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New York City
In the home of Times Square, Coney Island and the Empire State Building, shoppers focus on one big high-quality diamond, often placed in a simpler setting. Seeing as the middle stone is the priciest part of the ring, that means that New Yorkers shell out big bucks for their engagement rings; data from both Blue Nile and James Allen reflect consistently high spending patterns in the Big Apple.
Rather than put all their cash toward one giant rock, Miamians are big fans of pavé, a series of tiny diamonds that add extra sparkle. As a smaller center stone surrounded by lots of gleaming gems often costs less, it's smart way to save money without sacrificing impact. James Schultz, the president of James Allen, explained it to me over the phone: "If you wrap the middle diamond in a basket of smaller diamonds [which is called a halo], it will look bigger than it actually is."
Los Angeles
As this is a city mainly populated by famous actors, musicians and reality stars, it's not too surprising that L.A. residents aren't afraid of an over-the-top stone or setting. Although Blue Nile has found that its South Cali customers prefer cushion-cut diamonds, the only real consistency the folks at James Allen have witnessed in the City of Angels is a desire for fancier, more ornate rings, and a willingness to try new trends, such as colored diamonds and double halos.
Washington, D.C.
Engagement ring shoppers in our nation's capital are more conservative with their choices, and lean toward colorless round diamonds. (Which, FYI, is by far the most popular cut in America.)
You probably guessed it already from every Texas cliché out there, but big, high-quality diamonds are very popular in Dallas—no matter how much they cost. A study from James Allen shows that the Southern city ranks in third place for the highest average spent on engagement rings, right after New York and L.A. Many shoppers also dabble in pavé or decorative bands, but nothing overly flashy or ornate; the main focus is placed on a large center stone.
Much like the citizens of Washington, D.C., Chicagoans stick with the classics: colorless diamonds, usually of the round- or princess-cut variety, and a clean-lined band. According to a report from James Allen, channel-set stones are extremely popular in this part of the country.