The ‘buffer ring’ has arrived: Over 15,000 brides-to-be in the UK expected to receive ‘temporary’ engagement ring

An AXA study looking into the little things that mean a lot in a relationship has uncovered a trend of men buying temporary engagement rings for their partners in order to avoid disappointing them with the ‘wrong’ ring.

14 March 2014

Posted in Product

by Jennifer Chilcott (see media contact)

  • One in sixteen brides-to-be receive ‘buffer ring’ ahead of picking their own jewellery
  • Average of £1,373 spent on an engagement ring**
  • However, one in twelve never receive an engagement ring
  • Fourteen per cent forced to go without as their partner can’t afford it

The study of engaged people or those married in the past five years, revealed that up to 15,000* of them received a provisional ring with the promise that they could choose their own permanent ring at a later date.

It seems men are right to hedge their bets, as one in six respondents (16 per cent) who received an engagement ring from their partner admitted to being disappointed. Nearly half of those who were disappointed felt this way because they thought the large spend was ‘too much’ (44 per cent) and over a third simply didn’t like the style (35 per cent).

However, one in twelve of the respondents (eight per cent) didn’t receive or buy a ring at all, with a quarter of those couples taking the decision not to buy a ring and instead save the money for the wedding (26 per cent). Over a third (36 per cent) simply felt it wasn’t important to have one whilst fourteen per cent were forced to go without as their partner couldn’t afford it.

When it comes to cost, the average amount spent on a permanent ring tops £1,373**, with men typically spending one month’s salary. Twenty-five to thirty-five year olds are the biggest spenders, splashing out £392 more than the national average (£1,765) and London tops the regional scales with an eye-watering average spend of £3,548.

In contrast, over one in ten (11 per cent) admitted to only spending one day’s salary on their partner’s engagement ring, with a quarter (24 per cent) spending less than four hours finding the perfect diamond. Those in Yorkshire spend the least, at an average of just £607.

While our research shows people spending a large amount on a ring appears to be going out of fashion – it is clear that engagement rings are still a little thing that means a lot to many couples planning to walk down the aisle. At AXA, we know just how important it is to protect these items, which is why we offer a Jewellery Replacement Service*** to our customers who have an item of sentimental value stolen from their home.

Chris Jones, Head of Brand at AXA UK
Headshot of Christine Matthews, AXA Operational Claims Director

Engagement rings are not only expensive but they also hold sentimental value to the owner, which is of course irreplaceable. When buying home insurance it’s important to choose contents insurance with valuables limits high enough to cover your most expensive item and your total sum insured high enough to cover all your contents. With AXA’s Jewellery Replacement Service***, customers can rest assured that items stolen from the home can be recreated.

Christine Matthews, Operational Claims Director at AXA UK