Millennials have changed how many traditional things are done, so why not the way engagement rings are purchased too. During the ’80s, jewelers, through ads, started the trend that an engagement ring needed to be equal to three months’ salary.
Younger consumers no longer feel inclined to follow this trend and are opting for less expensive options (and this includes everything in the wedding planning process as well). They’ve effectively given meaning to “shopping smarter, not expensive.” Here’s how the millennial generation has changed engagement ring shopping.
1. Diamonds may no longer be a girl’s “best friend”
People are paying attention to the way diamonds are mined, choosing more earth-friendly options like lab-grown diamonds or looking for other stones. Not only are mined diamonds less socially conscious, but they are also more expensive than other alternatives. Moissanite is one popular choice that millennials are now making. Moissanite is not a diamond but is instead made up of entirely different components.
2. Millennials are having rings custom made
Millennials are now looking for a ring as unique as they are by choosing to have an engagement ring custom-made. You can do this by communicating directly with the jeweler and knowing precisely what is in your ring and how it is created. At Kalfin Jewellery, their engagement rings process involves a sequence of one on one meetings with the jeweler to create a unique, personalized and high quality diamond sparkler.
Instead of shopping off the street, millennials are ignoring speed and convenience to build a lifelong relationship with their expert jeweler. A custom-made engagement ring has a personal touch that a pre-made one lacks. For those who want to make sure their engagement ring is ethically made, this is a great option.
3. Millennials are spending less on engagement rings
Millennials are not as focused on engagement rings as previous generations. One of the main reasons for this is the accumulation of college debt. They are more concerned with being socially conscious and are choosing ethical stones. The majority of millennials believe that big flashy diamonds are out of style and instead choose other methods such as tattoos that take the place of the engagement ring.
4. Parents paying for the wedding is less frequent
In past generations, the parents of the bride and groom paid for the wedding. The parents of the millennials are more invested in paying off their mortgages and saving for retirement than previous generations. And the cost of a marriage may cause them a debt that can last for years. More millennials are paying for their weddings and choose to invest money into the wedding instead of purchasing an expensive engagement ring.
5. Promise rings are a thing
Engagement rings used to be the first ring you bought your girlfriend. With Millennials, you can buy your girlfriend as many as three rings before the engagement ring. In previous generations, to show you were dating someone, you wore the man’s class ring. Now you give your significant other a ring to represent the two of you dating. Next comes the promise of a promise ring, then the promise ring, and finally the engagement ring. With all of these extra rings, it is little wonder that the engagement ring is less expensive than in the past.
6. The man is no longer the only one proposing
Men are no longer the only ones proposing. Women proposing is becoming more popular among the millennials. Because of this change, women are now starting to purchase engagement rings. This brings up the question of who pays for the ring; as you would expect, the one proposing is the one who pays for the ring.
7. People are now shopping online for engagement rings
Millennials have grown up in the computer age, making purchasing online a popular option. One advantage to buying online is you can browse thousands of rings without leaving your home. Frequently buying online can lead to a lot of savings when purchasing an engagement ring. One of the main disadvantages to this option is you may not always get what you paid for. You will not be able to hold the ring or know with certainty that the ring will look how it did online.
There is no question that generation y has caused an enormous stir for the diamond market. This fact has made it so jewelry stores have had to change the type of jewelry they carry and how they market them. It will be interesting to see how engagement ring trends will continue to evolve in the future.