||The Knot's 2013 Bridal Survey Focuses on the Jewelry-Buying Process
This year, The Knot fielded its third annual Engagement & Jewelry Study, canvasing 14,000 brides and 1,750 grooms on The Knot Wedding Network to assess their thoughts on the bridal jewelry buying process, from how they conducted research to choosing gifts for their wedding party.
Here are the highlights, broken down into four distinct categories focused on the research, the retailer, the engagement ring, and after the engagement.
- 9 of 10 brides have smartphones, 59% have an iPhone, and 31% are Android users. And more than half have tablets.
- Brides are more comfortable shopping with their fiancé: 83% say they are very/somewhat comfortable looking at different ring styles when visiting retailers with their fiancé (compared with 74% who visit without).
- 20% use mobile devices to give ring ideas/hints to fiancés.
- Grooms are more comfortable evaluating, discussing, and shopping for diamonds than brides (59% versus 42%).
- 63% of brides use their mobile devices to visit wedding planning sites or to look for rings.
- Before the engagement, the groom researches for roughly 4.4 months; he visits about 4 retailers and sees an average of 24 rings.
The Engagement Ring
- 42% buy the ring at a local or independent jewelry retailer.
- 9% buy from an online retailer.
- The top three national chains are Kay Jewelers (27%), Zales (20%), and Jared (13%).
- The top three websites are Blue Nile (21%), Amazon (7%), and eBay (5%).
- About 3 in 10 who didn't buy online (27%) considered buying at least part of the ring online.
- 69% who didn't buy online wanted to see the ring/stone in person; 35% were concerned about customer service if something went wrong; 33% felt they needed more personal attention.
After the Engagement
- 85% of rings are purchased new; 11% are heirloom; 4% are vintage.
- 61% of rings feature colorless diamond centers with side stones/accents; 23% feature a colorless diamond solitaire. Only 5% of grooms receive a man-gagement ring.
- 1.6 carats: average total weight of all stones in ring.
- White gold represents 72% of the engagement ring market, followed by platinum (15%) and yellow gold (6%).
- More than 4 in 10 (42%) customize the ring: 27% took an existing ring style/design and made custom changes, while 15% completely custom-designed it.
- The top four design elements are: prong setting (32%), halo/shared prong setting (16%), pavé setting/diamonds (15%), and channel setting/diamonds (10%) -- but nearly one-third of brides are not familiar with these terms.
- 1.1 carats: size of average center stone.
- The most popular stone shapes: round (55%), princess (28%), cushion (5%), and Asscher (3%).
(Source: Jewelers' Circular Keystone Online, 09/06/13)
- 45% of grooms say they would "definitely" return to the retailer in the future, compared with 30% of brides.
- The average cost of a groom's band rose from $491 in 2011 to $558 in 2013.
- Grooms prefer tungsten/tungsten carbide (32%), white gold (27%), and titanium (15%).
- Nearly 7 in 10 (69%) decided on wedding bands together; 15% say they each made their own selections; 11% let their partners pick; 5% of brides chose the bands for both of them.
- More than half (55%) purchased their wedding bands from the same jeweler who sold them the engagement ring.
- For brides, the top design element for a band is diamonds (55%); grooms, meanwhile, prefer a comfort fit (27%), followed by a satin/brush finish (22%).
- A bride's top three metal choices for the band are white gold (70%), platinum (13%), and yellow gold (7%).
- About one-third (35%) of couples buy their bands at separate retailers.
- The average cost of a bride's band rose from $1,126 in 2011 to $1,369 in 2013.
- Only 50% of the brides have heard from their retailer since the ring purchase.