Last Year Was Good for Diamonds, Gold, and Especially Platinum

Diamond, gold, and especially platinum jewelry sales rose in the United States last year, according to new surveys published by De Beers, Platinum Guild International (PGI), and the World Gold Council (WGC).

According to De Beers’ annual survey, U.S. diamond jewelry sales increased 4 percent in 2017 to $43 billion. The company partially credits the good results on the growing self-purchase market, which it says accounted for one-third of all diamond jewelry purchased last year.

De Beers noted that the U.S. represents more than half of the world’s $82 billion diamond jewelry market. Global diamond jewelry sales rose 2 percent last year.

PGI’s 2017 Platinum Jewellery Business Review found that platinum jewelry sales rose 11 percent in the United States last year. This marks the fifth consecutive year platinum sales have grown in America.

Jenny Luker, president of Platinum Guild International USA, says, “It was a really good year [for platinum], and it’s been a really good few years.”

She adds that while the American economy has played a role in the strong results, much of the credit has to go to the historically low price of platinum, which at press time was trading for $892 an ounce, about $400 less than the price of gold.

And while bridal remains the basis of the platinum market, Luker says that her organization wants to take advantage of the growing self-purchase sector by encouraging manufacturers to produce platinum fashion product.

PGI predicts that platinum jewelry sales will continue to grow in the United States in 2018 by an estimated 8–11 percent.

The World Gold Council’s Gold Demand Trends report also showed good news from the United States, with gold sales rising 3 percent in 2017 and fourth-quarter demand hitting an eight-year high. Still, it added that gold jewelry sales are “still a long way from previous levels.”

The global gold jewelry market increased 4 percent in 2017. That is the first year of growth since 2013, according to the WGC.

Pictured: Drops of Light High Jewellery earrings with graduating (0.25–0.9 ct.) round brilliant diamonds in platinum; price on request; De Beers

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JCK News Director

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