Jewelry Sales Hit $44 Billion in 2003

Sales of fine jewelry in the United States totaled approximately $43.6 billion in 2003, according to the latest estimates from the National Jewelry Study, which was conducted via the Internet throughout 2003. Over the course of the year, 37,844 women and men completed the 10-minute online questionnaire.

The $43.6 billion figure represents sales of 239.7 million pieces of jewelry and watches, with an average ticket price of $182. The chart below shows a breakdown of jewelry and watch purchases by units and dollar volume.

Jewelry acquired by women—whether a self-purchase or received as a gift—represents 88% of all jewelry acquired.

During the holiday season, more than half of the jewelry acquired in the United States was made from gold. Almost a quarter was made with silver. Diamonds, as always, were popular: Jewelry containing diamonds accounted for 19% of all holiday jewelry unit sales, and 60% of holiday dollar volume. Most popular were engagement rings, followed by wedding rings, stud earrings, neckwear, and bracelets. During the fourth quarter, a significant number of diamond pieces were acquired as engagement gifts and 87% of all engagement gifts acquired contained diamonds.

The National Jewelry Study is developed and conducted by 2 Degrees Freedom Ltd., a UK-based marketing and market research firm founded by Richard Farrell and Liam Webb, former executives at De Beers’ Diamond Trading Company. The study is designed to provide the jewelry industry with “much needed detailed and affordable market information at a time when the industry and all those involved, from retail to mining, are becoming more and more marketing focused,” Farrell said.

Information from the study is available quarterly along with annual market reports. Together they provide a summary of the U.S. jewelry and diamond jewelry markets, including facts and analysis of market size estimates; market segmentations and quantification; consumer demographics; and market share by product, occasion, price, and outlet.

For more information and report prices, call (44 7771) 948208 or e-mail: Richard.farrell@2-df.com. Additionally, selected quarterly and semiannual editions of the National Jewelry Study’s reports are available in the JCK Research and Stock Art Store on Yahoo Shopping.