Gina Florio
March 16, 2017 12:33 pm

We learned from a young age that engagement rings usually contain a hefty diamond, and the bigger the diamond, the more romantic the proposal was. But times are changing, and many couples, particularly millennials, are saying no to diamonds when it comes to engagement rings. We simply don’t see the point in dishing out all our money on a piece of jewelry when we could be saving up for more important things.

Experts are reporting that millennials are more cost-conscious than ever before, and we prefer to save our money for vacations, a new home, or future school fees. Furthermore, we’re demanding that our engagement rings are ethically sourced, and we’re increasingly turning away from diamonds as a result.

Several decades ago, the De Beers diamond company released a marketing campaign that insisted a man should spend at least two months’ pay on an engagement ring. The rule stuck for a long time, but research conducted by Allianz proves that men are now spending, on average, about $700 on a ring.

A senior analyst at Kantar Retail, Anusha Couttigane, said couples are more concerned with finding an affordable engagement ring.

Allianz also found that millennials prefer stones like emeralds and rubies as opposed to diamonds. Not only is it easier to find stones like these that are ethically sourced, but a major factor in deciding on an engagement ring is individuality. We want our jewelry to express us and our personality, rather than wear a diamond that just looks like every other diamond ring.

Joanna Hardy is a jewelry expert for BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, and she said millennials are more likely to choose unusual looking rings rather than diamonds.

So if you’re planning on getting engaged or proposing anytime soon, know that you have a lot of options at your fingertips — and there’s absolutely no pressure to dish out the big bucks on a diamond if you don’t want to.