Diamonds are​ forever or are they?

To millennials, spending £5,000 or more on a piece of jewellery is a concept almost incomprehensible. Two decades ago this was the norm, today as the norm is spending that much travelling.

The diamond industry has reportedly slowed as our Millennial consumers are far-less enamoured by traditional diamond jewellery than their parents

Millennials vs Elderly

Insure4Retirement is a Home and Travel Insurance provider for the Over 50s.  As much as 73% of people who completed a quote, owned over £5,000 worth of gems and precious metals.  Jewellery was listed as part of the cover required when searching for an insurance quote.

Data from the Wealth and Assets Survey (WAS) 2016 shows that households people who had reached retirement age, having accumulated more than £66,900 in household assets. This is what the insurance industry refers to as the largest ‘physical wealth’. The same survey showed that 16-24-year-olds have the lowest physical wealth.

It is unsurprisingly, one could argue that the younger generation hasn’t had enough time to accumulate physical assets. This is partly true, as the average age people are now getting on the property ladder is over 30 years old, seven years older than the average in 1960. Simply put, Millennials don’t have homes filled with stuff, because they don’t yet own homes to fill with stuff.

The diamond industry has reportedly slowed as our Millennial consumers are far-less enamoured by traditional diamond jewellery than their parents

Materialist vs Experiences

Despite this being a contributing factor to the huge gap in physical wealth between the younger and older generations, industry analysts say that it’s largely down to the fact that Millennials simply don’t see value in spending their cash on valuables. “Millennials gravitate toward spending money on experiences, and not things” according to Sarah Berger of TheCashlorette.com.

Today’s younger generation is far more likely to spend a significant amount of money travelling abroad.  Bali and Thailand are both popular destinations for under-30 Brits – than on fine jewellery. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), spending incomes on experiences isn’t isolated to the younger generation.

The ONS highlighted that households aged between 65 and 74 are now spending nearly a fifth (18%) on experiences. Perhaps fuelled by the recent availability of reasonable travel insurance for older people with medical conditions. Over 65s are spending the highest percentage of their income on package holidays than they have in a long time.

The diamond industry has reportedly slowed as our Millennial consumers are far-less enamoured by traditional diamond jewellery than their parents

The Diamond Industry

With the high living costs in UK households, the jewellery and retail industry are competing unsuccessfully. The younger typically spends around 30% of their income on rent. In comparison to the 10% of their grandparents would have spent in the 1960s. Leaving them with less to splash out on luxury possessions as they opt for Instagram-worthy brunch spots in lieu.

The diamond industry has reportedly slowed as our Millennial consumers are far-less enamoured by traditional diamond jewellery than their parents. “Diamond jewellery appears to be low on the buying lists” of today’s youth according to Des Kilalea. A worrying situation for the jewellery industry, as the Millennial generation edge towards becoming the most active consumer group.

According to Insure4Retirement, whose customer base is predominantly made up of baby-boomers, 50% of all specified items of jewellery are diamond. If the jewellery industry can’t find a way to grip the hearts of our youth, we can expect to see these figures decrease with each decade, until the once much-coveted diamond becomes yet another icon of a bygone era.  

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15 Comments

  1. September 16, 2018 / 12:45 am

    My hubby would actually agree with this article whole-heartedly. Yes, he did give me a diamond engagement ring many years ago, but he resists any urges to buy more diamond jewelry because he thinks the market is more hype than anything. And likewise, we would rather spend our money elsewhere, like another vacation to Punta Cana.

  2. Hannah Marie
    September 15, 2018 / 7:29 pm

    Interesting! I honestly would spend my money in travels than jewelries. I like to see places and explore new things. I’ve never had a diamond anything in my life.

  3. September 15, 2018 / 5:21 pm

    I love experiences, like food and travel. But, I also like my diamonds, thank you. I really would like to buy a new diamond ring and earring set. 😀 And perhaps a necklace, too. 🙂

  4. September 15, 2018 / 1:42 pm

    I love diamonds but they are not on the top of my list. I would rather buy something more important.

  5. September 14, 2018 / 2:00 am

    I’m actually not a huge fan of diamonds. But, I loved reading the perspective of your article.

  6. September 13, 2018 / 11:10 am

    Definitely true – people my age are spending way more money on experience. OR – as it is here in the U.S., they’re too busy struggling financially to even think about spending money on jewelry. A lot of my friends have even opted for alternative rings – no diamonds to be seen. Some are antiques and my own was a resin ring filled with flowers and moss. Even my wedding band is a simple silver band made by a small artisan business. I don’t see it getting any better for the jewelry business in the future…

  7. September 13, 2018 / 10:43 am

    I would 100% prefer to spend my money on experiences over material items. I love the growth I experience with each new country I visit. I learn so much about my fellow humans and it makes us all seem so much more alike than different. Why spend $5k on a ring there’s a high probability I’ll lose when I can travel the world!

  8. September 13, 2018 / 7:05 am

    I’m working on a jewelry shop before and I must say diamonds are kind of expensive jewelry. but it depends about the people that they can afford to buy. HAHAHHAA! I spend my money to watch concerts and travel HAHHAAA.

  9. September 12, 2018 / 9:27 pm

    I would much rather spend on experiences. That definitely makes me fit into the definition of a millennial!

  10. September 12, 2018 / 9:18 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree. As a millennial, I would rather spend more money on purchasing a home or travelling rathen that buying diamonds.

  11. September 12, 2018 / 7:14 pm

    Diamonds to me are special for remembering my husband proposing to me. Now that I am older I am spend more money on travel.

  12. September 12, 2018 / 6:27 pm

    I don’t think I would ever choose objects over experiences. I know that in the past this was the norm but these days it’s different, realistically very few people can even afford to spend so much on a ring. I don’t even wear jewellery, I spend all my money on traveling.

  13. September 12, 2018 / 5:50 pm

    I am not much into diamonds, I prefer tech gadgets over any ‘for-look only’ jewelry, though I understand, it does have its attractions, and many people like it.

  14. September 12, 2018 / 4:56 pm

    I like diamonds, but I don’t go nuts over them. In fact, when my husband and I first got married, my ring was very simple, which was fine by me. We did upgrade at 10 years, but it was still rather simple and under $500. But then again, I’ve never been materialistic.

  15. September 12, 2018 / 2:12 pm

    That’s right and It is the same situation in my area. I hope they’ll find a way to appeal to the younger generation.

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