Photo: Courtesy of Meadowlark

If the internet is to be believed, the latest instalment to the list of things millennials have ‘stopped doing’ seems to be: buying diamond engagements rings. Is the nearly-century long tradition finally coming to an end or are we simply seeing greater diversity in preference for stone and ring styles? BAZAAR spoke to Claire Hammon, co-founder and designer of Rihanna and Zoe Kravitz-approved jewellery brand Meadowlarkto find out truth behind this trend, what millennials look for in an engagement ring, and how to shop for the perfect one yourself.

Why do you think coloured gemstone engagement rings have become so popular among millennials?
We are just starting to see this shift and think it could partly be a rejection of traditional values that millennials don’t align with, but also because they spend money on experiences that create beautiful memories instead of diamonds. A coloured gemstone is more affordable than diamonds, they are also more individualistic and can better reflect the personality of the wearer.

Do you think diamonds have lost their appeal?
No, I think diamonds will always be a classic and a very special luxury. We are seeing a move towards grey diamonds as people learn more about how beautiful they are. Ours are reclaimed and each one looks really unique. But we believe that there are no rules when it comes to your ring, so it doesn’t always have to be diamonds.

Are there any gemstones in particular that are more popular at the moment?
We offer our engagement ring styles in black, white and grey diamonds, all of which have been popular long term. We have had a wonderful response to green sapphires, and Morganite has always been consistently popular and is very a pretty alternative to Diamonds. We source other unique stones on request. We are starting to see more and more requests for blue sapphires.

In terms of cut, are traditional styles still popular or are millennials looking for something different?
We are not seeing much shift from traditional stone cuts, it’s really about the form and design around the stones, we tend to add a bit of a non-traditional spin to our Ceremonial styles.

Do you have any advice for those currently shopping for an engagement ring?
Find a brand that aligns with your values, be true to yourself, and choose something you really love and can see yourself wearing for a long time or forever.

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