There are some wedding traditions that are starting to feel dated, such as the idea that wedding rings have to include real diamonds to be special. Apparently the diamond business is experiencing a slow period, because the newest trend for millennials is to marry later in their 20’s and 30’s, and choose more distinctive wedding jewelry that accounts for their concern with money, sustainability, and material.
Many young people of today don’t want their engagement and wedding rings to be mass-produced, they want a piece that’s unique to them and also doesn’t cost a fortune. And so, millennials are favoring gemstones, sapphires, and lab-grown diamonds over actual diamonds. This may be because they’re no longer concerned with age-old marriage rituals, and colorful stones might reflect their taste better.
The trend may also have something to do with greater awareness about the human rights issues surrounding diamond mining and production in some regions. While some companies take pains to provide “conflict-free” stones, it’s possible that rights-sensitive millennials may prefer to avoid the gems altogether.
To counteract this growing pattern, the Diamond Producers Association is launching a massive advertising campaign to try and renew interest in diamonds — which have typically been viewed as the symbol of “enduring love.” The slogan they have adopted for their campaign is, “Real is rare, real is a diamond.” Of course, this campaign will use social media to attract the attention of millennials, and they expect to see positive results, hoping that worldwide sales of traditionally mined diamonds to grow this year.
It will be interesting to see what happens with the trend and the diamond industry, but at the end of the day, marriage is such a personal thing that the accompanying jewelry should feel unique to the wearer. That might mean a diamond, or it might mean something else entirely.