For bridal, what size diamonds are customers asking for, on average? National Jeweler asked jewelers around the country to weigh in for our Regional Report.
NORTHEAST
"Between 1.20 and 1.30 carats is the average. Two-carat stones had been more popular, but pricing got out of control," says Solly Refael, Danielle Trissi Ltd., Scarsdale, N.Y.
"The trend has been to larger stones over the years, but nowadays, with the economy what it is, it may trend smaller. For us, average is one to two carats," says Gordon Robbins, Robbins Diamonds, Philadelphia.
SOUTHEAST
"Over the past few years, the average diamond size has increased. It used to be a carat, but lately people have been asking for about a carat and a half," says Tommy Thomas, Thomas Jewelry, Jackson, Miss.
"We havent noticed any change. The average is still about three-quarters of a carat," says Richard Frank, Goldsteins Jewelry, Mobile, Ala.
"So far this year, all were selling are big stones. One carat was our biggest seller for years, but now its all two-plus. Before Christmas, though, only the smaller stones were selling," says Chris Myers, The Diamond House, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
MIDWEST
"Theyre not asking for many stones, period, but Ive seen no big change in size. Half- to three-quarter-carat stones outsell one-carat diamonds by quite a bit," says James Casey, Casey Jewelers, Columbus, Ind.
"Its not the size so much as the price point. Not many people around here want to go over $1,000 for the whole thing. Kids out of college are willing to spend more for one carat and above, but older people usually shop for price point," says Tony Hansen, Hansen Jewelers, Shenandoah, Iowa.
SOUTH CENTRAL
"One carat and above is still the most popular size; that hasnt changed," says Kurt Eskew, Eskews Fine Jewelers, Lees Summit, Mo.
"One carat and above, SI1 to VS and up. Younger people, if its not a carat and above, they dont want it, and they require a nicer-cut stone. I used to sell little-bitty rings like crazy, but not now," says Connie Dayer, Dayer Jewelers, Conway, Ark.
WEST
"A lot of people here are starting at one carat, then replacing the stone with a larger one in one to five years. We dont sell as many quarter- and half-carat stones as we used to," says Pat Gibson, Vans Jewelry, Kent, Wash.
"People are hardly asking for diamonds at all these days," says Val Hayes, Capital Jewelers, Carson City, Nev.
"People want bigger stones, even if they have to drop from VS to SI," says Flint Carpenter, Big Island Jewelers, Kailua Kona, Hawaii.
By Joseph Dobrian, April 17, 2009
 

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