A State-By-State Breakdown on Diamond Shapes and Sizes

Which state is home to consumers with the biggest and best diamonds (and no, the answer is not Texas)? What’s the popular most diamond shape in Alabama? California? Alaska?

These are some of the questions White Pine aimed to answer with a recently released report on diamond jewelry ownership in the United States. 

Matthew Howe, the company’s vice president of marketing, said White Pine has opted to begin sharing some of that data with the industry, and so it has published this first report, America’s Diamond and Jewelry Ranking. 

The report is based on 15,000 consumer inquiries and interactions but, Howe pointed out, it is not a ranking of what’s selling at retail right now. It’s an ownership study, looking at what people already have and where they live.

There’s much to examine in the report and I had a hard time deciding where to begin but, in the interest of getting out of the office before 7 p.m. for once, I decided to go with diamond shape.

What the report shows about the most popular diamond shapes in the U.S. is not unexpected in the least, with round and princess-cut diamonds comprising the majority of the market.

What Howe said he did find surprising was that cushion-, emerald- and marquise-cut diamonds were all in the same ballpark in terms of ownership. A total of 4.8 percent of consumers included in the study owned a marquise, while 4.47 percent owned an emerald-cut diamond and 4.12 percent had a cushion; they were the three most commonly owned cuts after rounds and princesses.

The White Report also noted that since the launch of WPDiamonds.com in 2012, oval-shaped diamonds, which, as I understand it, are gaining ground in the market along with marquises and pears, have increased in popularity. They’ve gone from being the eighth most popular diamond cut in the country to the sixth in that three-year span. (And both ovals and pears are apparently very popular in Texas.)

From shape, we can move on to size, meaning, what states have the biggest and best diamonds (two distinctly different categories in the White Pine study).

For me, there were absolutely no surprises when it came to the top five states for diamond quality: New York, Florida (home to many now-retired former New Yorkers), California, Connecticut (home to many people who have high-paying jobs in New York City) and Maryland.

Howe pointed out that Arizona and North Carolina, which, like Florida, are big retirement states for people with the means to do so, also ranked fairly high on the diamond quality scale, coming in at Nos. 15 and 17, respectively. 

In addition to having some of the country’s highest-quality diamonds, Maryland and New York made it into the top five for average diamond size, which was analyzed by looking at loose stones, rings and diamonds set into jewelry but using only the largest diamond per piece for the data.

Maryland actually came in first with an average carat size of 1.75, followed by Michigan (1.69), Illinois (1.59), Alaska (1.49) and New York (1.47 carats).

The state with the smallest average diamonds was Vermont, at 1.03 carats.
 -Michelle Graff, National Jeweler