40% Of Millennials Would Sell An Engagement Ring (No, Not For Avocado Toast)

Photographed by Megan Madden.
We're just not that into our engagement rings these days, according to a new survey. WP Diamonds found that 37% of millennials would sell their engagement rings to be able to afford other big purchases — a.k.a. buying a house, going back to school, or traveling. Clearly, a glitzy rock on your left hand just doesn't hold the same cachet it used to.
Forbes reported that this spells a shift in attitudes from older generations, of which only 23% of people said they'd sell their rings. This is in line with what we've suspected all along: As a generation, we're less sentimental about our stuff.
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"On the surface, it seems like millennials are competitive, materialistic, and flashy, especially as a result of their tight connection to social media," said 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."
"Materialistic" and "flashy" are certainly traits some millennials (as well as members of other generations) possess, but they don't feel emblematic of this generation. One can also be competitive — and maybe even a little materialistic and flashy! — without being financially irresponsible. So that part of his quote was an eyebrow-raiser. The second part of his statement describes millennials a lot better.
And the proof is in the numbers: This survey also found that in 2016, 55% of millennials sold valuable jewelry to help fund future purchases. Also, 69% said they would consider engagement rings that don't feature the typical white diamond, like styles with colored gemstones. (How can you not? There are so many non-boring styles out there.)
"Millennials are informed; they know what things are worth and they value quality of life above all," Brown said. "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."
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