The following article was previously published by National Jeweler magazine:
The holidays are currently in full swing and, according to reports from the retail counter, that means engagement season is, too. While most retailers are making sure to keep a healthy stock of bridal hit-makers on hand, including much-requested vintage-inspired rings, a greater-than-usual number of jewelers might be stocking up on a burgeoning bridal category: color.
Princess-to-be Kate Middleton and pop star Jessica Simpson are among the latest news-makers to say "yes" to gemstone engagement rings, with Middleton sporting the sapphire ring previously worn by Princess Diana and Simpson flashing rubies on her ring finger. It's likely that this is just the beginning of continuing news about colorful engagements.
According to industry analysts, Millenials—the nation's generation of 20-something adults—strive for the unique. While engagement-minded girls rushing out for replica Kate rings may not make for "unique," the beauty of colored gems means that there is a wide breadth of options available to brides seeking diamond alternatives.
From the "big three"—ruby, sapphire and emerald—to lesser-known, yet equally breathtaking stones—think blue-violet tanzanite and hot pink tourmaline—colored gemstones tout a unique lore all their own. Just look at emeralds, for example, which are associated with love, domestic bliss and loyalty.
Another consideration? A full spectrum of price points, including a robust offering of entry-level options.