By Brecken Branstrator
A recent survey on ruby, sapphire and emerald jewelry purchases found that U.S. consumers care more about the stone’s color than carat weight and generally spend about $1,400 on pieces set with these stones.
London--Gemfields just released the results of a study it commissioned in the United States on consumers’ buying habits and attitudes toward jewelry set with rubies, sapphires and emeralds.

Conducted by a third party company, the study was designed to gauge the overall size and potential of the market and to better understand consumers’ beliefs and perceptions about the value, price and use of “precious” gemstone jewelry, meaning jewelry set with sapphires, rubies or emeralds.

The study surveyed a nationally representative sample of about 12,900 consumers between the ages of 21 and 64.

Of those, the survey found that about 31 percent had acquired jewelry featuring a ruby, emerald or sapphire within the past 24 months. That figure jumps to 41 percent for millennials, who also are almost twice as likely to use social media and mobile devices to research jewelry as non-millennials.

Precious colored gemstone jewelry also gets worn a lot, the study found.

Forty-three percent of women who own the gemstones wear their rubies, emeralds or sapphires every day, while 24 percent said they wear them at least once a week. Only 7 percent indicated that they only wear them on special occasions.

The study also found that 38 percent of U.S. consumers who purchased or acquired ruby, emerald or sapphire jewelry in the past two years actually got two pieces.

A total of 15 percent gained three pieces, and 10 percent acquired four or more pieces.

When it came to the most important attributes of a stone leading to purchase, color and clarity were tops--even more important than carat weight--while the stone’s country of origin was a significantly less influential factor.

The average price paid for a piece of jewelry with precious colored stones is $1,386, the study found.

When it’s a man making the purchase, that increases to $2,048, and for those who identify as affluent (household income of more than $100,000), it is $2,499.

In addition, half of U.S. consumers who have purchased in the last two years, and two-thirds of affluent consumers, indicated they are likely to buy another piece of ruby, sapphire or emerald jewelry within the next year.

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