4 Out Of 10 Millennials Would Sell Their Engagement Rings
It used to be that etiquette experts recommended spending twice your monthly income on an engagement ring. But that’s a big chunk of change, and today’s couples aren’t buying it—literally. Thirty-seven percent of Millennials say they’d sell an engagement ring to fund a major life purchase, such as a home, travel or higher education, according to a survey by WP Diamonds. That’s a bump up from older generations, in which only 23% would choose to hock the ring.
Millennials are also choosing to go with different kinds of engagement rings—simple gold bands and colored gemstones.
“On the surface it seems like Millennials are competitive, materialistic and flashy, especially as a result of their tight connection to social media,” says Andrew Brown, president of WP Diamonds. “However, we’ve seen through this survey, as well as a wide variety of other studies, that this generation is actually very smart about their purchases and dedicated to properly planning for the future.”
In fact, 55% of Millennials sold diamonds and other sentimental jewelry in 2016 to help prepare for the future, the survey found. And 69% of them would consider exploring alternative engagement rings in place of traditional white diamonds.
“There will always be a market for extravagant engagement and wedding rings, as this is a custom that has existed for decades,” Brown says. “However, there has definitely been a clear shift toward alternative options that has affected the diamond industry and its growth. Even those who are looking for substantial rings are looking to the secondhand market to purchase at a more reasonable cost.”
Millennials chose the following as the most important use of their money:
- House (62.7%)
- Higher education (58.8%)
- Travel (52.9%)
- Car (31.5%)
- Engagement Ring (25.5%)
“Millennials are informed, they know what things are worth and they value quality of life above all,” Brown says. “So trading in diamonds for experiences or adjusting their engagement ring choices for pieces that better suit their lifestyle and future makes more sense to them than wearing or holding on to something because they feel they’re supposed to.”
Want to sell your jewelry to fund something important? Here are some tips:
Understand what you have: Your grandmother’s ring may be worth a lot more to you than to someone on the street. Sentimental value doesn’t add actual value to your jewelry, unfortunately. Have your item appraised by someone from the American Society of Appraisers, the International Society of Appraisers or the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers.
Know your timeline. Do you need to sell it quickly, or do you have some time to research the best price? You’ll get more for your valuables if you have the time to find the right buyer, versus visiting a pawn shop and making an immediate sale.
Be cautious selling online. Finding a legit buyer for your jewelry online is tricky—and fraud is rampant. But there are a few specialty sites, such as TheRealReal, SnobSwap, and IDoNowIDont.com, a site that came about because its founder wanted to sell a diamond ring after a broken engagement. Sites such as WP Diamondsand Diamond Buyers International are also options—and both are accredited by the Better Business Bureau. Do your research before committing.