Study Reveals Women Like Surprise Proposals, Inexpensive Rings

Ah, the holidays. A time for festive cheer, fatty foods and of course, romance. In fact, according to data compiled by Brilliant Earth, a company whose raison d’être lies in the need for responsibly sourced and conflict free engagement rings, 1/3 of all couples get engaged during this season. And while their data focuses extensively on Western populations, the scenario, we’re willing to wager, isn’t altogether too different in contemporary urban India, and the results of their analyses, we find, apply anyway.

An engagement ring is an important part of the couple’s journey towards eventual marriage, it is a manifestation of the gentleman’s commitment to the lady, and by accepting the ring she accepts him into her life and shares his vision. Here are some of the important areas they explored, and the results they found were highly intriguing, if not conclusive.

Surprise Proposal Or Go Ring Shopping Together?


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There are arguments to be made in favour of both methods. Going ring shopping together ensures that the woman receives a ring that she loves, but takes the surprise element out of the way. Brilliant earth found that 60% of men and 65% of women preferred that the engagement be a total surprise, with only 1/3 of women wanting to shop together for a ring of their choice.

How Much Should It Cost?


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Conventional wisdom in the west has long dictated that the man should spend 2-3 month’s salary on the ring, but when contemporary couples are quizzed about their preferences, more than half of all women (53%) wanted the man to spend no more than 2500 USD. In Indian rupees (and especially given the eye watering exchange rate) that seems like a lot, but take into account that the median US income is  4000 USD, that smashes conventional wisdom into smithereens. For men, the results are comforting: half of all women don’t want an overly expensive or grandiose ring.

What About Lab Created Diamonds?

More and more people the world over are waking up to the tragic and human rights violating conditions surrounding the sourcing of most diamonds. Most have heard of Sierra Leone through popular culture. But the diamond gets its (non industrial) value from being really rare and hard to find. So what about diamonds grown in a lab? They’re perceived value is worthless right? Wrong. Around 80% of all millennials (born 1980s to 2000s), are neutral or positive about the idea of a lab grown diamond. To them, it’s the symbolism more than the monetary value, and interestingly, 12 % of women are more comfortable with the idea of lab created diamonds than men.

Asking Her Dad For Permission To Marry


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More into conventional Indian territory, a surprising 61 % of women wanted their dads to have at least a conversation with their man – if not ask outright for permission – before he popped the question, while an even 56% of men thought it was a good idea.

An Intimate Proposal: The Much Favored Approach


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Perhaps rather unsurprisingly, 66 % of women and 68 % of men wanted it to be just the two of them at the time of popping the question. Perhaps even more telling is the fact that only a meagre 3 % of women wanted the proposal to be in front of a large crowd, with 18 % okay with being asked in front of close friends and family.

The Ring In Itself


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To round off the statistics, the data showed that while diamonds were still the choice of most couples a surprising 32 % or 1/3 of all women didn’t mind a colored gemstone, a wedding band or even no engagement ring at all. And when it comes to the top factor when it comes to selecting a ring? Half of all women want a beautifully designed ring, over just 25 % who cared about the quality of the diamond, and 21 % who would inspect the craftsmanship (two key tellers of jewellery quality). A mere 6 % of women and 8 % of men cared about the size of the rock itself.

You can check out other interesting statistics here.