Marriage Story: Ring-Related Stats From The Knot’s 2019 Jewelry Study



With 21,000 respondents, The Knot’s biennial Jewelry & Engagement Study offers a gold mine of intelligence on recently engaged couples ages 25 to 34. We cherry-picked the best ring-related findings so you don’t have to.

If you haven’t been on the dating circuit in a while, one figure from wedding planning website The Knot’s 2019 Jewelry & Engagement Study may surprise you: At 22%, a plurality of respondents met on dating apps (up 5% from 2017)—namely, Tinder (30%), OkCupid (14%), and Bumble (13%). As if to put an exclamation point on that, the study also found that 92% of couples share the news of their engagement on social media. The upshot for jewelry retailers? Make sure you’re on the ’Gram and your clients know how to tag you. For other top-level takeaways, see our highlights.

THE CENTER STONE

• 66% of center stones weigh 0.5–1.5 ct.

Sylvie vintage engagement ring
Vintage engagement ring with 1.5 ct. round center and 0.08 ct. t.w. diamond accents, starting at $1,035 (without center stone), sylviecollection.com

• 52% of brides say they want to buy conflict-free diamonds

• 47% of center diamonds are round

Forevermark icon setting
Forevermark Icon setting round diamond engagement ring in platinum, starting at $3,195, forevermark.com

• Princess-cut, square, and oval diamonds all rank at 14%

Ovals have doubled in popularity since 2017

• 7% of couples are resetting heirloom diamonds

Lori McLean refashioned old minecut diamond ring
14k yellow and white gold ring with repurposed 0.5 ct. t.w. diamond halo and 0.7 ct. old European cut–diamond center stone, price on request, lorimclean.com

1 in 10 couples wants a non-diamond center stone

• Moissanite: It’s the most common center stone after diamond (19%), and it has almost doubled in popularity since 2017. Sapphire (18%) and morganite (12%) are also big bridal choices.

Charles and Colvard emerald tulip solitaire moissanite
Emerald Tulip solitaire ring with 2.52 ct. colorless Forever One moissanite in 14k rose gold, $2,529, charlesandcolvard.com

• 15% of brides say they want a man-made stone, but only 12% report receiving one

Overnight Mountings lab grown solitaire ring
Bezel Solitaire ring in 14k white gold with 1 ct. lab-grown diamond, $3,532, overnightmountings.com

 

THE RING

• The overall design of the ring is more important to brides than stone cut and size

Sofia Zakia rose cut diamond paeonia ring
Rose-cut diamond Paeonia ring in 14k gold, $2,850, sofiazakia.com

• For style advice, proposers are more likely to rely on friends and family (34%), consult jewelry design websites (32%), or hit up a local brick-and-mortar jewelry store for ideas (29%)

• 78% of proposers say their significant other dropped hints about ring preferences

• 53% of brides relied on Pinterest for ring design research and inspiration

• 31% of couples are custom-designing a ring from scratch

• More than 50% of couples want to personalize their ring design in some way

• White gold settings are overwhelmingly the most popular (54%) but less so than in 2017 (64%)

Mindi Mond asscher cut ring
18k white gold micro-pavé band with 1.22 cts. t.w. diamonds and 1.01 ct. Asscher-cut diamond in diamond prongs, price on request, mindimondny.com

• Rose gold settings are the second most popular (14%), slightly outpacing both platinum (13%) and yellow gold (13%)

• Over the past 5 years, the preference for yellow gold has more than doubled

Graziela yellow gold diamond cluster ring
Diamond halo ring in 18k yellow gold, $5,775, grazielagems.com

• Halos are dipping in popularity: 24% of respondents reported getting a halo or a shared prong setting engagement ring, down 2% since 2017

 

SHOPPING

• 90% of proposers purchased the setting and center stone at the same retailer 

Online shoppers were motivated by the promise of better prices or convenience—or just found what they wanted while browsing and went for it

WHERE THEY BUY

40%: Local/independent jeweler and/or retailer

30%: National/regional jewelry chain

11%: Online retailer

Gabriel vintage halo ring
Vintage 14k white gold round halo ring with 0.16 ct. t.w. diamonds, $1,365 (without center stone), gabrielny.com

• 7 in 10 brides say they were somewhat involved in selecting or purchasing their ring; 23% (nearly a quarter) of that group say they looked at rings with their partner

How quickly can you and your vendors deliver? 39% of proposers purchase the ring 1–2 months before proposing.

3: That’s the average number of retailers proposers visit before purchasing an engagement ring

• More than 70% of those proposing say it’s important to see the ring in person before purchasing and, on average, look at 15 rings as part of their search

• The top 3 online retailers: Blue Nile, Brilliant Earth, James Allen

Brilliant earth diamond emerald sapphire onyx Costanza ring
Costanza ring with diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, and onyx, $3,690, brilliantearth.com

• The top 3 national chains: Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared

Adrianna Papell for Kay ring
Adrianna Papell 0.875 ct. t.w. white gold engagement ring, $2,999.99, kayjewelers.com

 

SPENDING

Average engagement ring cost by region:

Mid-Atlantic$7,500

New England: $6,900

Southwest: $5,600

West: $5,500

Southeast: $5,400

Midwest: $5,300

Anna Sheffield Stardust Bea ring with galaxy gray diamond
Stardust Bea ring with 1 ct. oval-cut brilliant galaxy gray diamond center, gray diamond pavé, and white diamond trillion side stones in 14k yellow gold, $7,355, annasheffield.com

32%
Proposers want a good deal on the engagement ring, or at least a fair deal. Not knowing either way was listed as the top concern.

27%
Proposers’ second biggest concern? Not understanding enough about diamond terminology.

26%
Proposers also worry about finding retailers with options they can afford

1 in 3 proposers spends $1,000–$4,000 on the ring

Jennie Kwon diamond hope ring
Diamond Hope ring with 5 mm bezel-set white diamond, six 1 mm white diamonds, and milgrain detail in 14k gold, $3,450, jenniekwondesigns.com

• The national average cost of an engagement ring in 2019: $5,900, down from $6,351 in 2017 (compared with $5,095 in 2011)

Single Stone old euro cut ring
Katie ring with 0.89 ct. old European–cut diamond and 0.4 ct. t.w. diamond accents in 18k yellow gold, $5,900, singlestone.com

• 72% of couples have purchased or are planning to purchase insurance for their engagement ring

• 20% of proposers discussed the cost of the engagement ring with their partners in advance. and they’re standing firm: 7 in 10 report sticking to their budget at purchase time.

 

WEDDING BANDS

• White gold is the top metal preference among women (52%), down from 61% in 2017

• Rose gold (15%) and yellow gold (11%) are trending up 

• Average cost of a man’s wedding band: $510

David Yurman mens armory band in sterling
Men’s Armory band in sterling silver, $450, davidyurman.com

• Average cost of a woman’s wedding band: $1,100

Effy pave classica diamond band
Pavé Classica stacking ring in 14k white gold with 0.65 ct. t.w. diamonds, $1,295, effyjewelry.com

• Platinum holds at 10%, down from 12% in 2017

• Tungsten is still the most popular metal among men (23%); white gold is a close second (21%)

Top: RoyalT Petite Crescent Bloom Varietal collection rings, $3,495–$5,145 (without center stones), tacori.com