National Jeweler Network

Retail Surveys

Silver strong in 2013, SPS survey shows

March 26, 2014

Robin Rotenier’s sterling silver “Hammer” cufflinks ($345)

New York--A total of 73 percent of retailers reported an increase in sterling silver sales last year, and another 50 percent said the best selling opportunity with the metal is among female self-purchasers, the Silver Promotion Service’s annual Silver Jewelry Buying Trends survey shows.

Of those who reported an increase in sales, 56 percent said that their silver sales rose between 11 percent and 25 percent in 2013, and 10 percent said that their sales were up over 25 percent. The average increase in silver sales among respondents was 17 percent.

For respondents who didn’t see their silver sales increase, 15 percent said sales in the category remained the same while 12 percent saw a drop in sales.

Still, a total of 92 percent of the retailers surveyed said that they were optimistic that the “silver boom” will continue for the next several years.

“While we already had anecdotal information from our program participants that 2013 had been an exceptional year for them, it was gratifying to see the quantifiable results from the survey,” said SPS Director Michael Barlerin. “Additionally, the five consecutive year-over-year results are perhaps the most compelling I have ever seen.”

Respondents said the most popular price points for silver in 2013 were less than $100 (50 percent) and from $100 to $500 (42 percent).

The holiday season proved to be a fruitful one for the category as well, as 66 percent of jewelers reported that their 2013 holiday season sales of silver jewelry increased from the year-earlier period.

Another 20 percent said that their holiday season silver sales remained flat, while 14 percent said sales declined during the period compared with 2012.

Another 36 percent of those surveyed said that silver jewelry gave them the best maintained margins during the holiday season, more than any other category in question. After silver, respondents listed diamond jewelry as giving the best margins (28 percent), followed by bridal (17 percent), gold jewelry (13 percent) and platinum jewelry (6 percent).

In addition, the age groups identified as buying the most silver jewelry are those aged 20 to 40 (58 percent) and 41 to 50 (22 percent).

RELATED CONTENT: Even lower silver price forecast for 2014

SPS, a trade organization designed to enhance the image of and stimulate demand for silver, commissioned National Jeweler to field the fifth consecutive Silver Jewelry Buying Trends survey. A total of 271 retailers representing 2,700 doors and selling an average of $1.4 million annually responded to the survey, which was conducted online from Feb. 4 to 24.