Yellow gold, oval diamonds, alternative center stones: The 2021 Knot Jewelry & Engagement Study reveals new trends for jewelers and highlights how bridal sales may look into the next year and beyond.
One of the survey’s key findings focuses on how couples are taking a “highly personalized approach” to engagement planning and buying—something jewelers may want to think about when it comes to working with people on bridal purchases, how they approach sharing engagements on social media, and what they stock in their stores and online.
The survey, which included more than 5,000 adults who got engaged in the first 11 months of 2021, shows that the more some things change, the more they stay the same. For example, 93% of couples still exchange rings at engagement, and diamonds are the preferred center stone in that ring (86%).
Shopping online also may start the purchase process, but most couples prefer going into stores to make the final buy. According to The Knot’s survey, 67% of rings were bought inside a store, and half of those purchases happened at a local jeweler.
Total engagement ring spend remained steady in 2021 at $6,000, in line with pre-pandemic spend in 2019 at $5,900. Ring costs vary by type of stone, with the average cost of a clear diamond engagement ring being $6,800, versus an average of $2,500 for a gemstone. Most purchasers said they stuck to their budget; about 30% said they spent more than they planned.
“With this renewed excitement surrounding proposals comes an increased interest in highly personalized engagement rings,” Shelley Brown, senior fashion and beauty editor for The Knot, said in a statement. “Oval diamonds, yellow gold settings, and alternative center stones like moissanite and sapphire are all gaining popularity, speaking to couples’ increasing desire to invest in wedding traditions that represent their specific love story and personal taste.”
For diamonds specifically, round (41%) remains the most popular cut, however, oval has seen a steady increase in popularity over the years (2% in 2015 to 19% in 2021). Shape and setting continue to be the most important ring features, while size has become less important.
Photo © Bulbul Ahmed, Unsplash.