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Commentary: The Business

5 Diamond Industry Predictions for 2022

Buy more than you think you’ll need.

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EVERY YEAR AROUND this time, which is prime diamond buying season, my jeweler customers begin to ask me what the next few months will look like in the diamond industry. Will prices climb in the second half of 2022? What shapes will reign supreme? What sizes and colors will be in high demand?

Here are my top predictions for the diamond industry for the second half of the year.

1. Diamond Demand & Pricing on the Rise

Consumer demand for diamond jewelry is at a record high. As a result, in 2021, diamond prices went up 11 times, and we’ll see pricing increases continue for natural diamonds, at least for the first half of the year. As inflationary pressures continue and diamond hubs in Zimbabwe and Botswana remain impacted by COVID, we can expect prices to steadily climb through summer. After a peak in the warmer months, prices will begin to fall, eventually stabilizing just in time for holiday buying.

The exception to ever-rising diamond prices is with lab-grown stones. With plenty of supply on-hand, lab-grown diamond prices will continue to drop.

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2. Shaping Up to be the Year of the Round

Round diamonds will continue to be far and away the best-selling diamond cut. In fact, the timeless round stone will outsell all of the fancy shapes combined. Of the fancy shapes, ovals will be the most popular, with rectangular radiants and rectangular cushions gaining steam. Pear shaped diamonds will also begin to make a comeback.

3. Size Matters

Last year, 1.5-carat diamonds were the most in-demand size. Next year, we’ll see 2-carat stones take hold as the de facto size for consumers. Jewelers will want to have plenty of SI1, SI2, and I1 quality stones with colors ranging from F to J.

4. Prepare for the Wedding Boom

Just as I told my customers last year, buy early and buy 20 to 30 percent more than you think you’ll need because 2022 will continue to be a big year for weddings and engagements. According to The Wedding Report, more than 2.5 million couples will tie the knot this year, breaking a previous record for marriages set in 1984. This “boom” follows a two-year hiatus when only 1.3 million married in 2020 and 1.9 million in 2021. As a result, jewelers need to be prepared for a continued surge in demand for engagement rings and wedding bands.

5. Final Words

Even as we see shoppers steadily return to brick-and-mortar stores to do their diamond shopping, jewelers must continue to leverage and build the online presence they were forced to grow throughout the pandemic. While only 11 percent of couples bought their engagement ring online last year, consumer shopping behaviors are shifting to multichannel and digital, especially with the coveted younger demographics. Don’t sell yourself short.

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Michael Indelicato is founder and CEO of RDI Diamonds, a national leader among wholesale diamond distributors.

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