De Beers: Market Grew in 2002

U.S. retail sales of diamond jewelry increased by 5% in the year 2002, a surprising leap given the bad economic climate, De Beers’ Diamond Information Center recently announced.

The U.S. market now is valued at $27.4 billion, accounting for well over half the value of the world’s diamond jewelry sales.

Customers did tighten their belts in 2002, however: While the volume of pieces grew 11%, the average ticket price declined nearly 5%.

The DIC attributed the increase to the better-than-expected holiday selling season, steady demand for diamond engagement rings, and growing demand for three-stone diamond jewelry. The three-stone category grew 74% in 2002, the DIC said.