Conflicting Reports Show Wide Spread For U.S. Engagement Ring Spending
New York, NY—Two separate reports have come out with widely differing figures for how much American couples spend, on average, for an engagement ring. (Left: a ring from the Karl Lagerfeld bridal collection).
According to a survey conducted by The Knot of 13,000 member couples that got married last year, the average spend on an engagement ring was $6,163, a jump of about 5% over the $5,871 the site reported in its 2015 survey. But The Wedding Report says the average spend was $3,407, while the median cost—the point at which half of consumers spent more and half spent less—was only $1,823. Average cost of a wedding ring, according to The Wedding Report, was $1,242, down 0.9% from 2015’s $1,254. Average household income among respondents was $71,395.
The Wedding Report says the total median cost of a wedding in 2016 was $14,399—far lower than many people imagine—but the average wedding cost was $26,720. The Knot (which draws a more affluent audience) put the average cost of a wedding at $35,329. Weddings along both coasts—and especially in the New York metro area— are the most expensive, while weddings in the heartland cost the least.
Weddings on the east coast cost the most overall, according to findings from The Knot, which presents its findings in this graphic above.
A notable trend, according to The Knot, is a focus on guest experience, with couples opting to invite fewer people and spend more to provide a more “wow” experience for attendees. 75% of all couples have at least one signature wedding element (such as a signature cocktail, which about one-fourth of couples offer), up from 66% in 2008, says The Knot. Custom guest entertainment has more than tripled from 11% to 41% since 2009, with photo booths (78%), games (18%), musical performances (12%) and fireworks (8%) at the top of the list. Also on the rise are cigar-rolling stations, wine and liquor tastings, and dance performers. Don’t be surprised to see aerialists, acrobats, live painters or gospel choirs this year as 2017 wedding trends reach new heights in guest entertainment, says The Knot.
This image from The Knot details a breakdown of how couples nationwide spend their wedding budgets.
Diamond Services Expands Synthetic Screening Service For Rough Diamonds
Hong Kong—With fears mounting of more uncut synthetic diamonds entering the marketplace, Diamond Services announces it is expanding its synthetic screening service for rough diamonds at its facilities in Hong Kong and New York.
Joseph Kuzi, Diamond Services' CEO and president, cited growing signs of more synthetic rough diamonds flowing into the supply pipeline. "Most goods appear to be of Chinese origin, and in sizes from one point up to three quarters of carat. What is particularly worrying is a definite rise in the incidence of synthetics stones in quite large parcels of rough diamonds, which its owners previously had assumed were all natural," he said. The company has been providing comprehensive screening services for more than two years but is currently seeing particular demand from rough diamond dealers, he added.
Diamonds submitted to Diamond Services for synthetic screening are tested using the proprietary and award-winning Diamatest developed by the company, a system that can test rough and polished diamonds, both mounted and unmounted. Its mini Raman Spectrometer, which was released in 2015 following a successful trial in Surat, India, can definitively identify synthetic diamonds and meets the needs of both gem labs and private diamond-trading companies.
Diamond Services synthetic screening services are currently available at the company's headquarters in Hong Kong (19F Shing Lee Comm. Bldg., 8 Wing Kut St., Central, Hong Kong), and at its offices in the United States (1414 W. 15 St. in New York City).