By Brecken Branstrator
Marlo Laz’s “Je Porte Bonheur” cuff in sterling silver with diamonds ($560)
New York--It seems last year was another strong year for silver jewelry sales, according to a recent survey.

InStore conducted the study on behalf of the Silver Institute’s Silver Promotion Service in February, and 159 retailers took part.

The results of the survey show that 62 percent of retailers saw an increase in silver jewelry sales in 2016.

The average store growth for silver jewelry sales last year was 16 percent, though 8 percent of retailers surveyed reported an increase of more than 25 percent.

This is the eighth consecutive year of growth for the metal, according to SPS.

When asked about the reasons for the growth in silver sales, Director Michael Barlerin said the SPS attributes it to the fact that there are more new silver designs on the market, as designers choose to create in the “artisanal medal” that also offers a great price point.

But, even more than that, SPS believes the female self-purchaser has a lot to do with the growth of the category.

So much so, in fact, that a big part of the organization’s outreach in 2017 will focus on helping retailers reach women who are buying jewelry for themselves using visual merchandising or silver jewelry-centric trunk shows, among other things.

The SPS survey also showed that retailers continued to stock more silver jewelry last year, with 62 percent of responding reporting that they increased their silver inventory an average of 24 percent in 2016.

As a percentage of overall jewelry sales, silver jewelry was, on average, 35 percent of retailers’ unit volume and 27 percent of dollar volume.

Meanwhile, 54 percent of retailers said the category saw the best turnover rate in 2016, followed by bridal and diamond jewelry, gold and then platinum.

Silver jewelry also sat atop the list of categories that best maintained margins during the holiday season at 49 percent, followed by diamond jewelry at 21 percent, bridal at 18 percent, gold jewelry at 10 percent and platinum jewelry at 2 percent.

And, according to the survey, many retailers expect the strong performance of silver to continue this year: 89 percent said they are optimistic that silver jewelry sales will grow.

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