Has the Royal Wedding ushered in a new trend in engagement rings?
In 2010 when Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with his mother’s gorgeous sapphire sunburst ring, the popularity of sapphire spiked and remains by far the most popular non-diamond center stone among the public. Now with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding just days away, we found ourselves wondering what impact Meghan’s three-stone ring had on the public. We dug through thousands of queries in the analytics on CustomMade.com and compared them to Google Trends and analytics for custom rings since the engagement announcement and found some interesting results.
Looking at the data
We were thinking that based on the data from the engagement with William and Kate that we would see another huge bump in people wanting rings similar to Meghan’s. For example, searches for three-stone settings and cushion cut diamonds spiked in the days after Meghan’s engagement to Prince Harry was announced in late November. So we compared that data with the thousands of requests we received for custom wedding and engagement rings to see if customers were influenced by her ring. In short? A bit but not in the way we expected. After her ring went public, we saw a modest 8% increase in requests for yellow gold rings and a 21% bump in cushion cut center stones. Interest in three-stone rings remains popular but hasn’t increased since the engagement.
A shift in the meaning of value
What we found most striking is how much her ring is a reflection of broader trends in the way people purchase engagement rings and wedding bands. The story and personal detail of her ring is what makes it absolutely perfect for her. For example a center diamond he sourced from Botswana, a longtime refuge for Harry and a place that became special to both of them during a formative trip as a couple. The side stones are from the late Princess Diana’s personal collection to, in his words, “make sure that she’s with us on this crazy journey together.” And the design is one he personally worked with jewelers to create, reflecting her style and her love for yellow gold. The result is a timeless design loaded with personal meaning. And this is a trend we’ve seen develop over the last decade. Customers are much more focused on the meaning behind their design and not as much trying to emulate a specific style. They are also far less likely to feel pressured to buy diamonds or to spend three months’ salary just because it’s the norm. Instead, we are seeing the trend that people are eager to put a part of themselves into the design. A growing number have family gemstones incorporated in their design. As well as gemstones they have mined in their travels or sourced from a particular place in the world that has meaning to them.
Wearing your story
The world’s attention was captured by Meghan Markle’s ring, but it’s the stories connected to it that had a lasting impact, more than the exact details of her ring or her diamond. Engagement ring shoppers are now showing more interest in their love for meaningful purchases and experiences, much more than in symbols of status and luxury. More and more shoppers are looking for the meaningful experience of designing a ring with tons of personal detail. So Harry’s choice to design an engagement ring for Meghan is right in line with this trend toward custom, personal design.
Meghan’s ring caused a spike of interest in three stone rings and cushion cuts, 8% increase in yellow gold rings, 21% increase in cushion cut center stones.
Overall trends in style have remained relatively unchanged. White gold and rose gold continue to be more popular, round brilliant cut center stones also remain very popular, and customers love three stone rings as much as always.
Custom designed rings with personal details continue to grow in popularity. Harry sourced Meghan’s cushion cut diamond from Botswana, a place loaded with meaning for the couple, and used his mother’s diamonds to make the ring really personal. Our customers continue to reflect this trend, using heirloom diamonds, mining their own gems, including design details that reflect the couple, their story, and their families.
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