New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker received quite a bit of attention after Sunday’s 28-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC championship game for dropped balls, but garnered more attention when his wife took a few shots at Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.Welker’s wife, Anne Burns Welker, immediately lashed out at Lewis for reasons unknown through her Facebook page.“Proud of my husband and the Pats,” Burns Welker wrote. “By the way, if anyone is bored, please go to Ray Lewis’ Wikipedia page. 6 kids 4 wives. Acquitted for murder. Paid a family off. Yay. What a hall of fame player! A true role model!” Burns Welker said on her personal Facebook page, which those comments have since been removed.Burns Welker quickly released an apology to sports blog Larry Brown Sports on Monday.“I’m deeply sorry for my recent post on Facebook,” Burns Welker wrote. “I let the competitiveness of the game and the comments people were making about a team I dearly love get the best of me. My actions were emotional and irrational and I sincerely apologize to Ray Lewis and anyone affected by my comment after yesterday’s game.”Wes Welker was the Patriots top receiver in Sunday’s loss with 117 yards and a touchdown, but with Patriots season ending Sunday, he may have played his last game in a New England uniform. Welker is set to become a free agent in the offseason after neither side could reach a long-term deal before the season began.Last year, Welker was on the receiving end of scrutiny from Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele. She blamed Welker for dropping a key pass in the Super Bowl loss to the Giants.Lewis led all players in Sunday’s game with 14 tackles and helped propel his team to the Super Bowl to face the San Francisco 49ers in two weeks. The future Hall of Famer announced several weeks ago that he would be retiring at the end of the season after 17 seasons in the league.
When I was a kid, I hated the Pittsburgh Steelers. I still do to a certain extent. They always seem to beat the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns, sometimes in the most heartbreaking ways imaginable. I remember when Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger came very close to losing his own life in June of 2006 when he was involved in an ugly motorcycle accident. Luckily, Roethlisberger survived the crash, but I was not about to send my condolences to the quarterback of the Steelers. I was mad that he didn’t die that day. I thought with Roethlisberger out of the picture, maybe the Bengals and the Browns could finally break through and win a championship. I realize now that comments such as those are insensitive. Wishing death upon someone is cold and heartless. I could use the “excuse” that I was young and didn’t know any better, but, nevertheless, I accept the fact that I used a very poor choice of words. Apparently, I’m not the only one who wishes death to well-known athletes. Last weekend, Scott Torgerson, host of the popular sports talk radio show “Common Man and the Torg” here in Columbus, made a similar comment. Torgerson, who professes his Buckeye fandom on a daily basis, along with his extreme distaste for everything involving the Michigan Wolverines, tweeted this about former Heisman trophy winner and current ESPN college football analyst Desmond Howard: “I wish Desmond Howard would get fired or die so I can watch Gameday again.” Now, I know that Ohioans, fans of the Scarlet and Gray, are bred to hate that School up North. Lord knows that image of Howard striking the Heisman pose against the Buckeyes makes any Ohio State fan cringe. However, there is a fine line between being passionate and letting that passion overtake you. That is what happened to Torgerson. He deleted the tweet and apologized for his comment, tweeting, “My Desmond Howard tweet was a joke. I think if you listen to the show you know that. My apologies to those who took it seriously. Total Joke.” My question to Torgerson is this: How is wishing someone would die a joke? I recently went to the funeral of the brother of one of my best friends from high school. Believe me, death is no laughing matter. Since this infamous tweet, Torgerson has been suspended from the airwaves indefinitely. The lesson to take from this is do not let your fandom cloud your overall judgment as a human being. There is more to life than spending every waking moment hating someone just because they beat your favorite team. I learned this lesson when I was young. Unfortunately, there are some people in this world like Torgerson who didn’t get the message until it was too late. Think before you say it. Think before you tweet it. Think before it is too late to fix.
OSU coach Urban Meyer talks on the sidelines during a game against Illinois Nov. 16 at Memorial Stadium. OSU won, 60-35. Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editorOhio State football coach Urban Meyer is not ready to talk about his team’s national championship chances.Meyer sidestepped yet another question about what the rest of the country thinks about his team, and if the fact that the last two times OSU (10-0, 6-0) played for the national championship (2007, 2008) has crossed his mind. Instead, he elected to talk about how running backs redshirt-freshman Warren Ball and freshman Ezekiel Elliott need to get better at tackling to help the punt team.“Ezekiel on our punt team, I have to teach him how to tackle. Warren Ball is running down on kickoff,” Meyer said, to chuckles from the media. “He hasn’t done that in his high school career. We’re going to work hard on that in practice. Any other questions about Warren Ball’s coverage?”One thing Meyer did comment on was the Bowl Championship Series, which is in its final year of selecting the two teams who play for the national title.“Without spending much time on it, because it’s not fair for our team to do that, I will say this: I think it’s a flawed system,” Meyer said. “When you logically think about it, what the BCS people have done, which obviously we’re all part of it, I think it was great for a while.”The Buckeyes are ranked No. 3 in the BCS for the second week in row, but sits a mere .0013 points ahead of No. 4 Baylor after beating Illinois 60-35 in Champaign, Ill. A college football playoff will be implemented next season, with a selection committee choosing four of the nation’s top teams to play in a round of semifinals before the winners meet in the national title game.“I think (the BCS) took an imperfect system and did the best you can without a playoff,” Meyer said. “There’s going to be controversy in playoffs, too…There’s not a 64-team playoff. You’re going to have four guys. What is that fifth team going to feel like?”Baylor defeated Texas Tech, 63-34, Saturday, which catapulted them ahead of OSU in the AP rankings. Although the Buckeyes defeated Illinois by nearly the same margin, the Illini made things interesting in the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to 12 with just under nine minutes to go.Meyer was not pleased with his coaching performance in the win, giving himself a “C.”“I was worried about too many other things,” Meyer said. “I can promise you, we’re going to coach better this week.”Meyer and the Buckeyes are set to take on Indiana (4-6, 2-4) in the final home game of the season Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at Ohio Stadium.
Sophomore forward Nick Schilkey (37) controls the puck during a game against Minnesota on March 6 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 4-2.Credit: Kaley Rentz / Lantern reporterThe Ohio State men’s hockey team arrived at the Big Ten Tournament confident and motivated.The Buckeyes (14-19-3, 8-11-1) turned that into a 3-1 win against Penn State in the Big Ten quarterfinals, but couldn’t make it pass the semis. OSU’s confidence and motivation wasn’t quite enough, as the Buckeyes lost to No. 13 Minnesota, 3-0, to end their season Friday evening.Even though the Buckeyes didn’t make the championship game, coach Steve Rohlik had a positive outlook on the losing season. While he said he was proud of the team as a whole, Rohlik stressed the importance of the Buckeyes’ upperclassmen.“I’m even prouder of our eight seniors,” he said. “What they’ve done for our program, they’ve sent this program in the right direction. So, obviously I thank them.”Senior assistant captain forward Matt Johnson said even though the end result was disappointing, he was proud of his teammates’ desire to end the season confident and unified.“We really found our identity and started to roll with it,” Johnson said. “Going off of last year, we were very confident, just like this year, we beat every team in the conference. There was nobody we didn’t think we could beat.”Moving forward, the Buckeyes will be without eight seniors, who have seen the program transition from the hiring of a new head coach and a change of conference to the Big Ten from the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.“It’s really an incredible group,” Rohlik said. “They’re the ones that have been a big part of where this culture is and where it’s going. Their leadership pulled us along over the last couple months. They’re a big part of why we had a chance.”For Johnson and senior captain forward Tanner Fritz, the final game was emotional, but the two said they are excited for the program’s future.“I see the program going, obviously, in the right direction,” Johnson said. “We do everything right here. We do it the right way. We have the great staff. To me, you just can’t get a better program.”“We’re always pushing to get better, and I know they’re going to do that in the following years,” Fritz added. “The only way to go is up from here.”Next year, the Buckeyes will look toward a new group of upperclassmen to lead them in the right direction.OSU has three key players returning in captain Sam Jardine, leading goalscorer Anthony Greco and 6-foot-5-inch defenseman Craig Dalrymple. Beyond that trio, forward Nick Schilkey, defenseman Josh Healey and goaltenders Christian Frey and Matt Tomkins are all set to be back for another season as well.But regardless of the players, Rohlik said the team’s progression starts with the coach.“I mean, first and foremost, I’m going to have to take some time to reflect on myself because it starts with me,” Rohlik said. “I’ve got to be better.”With the return of a solid foundation, Rohlik said he is eager for the Buckeyes to come out with swagger, determination and success in the Big Ten next year.“The one thing that I want is to let people know we’re going to show up every night,” Rohlik said. “We’re going to come at you and play hard and our guys are going to leave it on the line. That’s our identity and that’s what we try to leave here today.”
OSU redshirt freshman Mike Weber (25) scores the Buckeyes’ first offensive touchdown of the day during the second half of the Buckeyes’ 30-27 overtime win against Michigan on Nov. 26. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorRedshirt sophomore running back Mike Weber has a lot to learn. However, after only one season as the featured tailback, Weber has been deemed the leader of the young Ohio State backfield. With big shoes to fill after running back Ezekiel Elliott declared for the NFL draft, Weber excelled in 2016 winning the Thompson-Randle El Big Ten Freshman of the Year. The Detroit native rushed for a team-high 1,096 yards with nine rushing touchdowns. Even with all of the success last season, Weber is not taking that for granted. “I try to put it past me and work as hard as I can to do better, reach more goals that I set for this year,” Weber said. OSU running backs coach Tony Alford said that he has seen a change in Weber’s approach to his body, on and off the football field, as well as his approach as a leader in the locker room to the younger running backs. Alford said that maturity and accountability comes with experience. “He’s growing up, and I’ve said that. And every time, there’s a little bit more growth process going on,” Alford said. “He’s much better pro now than what he was as far as how he’s handling his business.”Weber said that he has seen improvement in his ability to slow the game down a bit, watching the wide receivers and the tight ends and knowing what they will be doing. This increased knowledge, according to Alford, is the next step that the premier back needs to take. “That’s the biggest thing for guys like Mike (Weber) is we know you know, you’ve done it before,” Alford said. “Now it’s time to perfect it and challenge yourself on every small little detail on what’s going on.”One of the challenges Weber is facing is coming back from the rough end of the 2016 season. In the final two games of the 2016 season, a 30-27 double-overtime win over Michigan and a 31-0 Fiesta Bowl loss to Clemson, he combined for 50 rushing yards on 16 carries with only one touchdown run. The sting, especially from the loss to the Tigers, has not quite gone away from Weber. “I’m still getting over it actually,” Weber said. “I know we have to put it past us. I use it as fuel and I think we all do, on our team. I’ll tell you what, that bad taste won’t get out of our mouth until we play the first game.”Even if Weber is focused more on what is happening on the football field, Alford views him as a leader and an example to the younger backs on the roster, such as freshman running back JK Dobbins. “You are talking about a guy who has done it, done it at a very high level and he’s done it at a pretty good rate of speed,” Alford said. “JK (Dobbins) can learn from him by just standing with him, the same way Mike (Weber) learned from standing next to ‘Zeke.’”
Forward Jae’Sean Tate attempts a lay-up in the Buckeyes’ 80-55 win over Northeastern on Sunday. Credit: Jacob Myers | Managing Editor for ContentOhio State’s lineup has held a size advantage over every opponent played through its first three games.But against Northeastern, the Buckeyes found themselves in an unfamiliar position. They were the shorter team. Position-by-position, there was not a single Buckeye-starter taller than the Huskie-starters, and only at one position was the size equal.It didn’t seem to matter, though. For its fourth-straight game, Ohio State dominated the interior, out-rebounding Northeastern 38-29 and vastly out-producing the Huskies in the paint, holding an advantage of 48-26 in points in the paint. Northeastern head coach Bill Coen said while his team held the advantage in height over the Buckeyes, it was the girth and tenacity of the Buckeyes that proved the difference-maker.“They got some wide-bodies and they can carve out space in and around the basket and it’s hard to move them out once they gain position,” Coen said after the game. “You look at a guy like Charles Barkley, he’s not 7-foot, but he could rebound because he’s got a low center of gravity and he can wedge in there and create space for himself. They’ve got some tough body types, the matchup too. I think really good physical strength and they were able to hold their position and game position.”The weight advantage did not extend to every player the Buckeyes had, however. Center Micah Potter and guards Musa Jallow and C.J. Jackson did not hold a size advantage over their counterparts.However, Ohio State’s top-rebounders, forwards Jae’Sean Tate and Keita Bates-Diop, both came in with significant weight advantages over their opposite numbers. As a result, both players proved to be explosive threats for the Buckeyes in the post. The two were the game’s leading scorers with 24 and 19 points, respectively. The domination in the paint began right out of the gate from Tate, who bullied his way through defenders in the game’s opening minutes. He opened the game up with a layup after he saw no one open to pass to and followed that up shortly after with a short-range jumper. About five minutes into the game, Tate had 11 points — all coming from plays in the post.Bates-Diop also put together a dominating performance inside. Of his 19 points, eight came from a pair of layups, a short-range jumper and a dunk with one free-throw coming off an and-1 on a layup and two other free-throws coming from fouls inside the paint.Tate said strong play inside has become a mantra for he and Bates-Diop this season, but also said his teammates interior play has assisted the two forwards.“Me and Keita were very effective [inside],” Tate said. “Some people call a matchup problem and just out teammates, the point guard, C.J. [Jackson] being aware of the mismatch in the situations, he’s doing a great job of that.”Ohio State has been no stranger to dominating inside this season. Before this game, Ohio State held a 138-66 advantage in paint points and had out-rebounded opponents 135-85. Of Ohio State’s 259 points total, 53.3 percent of them came from inside.Part of the reason Ohio State has been so productive in the paint has been its ability to recover offensive rebounds. The Buckeyes are tied for 38th in the country with an average of 15 offensive rebounds per game.Head coach Chris Holtmann said his team last year at Butler was a strong defensive rebounding team, but it was one of the worst at collecting rebounds off the offensive glass. The now-Ohio State head coach said he thinks this team has a chance to be an all-around great team at gather rebounds.“We have a chance to be a pretty good rebounding team,” Holtmann said. “We better be good defensive rebounding. We were a good defensive rebounding at Butler as well, but I think we have the potential to be good on both ends if we pursue the ball like we need to. Because we have some guys that have a natural nose for the ball.”With several other big men like forwards Kaleb Wesson and Kyle Young at 6-foot-9, 270 pounds and 6-foot-8, 205 pounds, respectively, Ohio State has plenty of size to continue to beat up on most teams throughout the season and dominate in the paint and on the glass.The Buckeyes might not be able to do that in their next matchup, however. They are going to be traveling to Portland, Oregon, to take on Gonzaga, a team Holtmann said was big last season and has continued to dominate its opponents with size this season.Going up against one of the first teams that will truly have Ohio State beat in size in both height and girth, Ohio State could be faced with its first real challenge this season.“Well I think we’re going to learn a lot about kind of our tenacity when it comes to pursuing the ball in those situations,” Holtmann said. “They’re always kind of one of the biggest teams both in size and in physicality in the country. Last year they were massive. This year, they’re big as well and they’re really organized and they’re older. They don’t beat themselves.“I think as much as anything, it’s going to test us in a lot of ways, but it’s going to test our pursuit of the ball and our tenacity and how tough-minded we are.”
Central Michigan redshirt freshman guard Micaela Kelly shoots a layup during the first quarter of the Chippewas’ win against Ohio State in the second round of the NCAA tournament at St. John Arena on March 19. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorIn a stunning upset, the third-seeded Ohio State women’s basketball team fell 95-78 to 11th-seeded Central Michigan Monday in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Along with the loss comes the final game for five seniors on the Buckeyes’ roster, including senior guard Kelsey Mitchell.The only silver lining for Ohio State came when Mitchell scored her 20th point with 6:59 remaining in the fourth quarter, which moved her into second place all-time in NCAA women’s history for career scoring. Mitchell struggled to find her shot all night, finishing with 28 points on 11-of-29 shooting.Central Michigan’s 14 3-pointers and 25 made free throws played a huge part in its victory. Along with its relentless defense that held the Buckeyes to just 40 percent shooting, Central Michigan ensured nothing went right for Buckeyes during their final game.Central Michigan fell behind after the first quarter, but blew the door off with a 25-6 second quarter. After a 15-9 Ohio State first quarter lead, the Chippewas went on a 14-0 run to start the second quarter. The Buckeyes did not score their first second-quarter field goal until there was three minutes remaining. “I thought for a stretch there we got really good shots,” head coach Kevin McGuff said. “We missed probably four layups at the beginning of the second quarter, shots that we normally make. Then we just didn’t handle it very well cause I think we let that spill over to the defensive end. We lost a bit of focus and intensity.”Senior guard Cassie Breen and junior guard Presley Hudson combined for 19 of the Central Michigan’s 25 points in the quarter. Breen’s 12 points came in all sorts of fashion. She went 3-for-4 from the field, making 2-of-3 shots from 3s, and made all three attempts from the free-throw line. As is often the trend with the Buckeyes, when Mitchell struggled, so too did Ohio State. Mitchell shot 2-of-8 in the second quarter with her team finishing the quarter 2-of-13 from the field — with six turnovers on top. Redshirt senior forward Stephanie Mavunga couldn’t find any offense either, shooting 1-of-3 and splitting a pair of free throws.It didn’t get any better in the third quarter with Central Michigan’s onslaught continuing. Any glimmer of hope vanished when the Buckeyes were outscored 33-25 in the third quarter. Central Michigan’s seven 3-pointers put the game away for good, for it maintained a 67-46 lead heading into the fourth quarter.“We tried to play hard and compete,” Mavunga said. “Central Michigan did a good job capitalizing off of our mistakes. we had a lot of turnovers which is really unlike us. That really showed, it hurt us down the stretch. We had good possessions here and there, but Central Michigan did a good job capitalizing off what we did wrong.”Central Michigan held the lead throughout the fourth quarter, even with a valiant push from the Buckeyes. Senior forward Tinara Moore’s 20 points, along with Breen’s 22 and Hudson’s 28 points were enough to sustain its lead throughout the game. Ohio State finished Mitchell’s final season as both Big Ten regular season and tournament champions, posting a 28-7 overall and 13-3 conference record.
In response he helped launch the Campaign for Wool in 2010. Since its launch the campaign has staged more than 200 events, including shepherds grazing sheep on grass laid along Savile Row in London, the heartland of British tailoring, and in New York’s Bryant Park. Fashion shows in Japan, Italy and China have all featured woollen garments.The Prince says there are now signs of a revival, with the fall in sheep numbers across the globe slowing down. Writing in the Telegraph Magazine the Prince recalled how “six months later, a ceremonious exhumation revealed an intact synthetic jersey, fit indeed to be washed and worn, while the woollen jersey had quietly and usefully biodegraded itself away to nothing”.Not content with that, the Prince set fire to a pile of jumpers, one synthetic, the other woollen, to test their fire retardant qualities. To demonstrate the biodegradability of wool, the Prince of Wales buries two sweaters, one made from wool and another made from a synthetic fibreCredit:Kevin Moran A wool duvet, a wool jacket and wool carpet were given a flammability test, along with their synthetic counterparts The Prince has long been credited with popularising the use of organic produce. Since then he has turned his attention to the wonders of wool.Next week he will host the Dumfries House Conference, in Scotland, bringing together what he calls “a great gathering of wool people”, including spinners, weavers and designers such as Paul Smith and Ermenegildo Zegna, along with carpet makers, sheep farmers, retailers and mill owners. As the Prince points out the price of wool has fallen sharply in recent years, with some sheep farmers receiving less for their wool than the cost of shearing their sheep as manufacturers turned to synthetic materials. I want to encourage a much greater understanding of woolPrince Charles “I want to encourage a much greater understanding of wool not only as a global environmental resource – versatile, sustainable, renewable and natural – but also as a global fashion resource of the highest quality,” he writes.He adds pointedly: “These may not be entirely welcome propositions in some part of an industry that is sadly dominated by mass-produced chemical fibres, but today’s environmentally aware consumers do seem to be seeking out quality and durability in fashion, lifestyle and interiors. And that is exactly what wool provides.” Prince Charles shows a sheep to pupils from Avening Primary School in Gloucestershire at HighgroveCredit:Anwar Hussein/PA “Synthetic jerseys produced a dramatic and disconcerting blaze,” he concluded. “While their woollen counterparts merely smouldered in relative safety.”There may be something of the mad scientist in all this, recalling his famous habit of talking to his plants, but the experiments are in line with his wider thinking on the environment. The Prince of Wales observes sheep being led into a shearing shed in Australia in 2012Credit:Getty Images He is well known for his passion for plants, but this may be the strangest crop the Prince of Wales has yet tried to raise.The Prince has disclosed how, in a curious experiment to establish the comparative qualities of wool and synthetic fibre, he buried two jumpers in a flower bed at Clarence House.His aim was to illustrate wool’s virtues as a material that is not only endlessly versatile but also eminently recyclable and totally biodegradable. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
He said: “If grammar schools are the great answer, why aren’t there more of them in London?”If they are such a good thing for poor children, then why are poor children here in the capital doing so much better than their counterparts in those parts of the country that operate selection?”I appreciate that many grammar schools do a fine job in equipping their students with an excellent education.”But we all know that their record of admitting children from non-middle-class backgrounds is pretty woeful.”Bring back grammar schoolsAccording to latest figures from the National Grammar Schools Association, England has 164 state-funded fully selective schools, while Northern Ireland has 69.The creation of new grammar schools was outlawed by the Tony Blair administration.But reports last month suggested the Prime Minister was considering sanctioning around 20 institutions in mainly working class areas in an effort to improve social mobility.The idea of bringing back grammar schools has also been backed by many. Graham Brady, MP for Altrincham and Sale West and Chairman of the 1922 Committee, has led calls to end the ban.He said: “If we believe in choice and variety in education and we are driven only by what works, how can we maintain the statutory ban on new selective schools?” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector of schools, has said the idea of bringing back grammar schools is “tosh and nonsense” and would be a “profoundly retrograde step”.The head of Ofsted said the selective model – long favoured by many Conservatives – would fail the poorest children.Reports have suggested Theresa May, the Prime Minister, is getting ready to bring back grammars.The plans have received the endorsement of influential corners of the Tory Party.Last month GCSE results in Northern Ireland saw a boost in performance compared to England thanks partly to its grammar school system.But Sir Michael, who is due to leave his post after five years this autumn, said: “The notion that the poor stand to benefit from the return of grammar schools strikes me as quite palpable tosh and nonsense – and is very clearly refuted by the London experience.” If we believe in choice and variety in education and we are driven only by what works, how can we maintain the statutory ban on new selective schools?Graham Brady, MP
In 2013 Chopard launched its “Green Carpet Collection”, the first high-jewellery range made with Fairmined gold and ethically sourced diamonds. More recently it has partnered with Gemfields, whose Zambian emeralds were worn by Julianne Moore at the Cannes Film Festival in May.Meanwhile the growing number of second marriages has seen a boom in secondhand and antique rings, which tend to be around half the price of new pieces. The supply of new diamonds – formed by huge geological forces beneath the surface of the earth more than a billion years ago – is expected to peak in the next few years, before it starts to decline.In September De Beers opened its Gahcho Kué mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories, where at full production it will extract more than 12,000 carats (2.4kg) of diamonds each day.But by 2030 the mine’s supply diamonds will have been exhausted and it will shut. De Beers has no plans to open other new mines.Diamonds, it seems, really aren’t forever. A replica of Russian Queen Catherine the Great’s imperial crown, which was used in the coronations of all Russian monarchs since Catherine the Great, set with 11,352 polished diamonds, with a total weight of 1,180 caratsCredit:AFP Jewellers, including the high end designer Chopard, are now promoting “traceable” emeralds through marketing campaigns aimed at eco-conscious consumers. Diamonds, in the words of one of the world’s most famous marketing slogans, are supposed to be forever.But a growing fashion for engagement rings with coloured stones, such as rubies and emeralds, is threatening to undermine their pre-eminence.When Frances Gerety, a young advertising copywriter, coined the ‘forever’ slogan in 1947, she helped established the status of diamonds as a must-have accessory.That, coupled with the De Beers diamond company’s marketing campaign which invented the ‘rule’ that a man ought to spend at least two months’ pay on his fiancee’s engagement ring, reinforced the cachet of diamonds as a gift of rare and eternal beauty.But experts say that the rise of the millennials, with their more cost-conscious and individualistic shopping habits, along with their growing demands for more ethical sourcing of products, have led to diamonds losing their sparkle.New research by insurance house, Allianz, shows that the majority of men now fork out far less than two to three months’ pay on a stone, with an average spend of £573, with middle-class couples preferring to save their money for future school fees, spiralling house prices and adventurous holidays. With cheaper emeralds and rubies growing in popularity just one in five women can expect to receive a ring, costing between £750 and £3,000, Allianz found. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Catherine Middleton with her future husband Prince William in November 2010 showing off her blue sapphire engagement ring, previously belonging to Diana, Princess of WalesCredit:Eddie Mulholland/The Telegraph Leonardo DiCaprio, left, and Djimon Hounsou in a scene from the Oscar nominated “Blood Diamond.” Credit: JAAP BUITENDIJK/AP Anusha Couttigane, a senior analyst at Kantar Retail, said: “A generation of marital age people are now prioritising other things such as weddings, housing and the cost of having children, rather than splashing out on a really expensive ring.“There is still a lot of demand for solitaire diamond rings, but there has been growth in non-traditional designs which use a range of cheaper, coloured stones too.”At the same time tastes in jewellery have changed and coloured stones are seen as providing a more individualistic and distinctive alternative to the once ubiquitous white diamond. Julianne Moore wearing Zambian emeralds – rather than diamonds – at the Cannes Film Festival in MayCredit:Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty Images Joanna Hardy, a jewellery expert for the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, said: “The great thing about coloured stones is that you can buy something really fabulous looking and most people will have no idea how much it cost. This is a big selling point for people who perhaps don’t have as much to spend on a ring and don’t want others to know exactly what they’ve spent on it.”Young people, says Ms Hardy, are steering clear of generic style rings and instead have a tendency to choose unique or unusual rings, which they see as reflecting their individual personality.Ethical shopping has also dented the market for the traditional rock, with Leonardo Di Caprio’s film Blood Diamond alerting consumers to the human cost of extracting them from the earth and the conflicts the tread fuels. The number of marriages has been rising since 2013, partly thanks to a growth in couples in their late 50s and 60s getting hitched for a second or third time.Department store John Lewis said the trend has led demand for its range of antique jewellery to boom.A spokeswoman said: “Second-hand engagement rings are increasing in popularity, particularly with people getting married later in life, or for the second time. People who aren’t marrying for the first time are often looking for a simple design having chosen a large stone, or statement ring the first time.”Sloane Square-based jewellery designer Kiki McDonough, added: “There is a huge trend to choose coloured stones for an engagement ring, particularly for second time marriages as people are looking for something totally different.”Perhaps it’s just as well trends are shifting away from white diamonds.