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De Beers’ latest Diamond Insight Report 2017 features new research that sheds light on new motivations for diamond jewelry acquisitions
jewelry buyer China HK
Credit: Iris Hortman

De Beers’ latest Diamond Insight Report 2017 features new research that sheds light on new motivations for diamond jewelry acquisitions, among them shifting relationship dynamics, women’s expanding roles in society and changing perceptions of femininity. According to the research, quoted by Diamond World, “Social and economic changes are leading to expanded symbolism for diamond jewellery, record levels of self-purchase and the establishment of new consumer types”.


Three Major Trends


The first major trend to impact the purchase of diamond jewelry is changes to family and personal relationships. Now, instead of diamond jewelry being purchased only to commemorate relationship milestones, they also symbolize a wider range of ‘moments’ – a new job, a promotion and personal achievements.


Additionally, “as marriage generally comes later in life, and as it is seen as a union between two equal individuals, women are receiving diamonds for multiple occasions both before and after marriage”.


The second major trend – women’s increased economic participation and higher earnings – leads to increased self-purchase by women. According to De Beers, more than 25% of women’s diamond jewelry bought in 2016 in each of the four main consumer nations (the US, China, Japan and India), representing more than $18 billion in value, “was acquired through the self-purchase route”. In Hong Kong, particularly, female self-purchase accounts for the majority of diamond jewelry sales.


The third major trend – a new perception of femininity – leads to “diamonds being purchased to symbolize a wider range of emotions, such as joy, optimism and pride, and to the emergence of a new class of consumer: the mature single woman”.


De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver remarked: “[…] while the giving of diamond jewelry as a token of love and commitment continues to constitute the majority of purchases, it’s encouraging to see these additional sources of demand emerge. It’s also great to see women buying more diamond jewelry for themselves in recognition of their achievements, or simply because they want to and they can. The diamond industry now needs to focus on what female consumers are telling us about how they feel about diamonds and make sure that products and buying experiences match their expectations”.

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