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Committed to the Millennial

Talk to any millennial about their upcoming commitment ceremony and it will quickly become evident that this is not your typical nuptial. While many partners believe it is important to carry on some of the local or generational traditions, many are opting out of what we have long defined as the marriage ceremony. This new look on commitment begins with the rings. Look at the majority of the newer generation’s commitment rings and you will certainly see what this generation represents. While the style may differ as much as the millennial that is purchasing it, these commitment rings carry a few common elements.

committment rings with different styles of halos
Gabriel Styles (Top left to Right): ER14769, ER14411, ER14722, ER14781

What does a commitment ring look like?

These rings have a minimalist approach. The typical millennial enjoys the aesthetics of a thinner band. These bands are often adorned with smaller diamonds that are either prong set or pave set. The millennial purchaser is opting out of the halo-style ring (the ring of diamonds that encircles the center stone on top of the ring). Or, they are gravitating toward a variety of unique halos. Often these are either a nod to a different era, or they represent images such as our celestial evening sky. The center stone will take your breath away or intrigue you with their non-traditional shape, color, or their alternative style, such as the rustic diamond or silver cape diamond.

Rustic and Silver Cape diamonds in unusual shapes
Rustic and Silver Cape diamonds in unusual shapes

What does it cost?

Gone is the old adage that it is required to spend two- three months’ salary for a commitment ring to hold any substance. In fact, millennial ring shoppers are looking for more budget conscious designs. These shoppers desire a showstopping design that doesn’t empty their online bank account.

Rose gold commitment ring with different wedding bands
Gabriel Styles (Left to right): LR51252, LR4572, ER14982, LR51169
Commitment ring with wedding band
Uneek Styles: Wedding Band: LVBW8167W, Engagement ring: SWS232BGW

What about the center stone?

There is an awareness to environmental and social issues within the younger generations that is unrivaled to many of the generations before it. As with many elements of the millennial lifestyle, the ring they choose to represent their commitment and love to their partner also embodies these values. The center stone of any commitment ring must hold true to what this generation stands for. Many millennials are opting for ethically sourced and socially conscious diamonds, recycled diamonds, and lab created diamonds. While others are ditching the diamond completely and are looking toward the moissanite or a colored stone to take center stage.

Here’s the breakdown:

Ethically Sourced Natural Diamonds:

The Clean Diamond Trade Act (CTDA) that was signed by George W. Bush in 2003, implemented the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). This prohibits the import of diamonds whose mining helps to fund conflicts in the country where they are mined. Furthermore, the Patriot Act ensures that the diamonds imported in the United States are not used to fuel any money laundering or to help finance any form of terrorism through the businesses that supply these diamonds. To the best of our knowledge, the diamonds that are supplied to us here at A-Bryan’s Jewelers adhere to this strict code by mandating these regulations are enforced.

Natural diamonds in traditional and fancy shapes
Natural diamonds in traditional and fancy shapes

What about a more eco-friendly approach?

Recycled Diamonds:

A recycled diamond is one that has had prior use and has re-entered the diamond supply chain. In terms of durability and appearance, these diamonds do not differ from a newly mined and polished diamond. With the up rise of many of the older generations selling their previously worn diamond jewelry, there is an influx of recycled diamonds being sold to many of the major diamond vendors. In fact, most of the diamonds that are being sold or set into jewelry were once adorning other jewelry pieces. Since there are minimal differences in the way these natural diamonds are graded or the way they appear, typically, their prices are comparable to that of newly mined diamonds. However, the important thing about recycled diamonds is that instead of the implications of mining new diamonds, we are re-purposing diamonds that have already been in production. When A-Bryan’s Jewelers introduces a recycled diamond back into our inventory, whether it be from one of our diamond vendors or through the diamonds we purchase from the local consumer, our jewelers grade and hand select every diamond based on a high quality of the 4 C’s: color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. We also thoroughly inspect each diamond for any chips, cracks, or fractures to ensure that we are providing the best possible recycled diamond for our millennial purchaser.

What are other center stone options?

Lab Grown Diamonds:

Lab grown diamonds have been gaining momentum in the jewelry industry. These diamonds are indeed real diamonds. The only way that these diamonds differ is the way in which they originate. While natural diamonds are extracted from the ground using traditional mining procedures, the lab grown diamond is ‘grown’ inside of a laboratory using modern technology to replicate the process in which the natural diamond occurs. Essentially, the lab grown diamond will be chemically, physically, and visually the same as those that are grown within the earth. These diamonds will produce the same brilliance, scintillation, and sparkle as a natural diamond. Lab grown diamonds also go through the same grading process as a traditional natural diamond. Since they are graded on the same scale as a natural diamond, their pricing will mimic that of a natural diamond in the same way that a higher quality lab grown diamond will be at a higher price than one that measures lower on the diamond grading scale. However, since the extensive mining processes have been eliminated, lab grown diamonds can be sold at a fraction of the cost of the natural diamond. This appeals to the millennial consumer in two of their fundamental core values: these diamonds have less impact on the environment and are budget-friendly.

Moissanite:

The moissanite has one of the neatest origin stories of any stone on Earth. These gemstones are born from the stars. They were originally found in a crater created by a meteorite in Arizona in 1893. While it is incredibly rare to find a natural moissanite, their lab created counterpart is readily available. Moissanites are an excellent diamond alternative due to the fact that they emulate a diamond so well. Moissanites measure a 9.5 on the Mohs scale (the scale in which a gemstone is graded for hardness and durability), whereas the diamond comes in as a solid 10. The moissanite’s Mohs score is still a very good score as it registers as one of the hardest substances on earth. It is nearly as durable as any natural, recycled, or lab grown diamond. What appeals most to many moissanite buyers and also helps to set it apart from its diamond equivalent is the different kind of brilliance (the appearance of light reflected from the inside of the stone) it exhibits. Due to their difference in facet cuts, the moissanite will have a more fiery, rainbow flash of color that a variety of consumers find attractive. In our store, we offer moissanites that are equivalent to the ‘DEF’ color of a natural diamond. As far as the clarity of these stones go, the majority of our moissanites are ‘eye clean’, meaning that there will not be any kind of ‘crystals’ or ‘carbon spots’ visible to the naked eye. The millennial shopper will not only adore their durability and their ability to mimic natural and lab grown diamonds, but also their affordability.

Moissanite and natural diamond comparison
Moissanite and natural diamond top facing comparison
Colored Gemstones:

Alternatively, more and more commitment ring purchasers are looking into colored gemstone options as their show-stopping center stone. These have been a popular option throughout the ages and can be seen in a variety of royalty and celebrity commitment rings. Morganite, a soft peach colored stone, has been an excellent alternative option in recent history. Often set into rose gold, this stone has been highly attractive with the millennial shopper due to its unique, soft color. Aquamarine has been very appealing to this generation for the same reasons that they love the morganite gemstone. It comes in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be set into a multitude of different mounting types for a very eye-catching and individualistic look. Other options to consider are the sapphire, ruby, and emerald. Sapphires come in a spectrum of colors from the more common dark blue to the newly rising salmon-orange Padparadscha sapphire. When paired with a unique shape, such as kite, pear, or oval, this can really put some sparkle into a minimalist style mounting. Both rubies and emeralds are breathtaking when they are adorning a thin diamond band or when paired with a uniquely shaped halo.

Colored gemstone rings in various shapes
Simon G Styles (Left to Right): LR2533, LR2591, LR2119, MR2469-A, LR1120
Sapphire and Diamond ring
Uneek Style: LVS1016OVBS

Whatever center stone and commitment ring setting this unique, savvy consumer chooses, know that it will be a reflection of what is important to their partnership and the embodiment of their partner.

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