Jewelry store in a shopping mall

US Jewelers Witness Improved Loose Diamond Sales Despite Global Challenges

In a recent analysis published by trend analytics company Tenoris, industry analyst Edahn Golan analyzes US fine jewelry and diamond retail sales in October. 


In October, Golan explains, the negative trend persisted in overall US fine jewelry and diamond retail sales, reflecting a year-over-year decline of 9.5% in value and a 6.8% fall in the number of units sold. The average unit retail price experienced a 3% year-over-year reduction.


Year-to-date, sales have seen a 8.2% downturn, mirroring the ongoing contraction in overall consumer demand for fine jewelry.


The US finished jewelry fell 8.5% in total retail sales value compared to October 2022. The total units sold also saw a 7.7% drop. Year-to-date basis, retail sales value is down 6.3%, and units are down 5.2%. Bridal (excluding loose diamonds) fell 12.4% in value and 10.9% in units. Fashion jewelry also experienced declines of 8.1% in value and 6.5% in units.


Natural diamond jewelry fell 5.9% in value and 4.8% in units sold, thereby outperforming the market. In contrast, lab-grown diamond jewelry went up 36.4% in value and 55.7% in units. When combined, diamond jewelry experienced a 3.4% decline in value but a 1.8% increase in units. Lab-grown diamonds now represent 6.6% of all diamond jewelry sales in units and 6.4% in value.


Tiffany & Co. jewelry
Tiffany & Co. jewelry shoppers


Diamond sales experienced an uptick in October as the aggregated value of loose diamonds sold by US jewelers increased both on a year-over-year and month-over-month basis. In October, the overall sales of loose diamonds went up 3.8% when compared to September, accompanied by a 4.1% increase in the number of units sold. The favorable market conditions were primarily driven by the moderation in diamond prices, particularly for key items.


As for natural diamond sales, these faced a decline in the US on a yearly basis, with both value and unit sales dropping by 14% in October. However, a monthly analysis reveals a positive trend, showing a 4.6% increase in sales value and a 4.9% rise in units. 


According to Glan, consumers are driving a shift towards purchasing larger natural diamonds, evident in the steady increase from an average size of 1.23 carats in 2021 to 1.63 carats in 2023. This trend persisted in October, with the average purchase size reaching 1.70 carats. Moreover, sales of two-carat natural diamonds saw a mid-single-digit increase compared to September and October 2022, despite a 6.5% month-over-month and a 10.5% year-over-year decline in their prices.


Moreover, larger diamonds, especially in the 3-carat range, witnessed a substantial surge in demand, with a 60% increase in the number of stones sold and a 23.6% rise in value. Sales of 4-carat diamonds doubled in October month-over-month and rose by 61% year-over-year. 


In a parallel trend, lab-grown diamond sales rebounded in October after September declines. Despite a remarkable 45.6% increase in unit sales year over year, the total value of sales rose only by 11.4%, driven by declining prices by 23.5% compared to the previous year. 


Read the full analysis here.


Luxury stores and shopping in a mall
Luxury stores and shopping in a mall

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