Diamond jewelry sales up 10% in fourth quarter

Fourth quarter 2003 sales of women’s diamond jewelry in the U.S. grew by 10% compared with fourth quarter 2002, according to a recent study by a United Kingdom-based marketing and research firm.

Latest results, released from the National Jewelry Study, produced by 2 Degrees Freedom Ltd., London, estimate fourth quarter sales at $9.27 billion for women’s jewelry containing diamonds, taking the annual total up to $21.7 billion (excluding men’s and teen’s diamond jewelry).

This increase in value was accompanied by a marginal fall in piece sales.

“Although fewer sales took place, the average ticket price was considerably higher than in the same period in 2002, as consumers opted for more substantial Christmas gifts” said Liam Webb, director of 2 Degrees Freedom and former DTC executive.

Christmas accounted for almost $3 billion in sales, with men, on average, spending $572 on Christmas diamond jewelry gifts for their wives.

The second major occasion in the fourth quarter was engagements. Prospective bridegrooms spent an average of $2,762 on diamond engagement rings.