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Diamonds are still the most desired type of jewelry, but 18 percent of diamond jewelry purchases are now made online, a new De Beers survey found. 

The survey, first presented at the JCK show in Las Vegas, found that online sales accounted for 18 percent of diamond jewelry pieces acquired in 2013—up from 14 percent in 2011. This contradicts the general wisdom—stated recently by the CEO of Blue Nile—that less than 10 percent of jewelry purchases are made online.

“It’s probably because it’s difficult to buy designer jewelry without actually trying it on,” says Forevermark CEO Stephen Lussier, who presented the research at JCK. “But it’s easy to buy a prong-set solitaire over the Net.”

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