Posted on October 10 2019
The diamond industry has come a long way since it's humble beginnings as a way to express your commitment to the person you love. Now, there are more setting, cuts, colors and clarity than one knows what to do with.
Today, more than 80 percent of American brides get a diamond engagement ring before walking down the aisle, and the industry is a whopping $13 billion dollar business worldwide.
Here’s how engagement ring-buying has changed today, and what you need to know before you take the plunge.
1. Customers are Educated. “When customers come in to purchase an engagement ring in the digital age they have usually done their homework,” says Steven Rosen, the owner Sydney Rosen Co.—a luxury jeweler in the heart of historic Jeweler's Row in Philadelphia. “They find inspiration on Instagram, Pinterest, Google and the pictures they see of their friends."
2. So Happy Together. Customers are shopping together more and more. More often than ever, couples will shop for engagement rings together. With both parties equally educated on what they are looking for. Sometimes, when couples are shopping for engagement rings together they'll bounce ideas off eachother right in the store and that's where the jeweler will come in and help them decide on what they like together.
3. Stack Ring Staples. Almost every couple is already thinking about the wedding bands when they begin shopping for engagement rings. In many cases, these need to be made specifically to match the engagement ring so that they sit up close to eachother.
4. Dancing with the Stars. The newest trend is often determined by recent engagement rings that celebrities have been photographed with. Whether that is a new style of cut or color, or a unique setting design. Same can be said of digital influencers. People like what they see popular people wearing.
5. Vintage is New. “What was once considered old fashioned, is now new again," says Jacob Rosen of Sydney Rosen Co. "We see many couple come in and look for a modern twist on a classic style. That includes both the setting and stone. While multi-stone settings were once forgotten about, are not becoming big again. It's all about making a classic look feel new and tailoring it to the bride and groom's taste."
6. Keeping it Real. A lot of people are interested in the origins of the diamonds they are buying. Are they mined or synthetic? Where do they come from? How old are they? The story behind the stone has become a part of their love story and it's important for a jeweler to know these details.
7. Price Competition. Jeweler's competing for business will try to say they have the highest quality diamonds at cheaper prices. But comparable diamond sizes on the same clarity scale usually are within 5% of cost from eachother no matter where you shop. The difference is the level of trust you can expect from that jeweler and how honest they are being with you about what you're buying. You also want a jeweler that is willing to listen to your needs when shopping for engagement rings.
8. Customize it Baby. Gone are the days where you are bound to what you see in a jeweler's inventory on a particular day/week. The buyer can have a new design drawn, laser printed and created right before their eyes now.
9. Colors of the Rainbow. Kobe Bryant was one of the first celebrity's to make a statement with his yellow diamond he gave his wife. Since that time, nearly 10 years ago, there are more requests than every for different color diamond engagement rings.
10. Upgrade City. 5, 10, 20 year anniversaries are hot beds for engagement ring upgrades and wedding ring upgrades. Financial circumstances improve, and styles change.
At the end of the day, an engagement ring is one of the most personal purchases you will ever make, and likely the most sentimental thing you will ever wear; so choose wisely. Work with a jeweler you trust, and go with something that will make you feel happy and loved every time you look down at your hand.