Men in Utah spend the fourth lowest amount on engagement rings compared to all other states in the U.S., according to wedding information website Venus With Love.
According to the study, Utah men spend 82 percent of a month’s salary on a ring averaging $4,537. The state with the highest average salary percentage spent on an engagement ring is Montana with 2.2 months’ salary averaging $9,523.
Brittany Lewis, Wilson Diamonds General Manager in Provo, helps men and women find engagement rings every day. She said Provo demographics make a difference in not only how much men spend, but what rings are priced at.
“The demographics have made it a great place to run a store, but the prices are kept in check because of the competition in such a small area,” Lewis said. “This is in favor for buyers because the prices of rings are constantly in competition.”
Another trending reason men spend less on rings in Utah is that men aren’t buying diamonds, according to Lewis. There are alternative gems that appear exactly like a diamond, but are fractions of the cost.
Lewis said there are now lab-grown diamonds, moissanite and cubic zirconia, which look almost identical to a diamond, but are a fraction of the cost.
“Diamonds are absolutely the most popular gem, but the overall ticket ends up being less when men don’t buy a diamond,” Lewis said.
BYU history major Moose Bingham said he has also noticed some men are starting to buy alternative diamonds or gems instead of real diamonds to cut the total cost of rings. He also thinks age could be a large factor in the reason men spend less on engagement rings in Utah.
“Men get married generally at a younger age in Utah, so they are less established,” Bingham said. “Most people outside of Utah get married at a later age, so they are well into their career and physically have more to spend on a wedding ring.”
BYU neuroscience major Leo Durkin said when he and his wife looked at rings for the first time, he knew it was most important to him to buy her the ring she wanted. He said he thinks the amount people spend on weddings in Utah is a cultural thing.
“I do think there is an emphasis in the LDS culture of not putting the most value on material things,” Durkin said. “There is more of a minimalism mindset here, so we recognize the ring isn’t the most essential part of an actual wedding.”