Industry Interview: Jewelry Trends Among Millennials

Millennials (anyone born between 1981 and 1996) are known for their intense desire to express themselves. They have been more publicly criticized than other generations, but they are beginning to infiltrate the workforce and prove that they are capable of making a difference, impacting the world, and bringing new ideas to light.

Millennials are known for appreciating a good deal, and they have definitely become a generation of trendsetters, particularly due to the drive of social media. We asked experts in the jewelry industry about trends they’ve noticed millennials gravitating toward, and just as we expected, they are unique and full of expression in their choice of accessories. Take a look at some of the top jewelry trends that millennials love.

Customized Pieces

Anything customized or personalized is the millennials’ bread and butter. Not only do they want things that are unique and exclusively theirs, but they also want things that they’ve had a hand in creating. When it comes to customized jewelry, millennials love things with inscriptions or engravings, as well as pieces with their choice in metal, gemstone, and artistic details.

Samuel Tang, designer, gemologist, and owner of Joy Creations, had this to say about customized pieces: “[T]he number one trend when it comes to millennials and jewelry [is] custom-designed pieces. The demand for personal meanings and unique pieces that are made for them is fairly high and I believe it will continue to be for the foreseeable future.”

Sources of Materials

Millennials are more eco-conscious than older generations, and they value justice and equality more than most. Due to this, they are far more concerned with the sourcing of the materials used in their jewelry. Laryssa Wirstiuk, the founder and creator of Joy Joya, has noticed how passionate millennials are about knowing where the materials came from. She says, “[Millennials] want transparency, which means they want to know the source of the materials used in the jewelry. In the diamond industry, blockchain is very attractive to millennials, since blockchain can help track the origin of diamonds and ensure they're not blood diamonds. Millennials also want to know that gold is fair-mined or even recycled.”

Stories Behind Jewelry

Because millennials value individuality and personalization, they love to know the story behind the pieces they buy. Jeff Moriarty of Tanzanite Jewelry Designs has been in the industry for over three decades. He says, “In the past few years, we have seen the trend of millennials wanting more of [a] story behind the jewelry. They ask a lot more questions of where it came from, how it was made, [and] how long it took [to be made].” Having a piece of jewelry that has history makes wearing the piece much more exciting, and an intriguing story means millennials are more likely to purchase it (and show it off to their friends and social media followers)..

Value

Everyone appreciates a good deal on goods and services. Millennials are especially conscientious about valuing items, particularly for more expensive items like jewelry. They recognize and want quality pieces that are beautiful, but are also looking for things that won’t cost them an arm and a leg.

Wirstiuk also notes that, “Millennials want to buy jewelry from companies that are mission-driven and that share their values, like sustainability, feminism, inclusivity, etc.” Essentially, millennials will more than likely not support businesses that have differing views or stand for different ideals than them.

Making Old Things New

Trends are known for being popular for a time, fading out for a while, and then coming back in a new but reminiscent-of-the-past kind of way. Millennials are one of the greatest generations at making old things new again, and they’ve brought back a lot of styles and trends over the years, but one of the most substantial is in jewelry with Victorian era designs and styles. Made popular by Queen Victoria in the mid-/late 1800s, this style includes pieces with intricate details and gorgeous gemstones. Because these styles are vintage and extremely unique in nature, they play perfectly into the desire for millennials to be one-of-a-kind trendsetters.

Switching from Cool Metals and Diamonds

The classic silver chain and focus on diamonds will always remain, but it seems that the switch to gold and gemstones is here to stay. While gemstones have long been accents to diamonds, millennials love to see gemstones as the focus of the piece. That said, millennials also still value how gemstones can take a piece from “basic” to extraordinary. Lindsay Bennett, designer and co-founder of Auvere, says, “We are all used to seeing diamonds and colored gemstones front and center while supported by precious metals. These days, in a refreshing change of pace, we are seeing gold take the main stage with diamonds and gemstones performing the supporting role.”

Ring Stacks

One of the biggest trends we see is a love for ring stacks. These stacks may include several thin, dainty rings of one metal type or they may include a variety of rings in different widths, with different gemstone accents, and made from different metals.

Two different industry experts mentioned stackable rings in their observation of the top jewelry trends among millennials. Bennett loves to recommend ring stacks to those looking for a new look or trying to up their jewelry game: “Regardless of whether you are going casual or dressing up, we recommend giving your digits something to show for themselves by stacking up the ring bling. Stacking rings is pretty much like our approach to delicate necklaces: one is nice, but three or more is just right.” Tang says stackable rings have grown in popularity big time over the last two years. He mentions millennials’ love of deals and quality when he says, “[Stackable rings] are less expensive compared to fine jewelry pieces, and people like to mix and match the available varieties.”

Shop Roman Malakov for Top Jewelry Trends

To learn more about what’s trending in jewelry or how you can elevate your current collection, come in to Roman Malakov and shop our incredible selection of pieces. Our staff members are experts in design and customer service, and always stay informed regarding current trends and can help you pick the perfect new piece of jewelry. Contact us today or come in to one of our locations in the Diamond District or on 5th Avenue to shop soon.