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Articles from DIAMOND JEWELLERY (974 Articles), RINGS - GENERAL (880 Articles), DIAMONDS BY CUT - BRILLIANT (ROUND) (286 Articles)

Brides-to-be are deeply involved now when purchasing their engagement ring
Brides-to-be are deeply involved now when purchasing their engagement ring

Diamond rings now a bride’s choice

Brides are taking more license in choosing their own diamond engagement ring, a new report claims.

While research in the United States suggests that couples are spending less on their engagement rings, Australian jewellers insist local spending by couples hasn’t wavered. But, in line with trends in the States, local brides are increasingly putting their stamp on their choice of ring.

According to US market research conducted by XO Group Inc, and, the average price spent on diamond engagement rings dropped from US$5,800 in 2008 to US$5,200 this year.

In contrast to the US study, Australian retailers told Jeweller they haven’t seen a decrease in average price spent.

Graham Jackson, managing director of Queensland-based Loloma Jewellers said that while consumers might be more careful with their purchase, spending in the realm of $2,000-3,000 purchases were upholding average sales.

“The spending is balanced because the majority of our sales appeal to a higher-end, averaging $10,000 per engagement ring, which balances out the sales we make around $2,000,” Jackson said.

Other retailers found that more grooms were shopping for engagement rings with their brides in tow.

Many jewellers reported that brides are often present at the point of purchase to ensure their ring is in the right size and style.

Michael Zavodja, designer at Parramatta-based Underwood Jewellers rarely finds a groom alone in the store.

“There are so many different styles now and having her (the bride) there means less risk for the groom,” Zavodja said.

Jackson added that purchasing an engagement ring has become a joint decision.

“The majority of grooms that have come in alone generally come back later needing changes or re-sizing, so it makes a lot of sense to purchase the ring together,” Jackson said.

Choosing a ring as a couple also has its unexpected upsides. According to Jackson, two grooms proposed in his store this year alone, a feat he’d never witnessed.

Couple’s access to jewellery information online has also changed their buying behaviour, with many customers researching styles and stones before heading into the store.

This is supported by a recent study by Retail Edge Consultants that found customers are demanding more bespoke jewellery because they are armed with more information.

Retail Edge sales manager Mike Dyer said that couples often approach retailers with ideas on design and, while sales are typically above $5,000, feel as though they’re getting better value for money.

“These days couples can perform research at their leisure, so they feel like they’re not going to come in and purchase with a lack of understanding,” Dyer said.

According to Dyer, the change in couple’s purchasing habits has only strengthened independent jewellers against chain stores, which craft bespoke jewellery much less frequently.

More reading:
How to 'save' more diamond sales
More couples design engagement rings together
How to lead the wedding march

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