less important among respondents, according to the study.

» Background reading: Year of love

Of the 10 per cent of study respondents who chose non-diamond rings, 28 per cent preferred moissanite, which was also the most popular choice among Gen Z respondents (35 per cent).

Sustainability awareness also became an emerging trend, where nearly one in four engagement rings were synthetic or lab-created stones, which indicated an increase by 11 per cent on the two-year difference when compared to the same study in 2019.

Yellow gold making a comeback

Meanwhile, yellow gold engagement rings have become increasingly popular among study respondents while demand for white gold engagement rings has declined in recent years.

From 61 percent in 2017, the demand for white gold decreased by 45 per cent this year.

Overall, average spending on engagement rings for 2021 slightly increased to $US6,000 ($AU8,387) compared with 2019 pre-pandemic spending of $US5,900 ($AU8,247).

The survey is conducted annually by The Knot to determine emerging trends and provide guidance for the US wedding planning and jewellery industry.

The Knot 2021 Jewelry & Engagement Study was conducted nationally in the US during November 2021 among more than 5,000 adults who announcement their engagement between January 2021 to November 7, 2021 (N=5,017). All respondents were adults aged 18-54 and who provided their email address to The Knot Worldwide.

The Knot claims to be The US’s leading digital wedding resource offering an all-in-one planning experience, from finding inspiration and local vendors to creating and managing all guest experiences and wedding registries.

More reading
2020 Study – Positive news for diamond ring market during COVID
Buying an engagement ring
Top 53 Celebrity Engagement Ring Trends
Year of love: Making it count


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