Diamond Jewelry Sales
Rise in 2002, says DIC
U.S. market accounts for half
of worldwide jewelry sales
The Diamond Information Center reports a 5% increase in U.S. retail diamond sales in 2002 over the previous year. Americans are still choosing to make heartfelt statements to their loved ones through diamond jewelry, despite the soft economy and the overall insecure mood of our country, says Richard Lennox, director in charge of De Beers Diamond Trading Co.s diamond group at the J. Walter Thompson ad agency, where DIC is based.
The U.S. diamond jewelry market grew to $27.4 billion in 2002 and now accounts for nearly 50% of global diamond jewelry sales. DIC says transactions of diamond jewelry sales grew 11% last year. However, average ticket prices were down by 5%.
Diamond engagement rings were strongest, and DIC says this category can be considered a cultural imperative, noting 84% of brides acquire diamond engagement rings. The average retail price for engagement rings remained steady at $2,400.
The three-stone diamond jewelry category grew by 74%. This category is still considered in its infancy; it has been heavily promoted by the diamond group at J. Walter Thompson in recent years. Three-stone diamond rings now account for two of every 10 diamond jewelry purchases, DIC says.
The 2002 Christmas season was better than DTC expected. Lennox credits an increase in diamond advertising by the diamond industry and points to growth in the development of diamond brands and new marketing programs. These marketing endeavors helped propel the diamond jewelry category to outperform other products in the overall jewelry sector last year, he says.
Lennox is optimistic about the near future. As the diamond industry continues to tap new opportunities, build momentum behind proven ideas, further establish quality programs and enhance core product categories, we are confident the diamond jewelry market will continue to perform well in 2003, he says.
by Robert Weldon, G.G.