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More than 40 Percent Of Jewelers Say Clients Are Spending More on Engagement Rings

Pandemic leads some consumers to supersize center stones.




MORE THAN 40 PERCENT of jewelers say their customers are spending more or a lot more on engagement rings this year. With less opportunity to travel and spend money on experiences, clients seem to be using their discretionary income on supersizing their center stones. Even some jewelers who answered “no” to that question noted that while individual sales prices are stable or lower than they were in 2019, they are selling more engagement rings this year than last, which they attribute to a pandemic-induced urgency to commit. “I think the pandemic has made more people get married,” said one jeweler from the Pacific Northwest, who noted an uptick in engagement ring sales. “They are saying `Why wait.”

“Our whole business has spiked up 50 percent this year,” said one Midwestern respondent. “Shopping local is huge now.”

QUESTION: Are you finding bridal customers spending more on the engagement ring this year because they’ve had to cut back on their wedding and honeymoon plans?
Yes, they are spending a lot more (20 percent or more than before)
No, our average engagement ring sale hasn’t changed
No, they are spending less
No, they are spending a lot less (20% or more less than before)

In Jewelers’ Words

Yes, they are spending a lot more
  1. Not sure if it is because they had to cut back on wedding plans because a lot of them lost deposits. It may be due to the fact that they can’t travel, which is a big priority for young people, and they have more money in their expendable income funds.
  2. Big diamonds are going out the door. The Midwest is always slower than both coasts on trends, but even here 1.50 to 2 carats are the new norm. I love it! Big juicy rocks with stunning bands to accent that disco ball of a diamond. What’s not to love?
  3. I normally sell 1 to 1.50 carat. Since the pandemic started, the increase in the size of center stones is notable, and bigger ticket anniversary items are flying out the door!
  4. Customers have spent more time designing, which has correlated with a higher price point.
Yes, they are spending more
  1. I’ve sold more big (over 1 carat diamonds this year than any other, and we still have months to go!!
  2. We have also sold double the number of engagement rings compared to last year.
No, our average engagement ring sale hasn’t changed.
  1. Dollar spent average remains about the same, but the number of sales has increased. During shutdown, I researched the effects of the Great Depression. I noticed that marriages went up and I kind of expected increased engagement sales based on my findings. I theorize that global unrest like war and pandemic causes people to consider their mortality thus making them more likely to make a big decision such as marriage.
  2. I think the pandemic has made more people get married. They are saying, “Why wait?”
  3. We’ve been selling a significantly higher number of engagement rings. Many have been together for years and the pandemic shifted their focus.

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When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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