Millennials More Likely to Sell Engagement Rings, Survey Says

Millennials are more willing to sell their engagement rings than baby boomers, according to a survey from second-hand diamond buyer WP Diamonds.

The poll found that 40 percent of millennials would be willing to hock their engagement rings to fund a life-changing decision, such as travel, education, or a home. Baby boomers were a little more reluctant—only 23 percent said were willing to pawn their rings to fund a major purchase, it said.

The survey did not tally Gen Xers.

When asked if they would be willing to sell their engagement ring after or during a divorce, the numbers were basically identical. Sixty-four percent of millennials said they would, as opposed to 61.1 percent of baby boomers.

Millennials were also more willing to upgrade their rings; some 48.2 percent endorsed the concept, versus 32.8 percent of baby boomers.

(Image from Wikipedia)

JCK News Director


  • Bob Brucker

    I can assure you sir, none of our customers over the last 45 years would “hock” the jewelry we made them.

  • Cay

    Rob, do you have any further details on the poll quoted here? How many Millennials and Boomers were surveyed, how many of them were or are currently married, and how unbiased is a poll about selling preowned diamonds when it’s conducted by a company with a vested interest in the concept?

    I’m certainly not in the least offended by the concept of selling off meaningful jewelry in the face of other expenses (such is the reality of the times). However, I don’t see a correlation between those willing to sell during the marriage or those willing or wanting to upgrade, and those in a divorce situation — these are by definition not a possible part of the same polling group.

    • Rob_Bates

      Thanks for the comment. I don’t have those details, but I can ask. I don’t doubt these stats but yes, as you point out (and we do as well) the company has a vested interest here.

  • savychic

    Because when you finally realize you can’t recycle the man, you can always recycle the ring and move on!

  • Sandy Wieman-Morrow

    Interesting. We need the romance back to our industry for the men. Men need to see the value in getting her a ring she is proud to show off and he is proud he bought her.
    Upgrades should be a happy moment for the couple. If they start with a small diamond upgrading is exciting.
    Something he will be proud to say “I love her this much”

  • JT Curtiss

    Here’s a morsel to chew on…in more than 40 years buying/selling/pawning fine jewelry I have found that customers with more money/assets are more willing to part with them whether outright or for temporary funding of some pressing need. And yes indeed those with substantial physical assets (possessions like jewelry) do have cash-flow situations and have no qualms about using them as collateral, or to part with them entirely, knowing they can replace them later on. I apprenticed with a third-generation gemologist/pawnbroker who routinely did business with Palm Beach folks with famous names, fancy homes, and some very impressive designer jewelry…and have done quite a bit of that myself; that is the primary source of some of the best estate jewelry and auctions we all love. So to pretentious jewelers, I can assure them that their customers would and do sell and pawn that stuff, because it is just stuff, albeit nice stuff.

    I can’t say that I have seen that much of a generational difference in terms of likelihood of using secondary purchasers of their jewelry, but those with fewer and less valuable jewelry items actually tend to be more reluctant and possessive of their items and when they use them for a temporary cash crunch are also more likely to exercise the option to repurchase (a pawn is just a purchase with the option to repurchase, in my store if I pay $1000 for a ring the seller can pay $1100 to buy it back or optionally decide not to, no requirement or credit impact either way, in which case I will add it to my inventory along with other articles bought either wholesale from suppliers or across the counter from individuals. Marriage diamonds do tend to be repurchased by the customer more often, unless as Rob references the marriage is no more in which case they just want to get a competitive offer…which I advise them to do, and even use outfits like the source of this story to make offers which I most often can beat.

    The practice of utilizing chattel assets and expendable possessions as a funding source is centuries old, and it is simultaneously irritating, funny, and ironic that the terms hock or pawn are used derisively by people and companies who often drastically inflate the prices they charge their customers at retail for their “creations” and then low-ball them when the customers want to sell the items back…I’ve made a good living off of snooty jewelers for years when sellers realize they are treated most fairly by the pawnbroker or estate jeweler that the three-piece suit jewelers attempt to denigrate…most often out of jealousy and fear in my experience. 🙂

  • Lapidary Artist

    JT is right, at the end of the day it’s “just stuff”, and money comes before romance.

    • JT Curtiss

      Those (buyers or sellers) who conflate real love and romance with stuff and money are in peril of buying their own sales pitch. The latter are important symbols -but just symbols- of true human connection and emotion.

  • JT Curtiss

    So one wonders what in that comment triggered the censor’s knife, and further to what degree what we see is a sanitized and protectionist version of reality, much like with more mainstream media?

    And those who conflate actual love and romance with stuff and money are in peril of buying their own sales pitch. The latter are important symbols but just symbols of real human connection and emotion.