Diamonds, Big Jewelry Predicted Winners for Holiday

October 26, 1999

Diamonds, Big Jewelry Predicted Winners for Holiday

Statistics show it's going to be a good holiday season for retailers, and jewelers stocking up at the PrimeTime show in Las Vegas were optimistic about styles that made bold statements, particularly diamonds, South Sea pearls and platinum.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers economic forecast predicts a 5.5% rise in retail sales of general merchandise this holiday season compared to 1998. The Internet will finally stake its claim in the retail world this year, with an expected $10 billion in on-line holiday sales. The report also indicates consumers will put off their Christmas shopping even later this year than last, so the last-minute rush will be even more of a factor for retailers.

Retailers doing their own last-minute shopping at PrimeTime – for holiday inventory, that is – concentrated on diamonds, mostly rounds with some interest in princess cuts. Jeweler Luisa Graff of Luisa Graff, Colorado Springs, CO, stocked up on diamond rings and earrings because she heard her customers talking about making special diamond purchases for the millennium, she said. Special millennium-themed products, such as the "Millennium Star," five kite-shaped diamonds in a star shape on a microcord by D'ckar Business Corp., New York City, were also hot.

Jewelry styles are getting bigger, and magnificent baubles were in demand at PrimeTime. Exhibitors found Tahitian and South Sea pearl styles to be popular – drop earrings, pendants, wire-knit chokers and brooches. Vintage Creations, Freehold, NJ, did well with sizable Jenna Nicole crystal rings, while Frederic Duclos of Huntington Beach, CA, generated interest in South Sea pearl designs and peridot jewelry. While exhibitors showed an increasing number of yellow gold designs, platinum and white gold continued to be the headliners this year. Read more PrimeTime show coverage.

- from Professional Jeweler staff reports