nationaljeweler– New York—Platinum Guild International USA wants to know: What is (modern) love?
A recent study fielded by 360 Market Reach on behalf of the organization asked 1,000 fine jewelry buyers this open-ended question in September.
Across demographics, participants had largely positive connotations with the term “modern love,” and two clear themes emerged from their answers.
Modern love symbolizes inclusiveness and equality, and it adheres to the timeless nature of true love.
For many respondents, love in the modern age is best reflected in the mantra taken up by many—“love is love.”
Almost half of survey-takers feel love doesn’t discriminate when it comes to sexual preference, gender or ethnicity but is, rather, “an equal, shared partnership between two people.”
Fifty-one percent of Gen Zers agreed with the sentiment, followed by 49 percent of millennials, 46 percent of baby boomers, and 38 percent of Gen Xers.
Interestingly, 53 percent of both Gen Z and baby boomers feel that a modern relationship does not follow traditional gender roles or expectations. Forty-eight percent of millennials and 45 percent of Gen X felt the same.
To support these consumer beliefs, jewelry advertising and social media should aim to be both inclusive and timeless, PGI advised, featuring, for example, same-sex and multiracial couples.
The survey results also showed that 47 percent of baby boomers feel modern love doesn’t require a couple be married to show a lifelong commitment, as opposed to 37 percent of Gen Xers, millennials and Gen Zers.
And only 16 percent of both millennial and Gen X survey-takers and 11 percent of both Gen Zers and baby boomers indicated they think modern love has to include more traditional symbols of commitment like engagement rings and wedding bands.
For those who did think an engagement ring is a must-have, the survey asked them about their preferences.
The main point of consistency among those consumers is a natural diamond for the main stone; 65 percent of survey-takers said they wanted one, versus the 6 percent who indicated they wanted lab-grown diamonds.
For metals, 27 percent indicated they prefer white gold, followed by 24 percent for yellow gold, 21 percent for platinum, and 12 percent for rose gold.
When narrowing down the respondents’ pool to millennial and Gen Z women only, the number who prefer a lab-grown diamond increases slightly. Sixty-three percent indicated they’d prefer a natural diamond, versus 9 percent who want a lab-grown diamond.
Among that same group, metal preferences broke down to 38 percent for white gold, 22 percent for rose gold, 12 percent for platinum, and 10 percent for yellow gold.
The PGI/360 Market Reach survey also asked those who were already engaged or married, or indicated they were getting engaged soon, about their “wish list” for resources to help with the buying process. Diamond buying and cost guides were the most universally selected choices.
Younger generations are also interested in information about ring sizing, questions to ask before buying, and how to make sure they’re picking a ring their partner will love.
The survey also asked those who indicated they had purchased fine jewelry within the past two years who they bought for, and 59 percent said it was for a significant other or spouse.
Fifty percent also said they had purchased a piece for themselves, though the breakdown shows that number jumps to 63 percent for just Gen Z, 49 percent for millennials, 47 percent for Gen X, and 44 percent for baby boomers.
Forty-three percent of fine jewelry buyers said the inspiration for their purchase came from looking on jewelry retailers’ websites.
This was followed by visiting jewelry stores (41 percent), websites for stores that sell jewelry and other items (39 percent), going to a store that sells jewelry and other items (33 percent), and visiting websites for high-end/designer brands (30 percent).