Consumers Weigh in on Colored Gem Preferences

November 4, 2003

Consumers Weigh in on Colored Gem Preferences

From a sampling of colored gem jewelry, a cross-section of consumers overwhelmingly chose platinum set with blue gemstones, including sapphires and spinel, accented by white diamonds in a predictive modeling study run by the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council in late October. Tanzanite also fared well, as did white gold and cultured pearls. Men's jewelry favorites included rings with naturally colored diamonds, set in a combination of platinum and yellow gold.

In the study, consumers surveyed random digital images of entrants to the American Gem Trade Association's Spectrum awards. JCOC asked consumers to indicate whether they would purchase the jewelry style based on design and materials, regardless of price.

"The twentieth anniversary of the AGTA Spectrum Awards provided a perfect opportunity to learn how consumers respond to innovative colored gemstone jewelry designs," says Martin J. Hurwitz, CEO of MVI Marketing Ltd., Paso Robles, CA, creator of JCOC. AGTA is the first to use JCOC to predict consumer preferences and the likelihood to purchase in conjunction with a design competition.

The JCOC survey asked respondents which consumer magazines they read most often, with People(28%), Cosmopolitan(20%) and Time(13%) scoring the highest. The survey also asked consumers at which type of retail store they planned to purchase jewelry this holiday season. While 18% said they would not be purchasing jewelry, 16% had plans to purchase jewelry from a discount retailer (such as Wal-Mart or Target), 11% from a local independent jewelry retail store, and 10% from a national jewelry chain store (such as Zales or Kay Jewelers).

"AGTA is very excited about the synergy between JCOC's predictive modeling and the Spectrum Awards. We have been aggressively pushing our membership to learn more about what consumers think about colored gemstones," says AGTA Executive Director Doug Hucker.

JCOC is a sampling panel of jewelry consumers throughout North America representing all ages, genders, education, income levels, buying categories and geographic regions via e-mail.

Complete JCOC survey results can be reviewed at the JCOC Info Center.

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