Depending on which sales measurement service you consult, July’s jewelry sales either continued the industry’s unprecedented hot streak or showed that its amazing two-year run was cooling off.
Mastercard’s SpendingPulse sales measurement service continued to report strong jewelry sales gains for July, with its latest numbers saying sales rose 18.6% over the prior year.
The service also reported that jewelry sales in July 2022 had risen an amazing 109.1% over sales in July 2019, prior to the pandemic.
SpendingPulse—which gathers data from Mastercard purchases as well as a variety of other sources—also found that the jewelry sector again did better than the overall luxury sector, which fell 3% for the month. Jewelry sales gains also outpaced SpendingPulse’s recorded gains for overall retail sales (11.2%).
Jewelry was not the strongest-performing category SpendingPulse tracked, as it had been in past months. There were stronger gains from fuel and convenience (up 32.3%) and lodging (up 29.6%).
While good news is generally welcomed, some noted that SpendingPulse’s numbers didn’t mesh with data from other services.
For instance, Tenoris, the new data service from former National Jeweler publisher Chris Casey and industry analyst Edahn Golan, found that consumer demand for jewelry has “tapered off” since the beginning of the year.
The service, which solely tracks jewelry, reported that jewelry sales in July declined 6.6% from sales in July 2021. That included bridal, generally a reliable performer, it said.
The big exception was high-end jewelry, which posted strong gains, particularly in the $50,000–$100,000 range. Sales in that price range rose 11.6% in value and 12.2% in units, Tenoris found. Those gains were largely driven by earrings and bracelets, it said. Fashion rings also did well, Tenoris reported.
The decline in jewelry sales in July represents a change from the first six months of the year, when sales generally topped the already-high numbers logged in 2021, Tenoris added.
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