May 3, 2004
Bridal Study Yields New Data on Consumer Buying Trends
Reflecting brides' continued interest in multistone rings, nearly half of consumers already engaged but not yet married purchased a ring with a center and side stones, says a study of consumers conducted in March 2004 by the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council of MVI Marketing, Paso Robles, CA. Only 35% opted for a traditional solitaire, with six-prong, four-prong and cathedral settings popular. Channel-set and baguette and princess-cut accents were selected by 40%, while 10% preferred pavé and 5% opted for three-stone styling.
Although the majority of respondents in this category chose a diamond center, fewer than 5% opted for color with blue and pink sapphires top choices. Round is the leading center cut for over two-fifths of the respondents, followed by marquise for almost 30%, and princess or square cuts for nearly 18%. Yellow gold in 14k was the most popular metal for more than 50%, platinum ranked second and two-tone white and yellow gold followed.
What Price is Right?
Over 60% spent between $1,000 and $5,000 on an engagement ring, 5% spent more than $10,000, and fewer than one-third spent between $100 and $1,000. More than one-third of engagement rings were purchased as a set, while over half were not. More than half opted for a 14k yellow gold wedding band for the bride, with almost 13% choosing platinum. One-third bought a band with stones channel set part way around. One-third spent over $1,000 on the bride's band; 20% between $100 and $250.
Nearly three-quarters of the rings purchased for brides and grooms were done so separately. More than 31% spent between $100 and $250 on the groom's band, almost 35% spent more than $500, and 20% spent $1,001- $2,500. Yellow gold in 14k was most popular for men, followed by 18k white and yellow gold. Over half purchased a band with no stones, but more than 20% opted for one channel-set.
Of those who have not yet purchased bridal jewelry, but plan to get an engagement ring in the next six months, nearly one-third will choose a set for the bride's rings. A full 40% plan to select a center stone with side accents, three-stone styling or channel setting, while 31% plan to buy a solitaire, with four-prong, six-prong, and cathedral settings favored.
Although a majority have or are considering diamonds for the engagement ring, more than 17% of prospective buyers are unsure. Fewer than one-third of buyers say the bride's engagement ring has or will have color blue sapphire, champagne diamonds and emerald are top choices. Yellow gold is a favorite of one-quarter of those surveyed, but platinum and white gold are gaining, the leading choice for 29% and 24% of this group. Round and princess-cut center stones are tops, followed by marquise. Nearly one-third of buyers spent or plan to spend between $1,001 and $2,500 dollars on the engagement ring, one-third say they will spend more than $2,500, and less than10% report they will spend between $100 and $500.
Add-on bridal sales have strong potential, according to the new JCOC data. The report says just over a quarter of those engaged plan to exchange jewelry other than wedding rings as wedding gifts, with over half willing to pay more than $1,000 each for these additional gifts.
As for the wedding day jewels, over three-quarters of the brides intend to walk down the aisle adorned in jewelry valued at more than $100 with over 33% intending to wear a necklace. Earrings, pendants, and rings are also likely choices. Although nearly half of the respondents will not be giving jewelry gifts to their wedding parties, more than 26% will and a similar percentage are open to the idea.
The JCOC study was conducted March 23 through April 1 and 2,472 consumers were asked questions about their buying habits with a focus on bridal. For a copy of the full report, including general jewelry-buying habits and economic confidence levels, visit jcoc.info or contact MVI Marketing at (805) 239-2994, ext.101 or e-mail email@example.com.