National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

Diamond fashion pieces gaining in China

2012-05-31

Hong Kong--Mining company Rio Tinto recently released results of a study that showed consumers in China no longer see the diamond as simply a store of wealth or as the center stone used in an engagement ring.

Rio Tinto said that according to a study it commissioned from global market research company Ipsos, diamond fashion jewelry--meaning jewelry crafted of smaller, lower-priced diamonds--now is desirable in China as part of a broader trend toward “affordable luxury” and is considered a versatile accessory for every-day wear.

In addition, the study showed that design is important to Chinese consumers.

Rio Tinto said that the findings of the study challenge the notion that Chinese consumers appreciate only large, high-quality diamonds or gold jewelry.

“These are important findings for Rio Tinto, as we are accelerating our marketing investment in the Chinese diamond jewelry market,” said Jean-Marc Lieberherr, general manager for the sales and marketing of Rio Tinto Diamonds. “It is also good news for diamond manufacturers, jewelry designers, retailers and consumers.”

Rio Tinto noted that it owns the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia, which the company called the “world’s primary source of smaller, affordable diamonds,” and has forged a partnership with Chinese manufacturer and jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook.

Comments about the strength of the Chinese market for diamond fashion jewelry comes just a couple of months after Rio Tinto made an announcement that it is considering selling its diamonds mines and exiting the business altogether.