Quality v. Quantity: How Much Does Size Matter for Diamond Engagement Rings?
With an estimated 67% percent of brides researching rings before getting engaged, brides-to-be have a clear vision for their engagement rings, according to Knot.com. And fiancés are not just popping into a jewelry store and buying the first ring that catches their eye. Men report visiting at least five retailers and looking at an average of 25 rings before purchasing "the one." So just how important is size when it comes to finding that perfect ring? It all comes down to the bride-to-be.
Ladies Know What They Want: Size Matters, But Style Counts, Too
Ring selection is a highly personal decision, and women like to be actively involved in the process. Consider this: 70 percent of Pinterest users begin making Pinterest boards before they’re even engaged, and dreaming about the perfect ring is no exception. Women may initially have a singular vision in mind, but as they start exploring other styles, including semiprecious gemstone settings, a single large solitaire is no longer the default choice. In fact, only one in five brides receive a clear diamond solitaire. Nearly two out of three brides have a diamond center stone flanked by side stones or accents. The halo setting has tripled in popularity, going from 7% in 2011 to 22% in 2015.
Customization is crucial: whether men are redesigning family heirlooms or resetting vintage pieces, nearly half of all men choose to make custom changes to an existing design. And while the size of the ring is important, it’s not the be-all-end-all, according to Knot.com’s research. More than half of all brides prefer quality over quantity, and 85% of men would rather buy a smaller, better quality diamond. That’s good news for men’s wallets, as the cost of diamonds increases exponentially with their size. For example, you could get an entire carat’s worth of diamonds in 10 tiny diamonds around a ring’s band for a fraction of what you’ll pay for a single solitaire.
Engagement Ring Spending Hits All Time High
Engagement ring spending hit an all time high in 2015, with men spending an average of $5,978 for a ring. However, many couples are moving away from the traditional rule of thumb that a groom should plan to spend anywhere from one to three month’s salary on the engagement ring. Despite the huge size of celebrity sparklers (Angelina Jolie’s is an estimated 10 carat diamond), brides-to-be recognize that such large rings simply are not practical or comfortable for daily wear. And with other financial priorities in play – like affording a wedding (the average cost is now $31,123 according to Huffington Post) – there are a number of other considerations.
Engagement Ring Trends in 2016
In 2016, expect to see men continue to invest in quality diamond rings for their brides, but opt for more practical or unique settings rather than a single large solitaire. Size does matter, but customization matters even more.