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Engagement Jewelry

08 april 2009

Diamonds.net reports that Brides.com released the results of its 2009 "American Wedding Study," which reported that the average cost of an engagement ring is now $6,348, a 43 percent jump from the survey taken in 2006. The average price for a pair of wedding bands has fallen 24 percent since 2006 to $1,575. The cost of all three rings, purchased together, rose 12 percent to $6,835. "Clearly, the sparkle — and value — of diamonds has captured the attention and wallets of couples who are keen on making a significant investment when it comes to engagement rings," said Michelle Preli, editor-in-chief of Brides.com.

The average cost of a wedding, though, has not changed much: It was up 1 percent to $28,082, according to Brides.com. The survey also found that 82 percent of couples set a budget for their wedding, and that 58 percent of engaged women expect to use a credit card to help pay for wedding expenses. Nineteen percent of weddings are funded outright by the parents of the bride, and 8 percent of brides foot the entire bill themselves, according to the survey's results.

"A wedding is one of the most treasured celebrations in a couple's life, so it's no surprise that certain costs haven't seen a major decrease. But, that said, it is good to see brides and grooms keeping their eye on budgets too, since this special day marks the beginning of a building a lifetime together," added Preli.

At the same time, mass media say that some people practice a not-so-budget-thrifty approach while choosing an engagement ring. Thus, according to nationaljewelernetwork.com, the Bachelor's Jason Mesnick on the season finale of the ABC reality show has decided to propose with a hand-crafted Neil Lane marquise-cut diamond and platinum ring encrusted with 170 smaller diamonds. The diamonds add up to a total carat weight of 3.18, with the D-color, VS1-clarity center stone weighing in at 1.94 carats.

Mesnick chose the ring from three Neil Lane designs, each featuring a unique cut of diamonds, including oval and pear shapes.

One of the lucky ladies will join the long list of brides who have worn Neil Lane engagement rings, including celebrities such as Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Hudson, Kate Hudson, Brooke Shields and Reese Witherspoon.

Commodity Online notes that a survey conducted by Modern Bride magazine indicates that American brides are not about to give up diamond engagement rings despite the sorry state of the global economy.

According to the survey engaged couples have reprioritized their wedding budgets and they plan to spend their hard-earned cash on items that will last forever.

Top priorities remain the honeymoon, photography, and the boon for the jewelry and diamond industry - the engagement ring. The Modern Bride survey also showed that 90% of the brides said they are either keeping to their original wedding budget or plan to spend even more.

Statistically, in less than 10 years, the number of weddings is projected to increase by approximately 30%.

Another interesting fact revealed by Modern Bride is that 86% of the polled brides said they are spending the same amount as six months ago or more on jewelry. Brides believe in quality over quantity when it comes to their bridal jewelry. According to another survey, 81% of the brides desire platinum, which is 30 times rarer than gold, but is also the most durable of all precious metals.

It would appear that this is the time for jewelers and retailers who focus on the bridal industry to work with platinum metal.

The Wedding Report’ survey indicates that over 40% of brides and grooms consider ‘durability’ to be a key determining factor when shopping for a wedding band.

Members of the jewelry industry are already finding innovative ways to meet this consumer trend. Some retailers are highlighting 3-ring bridal sets, an engagement ring and his and her wedding bands — as a package. Other jewelry designers are creating lighter weight, lower-priced platinum jewelry.

According to ‘The Cost of Doing Business’ survey conducted by the Jewelers of America, platinum jewelry’s gross margin pushes the metal well above the national average, thus generating increased profits for jewelry retailers while at the same time ensuring long-term customer satisfaction. By conveying the intrinsic value of platinum to the consumer, jewelry manufacturers and retailers can take advantage of the stated trend toward ‘quality over quantity.’