Although the advent of wearable technology has shaken up what it means to accessorize — think Google Glass or the Apple Watch — fine jewelry is still revered amongst women and men. In any given year, research shows that 38 million Americans will buy fine jewelry or watches. And unlike the latest gadget, fine jewelry often symbolizes more than one’s disposable income. Heirloom pieces that are passed down from generation to generation represent a family’s legacy, and are typically bestowed from a mother or grandmother to a younger female family member.
More than heirloom pieces, many would argue that bridal jewelry (such as engagement and wedding rings) is the most revered kind of fine jewelry, since it symbolizes a couple’s union and their lifelong commitment to each other. Amongst various trends that come and go, diamonds still reign as the most popular gemstone for both engagement and wedding jewelry; 75% of American brides receive engagement rings made out from gold and diamonds. However, 52% of brides say they would wear a colored stone in their engagement ring, a la Halle Berry or Jessica Simpson. This receptiveness is not uncommon for the millennial age demographic, which is more progressive and open to what is out of the norm compared to their elders.
Interested in more fine jewelry facts related to tying the knot? These facts ‘ring true’ to this day:
Did you know? The tradition of giving fiancee engagement rings was introduced by Maximilian of Austria in 1477. He gave his soon-to-be wife Mary of Burgundy masterfully crafted ring as a promise of marriage. It’s unclear how much he spent on it, though.
While it’s not certain how much Maximilian of Austria spent, it’s true that nearly a third of those buying diamond jewelry in the 21st century are willing to spend more than $1,000. Despite rising financial burdens across the board that are affecting millennials in particular, NationalJeweler.com reports that “While spending on jewelry and watches is expected to drop, affluent millennials are expected to really step up their spending this year…the generation’s purchasing of fine jewelry could increase by as much as 22 percent in 2016, while spending on watches could rise by 10 percent.”
Interestingly, prospective fiancees are increasingly becoming tipped off to their significant others’ plans. It’s been reported that now, 61% of guys consult with their girlfriend before purchasing an engagement ring. The reason for this notable number, though, is hard to pinpoint why. Perhaps more men want to ensure that the ring size is correct, or that the ring reflects the woman’s taste and lifestyle the first time around rather than return the jewelry purchase. Do you think there is a specific reason? Share it in the comments below!