Professional Jeweler Archive: Gold Jewelry Growth Continues

May 2005

News | Metals


Gold Jewelry Growth Continues

The final quarter of 2004 shows greater increases for sales of gold jewelry than for total jewelry sales


Gold jewelry sales by value in the U.S. increased 4% in 2004, reaching about $17 billion, the strongest growth for the gold category since 1999. Gold showed a 5.6% sales value growth in the final quarter of 2004, outperforming the industry’s holiday sales increase. This marks the 14th consecutive year gold jewelry sales increased, according to the 17th annual U.S. gold jewelry sales summary conducted by NOP World and sponsored by the World Gold Council. The survey reports an increase of 4.2% in gold jewelry unit volume, while the average price per unit declined by 0.2% to $76.

“The media coverage of yellow gold’s growing popularity in the fashion world and the availability of many innovative new designs of gold jewelry drove strong sales this past holiday season,” says John Calnon, WGC managing director, U.S.

Consumer sales increased in several key categories:

  • Bracelets increased 7% in dollar sales volume and 6.2% in unit volume.
  • Charms also show a growth trend with gains of 3% in unit volume and 3.7% in dollar value following the fashion world’s embrace of dangling charms and the increase of more symbolic expressions of crosses, photo charms and iconic elements.
  • Earrings showed positive growth every year over the past decade and continued to lead in unit volume with increases of 6.3% in unit sales and 6.1% in dollar sales volume.

Retail Outlets

  • Non-store retailers led the field in the percentage increase of gold jewelry sales, reporting an increase of 6% in dollar sales volume (totaling $1.6 billion) and 5.6% in units.
  • Mass merchants’ gold business grew 5% in dollar value (totaling $3.9 billion) and 5.3% in units.
  • Department stores increased dollar sales volume by 4% ($3.2 billion) and unit volume by 2.6%.
  • Jewelry stores, the largest channel of distribution, reported an increase in sales of 3.1% ($8.3 billion) and a unit sales increase of 2.5%.

Ads Helped

“The new ‘Speak Gold’ campaign, which ran in fashion and lifestyle magazines in the final quarter of 2004, undoubtedly helped to push the visibility of gold in the U.S. market,” says Michael Pace, vice president of marketing for WGC. “We are starting to see the results of communicating a much more consistent message in both TV and print with our retail and manufacturing partners. Our tracking of the advertising indicates that it is driving desirability of gold very effectively, which will be key to ensuring continued growth for gold in 2005.”

All data contained in the survey is based on results of a retail market audit derived from confidential sales reports from a panel of over 7,500 stores encompassing all major gold jewelry distribution channels. The statistics cover all classes of trade for men’s and women’s gold jewelry where the primary value is gold content, including jewelry that contains accent stones.

  • World Gold Council, New York City; (212) 317-3800, duvall.osteen@gold.org, www.gold.org.
Yellow and white gold bracelet by Chimento Gioiellieri is part of the 2005 Gold Expressions collection.

Copyright © 2005 by Bond Communications