Wedding Wednesday: Engagement and Wedding Jewelry Trends for 2011

Key Trends from The Knot & WeddingChannel.com’s Bridal Jewelry Study

engagement statistics, average cost of engagement ring, raymond lee jewelers

Stats via MarketWatch.com

Yesterday, TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com released the results of its Engagement & Jewelry Study, which surveyed more than 10,000 U.S. brides and 1,000 U.S. grooms engaged or married in the past year. This study is the most comprehensive survey of wedding jewelry purchases, and shows some clear trends for 2011 – Raymond Lee Jewelers breaks it down.

Most Grooms Aren’t Basing Their Budget on the Economy

With the economy making a measly recovery (on a good day) one would think that engagement ring sales would have taken a big hit, but grooms aren’t skimping on the most important purchase of their lives. Only 14% of men said that they had purchased a less expensive ring due to the shaky economy. The average cost of an engagement ring is around $5200, down only $600 from 3 years ago, while the luxury engagement ring segment spends an average of $13,500.

Round Rings Rule

Rounds remain the most popular choice for engagement rings with 53% of brides opting for a round diamond. The luxury segment prefers rounds even more, with 57% of luxury engagement rings featuring round diamonds. And while princess remains the next most popular cut, cushion cut diamonds are trending for both the typical engagement segment and luxury segment.

Among the Luxury Segment, Tradition is Tops

Perhaps the reason that rounds shine brighter among the luxury segment is their classic shape. Also, luxury engagement rings feature larger center stones and might only require one large, solitaire round to make a statement. Another tradition among those who live luxe? Grooms asking the bride’s father for permission – a whopping 80% of them asked Pops before popping the question. One tradition that spans across both segments? Getting down on bended-knee: 77% of grooms opted for this.

Uniqueness is Prized

Grooms are choosing to add personal elements to pre-existing ring designs or to commission original designs. 41% of grooms, and 59% of grooms within the luxury segment, are adding to or creating new designs. Additionally, while white gold remains the most popular metal, grooms are favoring metals like tungsten and titanium in their rings.

Grooms are Sticking to Brick and Mortar Stores

Only 9% of grooms purchased their rings from online retailers, while 35% of them bought the ring at a national jewelry chain. Local and independent jewelers, like Raymond Lee Jewelers, accounted for 39% of all groom’s engagement ring purchases. And regardless of the name on the receipt, brides are gently nudging their beloveds towards “The One”, with 65% admitting to being “somewhat involved” and 31% “very involved.”

Jewelers, what kinds of trends have you noticed in engagement and wedding jewelry sales? Brides & Grooms, share with us your purchasing process in the comments below.

Liz for Raymond Lee Jewelers, South Florida’s choice for pre-owned luxury engagement rings.

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