U.S. Diamond Sales Hit Record, Thanks—Surprisingly—to Millennials

The United States accounts for 45 percent of the world’s diamond market

Sales of diamond jewelry in the United States rose 5 percent in 2015 to hit a record $39 billion, according to De Beers’ latest data.

The numbers show that diamond acquisition rates remain high from millennials—a generation that is sometimes considered ambivalent about diamonds.

“It certainly looks like millennials are driving the increase in the U.S.,” says De Beers spokesperson David Johnson. “Their share of the market is much larger than the share of the population they represent. They are punching above their weight.”

Johnson says this shows that the demographic remains interested in diamonds, but “[we must make sure] that we connect with them in the right way.”

The United States remains the world’s largest market for diamond jewelry; its share of polished demand increased from 42 percent to 45 percent in 2015.

For the coming year, De Beers expects “positive but subdued” market growth, with the United States continuing to lead the way.

On a constant currency basis, global consumer demand for diamond jewelry grew by 2 percent last year. However, the strength of the U.S. dollar meant that overall global consumer demand for diamond jewelry sank 2 percent in dollar terms. It stands at $79 billion, a decline from 2014’s record $81 billion.

Demand in the major markets was mixed:

– The second largest diamond market—China (including Hong Kong and Macau)—saw 3 percent acquisition growth in local currency. China now accounts for 17 percent of the diamond jewelry market, up from 16 percent in 2014.

– Consumer demand in India fell 4 percent in local currency, thanks to a decline in consumer spending, driven by restricted credit.

– Japanese consumer demand was flat in local currency terms. The yen depreciation meant demand declined 13 percent in U.S. dollars.

– Demand in the gulf region fell 3 percent, with weak oil prices and lower visitors hurting growth.

(Photo by Objectif-photography)

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JCK News Director

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