Global consumer demand for diamond jewelry hit a new all-time high in 2017, climbing to US$82 billion, a two percent increase on the previous year, according to industry insight data published today by De Beers Group. The US was the main driver of growth for the fourth consecutive year, De Beers writes, where positive macroeconomics and strong consumer confidence - which recently hit an 18-year high - saw demand for diamond jewelry increase four percent to $43 billion, representing more than half of total global demand. Fulfilling a trend many saw on the rise, De Beers says an increase in self-purchase of diamond jewelry helped drive demand, representing a remarkable 33 percent of total US diamond jewelry pieces acquired in 2017. Additionally, fears that millennials are no longer interested in diamonds have been calmed by the facts and figures from the major diamond retailers. They are still buying diamonds whether they are getting married or not.
Consumer demand in Mainland China, the world’s second largest consumer market for diamond jewelry, also returned to positive growth in 2017, reflecting the trend of the broader luxury goods sector. Demand increased three percent in local currency and one percent in US dollars, totalling US$10 billion. Growth was supported by strengthening macroeconomics towards the end of the year and a 20-year high in consumer confidence. In addition, there was a revival in the Hong Kong market in the second half of 2017, driven by both stronger local demand as well as a resurgence of Mainland visitor shopping. Greater China’s consumer demand for diamonds is now about 20% of global demand and is clearly on the rise.
Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “People around the world are spending more on diamond jewellery than ever before and it’s encouraging to see consumers in the US, the world’s largest and most mature market, leading the way. While new designs and brand concepts played a key role in catching the consumer’s eye, it’s the timeless natural beauty, uniqueness and enduring value of diamonds that continues to resonate with people when looking to celebrate life’s special moments.”
De Beers adds that demand for diamond jewelry in the other main consumer markets of India, Japan and the Gulf saw low single digit declines in US dollar terms, affected by a range of macro-economic factors and regulatory and exchange rate impacts. Consumer demand in other diamond jewelry markets globally increased overall.
The outlook for 2018 demand growth remains positive in most of the main diamond consuming countries, based on solid world economic prospects, positive consumer sentiment and continued investment from the diamond industry in category marketing.