One of the key assumptions in De Beers' "Diamond Insight Report 2016" is that the surge of diamond demand in China - the second largest diamond market in the world - will continue, but at a slower pace than in recent years. This is understandable, as diamond demand in Mainland China doubled its share from 7% in 2008 to 14% in 2015.
De Beers today published its "Diamond Insight Report 2016", leading off with the following: "De Beers first published its Diamond Insight Report in 2014. In the two years since, much has changed, but the strong diamond industry fundamentals remain the same." Nonetheless, 'With the first half of 2016 showing signs of more stable conditions returning, it is clear that volatility in the diamond sector is not a short-term phenomenon, but the new normal," says CEO Bruce Cleaver.
Jean-Marc Lieberherr is CEO of the Diamond Producers Association, formed in May 2015 by seven of the world’s leading diamond companies to maintain and enhance consumer demand for, and confidence in diamonds. Lieberherr joined Rio Tinto’s diamond business in 2005, "a life-changing move", he tells us. With the official launch of DPA's "Real is Rare. Real is a Diamond." campaign to take place in early October, Lieberherr lays out his vision of the DPA and responds to some questions on key issues in the diamond industry.
The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) and Fiera di Vicenza will hold a seminar on marketing to millennials at the VicenzaOro show in Italy next week. Speakers at the panel discussion will include Jean-Marc Lieberherr, chief executive of the Diamond Producers Association; Costantino Papadimitriou, senior VP of brand strategy and innovation at Forevermark; Roberto Coin, owner of the jewelry brand that bears his name; and Ella Goldner, global strategy director at IPG Mediabrands, an advertising and marketing agency in London.
These messages can be sobering for the industry, but they serve as something of an impromptu focus group of how young people view our business and provide some insight on its current challenges. We are caught in a demographic vice: Boomers are retiring/dying, Gen X-ers have money but no numbers, while millennials have numbers but no money (and are fickle, regardless). When you add in e-commerce, heavy debt, income inequality, the aftereffects of the fiscal crisis, and an unstable world, it’s not surprising this industry—and the rest of retail—is feeling challenged.
In a recent article entitled "In the rough: A diamond is for ever. But its allure comes and goes", The Economist seized the occasion of the non-sale of the "Lesedi La Rona" diamond to expound on the difficult times facing the diamond industry. "It was the latest disappointment to befall an industry that has had little to celebrate.
Rapaport News' Avi Krawitz interviewed recently appointed president of the Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT) Tony Capuano, who discussed the health of the U.S. jewelry market, bank lending, Millennials and the JBT itself. Capuano noted the continuing trend toward consolidation and declining numbers of retailers in the U.S. jewelry market. "The industry continues to contract and consolidate. There are still 29,000 jewelry companies across the U.S., of which about 21,000 are retailers. Our data shows 700 retailers left the industry in the 12 months to the end of the first quarter.
Martin Rapaport has released a statement claiming that due to the EU not being a major diamond consumer in recent years, with demand expected to fall even further as a result of potential currency and equity downturns in the EU and Great Britain, the impact of the Brexit will be that, "Global investment demand for higher quality diamonds as a store of value will increase due to global economic and political uncertainty." He does not anticipate that Chinese or Indian diamond demand will be impacted in a negative way. Furthermore, "The important U.S.
In a nutshell: the Las Vegas shows met the trade’s conservative expectations, foot traffic and diamond trading were slightly slower than previous years, and jewelry sales were resilient, reports Avi Krawitz. On the plus side, the important U.S. market continues to support the global industry, but there is list of factors making the trade nervous. These include concern among diamond dealers and jewelers about slowing demand for diamond jewelry, the rise of synthetics, how to effectively market to millennials, and the impact that a contentious U.S.
The Diamond Producers Association's (DPA) 'Real is rare. Real is a diamond' slogan launched at the JCK Show Las Vegas appeared to be aimed at countering lab-grown diamonds, but DPA CEO Jean-Marc Lieberherr tells JCK's Rob Bates that although he understands that reaction, synthetic diamonds were not part of its thinking. "The diamond producers are in this to make a long-term generational commitment to the industry. There is nothing tactical in anything we are doing," Lieberherr explains.
"Real is Rare. Real is a Diamond". The Diamond Producers Association today delivered a special presentation to members of the diamond industry at the JCK Trade Show in Las Vegas to reveal the long-awaited compaign slogan and platform with which they hope to attract the generation of Millennials. The DPA's marketing campaign, intended to fill the void since De Beers ceased generic marketing, is the result of six months of development, including in-depth research into its target audience: millennial consumers.
After posting a $5.6 billion loss for 2015 as a global rout in commodity prices punished the costly mines it operates around the world, mining giant Anglo American (AA) entered a drastic restructuring phase intended to reduce its total number of mining operations from 45 to 16, but it is holding onto De Beers.
The natural and lab-grown diamond industries are now openly feuding with each another, and some are calling for a ceasefire. Yet that might not be as easy as it seems. For one, there is little overlap between the companies that produce man-made diamonds and those that mine naturals. Both sectors have no obligation to help the other. To the contrary, they both have reasons for the current cold war to continue.
The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) will unveil its diamond promotional campaign at the JCK Show in Las Vegas in June. It will be the first such campaign not sponsored by De Beers. It stemmed from research on millennials, including extensive surveys and focus groups conducted by its marketing firm Mother New York, writes Rob Bates for JCK.
The fact that diamond miners have been unable to prevent prices from dropping below where they were a decade ago is a clear sign that the industry is failing to maintain the cachet of its brand. Today's consumers have different desires than those of their parents who may remember Marilyn Monroe singing 'Diamonds are a girl's best friend' and are more likely to spend their money on nice vacations, fancy handbags and high-tech gadgets. They likely only think of diamonds when it comes to a (mostly) once-in-a-lifetime engagement ring or a wedding band.
"This June at the JCK Las Vegas show," writes Rob Bates for JCK, "the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) will unveil an industry milestone: the first category-driving campaign for diamonds not sponsored by De Beers. The DPA’s campaign grew out of its research on millennials, including extensive surveys and focus groups conducted by its marketing firm Mother New York." Bates plans to take an in-depth look at their research between now and then, but provides a few spoilers about what they found out.
Martin Rapaport has written an in-depth diatribe rejecting the claims of sythetic diamand producers that their product is more ethical than naturally mined diamonds, exposing the value proposition of synthetic diamonds as a ruse and calling natural diamond miners to join together to aggressively market and natural diamonds and attack synthetics. It is nothing less than a call to arms for the natural diamond industry, and he goes so far as to call the way synthetic diamonds are marketed as "evil".
In his latest article, "How Do We Talk About Ethical Sourcing?", Rob Bates of JCK unpacks some of the key tensions lurking underneath marketing strategies that promote the ethical or eco-friendly advantages of synthetic diamond products, and even some of their natural counterparts. Analyzing recent statements by Suzanne Miglucci, the new president and CEO of moissanite manufacturer Charles & Colvard, Bates points out how the strategy they imply could rub retailers the wrong way and even involve "certain perils" when it comes to integrating into the diamond industry as a whole.
JCK's Rob Bates takes an in-depth look at Signet’s Responsible Sourcing Protocol for Diamonds that aims to provide information on the origin of stones from the diamond industry's "notoriously convoluted supply chain" where parcels are frequently sold from various sources. "The new program was designed with that in mind and will allow companies to break down the origin of their diamonds into several different categories, says Signet consultant John Hall, the Rio Tinto veteran who helped design the protocol. “We recognized that we needed to have a fairly good amount of flexibility,” he says.
Jewelry designer Ruta Fox has created a symbolic diamond ring for single ladies, and the women who have bought it express that it's a liberating feeling wearing it, writes People magazine. The "Ah Ring" is a 14-karat white band that includes eleven full-cut diamonds. It is meant to be worn on the pinky finger, and the "Ah" stands for two things: available and happiness. "Single is the new lifestyle. It's becoming more and more prevalent - there's definitely a trend that more people are living single for a longer time," the South Carolina designer said.
The Millennial generation, young adults born between 1980 and 2000, is poised to become the largest spending power in history over the next decade as they move into their peak spending years, writes Sam Willoughby, joint director of International Jewellery London, in GemKonnect. They are higher educated, digital natives, and, in Europe, account for a quarter of the adult population. If they are not retailers' target customers now, they soon will be which means the jewelry industry needs to start understanding how to market to them now.
"Jewelry purchases often mark major life events, most notably engagement and marriage. Millennials are postponing marrying until later in life, leading to a decline in weddings over the last 15 years. However, a larger population of 20-39 year old people in upcoming years should serve as an offset to the wedding rate decline. Assuming the rate of weddings continues to fall by 0.7% over the next six years, weddings should remain relatively flat.
For the first installment of our new series, “Through the Loupe”, that will deliver insightful analysis from a broad selection of diamond industry insiders, The Diamond Loupe sat down with Peter Robinson to talk about Gem Diamonds - miner of some of the largest and highest quality diamonds in the world - and its Baobab manufacturing facility in Antwerp, the current state of diamond miners, investment diamonds, consumer demand and the art of polishing large, high-value diamonds.
Investigating Millennials' perception of synthetic and natural diamonds for Luxury Society, Kimberly De Geer surveyed over a hundred respondents from Europe, Asia and the U.S., aged 18-34 years old, about the significant investment of an engagement ring. The advantages generating Millennials' "newfound interest in synthetic diamonds", she writes, are that they have the same chemical and physical properties as natural diamonds, are typically 30% cheaper and 100% conflict-free. Still, the majority (54%) of those surveyed - regardless of gender - prefer natural diamonds.
In an article identifying the major story of 2015, Rapaport's Avi Krawitz says the re-introduction of generic – or category – marketing is the paramount development for the sector. "With the benefit of hindsight, one could say many of the trade’s grueling challenges could have been met more effectively had investment in category marketing continued to be made in the past decade. Instead, the trade found itself vulnerable to a slowdown in China, unsure about selling to millennials, and facing more prudent retail inventory management.
As reported by Rob Bates at JCK: Millennial consumers want to give and receive diamond jewelry as much as any other age group, the Diamond Producers Association found in a recent online poll. The post-Thanksgiving Day survey questioned 18-to-64-year-old consumers who are married or in a committed relationship, with a heavy sample of Millennials. The survey found that, contrary to the feelings of many in the industry, younger consumers still consider diamond jewelry “an authentic meaningful gift,” says Sally Morrison, marketing director for the Diamond Producers Association.
"If diamonds are forever, it’s not because they’re indestructible, but because our desire for them is." With engagement season in full swing "(surveys show that as many as 40 percent of all engagements occur between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day)", Alix Strauss of The New York Times investigates the evolving nature of the marriage proposal.
Ronnie VanderLinden, secretary-general of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) and president of the Diamond Manufacturers & Importers Association of America (DMIA), makes a call for action for a new generation of industry leadership. "It is high time that the industry members who belong to the Millennial generation become engaged and take an active role in helping our industry succeed in the 'new normal' economy and the consumer market of which they are an integral part.
In order to understand how Millennials consume, one should understand their relationship to affluence, and when it comes to luxury items, the message is not "I'm worth it", but "I earned it". According to Leah Swartz of FutureCast, the Millennial generation is flipping the definition of affluence upside-down.
MVI Marketing's Jewelry Consumer News, which features regular video interviews with jewelry consumers on topics relevant to today's business strategies and priorities, asked six typical (American) millennials about their likely consumer behavior related to lab-grown vs. traditional mined diamonds. While the sample size presented is extremely limited, their varied responses paint a very interesting picture of diamond consumer perceptions. Of the six, only two even knew about lab-grown diamonds, while four were unaware until interviewed.
A survey by MasterCard shows that millennials (people aged roughly 18-29) in China are the biggest purchasers of luxury goods in Asia Pacific, followed by South Korea and Hong Kong. And they plan to spend close to double the Asia Pacific average on luxury goods in the next year. Jewelry spending come second on their purchase lists at 17 percent, with the most popular luxury items being high-end tech gadgets with 25 percent of spending.
In his blog on the top 10 issues the diamond industry is facing in 2015, industry consultant Ben Janowski takes an in-depth look at the new consumer.
The summer break is over, and we are facing a Fall season that does not seem to have much momentum. Last time, I wrote about retailers' issues, though there is much more one can say on that subject. Now, let's think about the consumers. Where are they? Who are they? And will they show up this season?
Tiffany & Co. CEO Frédéric Cumenal said during a discussion of smartwatches at the Goldman Sachs Global Retailing Conference that the jeweler held discussions with top Apple executives several months ago, without providing details on the contents of the issues. JCK points out that in August, New York’s London Jewelers became the only U.S. jeweler selling the highest model of the Apple Watch, the 18K gold Edition.
Cumenal added that the Apple Watch may boost the overall watch category as it reintroduces young people, a critical market, to timepieces.
The so-called 'Generation Z,' youngsters born after the millennials is becoming the next big thing for market researchers, cultural observers and trend forecasters, according to the New York Times. Born from roughly 2000 onwards, "the tweens and teens of today are primed to become the dominant youth influencers of tomorrow. Flush with billions in spending power, they promise untold riches to marketers who can find the master key to their psyche".
Many millennials, people between 18 and 34, are scathing about their own characteristics, according to a study by the Pew Research Center in the United States. The study showed that millennials had far more negative views of their generation compared with other age groups. More than half of millennials, 59%, described their generation as “self-absorbed” while 49% said they were “wasteful” and 43% said they were “greedy”.
Hearts On Fire (HOF) has launched a new, global brand platform – “Ignite Something” – which is aimed at changing the way consumers, especially millennials, relate to diamond jewelry. The Ignite Something campaign will be featured globally in top fashion and bridal magazines starting in September, as well as television, extensive digital outlets, and social media channels including HOF’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. The idea behind the campaign is to spark the reader’s imagination and leave the story open to interpretation.
Hertz Hasenfeld is CEO of the family owned Hasenfeld-Stein, a New York-based polished diamond manufacturer and supplier. The company is known in particular for supplying diamonds to high-end, independent jewelers in the North American and Greater China markets.
Hallmarking, long used in precious metals, is being promoted as a means to differentiate diamond production as plans for industry-wide chain of custody standards are on hold. Unlike a gold or platinum hallmark, which attests to the composition of the precious metal, a diamond hallmark serves as a certificate of origin to ensure that the diamond has met the sourcing criteria that millennials are demanding.