Surveys

Diamonds Had a Strong Holiday Season, De Beers Confirms

SurveysMar 30, 2021

Diamonds Had a Strong Holiday Season, De Beers Confirms

The company’s latest research backs up claims that consumers turned to diamond jewelry at the end of a year like no other.

2021_Diamond engagement ring De Beers.jpg
De Beers latest research shows U.S. consumers invested in classics over the holiday season, like Rolex watches, diamond stud earrings and diamond engagement rings, like the one from Forevermark shown here. (©De Beers, Photo credit: Ben Perry, Armoury Films)
London—De Beers Group’s latest report on diamonds echoed earlier observations of the 2020 holiday season that despite all odds, it was a good one for diamonds. 
 
In its sixth “Diamond Insight Flash Report,” De Beers said jewelry, particularly classic diamond jewelry, had a solid holiday season. 
 
It outperformed other luxury goods, including apparel, as consumers who have discretionary income found themselves with money left over due to limited spending on luxuries like travel, experiences and dining out. 
 
According to De Beers, these consumers turned to “high-ticket classics,” meaning timeless pieces like engagement rings, diamond stud earrings and iconic models from brands like Rolex. 
 
“Knowing that the global economy was volatile and uncertain and also feeling some guilt about shopping while many suffered, consumers did continue to spend but chose to invest in fewer, better things—their indulgent purchases were also stores of value likely to appreciate over time,” the report stated.
 Related stories will be right here … 
De Beers’ observations in its Flash Report dovetailed with the data Sherry Smith presented in her mid-December column on independent jewelers’ sales, and what she, along with Peter Smith and Edahn Golan, said during a January webinar on 2021 predictions. 
 
All three noted consumers’ tendency to gravitate toward “safe” choices, like diamonds, in uncertain times.
 
Golan said this has happened in the past, with diamond sales increasing after the 2011 tsunami and earthquake in Japan, as well as after 9/11. 
 
The use of the phrase “fewer, better things” is also a callback to another time consumers were under duress. It was one of the taglines De Beers used in its 2008 holiday marketing campaign, a campaign launched in the midst of the global financial crisis.
 
What’s Ahead 
De Beers said while 2020 was “grim,” the U.S. holiday season was “infused with an optimistic outlook for the new year, influenced by hopes for a new era in government, a new infusion of stimulus money, news of imminent vaccines, and the strong performance of financial markets.” 
Some of that optimism became reality in March, as the third round of stimulus checks started hitting consumers’ bank accounts mid-month and vaccines became more widely available. 
 
President Joe Biden said Monday there are now enough doses to allow for 90 percent of U.S. adults to be eligible for a shot by April 19, shortening an earlier timeline of May 1. 
 
In polling consumers in March, De Beers found consumer optimism likely to continue for the rest of the year, though their mindset will remain rooted in the idea of quality over quantity. 
 
Nearly half of respondents, 43 percent, said they were more likely to make a significant purchase this year than they were last year, while 88 percent said they believe that nowadays, it’s better to invest in fewer, quality items than in fashionable items that might not last. 
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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