By Michelle Graff
Canadian jeweler Shelly Purdy, who makes all her jewelry in Toronto, created her “Vintage Opulence” collection specifically to appeal to millennials: “Millennials appreciate the craftsmanship of a handmade piece … They crave jewelry that tells a story in the details and is more personal.” This 14-karat rose gold sapphire halo ring from the line has a 0.30-carat rose-cut center diamond and two rose-cut side diamonds totaling 0.30 carats ($4,550 retail).
New York--Survey results recently released by the Diamond Producers Association show that millennials are interested in having fewer possessions that are worth more, consider diamond jewelry an investment and don’t like fakes.

The DPA, the association behind the new “Real is Rare” campaign to promote mined diamonds, commissioned New York-headquartered strategy consultancy Kelton Research to conduct the study about millennial women’s preferences when it comes to luxury goods.

Kelton surveyed 995 women ages 18 to 34 online between July 10 and 14, with a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

One of the key findings from the study was that 94 percent of the highest-earning millennials (annual income of $150,000 a year or more) surveyed said they would prefer one more expensive item that is “genuine” over numerous cheaper items.

This finding is reminiscent of the “fewer, better things” marketing campaign De Beers rolled out for the 2008 holiday season in the midst of the global financial crisis.

Here are three more key findings from the survey.

--The millennial women surveyed view diamond jewelry as an investment. Of those women surveyed, 75 percent said they view diamond jewelry as an investment in themselves, while 82 percent see it as a long-term investment. Among millennials who earn $150,000+ a year, these figures climb to 94 percent and 91 percent, respectively.

The DPA said these survey results help support De Beers’s recent study, which showed that the number of women who buy diamond jewelry for themselves has increased by 50 percent in the last 10 years. De Beers created its fourth-quarter marketing campaign for Forevermark with these findings in mind.

--They don’t want knockoffs. Eighty-five percent of women said they would be embarrassed if they knew that the luxury item they had purchased was a fake.

-- Women of the millennial generation see luxury goods as an expression of self-confidence. Two out of three, or 66 percent, of the women surveyed say they feel more confident in themselves when wearing diamond jewelry.

Commenting on the results, DPA Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Marquardt said: “When evaluating luxury purchases, they (millennials) seek items that are genuine, unique and not mass-produced, and have inherent meaning and value.”

The Diamond Producers Association launched “Real is Rare” in late 2016. It was intended to fill the void left by the absence of the generic diamond marketing campaigns once done by De Beers (e.g., A Diamond is Forever).

The DPA is comprised of the world’s biggest diamond mining companies, players like De Beers, Alrosa and Rio Tinto.

They allotted $57 million for the “Real is Rare” campaign in 2017, with $50 million being spent in the United States and remaining $7 million going to expand the campaign into China and India.

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