Couples are spending about 7 to 9 percent less on their engagement rings than they did two years ago, data collected from multiple sources shows.
According to The Knot’s 2019 Jewelry & Engagement Study released last week, the national average spend on an engagement ring in the United States stands at $5,900.
By region, the average cost is: $7,500 in the Mid-Atlantic states; $6,900 in New England; $5,600 in the Southwest; $5,500 in the West; $5,400 in the Southeast; and $5,300 in the Midwest.
The figures released by The Knot in its report—which comes out every two years and is the company’s deep-dive into engagements and the jewelry that accompanies them—consistently come in above the averages documented by industry sources.
Analyst Edahn Golan said his data, which is collected from hundreds of stores across the United States that vary by geography, size, type and positioning, shows the average expenditure on diamond engagement rings today is about $3,200.
Golan’s figure is on par with that of De Beers Group, which has U.S. engagement ring expenditure averaging $3,400 in its latest Diamond Insight Report, released last week.
While The Knot’s number comes in above the figures provided by Golan and De Beers, all three data sets show spending on engagement rings going in the same direction: down.
The Knot’s $5,900 average is down 7 percent from $6,351 in 2017, the last time it conducted its jewelry and engagement study.
Golan’s $3,200 figure represents a nearly 9 percent decline from the $3,500 he said couples were spending just a couple years ago.
And De Beers’ average has dropped too, from $3,700 in 2013 to $3,400 in 2017.
Golan said the primary driver behind the decline in engagement ring expenditure is the shift to smaller center stones, which is part of a wider change in taste and fashion. Many consumers today are opting for daintier styles in engagement rings (as well as in jewelry in general) even if cost is not an issue for them.
“This is the larger driver [of the trend],” he said. “Economic drivers are there too, but they are largely secondary.”
The Knot saw the same when conducting its jewelry study, with the size of the stone declining in importance when compared to the piece’s cost and overall quality.
Worldwide Senior Director of Insights Lauren Goodson said when The Knot asked couples which engagement ring features are most important to them, price ranked second among proposers (higher than in 2017), behind only style/setting.
The size of the ring, meanwhile, dropped two slots in importance for proposers and three spots for proposees, ranking second to last this year (out of eight) for all, compared to fifth for proposers and fourth for proposees in 2017, she said.