There is a noticeable difference in the how millennials shop compared to past generations—from preferring experiences and travel over material goods to seeking out socially-conscious brands over legacy names. And these modern tastes have translated into new “traditions” in jewelry shopping and gifts. Here we take a look at emerging trends and what young couples are swapping this holiday season!
Trend #1: Unbranded and vintage jewelry is on the rise.
Historically, couples largely preferred going to “big box” stores and well known jewelers (think Cartier, Harry Winston, and Tiffany & Co.) for any jewelry gift. More recently, couples have not been so hung up on brand names for their jewelry. Here at TrueFacet we’ve seen a marked uptick in unbranded and vintage jewelry purchases year over year.
Why? Because, across the board, luxury brands are not capturing the attention—and spending dollars—of millennials who are more taken with brands that speak to their personal lifestyle than legacy brands whose high price-tag is not just about quality materials but exclusivity. In turn, we see millennials shopping for more unbranded or vintage jewelry that suits their individual style and has more of its own history, too.
Trend #2: Women are buying more men’s watches for their partners.
In Europe, and particularly in France, it’s very common for women to give their new fiancé a handsome watch upon receiving their engagement ring. This tradition is making its way stateside as couples exchange jewelry or timepieces, instead of the woman only receiving a diamond ring. It’s a romantic way for couples to commemorate the moment and surprise each other with a thoughtful and deeply meaningful gift.
Trend #3: Colorful and semi-precious gemstones are the new diamonds.
While diamonds will probably always be the go-to center stone choice, colorful gemstones are an increasingly popular option for engagement rings.
Millennial couples are looking for engagement rings layered with even more meaning and feel uniquely “theirs.” Naturally, they’re seeking out non-traditional stones and settings for their dream ring and gravitating towards Fancy Color diamonds and semi-precious gemstones like blue topaz, morganite, or citrine. Even gemstones with symbolic or healing properties (like rose quartz, which is known as the love stone, or garnet, the stone of health and creativity) are more commonplace now than they have been in the past decade.
Trend #4: Couples regularly shop together.
In the past it was the “man’s duty” to covertly and independently find the dream engagement ring. Today, couples have zero qualms about shopping together for any piece of jewelry.
Shopping together definitely alleviates the stress of nailing the right size and perfect cut, setting, and style of the ring. But more importantly, younger couples consider ring shopping in particular the first step of their collaborative wedding planning (a responsibility that was usually assumed by women exclusively).
Trend #5: Pre-owned jewelry is quickly growing in popularity.
Pre-owned jewelry has a bad rep, believed to have the “bad juju” of broken engagements or, at the very least, were simply unwanted by the previous owner.
However, consumers across the board are more familiar than in the past about how not every “new” piece of jewelry is necessarily made with a freshly-mined diamond or gemstone. In fact, stones can be taken from earrings, necklaces, or a dated design and re-set into a modern ring.
And budget-conscious millennials are shirking these staid beliefs and realize they can get more bang for their buck with pre-owned jewelry. Shopping for pre-owned rings allows younger couples to save thousands on their dream ring or to upgrade to a larger stone size without eating into their budget.
For more on modern and alternative engagement rings, check out our post here!