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Diamonds remain the ultimate symbol of love, despite modern consumers rewriting the rules of romance
As traditions evolve, diamonds remain the ultimate symbol of love.
Traditions surrounding love and marriage have changed dramatically in recent times. Where once the wedding represented the start of a relationship, many of today’s couples have already progressed a long way on their journey together before they even become engaged. Modern consumers are rewriting the rules and while romantic commitment is still highly desired by young people, marriage is now seen as more of a choice, rather than the necessity it was for previous generations. So what do these changing attitudes mean for diamonds?
De Beers Group’s latest Diamond Insight Report takes an in-depth look at diamonds and love in the modern world and highlights some interesting findings.
Overwhelmingly, young couples still see diamonds as the primary embodiment of everlasting love and romance, with diamonds continuing to be the predominant choice for engagements and weddings.
Nearly 90% of engagement rings and 80% of wedding rings in the key US market contain diamonds.
Perceptions that young consumers are less interested than previous generations in diamonds to celebrate their love have also proven unfounded. The average spend on an engagement ring by millennials is higher than the overall market average in the US. However, younger consumers do have different tastes and these are influencing product choices. Millennials tend to want more original, design-led pieces and this often means a higher total carat weight, but a smaller center stone. Retailers who cater for more diversity in product design, and offer more personalized or customizable options, are most likely to appeal to younger couples.
The increased economic independence of women in relationships, and the trend for women to be more involved in their engagement ring purchase, is also creating shifts in the sector. For example, the share of US women buying their own engagement ring doubled from 7% to 14% within a five-year period.
Interestingly, when women buy their own engagement ring, they spend on average 33% more than men .
While engagement ring marketing has traditionally focused on men buying for women, these trends highlight an opportunity for retailers to develop marketing programs that reflect more modern couples and purchasing behavior.
But it’s not just the engagement ring where couples see a place for diamonds to demonstrate their love.
As couples are getting married later and engagement periods are becoming longer (now five times longer than they were pre-1980), new diamond trends are emerging. There is a fast-growing segment of unmarried cohabiting couples who express substantial demand for diamonds as gifts of love, with women in these relationships now representing 10% of the diamond jewelry market in the US.
Same-sex couples also see diamonds as being centrally important to symbolize their relationships, with more than 70% of people in same-sex relationships viewing diamonds as important for celebrating both relationship milestones, as well as each other as individuals. These couples show a preference for more modern and less traditional gender-specific designs.
Encouragingly for those of us in the diamond industry, these trends demonstrate that even as society’s attitudes towards love and marriage continue to evolve, the desire to express the most significant and emotional moments in our lives with diamonds remains universal. As wonders of nature billions of years old, every diamond tells its own ever-lasting story and those who have the privilege of wearing them become part of the fabric of this journey.
NYCWD thanks Stacey Hailes for this insightful and accurate article
Thank You, Katie, for our latest YELP review! It was such an honor to make this dream ring for you!We went everywhere when we were looking for THE ring. From the brand names to every person each of our friends recommended on both coasts, we had far and away the best experience with Keith and are so glad we selected him to curate the fine selection of diamonds, educate us on diamonds and create the beautiful ring that my lovely and talented fiancé used to propose to me.
Unlike Cartier, Tiffany’s and numerous wholesale diamond merchants, Keith had a presentation of many diamonds in the budget, shape, size and clarity that my fiancé wanted. He presented upwards of six beautiful diamonds all in budget. Each and every diamond presented was better than every diamond that we had seen in weeks of looking. All were better diamonds than even the GIA report suggested and Keith guided us in our selection.
Another thing that I will mention is that he didn’t give us the hard sell like most other dealers, he gave my then boyfriend time to think. We were in NYC for all of Thanksgiving week and he allowed my dude that whole time to think. I really think that shows respect for the client and confidence in his product, which is, as I mentioned, the very best. We knew from our research, looping hundreds of diamonds and scouring GIA reports, that our diamond is the diamond for us, and we ended up calling him shortly after to secure it. I also think it is important how Keith explained the way he picks the diamonds and knows the industry. This allows him to get the best product for your budget.
When my fiancé proposed to me, I was so thrilled that I am able to marry the man of my dreams with the ring of my dreams. I literally get stopped on the street many times a day. You will get more bang for your buck with Keith and the diamond education of a lifetime.”
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