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Analysis: How Much Jewelry Was Really Sold in the US in 2021?

In a recent analysis titled “How Much Jewelry was Sold? A Massive $11.5B Less Then Believed” on Edahn Golan Diamond Research & Data, diamond analyst Edahn Golan analyzes an especially baffling downward revision of jewelry sales in 2020 and 2021 by the US government.


In some areas, says Golan, the downward revisions by the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, which provides the most important source of US jewelry sales, “were drastic.”


diamond engagement ring jewelry
Credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock


The Latest Dramatic Revision

According to its latest revision, which restates all jewelry and watch sales data going back to January 2017, sales were edged up, rising 0.3% and 0.7%, respectively, in 2017 and 2018. In 2019, however, jewelry sales were revised down 0.5%. These are the updated figures of how much jewelry was sold in these three years:


2017: $59.3 billion (up from $59.0 billion)


2018: $61.3 billion (up from $60.9 billion)


2019: $61 billion (down from $61.3 billion)


The small 0.6% rise in sales previously reported in 2019 is now reported as a 0.6% decline.


The bigger revisions, says Golan, affected 2020 and 2021. In 2020, the year COVID broke out, sales were initially reported at $62.23 billion – “a modest but meaningful 1.6% rise over the previous year.” The restated figures now state sales of $58.92 billion – down 5.4% from the previous figure or a massive $3.36 billion less.


The updated figure also means that in 2020, jewelry demand actually declined 3.3% compared to 2019.


The revision for 2021, says Golan, brought the biggest surprise. As it turns out, according to the most recent data, jewelry sales in the US totaled $86.4 billion, and not $94.5 billion, in 2021. Golan states: “According to the updated figures, jewelry sales were up 46.7%, still a record rise in sales. However, this is an 8.6% reduction, cutting an immense $8.1 billion from how much jewelry we believed was sold.”


In short, together, 2020 and 2021 jewelry sales totaled $11.5 billion less than previously stated.


Tiffany & Co. jewelry
Credit: Iris Hortman


Jewelry Sales in 2022

After explaining why knowing the actual size of the industry is of such “immense importance,” Golan then moves on to analyze jewelry sales in 2022. Despite midstream players’ voiced concerns over a drop in sales, it seems that 2022 is “set to see a rise in sales value.” 


According to Golan’s market analysis and data gathered from US retailers, jewelry sales are up 8.3% year to date. The US government data, which also revised this year’s figures, shows a 7.7% year-over-year increase. From experience, Golan says, “this figure will be restated next year, and most likely downwards.”


Read the full analysis here.

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