Diamond Notes

U.S. Diamond Sales Jumped 9% Last Year U.S. retail sales of diamond jewelry were up 9% in value terms in 1998, according to De Beers. That’s the seventh year in a row sales have risen. When finally tallied, diamond jewelry sales are likely to top $20 billion for the first time ever. “The American market has been a very strong one for us,” says De Beers’ Derek Palmer, who coordinates marketing for the United States. “Most people think this year will continue to be strong, especially with our promotional campaign for the millennium.” De Beers marketing director Stephen Lussier told financial analysts the diamond engagement ring market showed particular strength in 1998. The average purchase price increased 11%, crossing the $2,000 mark for the first time. Things are also going well in solitaires, the products on which De Beers’ advertising is centered. Sales of solitair
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