On average, couples get engaged after 3.25 years of dating. But now, three years after the pandemic started, America is experiencing an “engagement gap”. Because fewer people started new relationships during the pandemic, fewer couples are getting engaged today.
According to the largest jeweler in the US, Signet Jewelers (SIG), sales of engagement rings are down dramatically since the pandemic — and the engagement gap is just one of the industry’s struggles.
While older generations were content to spend three months’ salary on an engagement ring, this tradition doesn’t appear to resonate as much with younger generations. In fact, 66% of millennials hope to spend less than $2,500 on a diamond ring.
This is part of the reason many are showing a preference for lab-grown diamonds today. These artificial jewels tend to be at least half the price of the real deal. Additionally, lab-grown diamonds are generally considered more ethically-sourced than natural diamonds, a potential draw for those looking to reduce environmental impact.
Thanks to today’s technology, lab-grown diamonds are chemically, physically, and optically identical to real diamonds. This, combined with the cheaper price tag, may be why sales of lab-grown stones surged 73% in May 2022. Sales of natural diamonds fell 14.9% that month.
As members of the younger generations start to get engaged, lab-grown diamonds could very well become the new norm.
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