One in two women bought jewelery in the past year, mainly for herself, spending an average of NIS 1,700, according to a survey by the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry. "Over the past years, average spending on jewelery items has been growing," Michal Bar-El of the ministry's research department told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. The survey conducted among women over the age of 18 found that 49 percent of adult women, or 1,171,000 Israelis, bought jewelery in 2007, spending an average of NIS 1,700. Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed purchased jewelery for themselves, while 21% of the purchases were made for family members and 10% for a partner or friends. Sixty percent of the items cost an average of NIS 200, according to the respondents, with 5% priced at around NIS 2,000. The most expensive jewelery items - not including engagement and wedding rings - which were bought last year were rings, at an average price NIS 907, followed by bracelets at NIS 683 and necklaces at NIS 589. Poorer women tended to buy jewelery in search of financial security, as assets, while better off women acquired jewelery for decorative purposes. Necklaces were the most popular items; 72% of surveyed women bought at least one last year. Sixty-two percent bought at least one pair of earrings, although average annual spending on earrings was the lowest for any category, at around NIS 240. Rings and bracelets were less popular, although average annual spending on rings reached NIS 500, representing 29% out of the total spending on jewelery. One-third of the jewelery bought last year by women was costume jewelery, 29% was gold and about 23% was composed of silver, according to the survey. Thirty-seven percent of the women surveyed preferred to buy jewelery in non-chain shops, while 23% made their purchases in chain shops. The remainder was bought at private stands (15%), directly from jewelery designers (6%), at a fashion or clothing store (5%) or at a department store (4%).