By Michelle Graff
While halo settings reigned supreme among survey-takers, 9 percent did mention a few random styles that we classified under miscellaneous, including Art Deco, a center with two side stones, micro-pave, “rustic handmade,” and straight line.

New York--National Jeweler/Jewelers of America’s latest Business Pulse survey results confirm much of what is already known about the engagement ring market in the United States.

Round remains the most popular shape by a wide margin, the average center stone is about 1 carat in size and halo settings are still a favorite.

Conducted in mid- to late May, the Business Pulse asked jewelers to break down their engagement ring sales over the past year, with a total of about 150 retailers responding.

When asked what the most popular center stone shape was in their stores, the vast majority of respondents (94 percent) said round. Princess (3 percent) and cushion (2 percent) were the only other two shapes mentioned. (Numbers may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding.)

Gold, particularly white gold, was the most popular metal in respondents’ stores, and the halo was the most popular setting style, with 59 percent reporting it was the top pick among their customers.

Other styles that received a fair amount of mentions were vintage or vintage-inspired looks (12 percent) and solitaires (11 percent).

When it comes to how much their customers spend on engagement rings on average, the median figure was $5,000. The average was about $6,400, though the one survey-taker who reported an average spend of $90,000 in their store certainly helped lift that figure.

20160622 ring price chart

Both the median ($5,000) and the average ($6,391) recorded in the National Jeweler/JA survey are not far off the average U.S. engagement ring spend reported in The Knot’s latest Real Weddings Study, which was $5,871.

April flowers
When asked to compare their store’s year-over-year sales performance for the month of April, 69 percent of survey-takers reported that business was either steady or improved when compared to the prior-year period, with the highest percentage (32 percent) reporting a sales increase of 1 to 25 percent.

20160621 monthly sales

Of the 31 percent who reported a drop in sales, 21 percent said they saw sales decline less than 25 percent year-over-year while 10 percent said they dropped more than 25 percent.

A total of 268 jewelers completed the business comparison portion of the survey.

National Jeweler/Jewelers of America conducted its Business Pulse survey from May 20 to 28, in conjunction with the Product Pulse survey, which asked jewelers about platinum sales.

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