If you haven't checked your Facebook feed in the last hour, you might have missed the most recent engagement announcement. Two of my millennial-aged cousins got engaged in the past month. Proposals are in the air from November through February with nearly 6 million online searches for engagement rings taking place in the first two weeks of December alone.
But seasonal spikes are not all that unusual according to brick-and-mortar luxury jeweler, Bernie Robbins, luxury on-line jewelry curator, Nikki Lawrence Co-Founder of Gleem & Co., and Ring Cam CEO, Sam Tzou. All are experiencing a seasonal swing - a 200-300% jump in sales during the holiday months. What is unusual is that there is a significant increase in engagement ring sales this year over last, of up to 25% outperforming most of the jewelry industry. So why are the holidays so popular for engagements?
Travel, Family & Finances
The closer we get to the holidays and end of year, the greater the sense of urgency to "put a ring on it." With the holidays being the time to travel, the urgency, according to Bernie Robbins could simply be that "how you pop the question is getting more attention with social media sharing. The holidays are the perfect time to get creative with your ask and friends and family provide a lot of helpers." Gleem & Co. finds that there is an increase in engagements whenever it is the time to travel and inspiration can come from "that special place." Or maybe it is simply the practical side that tips the engagement timing in the form of a year-end bonus.
Whatever the reason is to finally pop the question, there is a significant amount of research that predates the actual event. Most find themselves getting an associates degree education in diamonds, information on G.I.A gem reports, insurance, appraisals and of course the 4C's - color, clarity, cut and carat. But that's usually where most end with a lot of data and not a lot of practical advice about where to go with your budget. Traditionally this is when you turn to your local jeweler with a great reputation like Bernie Robbins and get one-on-one help. But if you don't have a jeweler and are accustomed to buying online, where do you go?
Buying an Engagement Ring Online
Gleem & Co. has taken their eBay marketplace to new heights by providing high-touch concierge service that eases your anxious mind. They provide curated options and high quality and authenticity backed by and appraisal partnership with S. Friedman, one of only 46 Master Gemologist Appraisers worldwide. Gleem has found their niche between internet-only jewelry sales that get the tech but not the gems and traditional jewelers who know their gems but are not savvy on the tech. Their eye for online trends and best-in-class e-commerce (learned from first hand experience at Gilt Groupe) makes Gleem & Co. the logical choice for the 165-million eBay users who have grown accustomed to having the new right next to the vintage.
2017 Engagement Ring Trends
Make a Statement: An engagement ring should be a statement piece, something to show off in the must-post Ring Cam video or Instagram ring shot. Vintage and estate ring sales remain high going into 2017.
Gold is Making a Comeback: Although many of the vintage rings are in platinum, white and yellow gold are making a comeback because of durability. You don't want to be wearing platinum in spin class.
Diamonds are Forever: Colored stones are becoming less and less common. Solitaires are timeless, but make sure to check her Pinterest as she may have a personal preference for oval just like her Nan's.
Size Matters: 2 carats seems to be the new baseline, which may mean a sacrifice in clarity for size.
Don't despair if you can't afford it all because you can always put a smaller size into a "Halo" setting and make it look larger, or you can improve the perception of a lower color by surrounding it in white gold. This is where building a relationship with your jeweler is critical no matter if it started in store or online.
On a personal note to my newly-engaged cousins and daughter, Alexandra, if you love the guy but the not the ring, it's not fatal. My ring was significantly upgraded in cut, clarity and carat after 10 years of marriage, which is not that uncommon. In January 2017, my husband and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. I don't need another upgrade, but luxury jewelry is always a good idea. Hint. Hint.