Demand for Diamond Jewelry High in First Quarter

U.S. diamond jewelry sales rebounded in the first quarter of 2002, according to research by J. Walter Thompson, De Beers’ U.S. marketing firm.

According to JWT’s statistics, the value of diamond jewelry sold at retail during the first quarter of 2002 was 5% higher than the figure for the first quarter of 2001. The first quarter usually accounts for about 20% of yearly diamond jewelry sales.

Particularly heartening was a jump in volume—especially the 10% jump in the number of diamond jewelry pieces sold in the first quarter. In fact, there were more pieces sold in this first quarter than during the same period of 2000, a record-setting year.

“More people are entering the diamond jewelry market,” says Seth Grossman, director of market planning for the DTC account at JWT. “Even in these challenging times, diamonds are still looked on as a gift of love.”

Grossman attributed the increase to strong Valentine’s Day sales as well as increased advertising by sightholders stemming from De Beers’ “Supplier of Choice” initiative. (See “Diamond Branding Explodes,” page 116.) There also was strong demand for new products such as the three-stone necklace and the three-stone ring, and for basics like diamond ear studs.