30th January 2019
Diamonds are no longer for after dark, the new way to wear them is every day.
Diamonds, including diamond watches, are not for the daytime. You may only frost yourself after dusk, when the stones add lustre and twinkle to a woman’s eyes. Engagement rings are clearly exempt. And if you are so honkingly rich that you own a diamond hair clip, then we salute you and you may chuck it on whenever you like.” This piece of style advice from Tatler from 2015 seems laughable now. In just three short years, it feels outmoded, stuffy and just a bit ridiculous.
If 2018 symbolised anything, it was the year diamonds came out of the jewellery box and into the light. If you want an indicator of the zeitgeist then take a look at Tiffany & Co’s latest advertising campaign. There’s Elle Fanning dancing around the streets of New York to a hip-hop inspired version of Moon River wearing a hoodie in that unmistakable shade of blue.
The jewellery she is wearing is platinum and diamond with a starting price of just over £2,500. While it is statistically unlikely that most 20 year olds will have a spare £2,500 sitting in their bank account to spend on jewellery, Tiffany is acknowledging that more women are choosing diamonds for their everyday pieces rather than saving them for best.
And it’s all down to a subtle shift in who is buying jewellery for whom. For the average woman, by which we mean one without access to a trust fund or the family jewels, diamonds, thanks to De Beers, meant engagement. It was generally speaking, the first, and for some the only, time when that particular precious stone would have been given to them.
Fast forward a few decades and, as Anne Fulenwider, editor-in-chief of US Marie Claire says in De Beer’s 2017 Diamond Insight report: “Today nearly half the workforce is comprised of women… Do you know what that means? That means women aren’t waiting around for men to give them little boxes! They’re buying them for themselves. And they are wearing those statement pieces and handbags and shoes like the Olympic medals that they are. They’ve been earned. And when you earn something, you prize it, you delight in it, you savour it.” And there are the stats to prove it.
MARILYN DIDN’T SING ABOUT SAPPHIRES BEING A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND, DID SHE?
The De Beers Diamond Insight Report found that 73 per cent of the overall diamond jewellery market came from non-bridal pieces, with 23 per cent of that being from women self-purchasing. While according to Forbes, the team at Lyst, the world’s largest fashion search platform, found that whether as a result of greater economic empowerment, the temptations of online shopping or the power of social media, it has seen “the percentage of women compared to men on Lyst who purchase women’s jewellery increase 14 per cent from 2016 to 2017,” explains Sarah Tanner, Lyst’s US public relations director.
Granted it still doesn’t topple gift buying but it proves that there is a significant number of women who are buying for themselves and buying diamonds. But why diamonds specifically? Well, for all the reasons diamonds made for popular engagement ring stones – they are incredibly hard wearing, don’t depreciate in value and, if we’re honest, have an allure that you just don’t get from a coloured stone. Marilyn didn’t sing about sapphires being a girl’s best friend, did she? Self-purchasing is also booming because, as the age of marriage rises and also ceases to be a significant milestone in a lot of women’s lives, other occasions take precedent.
“So the traditional emphasis on a series of linear life ‘milestones’ – including graduation, engagement and anniversaries – is evolving to incorporate what might be called ‘multiple moments,” as the De Beers report explains. That means new jobs, new flats, promotions or even “I’ve had a dreadful week and need cheering up” are all occasions when women might consider splashing out on something sparkly.
Catering to that is the rise of demi-fine jewellery, which further compounds the notion that diamonds are for every day. This is a specific category that sits in between silver and fine with prices that are typically around the £300 mark made from precious stones and metals but not in the quantity that would push it up into the realms of fine. And you can’t dismiss the influence of the likes of Maria Tash, the US-based jewellery designer and piercer who has made her name by adorning the ears, septums and navels of the A-list (and mere mortals through her London, Rome and New York salons) with delicate gold and diamond designs that can cost as much as a grand, rather than the bar bells and studs reminiscent of 1990s piercings.
As Tash said in an interview with the Telegraph: “There are centuries of precedence in other cultures for beautiful jewellery being worn all around the ear. Now we have developed the tiny and durable jewellery to match our taste in beauty, and co-exist with our modern active lifestyles.”
Which is the key to this new way of wearing diamonds. Gone are the full collars and ear-lobe stretchers of yore and in their places are delicate, beautiful pieces created to ensure that whatever your budget or your lifestyle you can always wear something that sparkles.
Step into a world of Diamonds & Thrills at www.rox.co.uk, or visit your local ROX boutique.
NEW DIAMOND THINKING
Want to splash out on something sparkly, here’s some of the best demi-fine pieces available at ROX now.
There’s no escaping the beauty of an impeccably crafted right hand ring when it comes to adding a touch of sparkle to your everyday routine. Dazzling diamonds are all right with this ROX cocktail ring.
69325 | £2,800