By Michelle Graff
Designer Jade Trau created this ring for Forevermark, De Beers’ diamond brand. It is an 18-karat rose and white gold split shank engagement ring featuring an oval diamond, a cut that’s increasing in popularity. The retail price starts at $5,000.
Recently, Alex Fetanat, the CEO and president of GemFind, reached out to share the results of an annual report compiled using click data from the retailers’ websites his company manages. (GemFind, for those who are unfamiliar, is a California-based tech company that helps jewelers develop websites and manage inventory online.)

Fetanat said while the company has created a basic report and circulated it internally in the past, this is the first time the results have been shared publicly.

GemFind’s Jewelry Industry Consumer Trends Report for 2017 looks not at sales but at clicks, 1.2 million clicks to be precise, collected by two different pieces of software: JewelCloud, which manages general jewelry inventory, and DiamondLink, the web application GemFind uses for loose diamonds.

Using data from DiamondLink, GemFind was able to put together a profile on, as the report puts it, the most popular diamond of 2017.

It was a:
Round brilliant
1 to 1.25 carats
G color
VS2 clarity

While G led in color and VS2 in clarity, it’s worth noting that clicks were fairly evenly distributed among the top four finishers in both categories. VS1, SI1 and SI2 received an almost equal share of clicks for clarity. In color, H, F and I finished right behind G.

When it came to carat size, the second most-selected range, behind 1-1.25, was 0.76 to 1 carats.  

That leaves us with shape, which, I think, was the most interesting part of the report.

Of course, round brilliants dominated, accounting for 44 percent of total clicks last year. But finishing second was not the princess cut, long a mainstay at No. 2, but the oval.

Oval diamonds accounted for 10 percent of clicks on the DiamondLink platform, just edging out the princess cut at 9.5 percent.

In fourth place was the cushion cut, with 8 percent of clicks.

20180417 Tacori roundThis is Tacori’s Petite Crescent ring in platinum with a round center stone and a diamond-set band. It can accommodate a variety of center diamond sizes, starting at 0.75 carats ($4,990 without center stone).

Fetanat said he was surprised to see oval finish ahead of the princess cut, making the same observation I did when reviewing the report—that the princess cut has been No. 2 in the United States for years.

Personally, I am glad to see a bit of shake-up in the market.

I love ovals as well as a few of the other less popular cuts that finished lower on GemFind’s list: the emerald (6 percent), pear (6 percent) and marquise (less than 5 percent), and it’s nice to see consumers discovering fancy shapes too.

When we did our 50 Jewelers/50 States series last year, a number of jewelers told us the popularity of oval engagement rings was on the rise among their customers, including David Iler at Alchemy Jeweler in Portland, Oregon; the Broyles of Calvin Broyles Jewelers in West Virginia; and Karen Goracke at Borsheims in Omaha, Nebraska.

Iler said oval “seems to be the new standard.”

Interest in ovals is also up on social media site Pinterest.

Additionally, De Beers, which is always a good barometer for gauging trends, has been putting more emphasis on fancy shapes.

The company’s Forevermark diamond brand expanded outside round brilliants two years ago, and one of my favorite designers, Jade Trau, introduced a Forevermark-exclusive collection built around fancy shapes late last year.

Fetanat said going forward, the company plans to release click-based quarterly trends reports. It is currently working on the report for the first quarter of 2018.

GemFind has additional data for 2017 that examines trends in jewelry overall, including most popular price point, time of year for searches, and categories (rings, necklaces, bracelets, etc.). I will be writing about that in separate blog post in the near future.

What do you think of the diamond data shared above? Does it match what you sell in your store? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.

TAGS:   Technology
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