New jewelry study estimates 1Q sales at $8.9 billion

The National Jewelry Study, produced by United Kingdom marketing firm 2 Degrees Freedom Ltd., queries women 18+ on their fine jewelry purchases.

For the first three months of 2003, NJS findings show:

· Sales tallied $8.9 billion

· Number of pieces acquired was 49.2 million

· Average ticket price was $182

· Diamond jewelry sales make up 49% of all retail jewelry sales and

· Valentine’s Day sales—$843 million—account for nearly 10% of 1Q jewelry sales, with average ticket prices of $203.

The NJS will continue to explore the purchasing habits of fine-jewelry buyers based on a variety of factors, including brands, specific products, and occasions.

For more detailed information on the results, check out www.nationaljewelrystudy.com. For information on the company, visit www.2-df.com.