Nobody Really Needs an Engagement Ring
It used to be that people would get worked up over engagement rings. If a coworker announced she was engaged, all the women in the office would stampede to her workstation and demand that she showed them her ring. If someone did not have a ring, people would start whispering about how her fiancé was strapped for cash or was miserly, how he didn’t “value” the woman enough to spend money on her and how you could not be “properly engaged” without an engagement ring.
But not anymore.
These days fewer and fewer Millennials are investing their hard-earned cash in diamond rings.
Why Millennials Do Not Need Diamond Engagement Rings
Unlike the previous Generation X and Baby Boomers, Millennials are not interested in engagement rings, even as the diamond industry is going bonkers trying to win them over. In fact, it is not that they have stopped buying diamonds altogether. The 2015 De Beers Annual Diamond Insight Report shows millennials spent $26 billion buying diamonds, which is more than what any other generation has spent. However, they no longer seem to be buying them for engagements.
Millennials Are Not Getting Married
One of the biggest reasons for a drop in engagement rings is that millennials are not getting married as early as the previous generations. In fact, most of them prefer not to get married at all, and it is projected that 36 percent of women born in the 1990s will remain unmarried at 43 years of age.
So if you don’t plan on getting married, why would you need an expensive diamond ring?
Millennials Are Opting for Other Stones
Today’s young couples are looking to get rings with other stones like sapphires, emeralds, and rubies, as they are more unique and make a stronger statement. They also serve as a means to rebel against the diamond industry’s monopoly and forceful marketing campaigns. Millennials are also more value conscious and are more concerned with the unethical mining of jewels and factors like sustainability.
Millennials Value Experiences
Young people these days prefer to have more experiences than material things. They would rather put away their money for better uses like travel, concerts, vacations, or an extravagant wedding in the Tropics, rather than on a ring with little use.
Millennials Are Buying Loaner/Fake Rings
More and more millennials are proposing with stones that are not diamond, or with placeholder rings. Placeholder rings allow customers to buy a cubic zirconia ring or a silver ring worth $50 to $200. This way, they do not have to wait to save up enough money for a real diamond ring before proposing and the ring-wearer can later search out the perfect style that they would like to wear. Another realistic-looking option is buying fake rings that sell for just $20 a piece.
Millennials Are Not Buying Rings at All
Some millennials have come up with an even cheaper option: not buying a ring at all. There is no law that says that you cannot get engaged or married without a ring on your finger, so why buy one at all? It has no real value and is virtually useless.
In a perfect world, no one would judge you for not having an engagement ring. After all, you don’t need a ring to prove that you love someone.