In 2003 $20.5 bln in diamonds and diamond jewelry was sold in the US, according to the Jewelers of America, up nearly 10% from $18.7 bln two years before. 83% of the brides in the United States say that they want a diamond engagement ring - and their grooms spent $4.3 bln in 2004 on them. Online sales of all jewelry rose to $1.9 bln during the 2004 Christmas season, more than doubling from $900 mln the year before, according to Bear Stearns. The average price for an engagement ring on bluenile.com is close to $5,000 - about twice the national average - and one sold for $257,000 last fall.
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