By Hannah Connorton
In addition to releasing the results of its annual survey, the SPS also revealed a re-vamped website this month, a screenshot from which is shown here.
New York--The vast majority of silver sales are $500 and under--mainly self-purchases by women or gifts--and the most popular silver pieces are those set with colored gemstones. 

These are among the findings from the Silver Promotion Service’s annual retailer survey, conducted earlier this year.

According to the results of the survey, released this week by the SPS, 67 percent of jewelers said their silver jewelry sales increased year-over-year in 2014, while 16 percent said sales remained the same and 17 percent saw a decline.

The average increase in silver sales among those polled was 17 percent. Nearly half said sales rose between 11 and 25 percent, and 13 percent saw an increase of more than 25 percent.

Respondents also said their silver jewelry sales, as a percentage of overall sales, were, on average, 34 percent of their unit volume and 30 percent of their dollar volume.

When it comes to how much customers are spending and what they are buying, survey-takers said $100 to $500 (41 percent) and less than $100 (53 percent) were their “sweet spot” price points. 

Respondents identified female self-purchasers as their best selling opportunity (49 percent), followed by those purchasing gifts (30 percent) and the “youth market” (19 percent).

Style-wise, 39 percent said the top-selling silver pieces last year where those set with colored gemstones, followed by plain silver pieces (21 percent), textured finishes (20 percent), silver and diamond jewelry (15 percent), and color-treated silver (5 percent).

Other findings from the survey include:
--A total of 43 respondents named silver jewelry as the “best” in maintained margins, followed by diamond jewelry (31 percent), bridal jewelry (19 percent) and gold jewelry (7 percent); and
-- During the 2014 holiday season, 61 percent of jewelers said silver sales increased year-over-year, while 22 percent said sales remained steady and 17 percent reported a drop in silver sales.

The SPS conducted its Silver Jewelry Sales Results survey online from Feb. 13 to March 2 and calculated responses from 291 retailers.

Of those surveyed, 83 percent were independent retailers, 4 percent were from jewelry chain stores and 13 percent were categorized as “other.”

A total of 68 percent of retailers said they operate one physical store, 20 percent said they operate two or more stores and 12 percent were online-only. The SPS said the annual per-store sales of survey-takers was $1.6 million.

Respondents were pretty well spread out around the country: Mid-Atlantic (22 percent), North Central (21 percent), the South Atlantic (16 percent), South Central (12 percent), the West (8 percent), New England (7 percent) and the Mountain region (4 percent).

A total of 10 percent of respondents marked their location as “other.”

Also this month, the SPS announced the re-launch of its website,

The newly reconfigured, mobile-responsive site showcases a growing number of silver jewelry designers and their pieces, with an interactive catalog and other relevant silver-related content.

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