Survey Shows Engagement Ring Sales Up for 30% of Jewelers


November 8, 2001

Survey Shows Engagement Ring Sales Up for 30% of Jewelers

A quick survey of American jewelers, conducted jointly by the Diamond Information Center, the Jewelry Information Center and Jewelers of America, showed that among the 30% of jewelers who reported increased diamond engagement ring sales, their increases were significant: Up 19.5% in September and 17% in October compared to last year. In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, "there have been so many articles and news items about increases in engagements, near military bases and elsewhere," says Lynn Diamond, executive director of the Diamond Promotion Service.

DPS believes jewelers will sell more engagement rings during this holiday season, but also diamond jewelry of all descriptions and for all occasions, says Diamond. "Diamonds have a love equity that no other product has," she says. "Consumers' motivations this year are to affirm their connections with others. What better product is there to make this statement than a diamond?"

The jewelry industry and key products such as diamonds are better positioned than other luxury goods to benefit from consumers' present mindsets, Diamond says. "The tourism industry has been one of jewelry's main competitors in recent years," she says. "Now, people are looking for experiences to share that will replace travel, but carry the same emotional impact as travel memories."

Among her suggestions for increasing diamond sales:

  • Advertising: Jewelers should promote their roles as "romance counselors." Diamond says it shouldn't be about price, but about jewelers helping customers declare their love. Images of couples, families and other relationships are key. So is promoting the actual experience of giving and receiving a diamond and the excitement and warmth that moment promises. De Beers' marketing arm, The Diamond Trading Co., is helping with ads that depict couples reaffirming their love. Even the end-of-the-year Seize the Day campaign, consisting of short, catchy messages, is focused on the enduring value of key relationships. One message says: "Somewhere she went from the girl of your dreams to the love of your life."
  • At the Counter: Diamond says jewelers can be more explicit in the store than in ads about the events of Sept. 11. "You can actually say things like, 'as this year draws to a close, what really matters to you?' or 'at a time when words seem more difficult than ever, how are you going to tell her?' and we hope the answer will be with a diamond."
  • Product: Diamond suggests not only solitaire rings, but also the popular three-stone diamond anniversary rings and newly DTC-promoted earrings and necklaces, as the key products to focus on. Of course, sales of diamond solitaire necklaces or earrings and diamond line bracelets also fit the bill.
  • Occasions: Don't only focus on engagement ring sales, Diamond advises. There are anniversaries, birthdays and holiday gifts to consider -- all occasions that present the opportunity to tell a loved one she is cherished.
  • Symbolism. The motivator DTC ads drove home for the past few years with its three-stone jewelry push is the symbolism of past, present and future in relationships, says Diamond. "The jeweler has never had a customer base so primed for this message." For the holiday season in print, the DTC is accompanying the three Ps message with three-stone necklaces and earrings. On television, consumers will see three-stone necklaces.

For more information on Diamond Promotion Service programs and activities to help sell diamonds this holiday season, go to www.dps.org. or call (800) 370-6789.

- by Peggy Jo Donahue

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