Same-sex couples' engagement jewellery habits explored

19 Nov 2017

The rise in same-sex marriages since its legalisation in 2014 has impacted the jewellery industry and jewellers are now seeing a shift in engagement ring buying habits

Image: Nick Karvounis via Unsplash

Recent research has found that just 66% of female and 19% of male same-sex couples bought engagement rings to mark a proposal, instead buying substitute gifts such as expensive watches.

In the UK, civil partnership formations have declined by 85% since 2013; this is a result of the introduction of same-sex marriages in March 2014. In the first month of legalisation in the UK, 1,049 same-sex couples wed. 

Angelic Diamonds, retailers of bespoke wedding rings, has analysed the rise of same-sex marriages and how this has affected the jewellery industry. Research from Community Marketing Inc and The Gay Institute demonstrated that while same-sex couples were less likely to buy rings to mark their engagement, rings were then purchased for the wedding ceremony.

When it comes to choosing the wedding ring, some jewellers now offer metal that has multi-coloured features to it - representative of the flag that the LGBTQ community associate themselves with. One jeweller reported that often same-sex couples don’t request matching jewellery but instead want rings that have matching components, such as the same coloured metal or a similar stone.

Studies have shown that more gay couples choose to do their shopping online, as they found shopping in store for rings to be an awkward encounter. However, many businesses have sought to change perceptions of the engagement ring buying process by representing gay couples in their advertising campaigns and welcoming couples to their store.

Angelic Diamonds is now reporting a rise in same-sex couples visiting the Northumberland store. Neil Dutta, owner of Angelic Diamonds, comments: “Here at Angelic Diamonds we are seeing an increase in gay and lesbian couples buying engagement rings and wedding rings from us. We expect this trend to continue and the industry as a whole is seeing an increase in this market.”

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