Millennials Spend Less Money on Jewellery Now Compared to Two Decades Ago

How much money would you or do you spend on jewellery?

Although I own a fair amount of jewellery, I don’t spend an awful lot of money on it. I also don’t buy jewellery on a regular basis, and it appears that I’m not alone in this.

According to industry analysts Millennials simply don’t see the value in spending their money on valuables. According to Sarah Berger of, “Millennials gravitate toward spending money on experiences, and not things.” Like myself, todays younger generation are far more likely to spend significant money on travelling to places such as Thailand and Bali than on fine jewellery.

However, just two decades ago spending £5,000 on a piece of jewellery was the norm. Todays Millennials wouldn’t dream of spending such an amount on jewellery.


Home and travel insurance provider, Insure4Retirement, who quote for the over 50s, found that 73% of people who completed a quote and listed jewellery as part of the cover required, owned over £5,000 worth of gems and precious metals. I know that my jewellery would come no near that value.

People who have the largest ‘physical wealth’ are those who have reached retirement age, and they’ve accumulated more than £66,900 in household assets. That’s according to data from the Wealth and Assets Survey 2016 (WAS).

In comparison, the WAS survey shows that those in the 16-24 age group bracket have the lowest ‘physical wealth’.

This isn’t surprising, and whilst some people would argue rightly that this is because the younger generation simply haven’t had time to accumulate physical assets, it’s because Millennials simply don’t yet own a home to fill with stuff. The average age people are now getting on the property ladder is over 30 years old. This is seven years older than the average age back in 1960.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the move towards the younger generation spending a higher percentage of income on experiences isn’t isolated to them. The ONS highlighted that households aged between 65 and 74 are now spending almost 18% of their income on recreational activities, with over 65s spending the highest percentage of their income on package holidays. This could be because of the recent availability of reasonable travel insurance for older people with medical conditions.

It’s also quite fascinating to learn that the generation currently aged 18-36 typically spend 30% of their income on rent, in comparison to the 10% that their grandparents would have spent back in the 1960s. Naturally this leaves the younger generation with less money to spend on luxury possessions such as jewellery as they opt for Instagram-worthy brunch spots in lieu. When you factor in the rising cost of living that eats into UK households budget, it’s no surprise that the jewellery and retail industry are competing unsuccessfully for the attention of our young generation.

Des Kilalea, an analyst from RBD Capital Market says that “Diamond jewellery appears to be low on the buying lists” of today’s youth. It’s certainly worrying for the jewellery industry as Millennial consumers are far-less enamoured by the traditional diamond jewellery than their parents.

50% of all specified items of jewellery are diamond according to Insure4Retirement, whose customer base is predominantly made up of baby-boomers. This means that if the jewellery industry can’t find a way to attract our youth to buy, we can expect to see these figures decrease with each decade, until the once much-coveted diamond becomes yet another icon of a bygone era.  

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