Facts of Love: The Results of The Knot’s 2017 Jewelry & Engagement Study

THE GIFTS

58%

of brides wore fine jewelry

42%

wore costume on their wedding day

The top 3 styles chosen by brides:

69% earrings / 38% hair jewelry or headband / 37% bracelets

$333

Average spend on jewelry for the bride (freshwater pearl hinged cuff, $375, Bounkit)

$408

Average amount groom spent to complete his look, with cufflinks (27%) and watches (22%) accounting for the largest shares (Retro Classic cabochon cufflinks in silver with black onyx, $490, Tacori)

$106

Average spend on jewelry per bridesmaid, with earrings (59%) accounting for largest share (Mediterranean drop earrings in silver with diamond accents, $125, Gabriel & Co.)

$160

Average spend on jewelry per groomsman, with cufflinks (45%) accounting for largest share (Pac Man cufflinks in enamel, $125, Paul Smith)

40%

of brides have given their spouse/partner a watch at some point

$560

Average amount bride spent on groom, with watches (64%) as most popular choice (The Runwell 47 mm in black leather and stainless steel, $550, Shinola

 

THE COUPLE

He said: “[I’d like] a cheat sheet of all the terms jewelers use—especially for the anatomy of the ring/diamond. In addition to terms, a quick reference guide for the scales of all the C’s.”

33%

of brides prefer to have a different shape of stone than the traditional round (custom engagement ring with marquise diamond, price on request, Malakan Diamond)

62%

of brides relied on Pinterest for ring research and/or inspiration

73%

of brides began researching rings before they were engaged (compared with 78%
of luxury brides*). 
Luxury brides are more likely to look to luxury-brand ads for inspiration: 42% vs. 31% of all brides.
* Luxury brides and grooms are defined as those who spent spent $8,000 or more on an engagement ring.

55% of brides—but only 17% of grooms—would rather have a smaller, better-quality diamond than a larger stone of lesser quality

83% of brides + 90% of luxury brides

will recommend the engagement ring retailer to friends and family

42%

of brides received a new custom-designed ring, vs. 60% of luxury brides (custom ring in 18k white gold with diamonds, $4,800 [without center stone], Sofia Kaman)

62% of brides favor a clear diamond center stone with side stones and/or accents
(vs. 68% of luxury brides)

The majority of grooms (75%) spend 1 to 7 months planning the proposal

$246

Average spend on insuring the ring

A majority of brides (65%) still prefer the look of a white gold or platinum setting, but rose and yellow gold are both on the rise—11% and 9%, respectively (ring in 18k yellow gold with 3.76 ct. emerald-cut diamond, $62,000, Rahaminov)

She said: “I received horrible service when trying to get my ring resized. They frequently missed my calls and did not return them. They told me the ring would be completed on a certain date and then it ended up taking twice as long.”

 

THE RETAILER

61%

of brides and grooms said friends/family were most influential in choosing a local retailer. Ability to customize the ring was a close second. (One-of-a-kind custom Helen perma-stacked ring in 18k rose gold and platinum with customer’s own heirloom diamonds, Wendy Brandes)

52% vs. 48%

When selecting the retailer, grooms had more input than brides

45% of grooms purchased from a local/independent jeweler (compared with 60% of luxury grooms)


14%
of grooms purchased the ring online (up from 10% in 2011). Their rationale? Better pricing and convenience. Etsy, Blue Nile, and James Allen are the top 3 online retailers, while Blue Nile, with 40%, is the No. 1 retailer for luxury grooms.

The top 3 national chains (accounting for 56% of purchases from national retailers) are Kay Jewelers, Zales, and Jared. 24% of luxury grooms who purchased at a national chain patronized Robbins Brothers, while 12% chose Tiffany & Co. (down from 35% in 2015).


$8,627 and 1.8 cts.

Average spend and average total carat weight for engagement rings purchased at local/independent jewelers (Laurel Asscher-cut diamond halo engagement ring with 1.64 cts. t.w. diamonds in 18k rose gold, $8,820, VRAM)


$4,681 and 1.5 cts.

Average spend and average total carat weight for engagement rings purchased at national/regional chains (Vera Wang LOVE 1.5 cts. t.w. diamonds 14k white gold ring, $4,699.99, Jared the Galleria of Jewelry)

 

THE RINGS

She said: “[The retailer] made us an incredibly high-quality…ring within our budget. He worked around our schedules, made the design specifically for me, and said I could change whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. He even told us the profit he was making.”

$1,223: Average spend on bride’s wedding band, vs. $1,933 for luxury brides (Angelique band with 0.07 ct. t.w. diamonds in 18k yellow gold, $1,990, Kirk Kara)

$619: Average spend on groom’s wedding band, vs. $1,167 for luxury grooms (ring in sterling silver with 0.024 ct. t.w. black diamonds and line detail, $1,100, Todd Reed)

47% of grooms agree it’s important that the diamond be GIA certified (vs. 71% of luxury grooms)

42% of brides and 41% of grooms would pay more for ethically sourced stones

Among the 11% of brides who favor precious stones other than diamond, the top 3 are:

10% moissanite / 14% morganite / 20% sapphire (7.41 ct. sapphire and diamond ring in platinum, $59,467, Joshua J. Fine Jewelry)

Among grooms who considered lab-grown diamonds:

55% said it’s because the gems are conflict-free/ 49% said it’s because the stones
are a better value / 38% said it’s because they’re better for the environment (18k rose gold ring with 2 cts. t.w. lab-grown diamonds, $9,950, 18k white gold band with 0.5 ct. t.w. lab-grown diamonds, $999, Lovemonster by ALTR Created Diamonds)

90% of couples purchased nonmatching wedding bands

60% of couples purchased their bands together at the same retailer

66% of couples purchased their bands at the same retailer as their engagement ring

24% of couples purchased a band that matched the engagement ring (Bohème Lava diamond band and ring in 18k white gold, $1,499–$1,899 [without center stone], Just Jules/Martin Flyer)

25% of grooms considered purchasing lab-grown diamonds for the center stone of an engagement ring (up from 16% in 2015)

$6,351

His average spend on the ring, compared with $5,095 in 2011. Luxury grooms spent an average of $14,897(Caroline ring with 1.76 cts. t.w. diamonds in platinum, $14,800, Single Stone)

52% of brides still opt for round diamonds, while princess cuts are suffering the steepest declines (14% in 2017 vs. 30% in 2011). Oval and cushion cuts are on the rise. (Pavé cathedral split-shank 1.22 cts. t.w. diamond ring in platinum, price on request, Forevermark by A. Link)

Tungsten (29%) is the most popular metal for grooms

He said: “[The retailer] was very patient…allowing her to try on every ring she wanted. His knowledge of each ring and its capabilities for customizing were crucial.”