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Online Jewelry Sales Spike in 2010 Holiday Shopping Season

In a sign that the US consumer economy might be bouncing back, jewelry purchases did well in the 2010 holiday season, especially online.

Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving, generally considered the busiest shopping day of the year in the US – saw online retail jewelry sales shoot up by 17.6% compared to 2009, according to IBM Coremetrics. Total online sales for Black Friday were up 15.9% over 2009, meaning that jewelry outperformed other retail categories.

Certain diamond jewelry items also did well on sites that sell every type of retail merchandise. “Diamond ring” was among the top 10 eBay searches for 2010 – the only jewelry item to make the list – and one of Amazon.com’s bestselling items for the year was a women’s diamond watch.

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Total jewelry sales for the 2010 Christmas season were up 2.6% in 2010 compared to 2009, while sales in the luxury jewelry sector increased 2.8% over last year. American Express Business Insights reports that over the entire third quarter of 2010, luxury jewelry sales increased 3% year-on-year but that the average amount of luxury jewelry purchases was up 6%.

In 2010, loose diamonds and diamond jewelry accounted for 46% of the US retail jewelry market. Bridal jewelry – including diamond engagement rings – accounted for 35% of all jewelry purchases, and colored gemstone jewelry (rubies, emeralds, sapphires) comprised 9% of all retail jewelry sales.

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