A kiss on the hand may be quite continental, but diamonds are a girls best friend. So sang the glorious Marilyn Monroe in the classic film ‘Gentleman Prefer Blondes’. But is this still the case in the 21st century. Are we still as enamoured with real bling as we once were? We know there has been a rise in the cost of precious metals like gold and silver, but are the precious rocks still to our taste?
Well, the answer seems to depend on the age of the person asked. Insure4Retirement, a Home and Travel Insurance provider 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. But they also found the figures are much lower as the age of the person asked drops, with young people being more likely to spend their money on travel, experiences and entertainment rather than on expensive pieces of jewellery – even as an investment,
I have to say this really doesn’t surprise me at all. My grandmother had a huge jewellery collection – not quite Elizabeth Taylor but getting there. She loved gem set pieces, the larger the stone the better, and I still wear her diamond engagement ring which is both beautiful and precious. My mother also loves fine jewellery, having inherited most of my nan’s pieces and having built up quite a collection herself from birthdays, Christmas’s and anniversaries. But my feeling towards diamonds is not so strong, I prefer costume pieces, vintage paste jewels picked up from antique fairs and charity shops, and also more contemporary names like Thomas Sabo and Pandora, which, if they use diamonds at all, these are usually small pieces of adornment, rather than the whole pendant of bracelet.
So why are we moving away from that most iconic of stones. I think it is just a matter of times, and styles changing. We seem to like our jewels to be more tasteful, less ostentatious, and there is also an argument to say we want pieces to be subtle enough to wear everyday, without risk of attracting the wrong sort of attention. There is also an argument that the millennial generation has less disposable cash, and so there are more important things to spend it on than diamonds.
What are your thoughts – are diamonds still a girls best friend?