Increasing numbers of US women are buying their own engagement rings, says De Beers

The report found that women in the US who pay for their own engagement ring splash out on an average of $4,400, compared to the average of $3,300 that men typically spend.

More and more women are buying their own engagement rings, new research shows.

According to the latest Diamond Insight Report from the diamond group De Beers, the number of women in the US who bought their own engagement ring has doubled over five years, from 7 percent in early 2013 to 14 percent in late 2017. What's more, women who pay for their own engagement ring splash out on an average of $4,400, compared to the average of $3,300 that men typically spend.

In a further sign of changing times, the report also found that average engagement periods are now five times longer than they were before 1980. But diamonds remain the stone of choice for wedding-related jewelry -- according to the report, eight in 10 wedding rings and almost nine in 10 engagement rings in the US contain diamonds. Same-sex couples highly value diamonds when it comes to choosing jewelry, with more than 70 percent of people in same-sex relationships considering the stones important for celebrating pivotal life moments, according to De Beers.

The biggest-spending age demographic for engagement rings in the US is the millennial generation, whose average spend is now slightly higher than the US market average. Millennials are increasingly looking to international brands when shopping for rings, with more than 40 percent of the value of all engagement rings in the US coming from international luxury diamond jewellery brands and international designer brands -- an increase on 2015, when the figure was just under 30 percent.

"The notion of diamonds symbolising love goes back to the Middle Ages as people have long sought out the most precious things to celebrate their most precious emotions," said Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, in a statement. "Our latest Insight Report highlights that this holds just as true today, even as other aspects of love - such as traditions, relationship roles and relationship types - continue to evolve."

For more information regarding the Diamond Insight Report, see www.debeersgroup.com/reports/insights/the-diamond-insight-report-2019.