Colored Diamonds Coming on Strong, Group Says

Colored diamonds have a higher profile in the media and fashion world, the Natural Color Diamond Association announced during a press reception at the BaselWorld Watch and Jewelry Fair.

Managing director Sam Merksamer highlighted the publicity the group has received for natural-color diamonds, most notably at the Academy Awards. Four couture designer gowns with colored diamonds attached made standout impressions, and more than 50 percent of the NCDIA collection of jewelry brought to Hollywood to show stylists dressing the stars for the big night was used.

Morgan Freeman, for example, wore diamond-hoop earrings created by Alan Friedman; Alison Janney raved about her Rosiblu jewelry during an interview; and Daisy Fuentes wore a suite of natural-color diamond jewelry.

“We received 7.5 million print impressions and 9.5 million TV im-pressions. That’s 17 million impressions, for both the association and the colored-diamond industry, valued at $1.2 million dollars,” said Merksamer.

“Design trumps price,” he continued. “The more colors in a piece, the more interest there was in it. If we’d have brought more, we’d have placed more.”

NCDIA also presented results of a survey, conducted by the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council, gauging consumer interest in natural-color diamonds. Of the respondents, 58.5 percent indicated they were either somewhat or very interested in natural-color diamond jewelry. Respondents were more likely to own natural-color diamond jewelry now than they were two years ago, but a large proportion of respondents still don’t own any. Overall consumer awareness of the category remained about even with 2003 figures.

NCDIA also announced plans for its natural-color diamond identification and grading report, which is being developed in conjunction with the International Gemmological Institute.