By Michelle Graff
The majority of consumers recently surveyed by Robbins Brothers reported a preference for a round diamond set in a ring that’s “traditional and elegant,” like a solitaire, and is either white gold or platinum. This 14-karat white gold setting with a 1-carat round brilliant is from Leo Ingwer.
Los Angeles—Did you know that August is “Romance Awareness Month?”

Well, for whatever reason, it is, and retailer Robbins Brothers decided to mark the month and the most popular time of year to get married—the summer—by releasing the results of a survey it just conducted on weddings.

Over a week in July, the California-based chain asked its email subscribers and Facebook users a series of questions about engagement rings, wedding ceremonies and preferred presents to paint a picture of wedding and anniversary trends.

A total of 593 people responded: 373 women and 211 men, with the remaining nine choosing not to disclose their gender. The majority of participants were 25-34 years old and are married, engaged or in a serious relationship.

When it came to bridal jewelry trends, the results reaffirmed much of what is already known about the U.S. market.

The majority of consumers surveyed (76 percent) believe an engagement ring should cost no more than $10,000. A total of 38 percent of survey-takers said the preferred price range is $1,000-$5,000 while another 38 percent said it is $5,000-$10,000.

This in line with current engagement ring average, which The Knot has at about $5,700.

Consumers also were equally divided about where to buy bridal jewelry: 50 percent said a local jewelry store while 49 percent picked a national chain. The remaining 1 percent put a pawn shop.

Size-wise, they want a diamond that’s 1 carat or less (30 percent) or 1.5 carats (36 percent), in a style that is traditional and elegant like a solitaire (48 percent) or a little more stylish and trendy, with touches such as a halo or a fancy shape diamond (30 percent).  

(Jewelers, take heart on the carat question: Only 2 percent of respondents said “no diamond.”)

20180417 Jade Trau ovalThe most popular fancy shape among consumers surveyed by Robbins Brothers was the oval. This 18-karat rose and white gold ring is by designer Jade Trau for Forevermark, De Beers’ diamond brand.
The top two most popular shapes picked by survey-takers were not surprises: round at 36 percent and princess at 31 percent, though 21 percent of respondents did select a fancy shape, with oval (7 percent) and emerald (6 percent) leading the way.

The preference for ovals among consumers surveyed by Robbins Brothers dovetails with a number of other reports to emerge recently, including GemFind’s year-end analysis of jewelry store website traffic and National Jeweler’s 50 Jewelers/50 States series.

In addition to questions about engagement rings, Robbins Brothers also asked survey-takers more general wedding questions about locations, dresses, proposals and presents.

The theme that emerged there was not surprising either: Couples today want a personalized experience and prefer travel/experiences over presents, both for their wedding and their anniversary.

Here are a few more interesting points from the survey.

—Fifty-seven percent of survey-takers said they wanted a professional photographer or videographer to record the proposal, but 43 percent said it should just be the two of them when it happens, meaning no friends or family present (the photographer/videographer does not count.)

—A total of 78 percent of respondents prefer receiving money for their honeymoon over traditional wedding gifts like china and small household appliances. This trend makes sense for two reasons. No. 1, many couples are older when they get married these days and already have what they need for their home. And No. 2, honeymoons have become a lot more extravagant.

“People are … opting for a two- to four-week honeymoon, traveling to places like Europe or Southeast Asia,” Anna Morgenstern of Dating Rehab NYC, a dating service, said in Robbins Brothers’ release on the survey. “Cash is much more in demand than gifts.”  
—Travel and experiences also were a preference for the first anniversary. A total of 79 percent of survey-takers said they mark one year together by taking atrip to their favorite place (53 percent) or having a “fancy” dinner (26 percent).

Exchanging extravagant gifts was not all that important, with 81 percent of respondents saying they would spend less than $500 to mark the occasion (61 percent) or wouldn’t exchange presents at all (20 percent).

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