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Gems & Jewelry Buying Behavior Survey 2021

PART 6: Quality pieces and classic styling are strong with consumers.




THE PLUMB CLUB Industry and Market Insights 2021 is providing retailers with a consumer category and preferences roadmap that can help inform buying decisions during this year’s summer jewelry shows.

Quality Twice as Important as Price

Quality in a piece of jewelry ranked No. 1, while price ranked No. 4, with consumers when asked what is important to them when purchasing new jewelry. 31% chose quality, 23% said design and 17% wanted uniqueness of the piece. Price came in with 16% and brand at 8%.

Quality Pieces and Classic Styling are Strong with Consumers

Consumers Prefer Classic Designs

Classic design elements are preferred by 36% of consumers, while vintage and light/minimalist designs tied for consumer preference, each at 17%. 15% preferred design elements that were fashionable and avant-garde, and 8% wanted organic, floral & fauna.

Rings Most Important Product Category

When it comes to the most important product categories, 32% of consumers said rings were most important, 23% prefer earrings, 19% necklaces, 7% bracelets, 5% chains and links and 5% pendants and charms.

Quality Pieces and Classic Styling are Strong with Consumers


Birthstones and Messaging Popular with Consumers

When buying for themselves, 60% of consumers state that they seek out jewelry that has their birthstone in the design, and when it comes special occasions such as Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, 74% of consumers like to pick jewelry that has specific messaging for the occasion.

Quality Pieces and Classic Styling are Strong with Consumers

Non-Traditional Materials Hold Appeal

74% of consumers are interested in non-traditional jewelry materials. Colored gold and titanium are most preferred, and 59% would consider, or have already purchased, “smart” jewelry.

Quality Pieces and Classic Styling are Strong with Consumers

Consumers Like to Give Jewelry with Messages

For jewelry worn as talismans or jewelry with specific meanings, the top choices, in order, are love messages, coins and medallions, zodiacs and religious symbols. However, preferences vary greatly depending upon whether the piece is merely personal preference or if it were to be given as a gift. For pieces that contain love messages, 30% of consumers prefer to give this style as a gift, as opposed to 20% who would want that style in general. The disparity is closer for coins and medallions with 18% saying they like the category and 14% who would pick that style as a gift. For zodiacs, 17% prefer the style in general and 14% say they would choose to gift a zodiac piece. When it comes to religious symbols, 15% say they would be a personal preference and 11% saying they would choose them as gifts.

Quality Pieces and Classic Styling are Strong with Consumers


Textures Most Popular Among Organic Designs

When choosing an organic design motif, a piece with an organic texture overwhelmingly takes first place with 51% of the vote. Floral motifs come in second with 36% and animal motifs at 13%.

The findings above were part of an expansive multi-focused study initiated by The Plumb Club, a coalition of 45 best-in-class suppliers to the jewelry and watch industry. The study was conducted in the first half of 2021 with a sampling of 1,049 men and women from ages 25-60 with a focus on 10 test markets across the US. It was done with the help of Paola Deluca, The Futurist and Qualtrics.

Quality Pieces and Classic Styling are Strong with Consumers

Additional information from this expansive research will be shared over the next number of weeks. Any retailer wishing more information on The Plumb Club Industry & Market Insights 2021 should contact a Plumb Club Member. For a full list of The Plumb Club Members visit here or email [email protected]

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].



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