By Brecken Branstrator
According to a recent survey from Robbins Brothers, shoppers today prefer vintage-inspired rings, followed by fancy cuts. Pictured here is Anna Sheffield’s “Bea Suite No. 24,” featuring a 1.66-carat marquise champagne diamond center and 0.25 total carats of white diamond trillions in 18-karat yellow gold on the ring and 0.17 carats of champagne diamonds in 14-karat yellow gold on the chevron band ($10,600 for the set).
Los Angeles--Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, the holiday season officially is upon us, which also means the start of the most popular season for proposals.

In the spirit of the season, retailer Robbins Brothers conducted a survey between Oct. 3 and 20 of its customers--email subscribers as well as Facebook participants who have recently thought about popping the question, become engaged or gotten married.

There were 489 participants, 362 women and 127 men, mostly ranging in age from 25 to 34 years old.

Below are 10 trends and preferences gleaned from survey results.

1. Sharing (later) is caring. It shouldn’t come as a surprise in today’s social media-focused world that people want to share the news of the engagement--and ring, of course--on social media. However, 75 percent of men and women surveyed said they think it’s only appropriate to do so after they have told their family and close friends.

2. Privacy, please. Though public proposals in front of large crowds--jumbotron or flash mob, anyone?--used to be popular, those days are gone. Nearly half of respondents said they’d prefer a romantic getaway to a favorite vacation spot, followed closely by those who prefer an intimate proposal with just their significant other. Less than five percent of participants prefer to get engaged at a public event.

3. Tradition reigns. According to Robbins Brothers, men and women in the survey agree on the methods for sealing the proposal--65 percent of both genders say what’s best is a combination of a verbal commitment, proposal and ring to make it official.

4. Old is new. According to both men and women polled, vintage-inspired engagement rings were most popular, followed by rings set with fancy-shaped diamonds and mixed metals.

5. Choices, choices. Survey takers were split on how the final choice of the ring should be made. Forty percent of both men and women prefer to pick out the ring with their significant others, while 40 percent of men said they know his or her style and don’t need help, and 20 percent of women said their significant other should know their style and pick out the ring on his or her own.
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6. The carat question. The survey indicated that bigger isn’t always the preference; nearly half of both men and women said they expected 1 carat or less for the engagement ring.

7. Getting it right. What made the shoppers most nervous when it comes to ring shopping was the desire to get it right. They were anxious about choosing the right ring amid fears of spending too much or “getting ripped off.”

8. Pinterest prep. To help provide a little inspiration for the big day, 44 percent of participants said they or their significant other used Pinterest for ideas and help.

9. Timing is everything. What’s the perfect amount of time to be engaged and allow for planning for the big day? Results were mixed between the sexes. Nearly 50 percent of women surveyed said they thought six months to a year was the ideal length for an engagement, while nearly 50 percent of men said one to two years was ideal.

10. Perfect price points. When buying an engagement ring, 57 percent of both men and women who took the survey said their ideal budget is between $1,000 and $5,000.

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