Hello and welcome to the second week of Cosmopolitan‘s Engagement Ring month. In an effort to learn how our readers feel about the whole engagement ring tradition these days, we surveyed more than 1,500 people across the United States via SurveyMonkey — 948 people who have or have once had engagement rings and 610 people who aren’t engaged yet but would like a ring in the future. Interestingly enough, even though the ritual of giving a ring dates all the way back to ancient Rome, based on our survey, the custom still stands tall as the defining moment of getting engaged.
Before we dig into the results, a quick overview of our methodology and some intel on who our respondents are: 99 percent identify as female and 94 percent identify as straight, that is, not gay or lesbian. Eighty-one percent of respondents are between the ages of 25 and 34, and 24 percent have a household income between $ 100,000 and $ 149,999. Responses came in from every corner of the country: 24 percent of respondents live in New England, 20 percent live in the South, 19 percent live in the Midwest, 18 percent live in the mid-Atlantic, 7 percent live in the Pacific coastal region , and less than three percent live in the Southwest region or the Rocky Mountains. We deployed this survey via Cosmo‘s social media channels, asking dozens of questions about getting engaged and preferred ring styles and stones and probing for opinions on budget, pricing, and who should foot the bill at the end of the day.
Overall, readers continue to have traditional mindsets when it comes to wedding-related bling (classic diamonds are still
king queen!), including all the rituals surrounding that sparkly something-something: Of those who are married, engaged, or divorced, 94 percent said they considered their engagements to begin when their partner gave them a ring, and 97 percent said their partner proposed to them with a ring. Eighty-one percent said they wear their rings everywhere, every day. Of the people who have not been engaged, married, or divorced, 97 percent said they would want their partners to propose to them with a ring, and 85 percent said they would consider their engagement to start only once they received a ring.
When asked to explain why an engagement ring was important to her, one woman from the mid-Atlantic who is currently engaged wrote, “I’m so lucky to share a life with someone who I truly love and I want others to know that I am engaged to the love of my life. ” Another female respondent from the Midwest who identifies as single wrote, “It is a physical sign of commitment. Something like a diamond ring is not just thrown around, due to its price, so it tells me that you are truly committed and want everyone to know. ”
Ring receivers want to have some input but also like to be surprised.
You know how you can’t open your Instagram without seeing a pic of a big ol ‘diamond blinking back at you? That’s because 78 percent of respondents who have or have had rings said they announced their engagement on social media with a photo that featured their ring. It’s also likely that the person wearing the ring in the pic had some input on the jewelry: 79 percent of respondents said they told their partners what kind of ring they wanted before they got engaged, but only 43 percent said they actually knew what their ring was. would look like.
Alternatively, 67 percent of respondents who have never been engaged, married, or divorced said they would like to be surprised — as in, they’d prefer not to know what their ring looks like ahead of time.
Diamond rings are — as always — in style.
While it’s not surprising to see stones other than diamonds adorning rings these days, 93 percent of respondents who have or have had an engagement ring said theirs featured a diamond (90 percent of those who want rings said they’d like a diamond engagement ring, too). Across all respondents, the most popular diamond cut is a round, with an oval shape coming in second. Prong settings are the most popular, while halo and pavé settings come in second and third choice, and 48 percent of ring-holders said their diamonds weighed between one and two carats. (Sixty-two percent admitted that the size of their stone was “somewhat important” to them.)
When it comes to bands and settings, 86 percent of people who have or have had rings said their bands are thin and the most popular kind of metal is white gold (40 percent) with yellow gold a close second (38 percent). When asked which words might describe their current or preferred engagement rings, readers overwhelmingly chose “classic” and “traditional.” None of our readers (okay, fine, technically, 4 percent) are worried about their rings falling out of style.
Among respondents who already have the goods, most said that neither their rings nor their stones were passed down from family members — in other words, not much recycling between generations is going on, and 70 percent of readers say they tried on between 1 and 5 rings before finding “the one.” Even though 30 percent of people found inspiration for their rings on Pinterest (and 26 percent via Instagram), the internet is not where the majority of shopping happens: 61 percent opted to get their rings from a local jeweler.
Partners are doing the purchasing.
One of the most important considerations when choosing a ring (and talking to your partner about a ring) is the price tag. (If you want to learn more about all the money stuff, you can read our budget explainer here.) When asked who purchased their ring, 92 percent of respondents said their partner footed the bill. Twenty-seven percent say their ring cost is between $ 10,000 and $ 20,000, and 26 percent say their ring cost is between $ 5,000 and $ 10,000. Eleven percent of readers are not aware of how much their rings cost.
We also asked respondents to discuss how they came to land on a budget. Thirty-five percent answered, “I found a ring that I loved and its price set the budget.” Sixty-two percent did not discuss the budget before ring shopping, although dozens of respondents wrote that their partner, who was paying for the ring, determined the budget. As one engaged woman from the South wrote, “He decided on it. I gave the parameters of what I wanted and where I was willing to lower my expectations depending on what the price was. ”
Of those who are currently dating or single, 30 percent said they think you should spend between $ 5,000 and $ 10,000 on a ring, and 78 percent said they believed it was important to talk to your partner about a budget before choosing a ring.
But when asked if respondents told others about the total cost of their ring, it’s obvious that mum’s word: 86 percent of people said they didn’t tell anyone deets on the final bill. As one engaged woman from the mid-Atlantic said, “It’s (respectfully) none of their business.”