The ‘Diana Effect’ is influencing consumers’ jewellery choices 40 years on, with the diamond and sapphire combination for engagement rings named the “first choice” for couples in the UK, according to new research from money.co.uk.
It found that 82% of couples who opt for a combination-stone ring will choose the diamond and sapphire pairing, emulating the 12-carat band worn first by Diana, Princess of Wales in 1981.
Although diamonds and sapphires are the most popular combination of stones, it found that the single most popular gem remains the diamond, which has increased in popularity by almost 20% in 2021. This year, 68% of people are picking diamonds over other stones such as rubies, emeralds or amethysts, compared to 50% in 2020.
Meanwhile, ‘The Solitaire’ is the most popular cut of engagement ring, chosen by 31% of consumers. This is followed by ‘The Three Stone’ and ‘The Cluster’, both at 17%.
In addition, the research from money.co.uk revealed that the average spend in the UK on engagement rings is currently up by 12% compared to last year, from £6,300 to £7,056
That cost is reportedly reflected in the fact that six in 10 have to save up for their ring and a further 20% will use a credit card to manage the cost.
It comes as money.co.uk has launched an interactive Engagement Ring Cost Calculator.
It first created an engagement ring guide last year after news that Brexit caused 20% of people to either delay purchase of their engagement ring or reduce their spend.
Money.co.uk noted that the pandemic has had a similar effect, with 18% of interested consumers saying that the pandemic has forced them to either delay purchase or spend less.