Sorry Marilyn, but as it turns out, diamonds are not always a girl's best friend. Well, they're at least not a millennial's BFF, that is... To-be-wed millennials have been ditching the standard crystal-clear diamond stone as of late and opting for engagement rings in a rainbow of hues. Emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and opals are officially trending among this youthful crowd and the #engagementringselfies flooding our Instagram feeds. Here's why we're seeing more and more colored stone engagement rings popping up in popped questions.
For a myriad of financial, ethical, and stylistic reasons, diamonds are definitely tarnishing in the eyes of millennials. Instead of shelling out for a hefty diamond with a carat count that could rival Mariah Carey's supersized sparkler, millennial couples are opting to put that cash toward a house, having children, or an epic honeymoon. As The Telegraph reports, instead of spending two-to-three months salary on a ring—which has long been considered the norm—couples are spending just an average of £573 (about $700) on engagement rings in the U.K., which makes less expensive, colored stones an excellent option.
"The great thing about colored stones is that you can buy something really fabulous-looking and most people will have no idea how much it cost," explained jewelry expert Joanna Hardy to the British daily. "This is a big selling point for people who perhaps don't have as much to spend on a ring and don't want others to know exactly what they've spent on it."
And with many millennials pushing for ethical shopping options, there's been a move away from the traditional clear stone (anyone remember Blood Diamond?) in favor of more ethically-sourced gems. For example, designer Chopard offers "traceable" emeralds especially for eco-conscious consumers, according to The Telegraph.
Plus, colorful engagement rings are pretty freakin beautiful to boot!
Gaining major traction among the fashionable set, not only do colorful engagement rings tote a much friendlier price tag, but they also offer much more opportunity for a little self-expression. Brides are able to show off their individuality with beautiful blue, gorgeous green, and romantic red hues, with some getting even more personal by choosing their own birthstone as their engagement bling. "It's more personal, rather than the ego thing of showing everyone how big your diamond is," Nikolay Piriankov of custom jewelry design company Taylor & Hart told The Guardian.
With celebs like Jessica Simpson, Halle Berry, Eva Longoria, Jenny McCarthy, and—oh yeah—the Duchess of Cambridge all toting engagement bling with colorful stones, millennials are certainly in good company.
Convinced to incorporate some color into your own engagement ring, yet? Come on... All the hip, cool kids are doing it.