Merrick, NY—While the average price for an engagement ring edged close to $6,000 according to a survey conducted by The Knot last year, the trend of Millennials delaying or foregoing marriage has had the diamond industry very worried. But more recent research suggests their aversion to marriage is a short-term trend driven by economics: an article in the Wall Street Journal acknowledges that while more Millennials will eschew marriage than in any previous generations, the majority of Millennials still will marry at some point.
But for Millennials feeling financially strapped with huge student loan debt and careers gaining steam much later than they ever anticipated, $6,000 for a ring can be wishful thinking. But Millennials being Millennials, they don’t want something ordinary, even if they can’t afford something magnificent.
Buzzfeed recently featured a gallery of 32 very delicate engagement ring designs that are anything but ordinary. Delicate jewelry in general is a trend—whether driven by finance or as the natural antidote to big and bold—and it does carry through to wedding and commitment jewelry, says Amanda Gizzi, director of public relations and events for Jewelers of America. These tiny stones aren’t going to move the needle much for beleaguered diamond dealers, but Gizzi says the tiny ring is just a niche trend.
“I don't think most women, even Millennials, say they want a small diamond. I personally feel it is a mix of budget, wanting to break tradition and what is expected, and fashion trends, all merging,” she told The Centurion. “I don't think this is a cause for concern with retailers. It is great to be aware of the style and market it accordingly to give all customers options and get them in the door.”
And as jewelers know, getting them in the door and providing a great experience even when they can’t afford much can pay off handsomely later when they can.
Top image: Buzzfeed.com