The diamond industry’s sales have been dropping, largely because millennials are breaking from tradition and aren’t buying diamonds. Several factors affect why millennials aren’t buying diamonds. We’ll highlight why they aren’t, and some of their reasons may surprise you.
Top Reasons Why Millennials Aren’t Buying Diamonds
Here are the main factors that are decreasing diamond sales from the millennial generation:
Getting Married Later
Most associate diamonds with engagement and wedding rings. But millennials are getting married later; the average age when they marry is 27-29 for women and men. This is seven years later than the boomer generation.
Compounding this problem is that only 44% of millennials are married, ditching marriage to pursue their careers. With fewer millennials walking down the aisle, this means a dip in diamond sales that jewelers definitely feel.
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Millennials have less disposable income compared to previous generations. According to the Federal Reserve, millennials make less money, leaving them with very little extra income to buy luxury items like diamonds, cars, homes, etc.
Because they are working with less, millennials are more careful with their money and research deals online to find the best prices. Millennials don’t value luxury items and would rather spend their money on practical items than diamond jewelry.
Preferring an Experience Rather Than More Things
Aside from electronics, millennials would much rather spend their money on cool experiences and vacations than high-end jewelry. They are about creating memories in exotic locations rather than having all the things.
Prioritizing the Environment
Millennials are very eco-conscious, looking for products that utilize ethical and sustainable materials. Diamond mining has given the diamond industry a black eye, opting for many non-environmental operations and unethical mining practices.
Millennials opt for more environmentally friendly alternatives, like lab-grown diamonds that are more sustainable and don’t require harsh working conditions. These diamonds are hard to distinguish from real diamonds and are more affordable.
Breaking from Tradition
Instead of buying a diamond engagement ring, more and more millennials are choosing other precious gems like amethyst, ruby, sapphire, emerald, and crystal as jewelry pieces. These gems are more affordable and break from tradition in a great way.
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Are Gen Z Buying Diamonds?
The short answer is yes. While this group isn’t financially mature yet, the older Gen Z buyers have more purchasing power than millennials and already make up 5% of diamond jewelry sales. The reason they value diamonds more is that their generation is more optimistic and individualistic, seeing diamonds as a way to build their personal brand.
What Age Group Buys the Most Diamonds?
Currently, millennials and Gen Z combine are the largest consumer group of diamonds. This is mainly because diamond sales are generally driven by marriage and wedding engagements. These two groups combined to make up 60% of the world’s diamond sales.
But while they are the largest buying group, their sales are down compared to previous generations. Many Millennials and Gen Z are choosing alternative gems for their wedding rings.
What Precious Gems Are the Best Alternative to Diamonds?
If you are looking for an alternative to diamonds, these precious gemstones are some of Millennials’ favorites:
Moissanite has gained significant popularity among millennials looking for alternative gemstones to diamonds. Its excellent brilliance, affordability, and eco-friendly nature make it an attractive choice. Moissanite’s availability in various shapes and sizes also appeals to those seeking customizable and unique jewelry options.
Sapphires, particularly in non-traditional colors like pink, yellow, or peach, have become popular among millennials. These gems offer a vibrant and distinctive alternative to diamonds. Additionally, the association of sapphires with ethical sourcing and sustainability aligns with the values of many millennials.
Morganite has seen a surge in popularity among millennials due to its soft and feminine hues. Its pastel pink to peach color is often favored for engagement rings, offering a romantic and delicate alternative to traditional diamond rings. Morganite’s affordability compared to diamonds also appeals to younger buyers.
Tanzanite’s mesmerizing blue and violet-blue hues have caught the attention of millennials seeking unique gemstones. Its rarity and exclusivity add to its appeal. Tanzanite’s distinctive color and modern aesthetic resonate well with younger generations looking for non-traditional gemstone options.
Ruby is a vibrant red gemstone that symbolizes passion and love. It is a highly durable gemstone and is considered one of the “big three” precious gemstones, alongside diamonds and sapphires that appeal to all generations. Rubies are rare and valuable, and they can add a touch of luxury and elegance to any piece of jewelry.
Emerald is a deep green gemstone known for its rich color and unique “jardin.” While emeralds are not as hard as diamonds, they are still quite durable and suitable for jewelry. Their distinctive beauty and rarity make them a sought-after alternative to diamonds among Millennials.
Aquamarine is a light blue or greenish-blue gemstone that evokes ocean vibes. It is a durable stone with excellent clarity and brilliance. For those who prefer a softer, delicate aesthetic, aquamarine jewelry may be your best alternative to diamonds.
Amethyst is a popular purple gemstone known for its regal color and affordability. While amethyst is not as hard as diamonds, it is still suitable for various types of jewelry. Amethyst can add a touch of sophistication that Millennials love.
Whether you prefer diamonds or other precious gemstones, it is fascinating to see how younger generations are ditching transition for more environmentally friendly options. At LaCkore, we adore precious gems and love how they can transform your OOTD.
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