Contrary to popular belief that diamonds are forever, millennials are choosing unique and coloured gemstones over four-carat, princess-cut engagement rings.
A new study by Allianz Insurance found that unconventional (and less expensive) engagement rings are popular with the current generation of brides.
Liana Hakim, a 28-year-old designer from Sydney, was thrilled when her partner proposed with an opal engagement ring last year. “I felt so honoured that he took the time to find an unusual ring with no instruction from me,” she says. “I think a diamond is a safe option for a lot of guys; they assume that’s what girls want. I would have said yes to any ring, but it was a bonus for me that it was an opal.”
While having a unique and individual ring was important to Liana, so was the price tag. “Money did play a role in our choice of stone, not because I wanted a “cheap” ring, but because I don’t think any piece of jewellery is forever,” she explains. “I also didn’t want to walk around thinking someone might chop off my finger because it was worth $15,000, or be devastated if I accidentally lost it.”
It seems not many women are dripping in $15,000 diamonds nowadays. The Allianz research showed that we’re spending far less than the stipulated three-months-salary rule. With cheaper options like rubies and emeralds on trend, the average price of an engagement ring is around $916, with just one in five women receiving a sparkler between $1,200 and $4,780.
The reason? “A generation of marital age people are now prioritising other things such as weddings, housing and the cost of having children, rather than splashing out on a really expensive rings,” Anusha Couttigane, the senior fashion and jewellery analyst at Kantar Retail, told the Telegraph UK.
Turns out, individuality and financial security are a girl’s best friend.