Engagement season is upon us. If you're looking to buy that ring for that special someone, you're going to have to cough up about $6,000, according to a new study by The Knot.
The digital media wedding company surveyed more than 12,000 brides and 1,200 grooms in the U.S. this year for its annual jewelry and engagement study. It discovered that men on average are spending $5,978 on engagement rings, up from $5,403 in 2013 and just over $5,000 in 2011. Some of the inflation may be due to men wanting to customize rings more for their ladies.
They aren't keeping mum on the price, either. Sixty-eight percent of brides knew how much he spent on the ring.
"Definitely throw out the old two-months salary rule when figuring out your budget," said The Knot editor-in-chief Kellie Gould. "Instead, find out what kind of ring your soon-to-be spouse really wants by asking them directly, consulting one of their friends or a family member, or by browsing together. We recommend buying the best ring that you can afford."
In general, it took the man about 4.8 months to research the ring, and 3.6 months to find the perfect one. Guys looked at about 25 rings before making the plunge. The most popular time to get engaged was determined to be between November and February.
However, men didn't buy rings blindly. Eight out of 10 men said their significant other gave them hints about what they wanted, with 36 percent of women pointing out exactly what they wanted. One out of 10 women left ads and pictures casually lying around. Just 3 percent of the respondents inThe Knot study were same-sex couples.
Diamonds are still the No. 1 choice: 63 percent of brides had a diamond center stone with side stones or accents, and 21 percent had a diamond solitaire. However, non-diamond precious stones now make up 8 percent of the market, up from 6 percent in 2013. About three out of four women had their stones come in between 0.5 and two carats.
The fastest growing style? Halo rings, which have a larger feature stone surrounded by smaller stones, have tripled in popularity since 2011. Forty-five percent of men are also adding customized elements. About half of women receive a round center stone.
The jewelry spending isn't over after the engagement ring. Wedding band spending went up to $1,417, from $1,126 in 2011. Women preferred white gold, while men opted for tungsten, white gold, yellow gold and titanium in that order.