There is little doubt that the millennial generation is different from any that has come before. The first to grow up with the internet, social media and instant gratification, they don’t have the same attitudes as prior generations about many things. It isn’t just their fashion, the way that they communicate, or even their poor sense of grammar that is different. Apparently, they are also doing away with the traditional engagement ring.
In the past, people had clear definitions about what an engagement ring was. No matter how much you could afford, in the past you spent the money to get a diamond. Anything less than a diamond engagement ring was tantamount to “you don’t really love me, do you?” In previous generations, it wasn’t just that it had to be a diamond ring, but there was also a certain calculation that a person did to determine how much they should invest and the carat was a very, very big deal in defining your love and commitment to someone.
Things are changing. Whether it is due to Millennials’ need to bunk the system, their changing ideas about not walking to the same beat, or because they like to be unique and do things outside the box, just about anything goes now when it comes to proposal rings. It’s no longer about what cut of diamond you want; Millennials are turning to other stones like sapphires, rubies, and emeralds and completely changing attitudes about traditional engagement rings.
Millennials are the first generation to get an education, rack up huge amounts of college debt, and then not be able to find work. Spending many years in their parent’s basement can cause them to see monetary “things” in a whole new light. Not as concerned about being affluent and showing off what they have, they are more about the YOLO philosophy and living life one day at a time. The last thing they think is important when they want to take a leap toward marriage is spending their housing down payment on a diamond.
It isn’t just about choosing different stones and gems — or none at all; many Millennials are totally okay with purchasing “vintage” rings. A generation that has been raised on “being green,” finding a vintage pre-worn ring isn’t something they are ashamed of and hide. They show it off and tell everyone which vintage store they bought it from and any history they know of behind the ring.
Millennials are also okay with passing down family heirlooms as a substitute for buying a ring new. They may be more sentimental than they show, and keeping tradition might be in the form of not conforming in buying a nice diamond ring, but going through Grandma’s jewelry box to find something that has history and heritage. In the Millennial generation, all bets are off for proposing and the type of symbol they use.
The old method of calculating the amount that you spent on your engagement ring was to take your monthly salary and multiply it by three. That is no longer the case. Those who were surveyed in the 18-to-30 age group insist that they would rather take any money they could spend on a diamond engagement ring and put a down payment on a house or to travel the world together.
Colorful stone engagement rings aren’t completely new; throughout time people have added color to their diamond engagement rings to spice them up or to make them more unique. But today’s engagement rings need not have any traditional “look” to them. Colorful stones in all different types of arrangements are totally the “in” thing. In fact, wearing a plain old diamond is not only passé; it’s a sign of being a conformist, which Millennials are totally against.
Perhaps out of necessity, or the influence of social media and the need to be unique, Millennials do just about everything differently than the generations that have come before. Their traditions lie in the ones that they set for themselves, and they refuse to be defined by anyone else’s definitions. The same is true for the way that they show their commitment to someone they wish to marry. It isn’t about how much they spend; it is about the commitment that the ring symbolizes, and Millennials think their rings should be as unique as the love that they have for each other.
Article Submitted By Community Writer