July 27, 2015

Engagement Ring Statistics: 23 Surprising Facts

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If you're pondering taking your relationship to the next level, be sure to check out these 23 facts and figures before you start shopping around for a diamond.

Asking your true love to marry you is a big step, and you can't show up empty-handed. Once you get down on one knee, the next step is presenting your sweetheart with a carefully chosen engagement ring.

© Tela Chhe (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

  1. How much does the average engagement ring cost?
    Before you start browsing jewelry stores, it helps to have a ballpark estimate of what an engagement ring will cost you. Researchers from Emory University determined that the average price comes in at right around $2,500.

    Tip: Where is the best place to buy an engagement ring?

  2. How much do grooms actually spend on a ring?
    While most of the price tags you'll come across are relatively affordable, many grooms are willing to up the ante. According to The Knot, the average amount spent on a ring in 2014 was $5,855, an increase of roughly $250 over 2013.

  3. What percentage of brides buy their own ring?
    Interestingly, not all grooms are footing the bill for their future spouse's ring. According to a Wedding Wire survey, brides are picking up the tab 20% of the time.

  4. What percentage of people spend more than $8,000 on a ring?
    While nearly $6,000 is nothing to sneeze at when it comes to buying an engagement ring, there are some would-be fiancés who are willing to splurge even more. Approximately 12% of couples shell out more than $8,000 on a ring.

  5. What's the average cost for a luxury engagement ring?
    Deciding to go all out on a ring doesn't come cheap. In 2011, the average cost of a "luxury" engagement ring was $13,500 according to XO Group.

    Tip: Considering a bigger diamond? Read our guide on how to pick the perfect 2-carat diamond for the best value.

  6. What's the most expensive engagement ring of all-time?
    Celebrities are known for flashing some pretty pricey bling when walking down the aisle, and the most expensive engagement ring belonged to none other than Elizabeth Taylor. The ring, given to Taylor by Richard Burton, is reportedly worth a cool $8.8 million.

  7. Are grooms always on their own when they shop for rings?
    Some brides-to-be don't fully trust their future spouses—at least not when it comes to choosing out the ring they will (hopefully) wear the rest of their life. In a survey from Wedding Wire, 42% of grooms said the bride-to-be influenced their buying decision.

  8. How do brides and grooms research engagement rings?
    Browsing in jewelry stores for an engagement ring is time-consuming, not to mention it can be uncomfortable if you've got a salesperson hounding your every step. That's why approximately 60% of brides and grooms say they do their ring-buying research online instead.

  9. How long do grooms spend shopping for a ring?
    Choosing the right ring to propose with isn't something you want to rush into. On average, grooms spend 3 months looking before making their final choice.

  10. What's the most popular diamond shape?
    Diamonds come in several different shapes, but round is overwhelmingly the favorite, accounting for 53% of engagement ring sales. Princess cut is a not-too-distant second place at 30%.

  11. How big is the average diamond?
    If you're spending several thousand dollars on an engagement ring, you expect to get your money's worth. Rings that feature just a single center stone weigh in at 1 carat on average; rings with additional smaller diamonds come in a 1.4 carats.

    Many grooms hope to get the 1-carat benchmark. Can you afford a 1-carat diamond? Learn what you can expect to pay and how price is affected by the 4C's and different shapes.

    To find the right size for you, check out our guides for 1 carat, 2 carat and 3 carat diamond engagement rings.

  12. How big is the typical diamond in a luxury ring?
    There's an old saying that you get what you pay for, and that's certainly true if you're buying a luxury engagement ring. On average, the center stone for this type of ring weighs 1.5 carats alone, with the total combined weight for all the stones totaling more than 2 carats.

  13. What percentage of brides prefer stones other than diamonds?
    Diamonds are a girl's best friend, but some brides take a nontraditional route. Nearly 13% of the time, they choose a ring with an alternative gemstone.

  14. What's the most popular band type?
    Yellow gold bands have long been the industry standard, but white gold is clearly the new favorite. Just over 70% of engagement rings purchased in 2011 had white gold bands.

  15. Which ring feature matters most to brides?
    When you're shopping for an engagement ring, it's easy to focus in on the price or how flawless the diamond is, but there's a lot more to it than that. According to Wedding Wire, 86% of brides say the ring's overall design is most important.

    Keep in mind: It's important to design a ring that fits her style and personality. Part of that is figuring out what shape suits her best. Get the scoop on all the diamond shapes, who they're best for, and things to watch out for.

  16. How important is the size of the diamond?
    Surprisingly, how big (or small) the stone is doesn't determine how happy brides are with the final product. In fact, 47% of the brides in the Wedding Wire survey acknowledged that it was just "somewhat important."

  17. What do ring buyers believe is most important?
    There's a wide range of criteria grooms use to select an engagement ring, but 50% of them say the type of stone is where they focus their attention. Only 20% say the setting is the first thing they notice.

  18. Where are the majority of engagement rings purchased?
    By and large, ring shoppers tend to head to the same place to buy their rings. Roughly 47% are picking theirs up at a national jewelry store chain.

    Tip: Don't overpay. You can save 40% by buying a diamond engagement ring online. That way you can get a better ring for less.

  19. What percentage of couples get their wedding bands at the same place?
    While the engagement ring is usually more of the priority for buyers, most of them like to get their wedding bands from the same place. Nearly 60% of couples purchase theirs from the same retailer as the diamond.

  20. How much does the average wedding band cost?
    Compared to the engagement ring, wedding bands are usually less of a budget buster. The average cost for the bride's band is $1,126 and for grooms, it's just $491.

  21. How much more expensive are luxury wedding bands?
    You can't have a luxury engagement ring without a luxury wedding band, and you should be prepared to pay for it. For brides, the average price increases to $1,560 and for grooms, it's bumped up to $731.

  22. Which metal is most popular for wedding bands?
    While white gold is the number one choice overall for engagement rings, it's a mixed bag when it comes to the wedding bands. Brides choose white gold 70% of the time, but only 34% of grooms make it their top pick.

  23. Does the cost of an engagement ring have any connection to marital bliss?
    Before you plunk down a huge wad of cash on an engagement ring, you might want to think twice. Researchers at Emory University found that men who spend $2,000 to $4,000 on a ring are 1.3 times more likely to end up divorced than grooms who only spend between $500 and $2,000.


An engagement ring is more than just a financial investment—it's also a symbol of your commitment to your future spouse. How much you decide to spend ultimately depends on your budget and what your future spouse is expecting. If you're worried about the cost, you could pop the question without one, but there are some good reasons why ponying up the cash for a ring is the right move.


Rebecca Lake is a journalist at CreditDonkey, a diamond jeweler comparison and reviews website. Write to Rebecca Lake at rebecca@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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