Apparently, it's not only pricey avocado toast that's preventing millennials from saving enough money to buy homes. According to a new report from De Beers, that cash-strapped generation is singlehandedly responsible for a whopping 41 percent of all diamond jewelry sales—even though they only make up 27 percent of the population. And another study given exclusively to Brides, from the Diamond Producers Association, found that nearly 70 percent of millennials believe diamonds are an "excellent" or "very good" value for their price.
A major chunk of these diamond purchases, of course, come from engagement rings. The De Beers Diamond Insight Report found that the majority of millennials' engagement and wedding rings include only diamonds, even while nontraditional, unique colored stones grow in popularity. Of these diamond-only rings, more than 40 percent of them reportedly feature a round-cut center stone. Second most popular, at 22 percent, are princess-cut diamonds, while cushion-cut rings come in third at 11 percent.
The report stated that one of the most popular styles for millennials' engagement and wedding rings is a center diamond with a few smaller diamonds next to it. Equally popular is the halo style, with one dominant central diamond surrounded by a round halo of smaller stones. Nearly as popular as those clustered styles, however, are solitaire and other single-diamond styles, putting the spotlight on just one gloriously sparkly stone.
Despite this increase in spending, these diamonds aren't necessarily forever. Per the DPA, many younger couples plan on upgrading their bridal jewelry after 5 to 10 years together. This trend of replacing "starter" engagement and wedding rings comes from millennials' expectations that they'll have saved more money by that time, and will also be ready to renew their commitment to their marriage and each other.
But not all of millennials' diamond purchases are engagement rings. According to De Beers, single women are spending more than ever when buying diamonds for themselves. Not only do an average of one-third of all jewelry they acquire come from their own purchases, but single women are also reportedly treating themselves to more extravagant pieces, featuring multiple stones and high carat counts. In fact, the average amount spent by women on their own diamond jewelry has officially reached the same level as that spent on gifted pieces.
No matter your relationship status, diamonds are clearly still very much a girl's best friend.