Surge in ‘Net jewelry sales indicates an emotional connection

Sales of diamonds and diamond engagement rings, along with gifts of a sentimental or keepsake nature, were up dramatically during the first days of holiday shopping compared to 2000, according to Blue Nile, Inc., an online retailer of diamonds and fine jewelry.

“Strengthening the emotional connection with loved ones was a subject continually voiced by our customers,” Blue Nile VP of marketing Sue Bell said.

Diamond engagement rings topped the list of best sellers for the company-up 27% compared with last year-continuing an upward trend in marriage proposals that began shortly after the September 11 attacks on America, Bell said.

The company also saw a significant jump in sales of sentimental and keepsake gifts, as customers sought to reinforce a personal connection with loved ones. Lockets, in particular, were some of the top selling items. Engraved items were also extremely popular, confirming the personalization trend.

“We’re seeing a continuing trend in classic and timeless gifts during these turbulent times,” Bell said, adding that patriotic gifts were also popular.

Holiday shopping highlights for Blue Nile, include:

* Fine jewelry unit sales up 39%
* Diamond unit sales up 17%
* November revenue to date up 17%
* Number of unique visitors up 69%
* Number of customers up 25%