Diamonds and jewelry consumer trends are changing, representing new and exciting opportunities and challenges for the diamond sector, De Beers Group’s Diamond Insight Report 2017 said.
Social and economic changes also showed record levels of self-purchases and underscored the fact that women’s growing purchase power is creating new motivation for diamond jewelry acquisitions.
Consumer demand for diamond jewelry saw only marginal growth in 2016, driven by strong performance in the U.S., where the demand exceeded $40 billion for the first time. According to the report, consumer demand for diamond jewelry has grown globally, with rising retail sentiment in Chinese and Indian markets.
Demand for rough diamond also increased in 2016, supported by consumer demand and the midstream restocking that followed a period of weaker purchases towards the end of 2015, the report said, adding these trends have continued so far in 2017.
The report stressed that all aspects of diamond promotion, including design, concept and role models, should reflect the new reality of women’s increasing consumer power, saying there was a growing trend of impulse jewelry buying unrelated to a specific occasion.
The Diamond Insight Report further discovered a change in the symbolism lent to diamond jewelry, which are now purchased and gifted to mark a wider range of life occasions.
The report highlighted the emergence of another key consumer trend, stemming from the change in the symbolism of diamond jewelry and reflecting women’s increased economic participation and higher earnings power, namely a new perception of femininity that is closely associated with strength, confidence and independence. The report further identified a new class of consumer: the mature single woman.
“These societal and economic changes will have direct consequences for a wide range of industries, but they are especially exciting for the diamond sector,” De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver said. “As diamonds are among the most powerfully symbolic purchases, as they lend themselves to individual design, and as they are effectively a hybrid of product and experience, the new trends present a major opportunity to build on the existing base of demand.