By Ashley Davis
An emphasis on craft and craftsmanship; connecting with the natural world; and investing in quality fine jewelry pieces that are classic with a twist are the three key trends for the 2020 holiday season, De Beers Group and Adorn Insight said. (Image courtesy of De Beers)
London—As the 2020 holiday season approaches, retailers are keen to anticipate how the pandemic will affect what is typically the busiest time of year.

De Beers Group and London-based fashion trends consultancy Adorn Insight partnered to explore exactly that in the fourth Diamond Insight Flash Report, identifying three key diamond jewelry trends along the way.

The outlook for consumers come the holidays is optimistic, with an uptick in overall confidence in August over July.

Both women and men surveyed indicated they were like more like to purchase and/or receive diamond jewelry in the coming six months.

More women also said they are wearing their diamond jewelry, especially engagement rings and necklaces, than in previous monthly surveys.

In a webinar panel discussion discussing the report’s insights, facilitated by the Couture show, Adorn Insight’s Juliet Hutton-Squire noted consumers are feeling cautious and acting mindfully in their spending but the lack of money being spent on travel and experiences—some of fine jewelry’s major competitors—is part of De Beers’ bullish outlook as the holidays approach.

De Beers noted more women said they felt safe shopping in person for diamond jewelry and are spending more time outside the home altogether.

Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents said they are more likely to give a significant gift to a loved one than before the pandemic. Seventy-seven percent of respondents in a relationship indicated the same.

A total of 55 percent of consumers said they’ve socialized or gone shopping in the last month for the first time since the pandemic began.

20200928 Trends2The most popular diamond jewelry style for the holidays, according to consumers, is a ring. This one from Suzanne Kalan fits one of the season’s top trends: classic fine jewelry with some sort of unique twist.

Among the most popular styles survey respondents would like to receive or shop for are: diamond rings (36 percent), a diamond pendant or necklace (30 percent), or diamond stud earrings (22 percent).

When it comes to trends, all are connected by the phenomenon of “buy less, buy better,” Adorn Insight’s Maia Adams remarked during the panel discussion.

“Showy excess feels out of keeping with the times,” she explained.

However, “people still want to spend, indulge and mark special moments by investing in items that stand the test of time and represent values in different ways—financial, emotional and practical.”

The value of precious metals and diamonds makes diamond jewelry an ideal purchase to meet these consumer needs, Hutton-Squire said, though sellers should focus on strengthening ties with customers, in part by beefing up their digital and social presences, to take advantage.

The first key diamond jewelry trend for the holidays is classic styles with a twist, “a valued investment,” Adams explained, but with something a little unique and different.

She cited Suzanne Kalan as an example.

Kalan creates classic diamond jewelry pieces like stud earrings, pendants, cuffs and eternity bands but with her signature “Fireworks” style in which baguette-cut diamonds are set askew.

The look is all about diamond jewelry you can wear every day in a casual context, pairing sweats or jeans with fine jewelry, mixing high and low, and wearing jewels rather than locking them up in the safe, Adams said.

20200928 Trends3Craftsmanship is a key diamond jewelry trend for a couple of reasons, one being an interest in the processes and provenance of jewelry. Brands that communicate this well, like Alice Cicolini, maker of the ring pictured, who works with traditional Indian enamel artisans, come across as authentic.

Another trend is a focus on craftsmanship, Hutton-Squire and Adams said.

Just as consumers have been turning to DIY and various home improvement and art projects while sheltering at home, there is a growing interest in the craft behind jewelry.

The De Beers report mentioned Silvia Furmanovich as embodying this trend with her hand-crafted marquetry work showcased alongside major diamonds and gemstones.

It’s also a chance for designers to speak about their processes, showcasing their authenticity as creators and transparency in sharing where, how and by whom their work is made.

“Lockdown has ignited interest in artisanal practices,” said Hutton-Squire. “Craftsmanship is cool.”

Furmanovich’s work also fits within the context of the third major trend for diamond jewelry this holiday season—a broadened definition of luxury that includes non-traditional materials.

An increased concern for the environment in light of climate change is one of the reasons that natural themes like flora and fauna motifs abound, as well as organic and freeform styles, the De Beers report noted.

It’s also heralded a re-evaluation of what luxury means.

Adams noted that accountability and sustainability resonate more with Gen Z and millennial consumers than traditional fine jewelry messaging about romance and rarity.

Consumers are interested in organic materials like wood, seeds and mother-of-pearl for their lesser environmental impact.

Conceptually, materials that represent a more unique and messy take on romance—think diamond slices or salt-and-pepper diamonds instead of colorless diamonds—also are resonating with consumers, in the vein of designers Nina Runsdorf and Solange Azagury-Partridge.

20200928 Trends4This ring from Nina Runsdorf features rustic diamond slices and exemplifies consumers’ interest in non-traditional jewelry materials, whether for environmental reasons or for the symbolism of life’s imperfections.

A narrative about the messiness of life, instead of a romantic fantasy, is more authentic to younger consumers, Adams said.

In a press release on the latest Diamond Insight Flash Report, De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver said: “As we head into what will be a crucial selling season for many diamond jewelry retailers, understanding key design trends during a time of profound change and uncertainty will be important.

“The pandemic has accelerated some trends that were already underway, such as the desire for craftmanship, authenticity and sustainability, while also generating increased consumer interest in the enduring beauty of the natural world and in classic designs that will stand the test of time. Diamond jewelry retailers will no doubt be interested in considering how these trends can feature in their upcoming collections, marketing and merchandising.”

The Diamond Insight Flash Report combines De Beers usual consumer research with additional surveys begun in March 2020 as the United States started locking down due to COVID-19.

At that time, De Beers began a weekly quantitative survey on American consumers’ attitudes, behaviors and expectations, plus a monthly survey on attitudes related to diamonds in particular.

To suggest a question for future De Beers Group surveys, email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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