Join us for our weekly BAJ:Insight on the latest industry trends by Rachael Taylor, a freelance journalist who writes about jewellery for a number of titles, including The Financial Times, The Jewellery Editor and Retail Jeweller. In her 10 years reporting on the industry, she has travelled the globe to visit key industry fairs, descended a Fairtrade gold mine on top of a Peruvian mountain, toured silver jewellery factories in Thailand, and regularly has access to the most sparkling jewels and people in the business.
Last week diamond mining giant De Beers released some data on diamond jewellery demand across the globe in 2016, as well as its forecasts for demand 2017. In addition to some very interesting numbers, it also proffered a few flash quotes on consumer trends, one of which was about the increasing power of single ladies.
“Single women’s acquisitions and spend increase, leading to increase in self-purchasing in non-bridal, discretionary jewellery categories, driving incremental demand,” reads the quote. Just how De Beers knows all these jewellery magpies are single, I do not know. I would imagine it is perhaps no longer PC to enquire after the marital status of a customer when picking out a diamond necklace.
Within the most recent De Beers’ Diamond Insight Report (the 2016 edition released in September), there is more to be said on this lucrative consumer group in a brilliantly titled section called The Single Woman:
“While single women’s acquisition levels increased slightly in 2015, their average spend soared by some 20 per cent compared with 2013 as they acquired more diamond-only earrings and necklaces and larger diamonds. With the US marriage rate at historic lows and younger women delaying marriage, the rise in unmarried households has been well documented. The singles’ demographic is thus expected to grow. The diamond jewellery industry must continue to engage with this segment, using a combination of relevant ideas for each age and income group to capitalise on its potential.”
While these modern renegades are clearly in the crosshairs of the diamond jewellery industry, it would seem that those who have taken vows, aged between 35 and 45, remain the pillar of the non-bridal segment. Some might call them married women, or if they happen to own eight or more pieces of diamond jewellery, De Beers calls them Heavy Owners. Although not to their face, I would imagine.