Are millennials abandoning diamonds?

12 March 2019 - 14:01 By AFP Relaxnews
Will the diamond engagement ring go out of fashion?
Will the diamond engagement ring go out of fashion?
Image: 123RF/Skyfotostock

Diamonds are forever... or are they? According to new research, the classic rocks are falling out of fashion with millennials, who are increasingly opting for a more diverse range of gemstones when it comes to choosing an engagement ring.

Statistics from London-based fine jewellery brand Nadine Aysoy suggest that increasing numbers of millennials prefer to take a more personal approach to rock shopping, favouring unique gemstones, eccentric cuts and colours that show off their personalities.

Some 58% of women aged 23-38 surveyed by the brand opted for independent designers and one-off pieces for their engagement rings. Meanwhile, 32% chose their birthstone to mark the occasion, and 25% chose the birthstone of a beloved family member.

Amongst the stones that have been trending recently are emeralds, rubies and pink sapphires, with peridot and aquamarine also proving popular.

"Millennials live in a culture of having the world at their fingertips, where trends are continuously emerging and evolving at online speed; this recent trend of brightly coloured engagement rings has certainly been influenced by the likes of Princess Diana and The Duchess of Cambridge with their beautiful Oval Blue Sapphires, but also Princess Eugenie and her coral-coloured Padparadscha Sapphire," said designer Nadine Aysoy in a statement.

The diamond mining industry is at something of a crossroads currently, as increasing numbers of jewellers explore the world of lab-grown gemstones. High-end miner De Beers Group unveiled its debut laboratory-grown gemstone collection last year, and Forbes recently reported that 66% of millennials who were actively shopping for an engagement ring said they would consider a lab-grown diamond, while 23% would consider purchasing a ring with a lab-grown centre stone.