How to Shop for an Engagement Ring Like a Millennial

We don’t know if you’ve heard, but the millennial generation has been switching some things up. It’s given us some hilarious headlines like “Millennials Are Ditching Golf Because It’s Too Hard and Boring” and “Millennials …


We don’t know if you’ve heard, but the millennial generation has been switching some things up. It’s given us some hilarious headlines like “Millennials Are Ditching Golf Because It’s Too Hard and Boring” and “Millennials Don’t Know What Fabric Softener Is For.”

Millennials just aren’t buying the same nonsense that previous generations have, and it’s causing people to lose their minds. Millennials are buying engagement rings (even if at a later point in life), but, as you might have guessed, they’re doing it a little differently from those who came before.

Millennials Are Letting “Three Months’ Salary” Go by the Wayside

And, honestly, we’re all the better for it. Want to shop like an engagement ring for a millennial? Don’t go into soul-crushing debt to do it. Edgy take, we know. Seriously, with so many choices of affordable engagement rings out there, why would you spend an unholy amount of money that you can’t afford? Maybe the idea of retiring debt-free before age 87 sounds appealing.

When Millennials Do Spend Money, They Go Custom

A facet of the millennial generation that’s often jabbed at by older generations is the idea that millennials like unique, one-of-one experiences. That idea also makes its way into millennial ring shopping. Walking into a department store and heading to the ring counter just doesn’t appeal to millennials to the same degree it did to previous generations. They’re shopping a wider selection of options and looking for a unique ring that really fits them (literally and figuratively).

In fairness, that custom mentality doesn’t just stop at rings. Millennials have been leaning toward more specific and elaborate proposals that speak directly to the relationship (more on this later). The nice restaurant proposal is great, but millennials are feeling it to be a little played out.

Millennials Care About the Ethics of Their Rings

We’re not suggesting previous generations were pro-conflict diamonds, obviously. That being said, millennials are more deliberately seeking out conflict-free options. Where previous generations may have been less interested or simply less aware, millennials are putting ethically sourced stones at the top of their priority list when shopping for engagement rings.

Millennials Don’t Need to Go into Ring Shops

What can’t you buy online these days anyway? Again, millennials are shopping for a more extensive variety of options from the comfort of their home. Not only is it more convenient, but they also get a greater sense of the number of options out there when it comes to engagement rings. Getting a ring sizer sent to your home and then shopping online is the millennial version of engagement ring hunting. This doesn’t just apply to rings, either. More and more brides are getting their bridal jewelry online as well.

The Styles Are Changing for Millennials

While the classic engagement ring cuts will never go out of style, millennials are looking more into new cuts and stones than previous generations. Non-diamond options are becoming much more normal, and even the diamond options don’t always feature that singular, prominent rock.

Unique colors are becoming more popular, while golds and white golds are seeing a decrease in popularity among millennial ring-buyers. Beyond unique colors, some millennials are opting for a much more minimalistic approach to the engagement ring. Some are even just going with simple bands without much in the way of the ornate designs or stones that characterize the classic engagement ring.

Millennials Sometimes Add a Third Ring

While not the norm, millennials seem to be leaning more toward promise rings as the de facto starter circle. It’s a step before engagement but after some serious dating. It’s a step above the whole going steady or wearing someone’s pin/letterman jacket/etc. of the past but not as serious as an engagement ring.

Guys Aren’t the Only Ones Proposing Marriage

Sure, millennials haven’t flipped the status quo on its head here. Men are still much more likely to propose than women but much less likely than ever before. Millennial women are starting to purchase more engagement rings (and we assume starting to propose more as well) than ever before.

Millennials Emphasize Partnership

Whereas most ring shopping previously was done with only one party knowing, millennials are more likely to shop for rings together. If nothing else, millennials are more likely to be upfront about cost and other details of the ring and make an informed, equal monetary decision. As much as it’s nice to get a big ol’ rock on your finger, being swamped with debt to start a marriage isn’t as sweet.

Proposals Are Becoming a Bigger Ordeal

Yes, proposals were obviously always nerve-racking and thought out (at least mostly), but millennials are even one-upping this. With photographers, high-level coordination and even proposal planners (seriously, that’s a real profession), millennials are really going to the moon in terms of proposal complexity. While that all sounds like a lot (and is), the photographer/videographer hidden nearby, ready to capture the moment, is a great idea.

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