Young Irish women are giving big, flashy, expensive engagement rings a miss and putting the money towards new homes instead.

Research by online department store Littlewoods Ireland has revealed that Irish women are opting for more traditional ring designs so they can spend more cash on three piece suites, well designed kitchens and home furnishings instead.

Littlewoods spokesperson Karen Nason said: “A well equipped, comfortable marital home looks like it is now becoming more important than jewellery. It would appear that fine furnishings bring a greater gleam to Irish women’s eyes than any expensive diamond.”

The average amount spent on an engagement ring in Ireland hasn’t changed for the last two years, remaining steadily at €1,333, according to Littlewoods.

However, there are also some big spenders in Ireland – more engagement rings costing over €3,500 are sold in Cork than anywhere else.

Westmeath, on average, spend the least on engagement rings, with an average of €729 being spent on the ring finer. Next comes Cavan €899, Monaghan €1,149 and Sligo €1,849. However, couples from these regions also devote a greater proportion of their wedding budget to home building than anywhere else.

While Cork tops the league of big spenders on rings, it is closely followed by Dublin €2,149, Galway €1,449 and Limerick €1,199.

Littlewoods Ireland has found that most popular style of engagement ring across the entire country is a traditional, white gold single stone solitaire ring.

According to Littlewoods Ireland, the top five items which Irish women regard as more important than an expensive engagement ring are:
1) Deposit on a new home.

2) A new kitchen.

3) Soft furnishing including three piece suites.

4) Large comfortable beds.

5) Wide screen TVs and household equipment.