How Are Natural Diamonds Perceived by Millennials?


They say the more things change the more they remain the same. Consider the allure of billion-year-old diamonds and generational attitudes to these fruits of the deep earth.

Over the past 137 years that natural diamonds have been mined by De Beers, consumers have held wide ranging perceptions about these precious gems. From associating high romance with a diamond ring proposal to appreciating them for their cinematic glamour to celebrating legendary achievements, successive generations of women have had a rich love affair with their diamonds.

The Baby Boomer generation has handed down their ‘forever’ rocks and Gen X has taken charge of keeping them safe as heirlooms, occasionally releasing them from their vaults for a day out in the sun. The Millennials, however, have a whole other relationship with diamonds. They are convinced about diamonds as an asset class and don’t mind paying a premium for a reputable brand. But they are also not shy of wearing them everyday, switching up their look from work to after-work, wearing power pieces in the office to assert their position and making elegant statements at socials about their worth.

Millennials are a generation born between the years 1981 to 1996. Presently between 28 and 43 years of age, they are an interesting consuming class displaying layered behaviours prior to making luxury purchases. They prize authenticity and planet-friendly brands but also like to express themselves and have fun.

We find them ‘woke’ on social media, careful about consumption, heavily into experiences rather than things, more concerned about value and meaning than other consuming classes. Yet the Indian natural diamond market is practically owned by them! As per the Diamond Acquisition Study (DAS) in 2023, 76% of the market value is commanded by Millennials and Gen Zs. One of the key insights leading this trend is that a majority of buyers agree that diamond jewellery makes them feel strong.

As millennials navigate uncertainties and external forces that threaten to weaken, it is reassuring to draw strength and courage from jewellery that has stood the test of time. This also explains the inclination for self-purchase and self-rewarding. As a famously self-loving generation, the independent and empowered millennial woman is not waiting to be gifted diamonds when she shines. 61% of non-wedding diamonds are self-purchased! So how does one ensure brand relevance for this discerning demographic?

Focus on the everyday designs. Make them wearable, international and chic. Much like the De Beers Forevermark Icon collection, inspired by the globally recognised icon, originally designed to marry the romance and brilliance of a starry South African night sky combined with the outline of a diamond. This collection has everything from classic studs and pendants to even long bar earrings and cufflinks.

For something a little more crafted, millennials may consider the De Beers Forevermark Setting Collection. The Forevermark Setting Tennis Necklace is a clear and contemporary favourite in this collection.

In essence, millennials present a unique challenge and opportunity in the diamond market.  They’re a generation seeking both timeless elegance and bold individuality. For them, diamonds are an investment, a social statement, and a source of personal power.  The key for diamond brands lies in understanding these nuances by offering ethically sourced gems, creating designs that are both classic and fashion-forward, and empowering millennials to tell their own stories through the brilliance of natural diamonds.