There hasn’t been a generation that’s transformed society like the Millennials have since the Baby Boomer generation. Much has been written about the Millennial generation ‘killing’ long-established traditions or concepts like big-label beer and chain-style sit-down restaurant options, but could this generation mean the death of diamonds too? The old cliché states that diamonds are forever, but if Millennials have their say, they won’t be the cornerstone of the jewelry market like they once were.
According to a hedge fund manager diamonds are predicted to continue their slump. That same hedge fund manager took the money they would invest in diamonds and invested it instead in marijuana technology – his hedge fund was the best performing in 2016.
Diamonds are against a two-front attack. They face slumping sales due to both younger generation disinterest and the proliferation of lab-grown stones like Moissanite that cost a fraction of a diamond’s cost. “Diamonds are marketed on the idea that they will forever represent a pinnacle of luxury and materialist desire. Our concern is whether a younger generation of millennials will have the same allegiance to the same products as their parents and grandparents,” said Ben Cleary of Tribeca Global Natural Resources. Diamond prices are expected to fall as much as 10% in the new year.
The fall in price is making some investors pull up their stock in diamonds and head for greener pastures. Popular new investment technologies include the marijuana industry and the market for raw commodities used to manufacture electric vehicles like lithium, cobalt, and copper.
Polished diamonds were statistically one of the worst performing commodities in 2017. Other than the disinterest from the newer generation, diamonds are still struggling against their haunted past which saw many diamonds come from war-torn areas and at the expense of local peoples. Though most major diamond producers now only deal in conflict-free stones, the blood diamond has left a permanent scar on the industry.
According to the recently successful hedge funds, investors will be more successful in 2018 if they pull out of the shrinking diamond industry and put their money in something more popular. Millennials may be killing diamonds, but they’re promoting other industries like the alternative energy in their paths. Will this be the end of diamond engagement rings in Denver and other areas of the country? It’s difficult to know but for now – investors should be smart with their money.