Extensive new research from the Diamond Producers Association shows millennials are on-course to out-purchase every other generation.
between millennials and diamonds.
Retailers doubting the intentions of millennials when it comes to the purchase of diamond jewelry should be able to breathe a little easier after the Diamond Producers Association’s presentation at AGS Conclave in Nashville, which revealed extensive research. This generation—80 million strong and now in their peak diamond buying years—are none too different from Gen X’ers or baby boomers when it comes to diamonds. With their large numbers, proclivity for self-purchasing and ongoing nuptials, the diamond-buying habits of the under 40 set are actually on course to out-purchase every other generation.
Recent research reveals that millennials are more likely to acquire diamond jewelry than their older counterparts, more willing to buy diamond jewelry for themselves and already knowledgeable of and impressed by the attributes of rarity and authenticity that make diamonds unique.
Among the most revealing data from the research:
- 19% of 25-34-year-olds acquired at least one piece of diamond jewelry in the last year compared to 12% of older generations.
- Millennials spent $16 billion on diamond jewelry in 2017.
- Bridal jewelry accounted for 50% of these purchases. One third of the remaining 50% was comprised of self-purchases of diamond jewelry.
Self-purchasing women has become a category of special interest for the entire industry. Women now account for half of the U.S. workforce and are earning more than ever before. This market segment is expected to be a major driver of future diamond jewelry sales. Designers and manufacturers have already taken notice, with companies like Forevermark and Rahaminov Diamonds debuting diamond-adorned collections created expressly for this market.
“According to De Beers research, in the U.S., a third of all women’s diamond jewelry is bought by women themselves. Self-purchasing women represent an important growth category for the industry,” says Sarah Gorvitz, DPA’s head of Strategic Communications and Insights. Three core insights shed light on the phenomena. “Women view diamond self-purchases as an outward expression of their inner confidence and as a reminder to honor themselves,” continued Ms. Gorvitz. “We’ve also heard in focus groups that women buy diamonds to honor real moments in their lives and that diamonds are linked to memories or important milestones.”
Additional, in-depth quantitative surveys with U.S. retailers affirm the De Beers Group findings and report an uptick in women purchasing diamond jewelry for themselves over the last two years, and a large majority of those queried expect it will continue. Almost unanimously, retailers welcome the idea of more marketing campaigns to encourage women to buy diamond jewelry for themselves. Jewelers also say they want to see diamond jewelry that is less formal and geared towards “everyday wear.”
Research into diamond buying habits is only a part of the mission of the DPA, founded in 2015 by the world’s seven largest diamond mining companies. The organization’s overall role is to update the narrative about diamonds and fuel consumer desire for diamonds by highlighting their intrinsic value and symbolism in consumers’ lives. The “Real is Rare” campaign, launched in 2016, achieved more than 1.1 billion campaign impressions over the last 12 months. Individuals within the targeted 18-to-34-year-old demographic viewed the campaign an average of 20 times.
Jewelers are encouraged to take advantage of DPA’s trade portal, available by visiting DiamondProducers.com. Here, retailers can view DPA’s most recent marketing campaigns, download fact sheets about diamonds and millennials, or learn outcomes from DPA’s extensive research to help fuel individualized advertising and social media campaigns. Jewelers can also request in-store materials including videos, print ads, counter cards and training materials.
Perfect for (Self) PurchaseWith millennial-aged women buying more diamond jewelry for themselves—a trend that’s expected to grow—designers share some fresh, young diamond styles, just perfect for self-purchasing women.